One of the frequent obstacle encountered by project teams when transitioning to Agile is the resistance of their manager. When an executive declares that the organization is moving to Agile, many team members look forward to working differently – that is until their manager gets involved.
As an organizational coach, I often use a simple questionnaire to assess the level of agility of the managers I deal with. Below are nine questions to help determine how Agile the manager I’m talking to actually is.
Go ahead – try the short test.
True or False?
- To get the best results, it is preferable to properly control the activities of the team members
- A process that is not well defined at the outset will always give sub-optimal results
- To reduce the loss of productivity, it is preferable to isolate team members in cubicles and use email as the preferred a mode of communication
- A team of experts with specialized knowledge is always more efficient than a multi-disciplinary team
- The best tools and processes are those selected by the organization and standardized for all groups
- It is generally preferable to thoroughly document what we people do even if it reduces their speed
- Money is the best way to keep individuals motivated
- It is more important to follow the plan than to adapt to changes
- A signed contract is better than an informal agreement to ensure cooperation between different departments
How did you do?
If you answered True:
- 9 times (out of 9): As you enter an Agile transition, your current management paradigms are likely to be severely tested, but with the right mindset and the willingness to change you could be surprised. You may want to take this test again a few months after the beginning of the transition to see how much you have progressed.
- Between 5 and 8 times (out of 9): You have some of the right reflexes but you haven’t fully grasped the concepts behind Agile. With some work and an open mind, you could modify your leadership style and eventually become an Agile manager.
- Between 1 and 4 times (out of 9): You’re almost there. You are comfortable with most of the Agile concepts but still need to fine-tune some of your reflexes to make it to the top of the chart.
- 0 time (out of 9): Congratulations! You seem to understand the Agile approach and the underlying concepts very well. If you behave the way you answered these questions, you are an exemplary Agile leader. Send me an email, I certainly would like to hear from you.