Agile Leadership

One thing that we know is that technological change is happening at a much more rapid pace and that existing processes for software development are not sufficient for today’s needs.

The ability to adapt to change and improve capability without losing quality is quickly becoming a driving force for a new model of leadership and software development.  The ability to adapt quickly and respond to market changes requires that processes bend to meet the new demands.   The idea that things will continue to move, and move at an ever increasing rate requires that people have the ability to lead in ways that move from “control” to having the ability to change on the spot.  It means cultures have to have new rules that allow for greater choice and flexibility.  It also requires that communications be improved so that assumptions are brought up early and are addressed quickly.

Who has the time?   Who has the time to lead?   Orders come those in charge get processed by those below, thought about, argued about, resisted, complained about, and get confused about.   Orders that come from others that define a needed action often disempower the very people that were meant to be empowered and engage in the activity of producing a positive result.   

The Agile methods are easy enough to understand and implement the challenge always has been creating the behavioral change needed that goes along with process change.   

The Agile Manifesto outlines the core principles of creating an environment that responds to change rather than maintaining a rigid posture with respect to creating software products.
Bringing Agile into an organization not only requires great team skills, good people skills and a desire to learn Agile methods it requires changing the organizational culture to one that embraces change and a new form of leadership.

Among the most important attributes of any method is communications and connecting with the customer frequently to understand their needs and wants and demonstrating what can be done.  

With software getting more and more complex the need for more advanced ways of managing the complexity are needed.  More control doesn’t lead to better outcomes.   What leads to better outcomes is adaptability and flexibility, meeting changing demands in the moment rather than waiting.  

Coaching can be used to accelerate organizational change, uncover blind spots, encourage team development, help remove conflicts, and help improve the customer/developer interactions.   Coaching helps improve collaboration and communications which in turn helps the software team to produce better results.