Agile IQ®

Clear Structure

Influencing Behaviour. Secondary Factor.


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.
  • Communicate the guardrails – minimum set of rules that teams need to work within.
  • Measure the effectiveness of the guardrails
  • Optimise and improve the delivery capability.

Establishing guardrails

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.
  • Working with agile roles.
  • Using inspect and adapt events to optimise delivery.
  • 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.

One door for work

Using the Product Backlog as the “one door” to bring work to the team increases the clarity of work structures and priorities.

agile product management backlogs

Provide role clarity

Product Owner’s responsibilities

Product Owners are accountable for delivery. They do this by establishing roadmaps for delivery with their team, optimising for value, and prioritising team work to achieve these outcomes.

  • 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.
  • Understand the needs of multiple stakeholders and users and bring that work to the team through prioritising the Product Backlog.

Scrum Master’s responsibilities

The Scrum Master isn’t a “delivery manager” or “agile project manager”. The Scrum Master supports the guardrails and agile operating model to be implemented and improved at the team level.

  • 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.

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.

Learn more about agile roles


An introduction to self-management

Self-management isn’t chaos. It requires management to set guardrails that define the boundaries for team-level actions, behaviours, and outputs



Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.

Product Management

Product Manager

What does it take to lead an Agile Release Train as its Product Manager?

Product Management

Product Owner

What does it take to be a great Product Owner?


Scrum Master

Scrum Masters are responsible for the effectiveness of agile.

Management Commitment

Servant Leadership

Build stronger teams through prioritising and serving the greater good.

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