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Agile IQ®

Clear Structure

Influencing Behaviour. Secondary Factor.

Overview

Team members need clear roles, plans and goals. An understanding of job expectations, the process for fulfilling these expectations, and the consequences of one’s performance are important for agile team effectiveness.

Managers' responsibilities

  • Set expectations that agile is the new way of working.
  • Establish guardrails for self-management. This includes which framework that you want teams to use, e.g. Scrum.
  • Communicate clearly why a change in the way people work is needed to create improved outcomes – improved productivity, improved ability to pivot to change, reduced costs.
  • Communicate expectations about how agile roles will work within the organisation.

Establishing guardrails by using Scrum

Scrum is often the first framework people choose when starting on an agile journey. Scrum has a minimal set of rules that help managers to achieve organisational outcomes, such as:

  • Working within timeboxes.
  • Being transparent about work through the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog.
  • Creating an increment of quality work by delivering to the Definition of Done.

A manager’s responsibility in the agile is to empower the Scrum Master to create effective agile teams by people working within the rules of Scrum.

Setting expectations using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Studies have shown that committing to a goal can help improve employee performance. But more specifically, research reveals that setting challenging and specific goals can further enhance employee engagement in attaining those goals. Google often uses “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs) to try to set ambitious goals and track progress.

OKRs at a glance:

  • Objectives are ambitious and may feel somewhat uncomfortable
  • Key results are measurable and should be easy to grade with a number (Google uses a scale of 0 – 1.0)
  • OKRs are public so that everyone in the organization can see what others are working on
  • The “sweet spot” for an OKR grade is 60% – 70%; if someone consistently fully attains their objectives, their OKRs aren’t ambitious enough and they need to think bigger
  • Low grades should be viewed as data to help refine the next OKRs
  • OKRs are not synonymous with employee evaluations
  • OKRs are not a shared to-do list

In practice, using OKRs is different from other goal-setting techniques because of the aim to set very ambitious goals. When used this way, OKRs can enable teams to focus on the big bets and accomplish more than the team thought was possible, even if they don’t fully attain the stated goal. OKRs can help teams and individuals get outside of their comfort zones, prioritize work, and learn from both success and failure.

Source: Google.

Product Owner's responsibilities

  • Set a clear Product Goal.
  • Continuously engage with the team so that they are aware of your objectives and milestones you want to achieve.
  • Work with the team to create Sprint Goals that contribute to the Product Goal.

Scrum Master's responsibilities

  • Establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organisation.
  • The Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by enabling the Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework.

Agile Team's responsibilities

  • Creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.
  • Creating a plan for the Sprint, the Sprint Backlog.
  • Instilling quality by adhering to a Definition of Done.
  • Adapting their plan each day toward the Sprint Goal.
  • Holding each other accountable as professionals.

Source: Scrum Guide (2020)

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