The days of the traditional CEO and organizational hierarchy within technology (and potentially elsewhere) are numbered.
I recently received by Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certificate after attending a class where a kind hearted geek spoke on the merits of agility and what it meant to be a ‘SCRUM’ master. Within an Agile team, software is delivered after multiple sprints, and incrementally built. The final product is consistently refined as new requirements are introduced, ultimately leading to a well-built piece of software. A SCRUM master is a member of a Project team (usually a lead developer or tester). The SCRUM master is there to enforce the Agile methodology, regardless of whether that person is a CEO, a Project Manager, or a fellow development team member. SCRUM teaches us about openness, focus, commitment, courage, and respect. We all fill a role, our salaries might be different, but at the end of the day there’s little ‘entitlement’. The team does what they need to do to “get to done” (complete the sprint).
If SCRUM and Agile are so popular, and organizations tout they are “Agile”, why are organizations….not? In a traditional hierarchical organization, team leads or operational managers report to middle managers, and middle managers (managers of managers), report to upper managers (managers of managers of managers), and so on. For software to go from development to testing, a bureaucratic process must be met before moving forward. Wow, that’s a lot of layers of just….reporting? Attending meetings? What do those managers really do?
To be frank, if an organization was really agile it would not be so hierarchical. Employees would not be reporting up, they would be reporting across. The Technology CEO should not be in hand waiving meetings, they should be working with their employees; ensuring tasks are completed on time and helping to guide the vision of the company or product. Agile has the ability to scale to large organizations, and is not used often enough. Passing papers around has to stop. We need to automate these procedures more and free up time for a manager to be a manager.
Long live Waterfall…I guess.
Maybe I’m just a naïve startup, but…you cannot underestimate the power of agile. Look at your organization, whether small or large. Is it truly as agile as it touts? How can you improve or instill agile into your organization?
- The Agile Manifesto: http://agilemanifesto.org/
- SCRUM Methodology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(software_development)
- Image Source: agilescrum.org