Who needs managers when we are agile?

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There are many functions for managers in an agile workplace.

A manager is someone who is given a goal or outcome by the organisation. That can involve people or work or a mix of the two.
Nothing in the word manager implies whether it is an Alpha or Beta manager*.
Demonisation of management has to stop. It’s destructive.

In a collaborative workplace we should overcome prejudices to see the value in manager roles.

There are large amounts of non-value work that goes on.

Managers gather resources for the team, and help them find people they need.
They provide personnel services: funding training and development, helping create development plans, providing welfare and pastoral care, and dealing with the dysfunctional employees that turn up from time to time.
They represent the team in wider scale political activities.
They provide the team with goals and aspirations on behalf of the organisation.
They manage non value supporting services, from facilities to finance.
They observe and collect data, and think about innovation in a larger, holistic, systems context.
And so on….

 

Finally and perhaps most importantly somwtimes we need a designated decision maker. Speed is a key factor.
Collegial decision making is better, when we have time. When we don’t, it’s it’s effective to have somebody to turn to.

 

(I see at least 3 factors contributing to poor management.
1. It worked. Before.
2. The world is advancing to better ways. They’re not widely distributed yet.
3. Most countries and organsiations suck at developing managers. There is no professionalism, no training except MBAs.)

 

* The Fall of the Alphas: The New Beta Way to Connect, Collaborate, Influence—and Lead, Dana Ardi

See also www.worldfinance.com/strategy/making-the-case-for-…