September 07, 2013

The ideal Agile leadership.

I was thinking about how most management jobs out there in the IT industry suck. So, if I could create the ideal position to lead transformation and foster a great technology department/company it would look somewhat like this.
  • Reduce time to respond to market changes and needs by systematically tracking what delivers value and what doesn't, no guesswork allowed
  • Establish a minimalistic culture, where optimising the amount of work not done is at the core
  • Have autonomy to guide teams and technologies to meaningful outcomes by creating products/services that customers want and actually help them
  • Help all parts and roles in the organisation to work well together, through technology enlightenment and better understanding of each other's daily efforts
  • Create a work environment that attracts talent and becomes the envy of other companies. It's key to focus on the roles required and not the people at hand
  • Have a small, easy to use, budget to support pet projects, ideas, communities and encourage people to be innovative
  • Keep work transparent, visible and mercilessly limit the amount of work in progress 
  • Create the culture, throughout the organisation, so IT is viewed and treated a business advantage as opposed to a mere cost
  • Invest as much as possible in automating everything: tests, deployments, databases, environment creation, etc. Zero tolerance towards dumb repetitive work, or use Amazon Mechanical Turk for that
  • Stay sharp and competent in relevant technologies by being a doer, keep hands dirty as much as possible
On the other hand, these should be avoided:
  • Non-sense bureaucracy
  • Taking no risks and spending most of the time keeping the status quo
  • The concept that downtime is waste and everybody should be working at 100% capacity continuously
  • Getting involved in politics or playing games that only waste time and don't deliver any value to customers, even if inadvertedly
  • Creating products in isolation or that take too long to get exposed to users
  • Being afraid of cutting edge technology because you don't understand it yet
  • Making decisions that can't be operationalised or have high cost of ownership
  • Not carefully considering that some things can't be undone. Ergo, no rushing into development without putting the proper preparation time
  • Having to succeed all of the time and being afraid of failing
  • Grumpy people that have no fun at work

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