In this blog series, we give executives impulses and suggestions on values and fundamentals of agile leadership in digital times.

What is agile leadership? Is agile leadership something for you and your company? What does it mean to lead agilely? How does it work? Find out with us. 

Strengthen the collaboration with stakeholders and teams with the Scrum Delegation Game.

Submitted by Peter Beck on 10/05/2023

Are you a product owner or a team member working closely with a product owner? Maybe you know the following challenge. Every decision, no matter how small, is brought to the PO. And the team doesn't get faster than the person in their PO role can make decisions. You probably often ask yourself then, couldn't many of these issues be decided by everyone on the team? Furthermore, things get really tough when the same game is being played across many stakeholders outside the team. 

RACI-Matrix and it Agile Alternative

Why a RACI-Matrix is evil and what can be an alternative to create true responsibility.

Submitted by Peter Beck on 12/07/2022

A RACI matrix is a static schema of who is accountable or responsible for defined tasks. It is also documenting who needs to be informed or consulted. All in all, it is a description of the delegation of work in an organization. Unfortunately, a RACI is most probably establishing a blaming culture.

From idea to mass production

6 Key-learnings from a start-up developing a new robot generation

Submitted by Peter Beck on 02/26/2020

Kazunori Yamasaki is a ScrumMaster like in the book. Wearing a bag on this belt filled with markers and Post-its, he is always ready to jump in as facilitator when his teams need navigation to conquer complex challenges. And the teams at Groove X in Tokyo have many of these to overcome these days. Their first product, the robot Lovot, is close to final mass production, and most probably, while you are reading this, you can already buy it.

Scrum is Agile Leadership – Part 4

Putting theory into practice

Submitted by Peter Beck on 10/24/2019

When I heard the term agile leadership for the first time, a whole host of problems sprang to mind. Yet again, the word agile had been put in front of an established concept to upgrade its image – just like agile requirements engineering, agile testing and, for that matter, agile knitting. I was initially optimistic – leadership could use an agile makeover, I thought. I soon discovered, however, that the term was only being used as part of a push to form elites, consolidate traditional career pathways, and even as an excuse for managers to avoid shouldering any responsibility at all as part of some new nonsense about leadership. Behind all this frustration, however, there is the option to see agile leadership as a major opportunity to understand how leadership should look in a world of work that has embraced agile values. Parts 1 to 3 have told two stories from two companies, illustrating that Scrum is agile leadership. This part summarises the theory and provides a few useful tips for getting started in practice.

Scrum is Agile Leadership – Part 3

How does the team lead?

Submitted by Peter Beck on 10/24/2019

In the first two parts we looked at the story of two companies to see how the Scrum Master and Product Owner provide leadership. These roles are integrated in a leadership system that develops over time. This story continues in this instalment, which is dedicated to the team – the most important role with leadership responsibilities.

Scrum is Agile Leadership – Part 2

How does the Scrum Master lead?

Submitted by Peter Beck on 03/18/2019

Part 1 of this series used two example companies to show how Product Owners lead. The Product Owner is part of an agile leadership system (or management system) that needs to be developed for every organisation. Scrum provides a framework for this leadership system.

This part continues the story of both companies and illustrates how the Scrum Master leads.

Scrum is Agile Leadership – Part 1

How Does the Product Owner Lead?

Submitted by Peter Beck on 01/23/2019

The Scrum roles are prototypes for agile leadership and agile management. The Agile Manifesto was formulated in 2001 with contributions from the two authors of the first Scrum publication. Scrum is a framework used to optimise an organisation to become more agile. In addition to a basic understanding of the artefacts and processes required, the framework also divides leadership duties into three roles. Scrum also follows a lean approach based on the idea that less is more. The framework thus only prescribes rules that are absolutely necessary.

The benefit of this is that each organisation can develop a suitable leadership system tailored to its needs within the triangle of Scrum roles. On the downside, it does make the concept of agile leadership somewhat less accessible and means it is often interpreted in very different ways.

To help clarify matters, in this article – the first of four – I will answer the question How does the Product Owner lead? using two companies as examples.

  • A young, fast-growing company with an initial 20 employees.
  • A medium-sized company that has grown to 450 employees over the course of two decades.

Agile Leadership

New Scrum Alliance Program

Submitted by Andreas Schliep on 05/07/2016

Agile Leadership – what is that supposed to mean? If you ask a leader or manager today, the claim to having been agile ever since. Particularly corporate leaders like the idea of being able to deliver more in less time, while being able to influence the scope. This was the promise of „Agile“, after all? The „Manifesto for Agile Software Development“ might have sounded revolutionary 15 years ago. Nowadays, managers and consultancies have „adopted“ the topic. Sometimes they twist the idea, proposing „agile“ approaches that are quite opposite to the original ideas, values and principles.