Take agile Scrum out of middle management

On the way to an agile organization: 6 pitfalls

Companies today have to be able to react quickly and flexibly to market changes and technological leaps. When traditional business models come under pressure from new competitors, ideas are also needed to stay competitive. Like company become more agile and innovative This article shows how to meet these challenges. The environmental conditions for companies have changed massively in recent years.

The complexity has increased, changes are now the order of the day.

Last but not least, the digitalization also led to completely new competitors and business models in many industries, which threaten the market position of established providers and question proven strategies.

These developments have made the topics of agility and innovation much more topical. Methods and approaches like Kanban, Scrum or Design thinking should help companies to become more agile, to be closer to the customer and to develop and deliver products faster in order to withstand the high competitive pressure and to be able to master the challenges of the future.

Frameworks and construction kits alone cannot, however Transform Business. The attitude of the employees involved is essential. They play a much more active role in a modern, agile company than in traditional structures with theirs Hierarchies and chains of command.

This transformation can only succeed if the role of managers also changes massively.

Instead of setting guidelines and monitoring their fulfillment, the new management has to do much more than Consultant and coach of the teams and see the individuals. The supervisor becomes a person of trust who gives help and support wherever necessary, but also holds up a mirror to the team and can challenge it if necessary. Pressure and stress are definitely wanted, but must not exceed a healthy level. The goal of the leader can no longer be to understand and control everything. Your primary task is rather to network, to bring the right people together, to recognize strengths and to promote them.

Above all, however, it is important to create awareness that changes can be positive. Mistakes and uncertainties are part of it and must be accepted because they provide valuable information about what can be done better. Hence it is extremely important to name them, analyze them and find ways like the same Avoid mistakes in the futurebecome and further development can take place.

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An essential part of a successful agile transformation is also open, cross-hierarchical and cross-departmental communication. Only when employees are clear about why which decisions were made, when they know and support the goals of the company and their department, can one trustworthy basis create on the independent work only becomes possible.

6 stumbling blocks on the way to becoming an agile company

The Transformation to an agile company requires a great deal of effort from everyone involved. From corporate management to middle management to every team member, the traditional forms of Issuing and obeying orders be questioned just as much as that classic performance measurement and assessment based on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), targets and milestones. In the course of this change occur again and again typical mistakes that bring the process to a standstill or even endanger it completely:

1. Unclear understanding of roles

Often will agile roles like "Scrum Master" and "Product Owner" simply imposed on a person without it being clear what functions and responsibilities are associated with the respective position. If such ambiguities are not addressed and reflected on in the team, conflicts are inevitable.

2. External interference

Agile project teams follow their own rhythm.

If these rhythms are ignored, for example by short-term requirements that do not adhere to the Sprint rhythms orientate or through goals and milestones that have not been agreed with the Scrum Master, Product Owner and Feature Team, this has extremely negative consequences for the trust of the team members in their own processes as well as in their own competence and responsibility.

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3. Fear of losing power

Leadership is understood differently in an agile context than in conventional ones hierarchical structures. When executives cannot let go, but rather want to govern every decision, this leads to frustration and demotivation in the teams.

4. Lack of communication

Reflection is an essential part of an agile culture. Mistakes and difficulties must be openly named and analyzed. If problems are swept under the carpet and not addressed, this can endanger the entire project.

5. Reciprocal blame

Errors or delays in the development process often lead to the search for a culprit. If in this situation IT and the departments involved mutually support each other Responsibility for the problems Pushing on instead of working together on the solution destroys trust and can endanger the team structure and ultimately the entire project.

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6. Wrong expectations

Frequently becomes Agility Understood by the company management as a further measure to make processes even more efficient and leaner and to improve the existing key figures. However, this is the wrong approach.

First of all, agility does not increase efficiency - at least not in the classic sense. When employees question, discuss and reflect on processes instead of stubbornly working through chains of command Processes initially slowed down rather than accelerated. The positive effects only become apparent in the long term.

When the motivation of the employees increases, they work more efficiently, more effectively and more successfully.

It's not about doing things you are used to faster, but rather doing them differently and, above all, better and closer to customers and the market. To do this, it is necessary to empower employees and give them a vision that motivates them to come to work every day and do their best.

Vanessa Hadrbolec works for the IT consulting and system integration company msg in the business development department as a project manager for innovation topics. Her main focus is on agile project management and the related customer concerns.