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Professional Agile Leader, The Growing Mature Agile Teams and Organizations

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2022-07-05
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Hone Your Agile Leadership Skills to Help Your Organization Transform and Thrive

To leverage the immense opportunities associated with accelerating change, organizations need teams capable of trying new ideas quickly, learning from their experiences, and adapting based on that learning. Helping these teams to grow and thrive requires agile leaders who support, inspire, and encourage, and who can leave behind the management skills of directing, monitoring, and rewarding or punishing.

The Professional Agile Leader is a realistic, practical guide, written by experienced agile leaders who share their collective experiences in helping agile leaders to grow responsive and adaptive teams. They structure powerful lessons around a case study based on decades of experience helping agile leaders achieve and sustain agile transformation. Best of all, they never settle for high-level hand-waving--they show you how it's really done.

  • Reignite once-successful organizations that have lost their way
  • Form cross-functional teams and empower them with purpose
  • Learn to let go, as your teams start taking more responsibility
  • Overcome forces that want to reel you back into the "old rules"
  • Realign the whole organization, since agile and traditional models can't coexist forever
  • Achieve the most challenging goal of all: changing culture

Great agile leaders aren't born that way--they're regular people who care deeply about helping others achieve shared goals and have discovered a better way to lead. Whatever your role in the organization, this guide will help you master those skills and mindsets a whole lot faster.

"Drawing on vast experience, Ron, Kurt, and Laurens tease out practical tips and patterns for good leadership [and show] how a leader can help shape the environment for agile teams to succeed. . . . The narrative style of the book makes it easy to read, and I am sure there will be many times that you see yourself in it."
--From the Foreword by Dave West, CEO and Product Owner, Scrum.org

Register your book for convenient access to downloads, updates, and/or corrections as they become available. See inside book for details.

Author Biography

Ron Eringa is a Leadership Developer. His mission is to create organizations where people love to work and where real customer value is created. In the last 20 years he has built expertise on how to lead IT organizations that use Agile and Scrum. After an initial education in electrical engineering and software engineering he ended up in different leadership roles. In these roles he discovered the leadership capabilities that are essential to create autonomous teams with a high level of maturity and creativity. He believes that autonomous teams are the fundament of a modern organization that thrives in this complex and ever-changing world.

Kurt Bittner has been delivering working products in short, feedback-driven cycles for nearly 40 years, and has helped many organizations do the same. He is particularly interested in helping people form strong, self-organizing, high-performance teams that deliver solutions that customers love, and helping organizations use empirical feedback to achieve customer outcome-focused goals. He is an author or editor of many books on agile product development, including Mastering Professional Scrum, The Zombie Scrum Survival Guide, The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum, The Professional Scrum Team, and Professional Agile Leadership, as well as The Guide to Evidence-Based Management, and The Nexus Guide. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Laurens Bonnema is an Agile Trainer and Management Consultant and a mentor to leaders creating resilient organizations at any scale. He has a strong background in IT with experience in almost every role. As a Professional Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Certified Agile Master, Agile Master Assessor, IPMA Agile Assessor, and PRINCE2 Practitioner, Laurens strives to merge classic and agile management in the conviction that it is the future of professional management. As a Professional Scrum Trainer and SAFe Program Consultant, he helps to improve the profession of software delivery as well as marketing, human resources, and finance. Laurens brings his experience in enterprise IT since 1999 and on Scrum Teams since 2006 to his teaching, is a driving force in the agile community, and a sought-after speaker at conferences and events.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Preface xv
Introduction xvii
Acknowledgments xxv
About the Authors xxvii

Chapter 1: An Organization at a Crossroads 1
Complex Challenges Create Urgency for Agility 2
Reducing Dependencies Makes Change Possible 4
Organizational Change Requires Protective, Progressive Dictatorship 10
Two Paths, One Goal 12
Reflections on the Journey 15

Chapter 2: Forming Teams and Discovering Purpose 17
Changing the Organization, One Team at a Time 18
Finding the Right People 22
Empowering Teams 26
Placing the Customer at the Center of the Change 29
Reflections on the Journey 35

Chapter 3: Shifting from Output to Impact 37
"What Gets Measured Gets Done" 38
Reflections on the Journey 53

Chapter 4: Learning to Let Go 55
Empowerment Doesn't Come for Free 56
Agile Leaders Help Teams to Grow Their Ability to Reach Audacious Goals 60
Letting Go in Small Steps 65
Slow Decision-Making Kills Team Self-Management 69
Reflections on the Journey 73

Chapter 5: The Predictable Existential Crisis 75
New Ways of Working Threaten the Old System 76
Reflections on the Journey 97

Chapter 6: Leaders, Everywhere 99
Nurturing and Growing an Agile Organization 100
Reward Building Teams and Leadership, Not Silos 114
Promotional Rewards Lock in Organizational Structures 117
Performance Reviews Don't Go Away, but They Do Change Dramatically 118
Reflections on the Journey 122

Chapter 7: Aligning the Organization 123
Evolving the Operating Model 124
Scale Agility by Removing Dependencies 131
Consolidating Support and Eliminating Opposition 132
Realign Compensation Plans 140
Realign Career Paths 141
Embrace Catalytic Leadership 142
Replace Status Meetings with Transparency 143
Be Realistic About How Long the Transition Will Take, and What It Means 146
Reflections on the Journey 147

Chapter 8: Aligning the Culture 149
What Makes Changing Culture Hard 150
Agile Leaders Must First Find Their Own Way 152
Build Bridges to the New Culture 153
Anticipate and Overcome Setbacks 159
Use "Self-Sustenance" as a Measure of Success 162
Agile Journeys Never Really End 165
Reflections on the Journey 168

Appendix A: Patterns and Anti-Patterns for Effective Leadership 169

Appendix B: Doreen's Sketchnotes 171


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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