issues across the organization, the teams worked better and the product was better for that understanding.
Separate the People Management from the Project Manager
A team champion separates the management from the project management. I'm all for separating the person who represents the organization's management from the person who protects the forward progress of the project. Those are two different jobs. Unless you have a small organization-as in, three to five people-it's not possible to do both jobs well. There is too much management work to do the project management. Or, if you do the project management, you shortchange the management role. Certainly, once you have more than one project team, you need a manager to do the management work.
Why Separate the People Management From the Project Management?
In a new agile environment, the project manager/ScrumMaster/process leader-whatever the person who protects the team's agile process is called-has a ton of work to do: remove obstacles, maintain velocity charts, remove obstacles, make sure the standups remain standups, make sure someone facilitates the retrospectives, work with the customer or product owner on the product backlog, remove obstacles, help the team define what done means, help people recognize when they need help, and remove obstacles.
You've noticed I've mentioned removing obstacles numerous times. In new-to-agile teams, noticing the obstacles is the first challenge. And, as more organizations attempt to move to agile, they are noticing that removing the obstacles often entails influence and negotiation at varying levels of the organization-not an easy task.
It's a big job, and many managers of these project manager people also expect them to contribute technically to the project. Once you have technical work and are a technical peer, it's not possible to act as a manager for people on the team.
Who Will Review the People?
When I coach managers in organizations transitioning to agile, they all want to know: How will we make sure people have a fair review?
Well, forget the fair business about reviews. No review is completely objective and fair. If you really want to make it fair, ask the project team members to review their colleagues.
What people really want is time every week or every other week to discuss their progress with a trusted colleague. That's what a manager does.
If you want to make sure the raise is fair, that's a different problem. You need a published career ladder with a number of rungs and objective criteria attached to each rung. You need relatively thin salary ranges at each level. You need to make sure someone reviews those levels at least once a year and increases them to match the going rate in your area.
Reviews are a red herring , . There are tons of ways to review people. Separate the feedback providing from the money exchange.
Agile Changes the Game for Managers
When an organization transitions to agile, managers have to work across the organization-not just for managing the project portfolio instead of shuffling people around, but also to help team members with the inevitable stresses that come from working closely with others in a knowledge worker organization.
If you're a functional manager, are you ready?
I thank Esther Derby, Don Gray, and George Dinwiddie for their review.
 Buckingham, Marcus and Curt Coffman. First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1999.
 Rothman, Johanna and Esther Derby. Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management. Pragmatic Bookshelf, Dallas and Raleigh, 2005.
- Pfeffer, Jeffrey. The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First. Harvard