Agile Leader Mindset
Leaders and executives in agile organizations must embrace the idea that the future is not only unpredictable but unknowable. They must focus on creating an environment where self-managing teams can thrive. And they must get comfortable with being wrong a few times in order to find the correct path.
No single team member is more important to a successful Agile transformation than the executives, sponsors and senior leaders. While they are unlikely to be creating user stories or busying themselves calculating velocity, it is leadership that will either set the team and organization on the correct path or knock it off course. This kind of deleterious leadership is almost never done on purpose, and usually isn’t the cause of any direct action. Rather, when the leadership doesn’t change their own outlook and expectations, then the organization has no ability to change, either.
The shift to Agile takes more than just adding iterative development and user stories on top of the outlook and assumptions that are currently extant in the group. In fact, many developers would say that the outcome is actually worse than sticking with your old process. Breaking a project down into iterations, and then using traditional project management will undercut both methodologies to the point where you take the weakest parts of both and put them together. Some developers have come with
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"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious and immature."
- Tom Robbins