We are currently undergoing a transformation from a waterfall hybrid (I call it Water-Scrum-Fall) to a flavor of Scaled Agile. As we are navigating the waters of such a large effort there are a number of questions that have arisen. Most have been well covered in the many online articles about such an undertaken. However, there is one that has been very vague and hard to find a lot of prescriptive information on: the role of management in a scaled agile world.
It turns out there is a good reason: the role of management isn’t as central of a role in scaled agile as it is in waterfall. The day to day planning, execution, and corrections are now handled by self directing teams, taking the manager out of the middle of the day to day mix. But this doesn’t mean the manager’s role is diminished…
The role of the manager is still to help the organization reach its goals. This just happens in a different way in an agile world. Instead of directing day to day traffic the manager takes on more of a servant leadership role, helping to enable teams to be successful.
Depending on your organization, your staff, and how you are structured the additional roles of management will vary. Who reports to the manager? Is the manager a coach as well? What KPIs should managers be tracking? What is the role of the manager in escalations? These are just a few of the many questions you’ll need to address to determine the role of the manager in your newly minted agile organization. This is one of the bigger hurdles to get alignment on but once you do adds a great deal of clarity and peace for your managers staring this transition in the face.
Here are some links that we have found that can help guide you. We have yet to find any that are as prescriptive as for more central roles to Agile, such as the Scrum Master or Product Owner:
Good luck in your transformation!