Agile Leaders

Agile Leaders represent the default decision-making authorities within an organisation.

They inspire and enable Agile Team’s to realise their product, or service vision through co-creation, empowerment and a commitment to reduce organisational complexity.

Agile Leaders ensure a seamless integration of standards where centralised control must be retained for governance, risk and compliance.

Shared Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Formalise the alignment of the Product/Service with the Organisation.
  2. Grant the right level of authority to enable the Agile Team’s to complete their Backlog tasks.
  3. Aggregate and minimise Agile Team impediments across dependent teams. 
  4. Reduce organisation waste by revising or retiring shared-services that are no longer adding value.
  5. Use shared data and insights to make transparent investment decisions.
  6. Ensure organisation resilience through core-competency analysis and support.
  7. Commit the necessary time and resources for organisation-wide ideation and innovation.

4.3.1 Critical Success Factors and Challenges

Specific CSF:

  • Represent the interests of The Board of Directors, Shareholders and other key stakeholders
    • Whilst an Agile Leader can, and should empower Agile Teams, there are various legal responsibilities that cannot be delegated. 
    • For example, it is the CEO (or legally registered Director) that has the fiduciary responsibility to ensure compliance with accounting and tax regulations.
    • These responsibilities, cannot legally be delegated to an Agile Team.
  • Ultimately decide on the need/level of Business Agility
    • I.e. Does it offer a real sustainable advantage?


Maximising Team Autonomy

Agile Teams must be empowered to help the Agile Customer realise value quickly.

Empowerment of Agile Team’s requires the transfer of power from Traditional Leaders. Traditional Leaders may not feel comfortable transferring power if:

  • They feel the teams are not mature enough, or
  • They are afraid of eroding their own responsibilities and thus their job security

The Rule – Maximise Autonomy, stresses the importance of empowering Agile Team’s in a safe way (step-by-step).

The safe approach can ensure Agile Team’s are ready and willing to be empowered, and that Agile Leaders are confident in the team’s ability.

However, this step-by-step approach should not be abused as a way for Traditional Leaders to retain control, at the detriment of The Goal.