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AgilePDX Downtown Pub Lunch: Manager's Role in Agile Orgs

McMenamins Ringlers Pub
1332 W Burnside St.
Portland, Oregon 97209, US (map)
Public WiFi




This next month, we’ll be meeting on the second Friday. The hot topic that emerged last month is what to do with managers—or what are managers to do—when the team and the organization—goes agile. There are people who are in favor of assigning the Scrum Master role to functional managers. (I’m not sure any were in attendance last month.) There are people who believe that, now that we’re agile we don’t need any managers. Some folks have spent a fair amount of time explaining what managers should do to maintain the organization around the team, and those arguments sometimes raise the specter of bureaucracy and hierarchy. But, it’s also true that large organizations are drifting toward agile, and therein tend to be lots of layers and policies to be maintained and reporting up and rolling up and down to be done.

Some people believe there’s an entirely new role for managers—stronger on leadership and vision/context setting and lighter on “following up” and controlling individual actions. Some managers—even those who are agile advocates—struggle with where their job went when the teams get a shot of “empowerment.”

This next month’s topic looks like it will be juicy, doesn’t it? So, on Friday, December 13, link arms with your favorite manager and toddle on down to Ringler’s on Burnside under the Crystal Ballroom. We’ll be in the backroom and the beer will be flowing. We start at 12p and end at 1p, but you can stay as long as you want afterward to debate (I mean “dialogue”) about the nature and virtues of authoritarianism and whether a benevolent monarchy is the best form of government for humankind.