BONUS: Rethinking Agile Roles and Structures, With Craig Smith and Michael Huynh

In this episode, we kick things off by revisiting a captivating talk delivered by Michael and Craig at the Agile Online Summit 2023. The duo urged us to reevaluate the roles of the Scrum Master and Product Owner, and even hinted at potential shifts within Agile organizations.

This discussion sparked a larger contemplation in my mind, extending beyond the core arguments presented by Michael and Craig. I took to Twitter to ponder the possibility of Agile serving as a foundational change in how we perceive organizational structures and leadership, leading to a potential revolution. What might this mean for you and your organization?

Rethinking Agile Roles

Before delving into what the future might hold for Agile practitioners, we asked Craig and Michael to provide a concise summary of their main points from the talk.

  • They urged us to go beyond following “agile dogma”
  • Questioning the purpose of Scrum Master and Product Owner roles
  • Refocus on value generation in Agile practices
  • The need for systemic thinking

In this episode, we also explore how it’s not just Agile roles, but leaders at various levels, that have strayed from the essence of what Agile truly stands for. CTOs and Chief Product Owners find themselves ensnared in a rigid adherence to processes as well, even when those processes go against their stated intent of adopting Agile.

Are Agile Roles Overhead?

Craig and Michael raise critical questions about Agile roles, challenging their perceived value and longevity within organizations. Is there a risk of losing sight of the original intent behind roles like Scrum Master and Product Owner? Are these positions temporary or do they inadvertently add another layer of complexity?

The conversation als touches on the heart of Agile transformation: business agility. How can organizations efficiently deliver value to the market? There’s concern that leaders have become disconnected from the actual work done by their teams. The very essence of leadership may be at risk of being diluted or misunderstood.

Leadership in Software Organizations: A Glimpse into the Future

In this segment, we discuss the Culture, Structure and Process aspects that we need to take into account to keep our organizations truly Agile, no matter what roles we end up having.

Culture: Shaping Behaviors for Success

The importance of culture in shaping organizational behavior cannot be overstated. Leaders must adapt to the unique cultures of their organizations, whether they’re fast-moving and less structured or operate within a different paradigm.

Structure: Redefining Hierarchies

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, do we need traditional hierarchies? Leaders must understand the core of their businesses and ensure they are moving in the right direction, but do they require the conventional structures that have become commonplace?

Process: The Evolution Beyond Projects

The notion of projects may be antiquated for software businesses. Start-stop methodologies may no longer align with the dynamic nature of the industry. The changes needed pose a significant challenge to the Agile community.

Join the Scrum Master Community

For those eager to continue the conversation, we invite you to connect with the vibrant Scrum Master community, get your membership here.

About Craig Smith and Michael Huynh

Craig Smith is a Business Agility Product Lead at SoftEd, and a veteran Agile Practitioner, Coach, and Trainer with 20+ years of experience. He co-hosts “The Agile Revolution” podcast, and is a driving force in the Agile community. Craig excels in Agile training, coaching, and fostering technical excellence, advocating for quality-driven change.

You can link with Craig Smith on LinkedIn.

Michael Huynh is a seasoned agile coach and trainer, recognized for guiding organizations in successful agile adoption. With SoftEd, he collaborates with leaders and teams to foster efficient delivery and swift decision-making. Michael’s extensive expertise spans Lean, SDLC, XP, SAFe, Scrum, Kanban, and more, enabling him to tailor approaches for each organization’s success. As a dedicated contributor to the agile community, he leads and speaks at international conferences.

You can link with Michael Huynh on LinkedIn.

 

Publish on: 18th November 2023, 10:05 CET

Podcast feed title: Rethinking Agile Roles and Structures | Michael Huynh and Craig Smith

 

Tags: Craig Smith, Michael Huynh, leadership, agile roles, scrum master, product owner, business agility, project management, projects, software development, software delivery

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