the role of the manager in agile

Every financial organisation has managers. There are some agile purists who suggest that managers are no longer required in an agile-led methodology, there is no mention of the manager role in Scrum, but managers exist everywhere. This page is all about the manager role in financial organisations and how you might become one.

The role of the manager in agile

The first thing to note about the manager role is that it is not described in the Scrum methodology. I believe this is because the day to day creation of working software from stories does not need a manager. However, managers do play a vital and very visible role in most financial organisations.

If the whole organisation is not agile-based, as is the case in most financial organisations, a good manager can provide a buffer against the demands of waterfall pressures, the ‘direct and control’ culture and solve disputes in the team.

Manager in finance

An organisation is usually more than a single team or single product. In finance, the business is usually something other than IT. And there may be many conflicting directions and pressure that a team will get from different parts of the business.

The manager’s role is to:

  • facilitate with other teams
  • provide integration with senior management and their teams
  • give direction to follow corporate goals
  • provide protection from the rest of the organisation’s stress and problems

A good manager will let the team do what it does best and expect the team’s transparency to inform him or allow him to inform himself about progress during development. Progress should be self-evident by what the team is producing both by passing tests and shippable products.

Managers also manage people as well as project/product development. People management includes things like discussing career development and mentoring team members on how to be better.

Managers can also serve as a conduit to information about the organisation, sharing bigger picture goals and direction.

Managers typically sign your timesheets.

If a manager has been in the company a long time they can also provide guidance on how to prosper and survive in the organisation. Each organisation does things differently, which can take a while to adjust to. The manager can help with this transition.

The role of the manager in the day to day development team

Becoming a manager

To become a manager, you will almost certainly need some kind of management experience already.

You will almost certainly need some kind of technical management skills and experience as well. For this reason, I recommend taking the Scrum Master Certification Course.

Please note: A Scrum Master is not a manager in the traditional sense of the word. I recommend the CSM course here, because the manager should understand how the Scrum process works and the best way to get this is to read the Scrum page and further reading and to take this course. The concept of the servant-leader is very important, and I will most likely write a post about this shortly.

Finally, if you enjoyed reading about the role of the manager in agile and you’re interested in agile project & delivery management, you might also be interested in our ICAgile-certified ICP-APM course.

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