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Agile Leadership Is Overrated - Isnt It?

Nov 01, 2014




Presentation for Mile High PMI Workshop on April 11, 2009


This workshop will focus on the concept of leadership in organizations which use an agile development process. When people speak about agile it is common to hear terms like “no command and control,” “there is no one particular person in charge,” and “managers support rather than manage.” In this type of environment, where is there room for “leadership?” The workshop will look at leadership from several different perspectives and examine whether or not leadership is necessary. If it is necessary for leadership, where does it come from and how is it manifested? For project managers a thorough understanding of the realities of agile leadership is not a nicety, it is a necessity for success with agile projects. The workshop will consist of approximately equal parts presentation and hands on exercises.

  • 1. Agile Leadership is Overrated
    Isnt It???Presented by Bob Hartman
    Presentation Copyright 2009, Agile For All, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Cell phones, pagers, PDAs, etc. to silent
    If you have a question, please ask it. Dont wait! It is better to answer the question while we are still in the same area than to go back.
    We will take a break after about 90 minutes
    Before We Start
  • 3. Introductions
  • 4. 30+ years of software industry experience
    Certified Scrum Practitioner
    Bachelor and Masters degrees in Computer Science
    Roles included Tester, Developer, Dev Manager, QA Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager, VP
    Started with agile in 1999
    Bob Hartman (Agile Bob)
    President Agile For All
    bob.har[email protected]
  • 5. Please introduce yourself including:
    Company and role
    Agile experience
    Who are you?
  • 6. What Is Leadership?
  • 7. All definitions in this section are from:
    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    A word of thanks
  • 8. One who handles, controls, or directs, especially:
    One who directs a business or other enterprise.
    One who controls resources and expenditures, as of a household.
    One who is in charge of the training and performance of an athlete or a team.
    A student who is in charge of the equipment and records of a school or college team.
    One who is in charge of the business affairs of an entertainer.
    manager(mn'-jr) n.
  • 9. The act, manner, or practice of managing; handling, supervision, or control: management of a crisis; management of factory workers.
    The person or persons who control or direct a business or other enterprise.
    Skill in managing; executive ability.
    management (mn'j-mnt) n.
  • 10. Management skill in managing, executive ability
    Manager One who handles, controls or directs
    Putting the two together means handling, controlling and directing are essential skills of managing, and indicators of executive ability
    Most classically trained managers fit this mold
    According to the definitions
  • 11. One that leads or guides.
    One who is in charge or in command of others.
    One who heads a political party or organization.
    One who has influence or power, especially of a political nature.
    A conductor, especially of orchestra, band, or choral group.
    The principal performer in an orchestral section or a group.
    leader (l'dr) n.
  • 12. The position or office of a leader: ascended to the leadership of the party.
    Capacity or ability to lead: showed strong leadership during her first term in office.
    A group of leaders: met with the leadership of the nation's top unions.
    Guidance; direction: The business prospered under the leadership of the new president.
    leadership(l'dr-shp') n.
  • 13. 13
    A big problem
    Some people are appointed to be leaders, but have no leadership skills
  • 14. An even bigger problem
    The classic definition of management and manager are very different from leadership and leader. Why???
  • 15. 15
    Group discussion
    What would change if managers were true leaders with proper leadership skills?
  • 16. 16
    Questions to ponder
    Are you a project manager, or a project leader?Which do you want to be?
  • 17. Herding cats!
    Otherwise known as Agile Leadership
  • 18. Agile is all about
    Working together to solve problems
    Not using command and control
    Allowing teams to self-direct
    So why do you need a project manager (remember the definition of manager is one who handles, controls, or directs)?
    The unfortunate truth is you dont need this!
    Agile the problem child
  • 19. 19
    Agile projects need LEADERS, not MANAGERS!
    Are you up to the challenge?
  • 20. Who are Leaders?
  • 21. Who leads or guides agile teams?
    Who else?
    Any others?
    On an agile team, anyone can be a leader depending on the situation!
    Putting this in an agile context
  • 22. Only our entire thought process about how to help teams improve!
    We need to grow EVERYONE as leaders
    Help them grow as FOLLOWERS as well
    The dynamics of communications change based on the situation and context
    Does this change anything?
  • 23. Exposing the truth
  • 24. Managers often believe
    being belligerent is necessary in order to get people to work hard
    interrupting someone is acceptable in order to get to the point faster
    micromanaging is the only way to have teams do what is expected of them
    listening to others is unimportant because their opinion isnt going to change anything
    Are these acceptable values???
    The path to success
  • 25. According to published studies, many managers who have the beliefs from the previous slide have been very successful!
    When asked why they were successful the managers often referenced those beliefs as key success factors.
    During 360 degree interviews, others interacting with those managers had a different story to tell
    The big surprise
  • 26. 26
    Most of the managers in the studies have been successful IN SPITE OF those beliefs NOT BECAUSE OF THEM!
  • 27. Break into small groups
    How do you find out how you are perceived by others?
    How do you let others know your perceptions of them?
    Exercise: How do you get the truth?
  • 28. Keys to Success
  • 29. Competence
    Having the ability to be successful
    Adding value to your relationships with others
    Being an honest example
    Sacrificing self for success of others
    The 4 Cs of Leadership
  • 30. Are you technically competent to do the job
    Do others know you are competent
    Are you able to help others become more competent
    Are you able to look forward and see problems before they arise
  • 31. Do you have enough relationships to lead
    Do you add value to relationships, or just suck value from them
    Do people know you care
    Are you quick to help, slow to blame
  • 32. Do you hold yourself to high standards
    Always honest with reports
    Always acting with integrity
    Holding others accountable
  • 33. Are you willing to pay the price
    Will you take the blame for the team in order to protect them
    Does the buck stop here or pass through here
    Do you believe team success leads to personal success, or is it personal success in spite of the team
  • 34. Break into 4 groups
    For your assigned C come up with an argument for why that particular characteristic is most important
    Exercise: What is most important?
  • 35. Servant leadership is an approach to leadership development, coined and defined by Robert Greenleaf and advanced by many other authors of books on leadership.
    Servant-leadership emphasizes the leader's role as steward of the resources (human, financia