Agile Book Club: Agile Management

Agile teams are self-organizing and self-directed. What, then, is the role of management? What do Agile managers do, and how do they help their teams excel? In this session, Johanna Rothman and Elisabeth Hendrickson help us find the answers.

Johanna Rothman is known as the “Pragmatic Manager.” She helps leaders and teams see simple and reasonable alternatives that might work in their context—often with a bit of humor. She’s the author of many books about management, including the Modern Management Made Easy series.

Elisabeth Hendrickson has led teams of all sizes, founded companies as an entrepreneur, and was VP R&D at Pivotal leading development of data products and PKS, a Kubernetes distribution. She's a sought-after expert, especially in the area of software process and quality. Her latest venture is Curious Duck Digital Laboratory, LLC where she is developing a simulation to give technologists insight into the non-linear nature of software development.

📖 Management

🎙 Discussion prompts:

  • The book makes the case that Theory Y management is necessary for Agile to thrive. Is this true? If so, what should people in Theory X organizations do?

  • What does effective Agile management look like in practice?

  • How can an Agile manager evaluate their team’s performance, and what should they do to help them improve?

  • Managers often have to fit into a larger system that has trouble with Agile ideas. What are some tricks for making Agile work in a non-Agile organization?

About the Book Club

From October 2021 to August 2022, I hosted a call-in talk show based on the second edition of The Art of Agile Development. The series used the book as a jumping-off point for wide-ranging discussions about Agile ideas and practices, and had a star-studded guest list.

For an archive of past sessions, visit the book club index. For more about the book, visit the Art of Agile Development home page.

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