Adam Light, Chris Vike, and Diana Larsen; Cutter Consortium Agile Product & Project Management Executive Update Vol. 12, No. 19
Effectively implemented, agile methods represent a leap in the ability to organize and direct knowledge work in a manner that creates and sustains greater throughput of client-valued functionality than methods previously employed. What determines whether managers are up to the task of managing an integrated agile organization and, more importantly, how can we help them catch up when they are not?
This Cutter Consortium Executive Update describes and analyzes experiences within the IT department of one midsized company as it transitioned from what had been a highly decentralized application delivery function to an integrated system organized using agile methods in combination with a matrix management structure. While this is a case study of one particular organization in a specific context, we believe it offers some universal lessons.
Adopting agile methods begins a journey of continuous improvement and so, after about two years, the story of this transition is still being written. Our experience thus far has been that while self-organizing teams may enable the organization to operate from day to day without active management, a more integrated organization and more productive teams make the value-add of managers highly transparent and place a premium on specific leadership skills.