Why Good Managers Could Impede Agile Transformation

Why Good Managers Could Impede Agile Transformation

Modern management was shaped by two people namely Jules Henri Fayole (Fayolism) and Fredrik Taylor (Scientific Management or Taylorism) working independently but during the same time. Gnatt also played a key role in Scientific Management.

The premise on which the management that we see today are built are

  • Fayolism is based on the principle that “to manage is to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control.”

As can be seen, the focus has always been efficiency and a command and control culture. Managers are one who can forecast, plan and then execute the plan by taking control of the team and commanding what they need to do.

Managers are expected to manage work, control risk, maintain status quo, build process and best practices, relying on existing skills and create goals for individual workers.

Now for a traditional organization to move to an Agile organization we are talking of creating and sharing a compelling vision, creating an urgency, about empowering a lot of people and encouraging them to make decisions. It takes more than getting the development and test team to work together, it is about creating a momentum that makes people from various rungs of the organization wanting to make it happen.

Learn Fundamental Agile

A traditional management approach would, however, be to create a plan, identify tools and device a process which then is handed over to the teams with a goal of push this along and make it happen. The major intent of this plan and process is to create an orderly execution that is under the watch, motivate, control and manage the goal by the transformation and/or executive committee.

The requirement thus is not of a manager but that of a leader. A leader who can craft the vision, challenge the status quo, build relations, lead and coach the pro-transformation behavior. In short inspire actions leading to change.

In other words, Traditional management and Agile Leadership can be at loggerheads. So, to be successful the need is of Change Leadership and not Change Management.

Agile Enterprise

Blogger: Preeth Pandalay

Preeth Pandalay