Management Mindsets: What's So Different About Agile

Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc

You've probably heard of Theory X, Theory Y, and Theory Z management styles. Even though we've run out of letters at the end of the alphabet, it's time for a new management theory for self-organizing agile teams. Esther Derby examines what parts of a manager's job stay the same and what parts diminish as the team manages its own work. She discusses the new roles for managers in agile organizations: team coach-creating an environment for success and helping the team improve their teamwork; team champion-helping the team interface with the rest of the organization; boundary manager-keeping distractions at bay and making sure the team has what it needs; risk manager-anticipating and mitigating risks; and organizational influencer-looking across the organization and removing impediments. Although your role as manager changes as you embrace agile practice, there's plenty to do. Plus, it's even more fun!

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