Are managers hindering your Agile transition? Does it seem like things would be better if the managers all left?
Most managers are intelligent people who have built their careers and fed their families with their current knowledge and experience. During an agile transformation, we need them on-board. Managers know their present situation better than anyone else. They also have inside knowledge about the corporate systems and culture that agile coaches need in order to be successful.
But in some cases the manager does not understand agile. In extreme cases, they can become an impediment to an agile transformation moving forward. How can you get these managers back on your side, supporting the agile transformation?
Agile coaches should start with working to understand what the world looks like through the eyes of these managers. To facilitate this understanding, I discuss re-purposing the concept of product user personas to create manager personas that explore the issues, reservations, hold-ups and concerns that are keeping the manager from supporting an agile transformation.
With this new understanding, agile coaches can develop ways to demonstrate to managers why the agile approach is better, where management fit in the larger picture, and how management also benefits from the changes in the way the team delivers value back to the organization. These insights show managers where they can improve agile projects, how they can add value in a newly transformed organization, and how agile coaches can guide management without alienating them during an agile transformation.