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It Takes Two to Tango

Management and leadership take a lot of heat from the agile community, and it is true that their understanding and support for an agile mindset is imperative for transformational success.

Agile teams; however, must share the responsibility for success (or failure).

One of the most misunderstood (misused) principles of the agile manifesto related to self-directed teams. Many times, it is misconstrued to mean that managers need to butt out of team business and go do whatever other things that managers do.

It is true that teams need to be able to chart their course to innovate and deliver valuable solutions to their customers. They need to have control over “how” work gets done. This doesn’t mean they are free from oversight and direction.

True, micro-management and command and control is a sure-fire way to kill agility but the role of management to provide direction, support and risk-mitigation cannot be eliminated.

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