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How to help your agile team succeed

Sharon Florentine | Aug. 14, 2015
Are you a manager struggling with agile? Are you wondering why projects are failing and teams are frustrated instead of engaged and productive? Perhaps the problem isn't with agile. Here's how you can help your team succeed.

Sherri McLauchlin, a product owner in complex event planning with American Express, says she faced the challenge of a team member who was able to shine when her strengths were used instead of forcing her to work on an area she wasn't passionate about. "All I had to do was shift responsibilities around so that this person was working on tracking financials and ROI metrics - she excelled at it and loved doing it. And that freed up the rest of the team to pursue their own interests, and we were much more productive," McLauchlin says.

Mentoring/Modeling
It's often much more effective to show, not tell, says Delesie. As a manager, by mentoring team members (and executives) and modeling the behaviors and best practices of agile, you can more fully espouse the benefits of the methodology. "Being an agile leader means making a conscious decision to lead that emphasizes trust, collaboration, empathy and an ethical use of power. There's no room here for empire-building and increasing your own power as a manager - in fact, a lot of agile is in letting go of that outdated command-and-control structure. If you can listen, collaborate, build trust, empathize and incentivize your teams and your executive management, you're doing it," Delesie says.

 

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