Why this book

Why this book?

Since 2015 I have actively looked for concrete tools that support the agile leader in his responsibilities. My experience with Scrum taught me that tools help teams to become agile, and that the best way to improve is to start working in the new way. Agile leaders also need practical tools, metrics and meetings to help them start working in a new way, and by doing it become an increasingly better agile leader. My colleagues and I developed these tools into a toolkit through our with with many different companies, in many different contexts. This book shares what we have learned.

  1. What are proper goals that focus on the customer instead of the internal organization?
  2. How can my teams flourish and thrive for the long run?
  3. Which metrics or signals are indicating that my teams are doing the right things?
  4. What do I have to do to create a culture of continuous improvement?

After reading this book

By reading this book and learning how to apply the described tools and tips, agile leaders are better able to shape the new organization. They:

  • have concrete tools and tips for continuously improving the self-organization
  • have grown themselves in their role as an agile leader
  • know better what their role is at specific moments and parts
  • are able to keep the hard side and soft side of continuous improvement in balance
  • can really thrive agile teams.

Audience – for whom is this book written?

This book is intended for leaders in an agile environment. They have recently become or already responsible for a several agile teams, complete agile departments or agile companies. These leaders are already convinced of the benefits and necessity of agile and have relatively little experience in managing in within this new context. They are globally familiar with Scrum and other frameworks. In addition, they already have experience with managing teams in general. And now they are looking for practical tools, handy metrics and new methods to create an inspiring environment for their self-managing teams. Last but not least: their company is active in a competitive market. This means customer satisfaction, innovation, digitization and quality are king.

Responsibility of an agile leader

Agile leaders lead their teams in a total new way. They lead because they create precisely that environment that the teams need to grow and improve. Within this environment, the teams optimize the processes themselves, increase their own effectiveness and efficiency and take all kinds of decisions on a daily basis. That makes these teams self-managing. They organize their own work and they have all the skills to do that. These agile teams are agile in itself, because they can respond quickly to new technologies, threats from competitors and the ever-changing expectations of their customers. They don’t have to wait for official approval, management decisions or top-down strategic changes. Because they have a short feedback loop with their customers and users, they can continuously experiment new ideas, improve the products and services and align with other self-managing teams.

Agile leadership toolkit

So agile leaders provide an inspiring environment for their agile teams. But how do they create such an engaging environment? To help agile leaders, this book provides tools, workshops, metrics and examples. Together these form a cohesive set of tools for the agile leader.

The toolkit of the agile leader is divided into four components, which together describe the environment that self-managing teams need to thrive. The agile leader has the following practical tasks:

  1. Inspirational direction.
  2. Facilitate ownership.
  3. Learn faster.
  4. Design better habits.

Successful agile leaders provide their teams with the support they need by successfully mastering each of these four components. They can make better decisions based on the clear direction, create determination and energy thanks to ownership, and respond quickly thanks to their fast learning ability, all in an inspiring culture with healthy habits. Each component is described in one section of the book. Each consists of two practical tools and a concrete skill of the agile leader; in total, eight tools and four skills. The skills are put into practice in the last chapter of each section, and are explained in such a way that leaders can immediately start working with them. Each tool can be successfully used separately, but each tool reinforce the other tools in an additive way.

The 8 tools

Buy the Dutch book

Je kunt het boek Toolkit voor Agile leiders kopen op www.managementboek.nl.