The senior managers love the agile promise because they can see how agile approaches help the teams release a more constant flow of value. They can see the benefits of attracting new customers and retaining current customers. The senior managers love the increased revenue and decreased costs of development.
The middle managers too often feel as if they are holding the proverbial bag. They're supposed to figure out how to create an agile culture inside of the various organizational constraints.
Too often, the system of work hijacks the agile transformation. Well-intentioned people don't realize that an agile approach needs to be ever-evolving. These people want to standardize on a framework or approach.
Teams and middle managers feel the pain when someone (or many someones) fall for feature-itis instead of technical excellence. All of them feel as if they can't deliver what the organization wants.
The middle managers see the effects of the organization's reward system on teams. Too often, rewards focus on short-term thinking and individual work. It's not possible to create an agile culture—right now—because the organization focuses on individuals, not teams.
My most three recent newsletters were about these problems of agile transformation.
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