Team Modeling

Lencioni Model
GRPI Model
Forming Storming Norming Performing Adjourning

Agile Team Initialization

Typical Agile Ecosystem

Ecosystem of an Agile Team
A Powerful and Influential Agile Core Team:
  • The core team is, ideally, not a part of line management. It should contain very few members from the management ranks and the majority of the team will be “doers” (The people that actually design, build, create, and test.).  This  adds to the credibility, and is extremely helpful if the methodology is rolled out to the rest of the company.  It is not a management initiative being forced upon everyone; it is coming from real people who are a part of the project teams. At the same time it is essential to have support from upper management. Agile is most successful when it is driven both bottom-up and top-down.

  • Since the team is composed of doers they actually know the ins and outs of developing in the environment. This is different than when consultants come in suggesting standard practices and disregarding the realities of a specific company. The Agile Core Team has experience with your company and will use that experience to select and customize a methodology that knows what to keep and what to discard within existing practices.

Adjusted Role of Department Manager

The agile manager’s domain is as "an intimate outsider" and champion of the team, not as an inside micromanager or chum.

Agile People Management
Agile Team Management
  • Agile teams do not need managers directing their work. Instead, the manager’s role is to set the team up for success and then support from the outside – from the boundary of the team itself. Teams need sponsors outside their boundaries who can champion and cheer them through their challenges. An agile manager’s goal is to enable the team to solve its own problems and come up with its own amazing insights and products. Skills such as assessing team health, removing organizational impediments, making room for failure, and having  ability to coach become central.
Resource Management
  • Agile processes value getting work done over having items in progress. The question for an agile manager becomes, “How can I array people to best increase throughput?” rather than, “How can I maximize ‘my’ people being utilized at 100 percent?” Assessing the organization’s current resource management model will help the agile manager understand its (often negative) impact on agile teams. By understanding both the downsides of task switching between projects and also the team dynamics of forming and developing over time, the agile manager is in a position to formulate a new resource management model that helps strong teams form and stay together for continued value delivery.
Performance Management
  • Motivating teams, rather than merely individuals, becomes key for the agile manager. Working to change performance measurements to complement, rather than contradict, agile values is an important new goal. Even so, performance management for agile teams is about more than handling the annual or semi-annual performance management cycle with dexterity. The agile manager synchronizes with the cadence of the inspect-and-adapt cycle, helping performance feedback to teams and individuals become rapid, relevant, actionable, and open.
Managing Investments: What is the Best Investment Now?
  • In the pursuit of delivering the most business value possible to gain competitive advantage, the agile mindset regarding managing investments is, “What is the best investment now?” rather than, “Are we on schedule and on budget?” Getting the most from agile means moving from the conformance-to-plan paradigm to conformance-to-value thinking.
  • Managing through Metrics and Reporting An agile manager harnesses the metrics coming from the team and product owner both to help the team improve its own throughput and also to inform executives about how the teams are conforming to value. This requires a new mindset for using metrics, a new set of updated executive-style status reports, and a new ability to address the changes in conversation that occur when executives become engaged in reacting to and enabling business value delivery rather than handing out carrots or sticks based on stoplight views of scope, schedule and budget.
Agile Portfolio Management
  • An agile manager leverages the portfolio management and governance process to reinforce agile values: the ability to maximize value while embracing feedback and change. Generally, a more frequent cycle becomes essential as management begins to manage the portfolio of projects just as a product owner manages a portfolio of stories. In both cases the goal is to make frequent planning cycle decisions regarding which projects to stop, start, or continue based on which will return the highest business value now.
  • Managing the Environment: Helping the Organization Think Lean
  • Agile teams operate within an overall organizational environment that includes support processes and suppliers. As agile teams begin operating with newfound speed and agility, the rest of the organization tends to slow them down. The agile manager is in the position of bringing a lean perspective that focuses on flow and the elimination of waste.
Internal Partner Management
  • Managing internal partners, such as finance, governance, real estate, production support and others, requires thinking (and acting) like a lean manager. An agile manager uses lean skills such as value stream analysis and kaizen to achieve a deeper understanding of what motivates internal partners. Through this, an agile manager leads (or provokes) activities to “lean-out” the end-to-end processes in which their teams participate so that the value their teams deliver can be realized without delay.
Supplier Management and Outsourcing
  • For the sake of value delivery, agile managers treat their suppliers like they are an extension of their agile teams. To do this well, an agile manager uses new perspectives and techniques when crafting contracts with suppliers and knows strategies to help teams cope when suppliers will not work in an agile manner. An agile manager also knows that the decision to outsource a function of the team is purely a business call.
  • Given the reality that outsourced functions generally create a velocity drag on agile teams, a manager will carefully weigh the benefits and costs before pursuing an outsourcing model and will empower teams to adjust the model to reduce velocity drag.
Managing Organizational Change: Putting It All Together
For an agile manager, organizational change management is about being an organizational change artist. Affecting existing performance management systems, working with peer managers to lean-out business processes, and saying “no” to starting more work are all typical examples of thorny organizational impediments that an agile manager will likely face.
When agile is introduced into an organization, a tremendous amount of organizational change must occur to empower and enable agile teams in their pursuit of delivering business value. An agile manager needs to develop keen skills in organizational change and an ability to shepherd an organization through the adoption change curve.
Health Check for Agile Managers
  • The agile principle of inspect-and-adapt applies to agile managers as well. To that end, we’ve devised a few questions agile managers can ask themselves to see how they measure up to the full expression of the agile manager role.
  • Are you catalyzing organization change to support agile values, starting with marshalling a culture of value delivery?
  • Do you provide significant organizational roadblock removal for agile teams? Do they perceive you as a coach and leader more than as a manager?
  • Are you able to effectively distribute resources across teams to maximize team value delivery, rather than striving for resource utilization per se?
  • Is your performance management system helping guide teams to their highest performance, while fairly evaluating both individual and team contributions?
  • Do you use metrics to help teams improve their performance and to help senior leaders make decisions that improve value delivery?
  • Does your organization make frequent project portfolio decisions based on value rather than conformance to schedule and budget?
  • Are you helping your internal partners create lean processes to synchronize with agile teams, rather than tolerating their velocity drag?
  • How are suppliers encouraged to work in an agile way? Does your outsourcing help or hinder your agile teams?

[Curated from:]

Kanban vs. Scrum:
  • Kanban and Scrum are both methodologies that allow projects to adapt to change, encourage engagement by all team members, have short development cycles, and increase transparency.

  • Kanban is a methodology centered around visualizing tasks, while Scrum is a methodology that structures workflow and team culture to deliver projects in short timelines.

  • Kanban delivers tasks continuously until the project is finished, while Scrum delivers chunks of deliverables in one- to four-week periods.