Agile Living

10 Traits of An Effective Agile Leader

If an organization aims for business transformation, then agile leadership is a must. There are certain virtues required to develop an agile mindset. Project leaders willing to become agile within and outside their work environment need a lot of learning.

In this article at The Pragmatic Bookshelf, Jonathan Rasmusson suggests few essentials to start with for becoming an agile leader.

The Leadership Checklist

The author believes that leadership is a personal quality, and every leader has its own strength. In fact, real leaders are born with influencing characteristics, but some manage to learn and lead by following the footsteps of others. Here is a list of techniques to adapt the agile leadership traits:

  1. Ask Tough Questions: Seeking answers to the most difficult questions would be helpful in designing agile project. An agile leader must know how to align and make a team of right people who know the right direction for the project. The best way is to use an inception deck, a project charter tool that consists ten questions to get project clarity.
  2. Spartan Console: Have a clear conversation with the team with integrity and honesty. Be it about client’s expectations, schedule risk or any other future possibilities with the project.
  3. Reality Check: Agile gives you the courage of accepting and dealing the ground reality. Without any wishful thinking, if you are using inception deck, it will make you future ready. You can cut scope, push the deadline, or deal with an uncertain situation.
  4. Display Intent: Trying for the best is essential to attain success. Without trying or keeping your best foot forward, success is impossible.
  5. Set High Standards: Be it production, quality delivery, or even restructuring team, do whatever is needed. Keeping the bar high since the beginning of a new project will make everyone aware of the rules and standards.
  6. Independent Team: Do not let the team become dependent on you. Let them deal with minor issues at work and take their own decisions, of course, not for the crucial matters. To serve the clients better, be obsolete and allow the team to fend for themselves.
  7. Liable Team: Good teams are open to show their accountability. The best way to enhance their productivity is by letting them demonstrate their project or software. This will enhance their liability towards the deliverables.
  8. Team Motivation: As the teams efficiently deliver independent projects while demonstrating their effort to the client, they deserve appreciation too. The agile leaders know ways to boost team morale by surprising them with a team outing or rewards.
  9. Loose Control: One of the toughest but highly productive ways of bringing positive outcomes is to give up control. Let the teams explore their autonomy, mastery, and purpose. This does not mean zero contribution from your end, but it clearly means, let them flex their arms and experiment.
  10. Accepting the Fact: The agile project leaders know simple facts that gathering all requirements at the project initiation is impossible. Even if it does, it will surely change, and they will end up doing more than what time and budget allow. Accepting these rules will make agile projects easier.

To understand these viewpoints better, read the original article on the following link: https://pragprog.com/magazines/2012-02/ten-tips-for-agile-leaders

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