Relead – an Agile approach for leadership

I coach a lot of agile managers who are responsible for several agile teams. All these managers want their teams to use their full potential, so we help them with self-organisation, fast learning and acceleration. Managers want to support them as much as possible but sometimes becomes a drag factor even though they have the best intentions with their teams.

To help you as a leader in an Agile context we’ve developed a framework supported with a toolbox to serve your teams in the best way possible. It gives you guidance where to focus and remove dysfunctions as fast and effective as you could. In this blog you discover the roles, reflections and tools needed to be the servant leader your teams need.

Roles

To be effective you and your teams need 5 types of leadership. These leaders don’t necessarily have the formal mandate or the hierarchy to be these leaders. More important is that they earn the respect and mandate from the people around them.

  • Craftmanship-leadership – these (informal) leaders make other people better. They coach and mentor team members in how to become better craftsman. Other people look-up to these informal leaders because of their expertise, experience and attitude.
  • Managerial-leadership – these (informal) leaders support their teams with all kinds of practical stuff. They help in creating clear overviews, create alignment with other teams, manage planning details and have a keen eye for ‘not forget this’.
  • Product leadership – these leaders have a clear vision for the product. They make choices to better serve the customers. But also (within borders) let others make decisions themselves. These leaders have the formal role of Product Owner.
  • People development leadership – these leaders build teams and people. They know what it takes to get a high-performing team. They create psychological safety, team spirit and continuously improve the context.
  • Agile culture leader – the formal (hierarchical) leader is responsible for creating the right environment where self-managing teams thrive.

Tools:

Reflections

Daily: Your people need to know if they are going in the right direction. A very powerful tool for this is Key Value Indicator (KVI). Other than a Key Performance Indicator this metric shows what impact actions of the team (and thus your organisation) make at a customer. Help them to find a way to get this insight daily.

Weekly: Reserve at least an hour each week to reflect on your own behaviour as a Agile culture leader. Do you show behaviour what is a true example for the direction you want to go with your teams? What habits of yourself slow down the evolution? A practical tool to help you in this part is the Habit matrix.

Bi-weekly: Spend two hours with your 5 roles. How does your Relead team looks like? Are all positions filled in correctly? How effective are they? Have a proper retrospective like you expect from your teams.

Monthly: Reflect once a month with your teams the Time-2-Learn. This concept with a learning board as a tool focus on the validation of the hard work. Under your direction gather data, find process improvements, decide which actions prevent your teams and your organisation to go in the wrong direction. A four hour timebox secures that one of the most important parts of an empirical process needed in a complex situation is addressed. It mitigates risks and waste, some things you want to reduce as much as possible as a leader.

Quarterly: Teams grow more mature. The autonomy should be in balance with this maturity to create true ownership. The ownership model and the conversation about it strengthen the self-organisational capabilities of your teams. Maturity and freedom matrix deepen your insight what is desired and manages expectations both ways. When you start with this probably takes more time to explain and set-up the initial agreements on this. Once establish it usually consumes not more than 1-3 hours each quarter to re-calibrate.

Questions, need coaching, consulting or want training on this subject? Please contact Guus Verweij directly and I will get in contact with you as soon as possible.

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