What is an Agile Manager?

What is an Agile Manager

Agile managers play a crucial role in the success of any Agile development team. Agile managers are responsible for leading and guiding their teams to achieve their goals and deliver high-quality products. A good Agile manager is one who’s able to effectively lead and develop their team members, while also fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. 

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One of the central ways that good Agile managers develop their teams is by helping to create clear and achievable goals. And it’s not just about clear Product Goals and Sprint Goals, but also about quality, personal development, continuous improvement, etc… Good Agile managers help team members to understand what they are working towards and provide them with a sense of purpose, business context and direction.

Additionally, good Agile managers also provide their team members with regular feedback on their performance and progress, which helps to keep them motivated and on track. Additionally, good Agile managers ask for feedback from their team members to improve how they play the management role. This is one of the many ways to foster an environment of psychological safety.

Collaboration & Continuous Improvement

Another important aspect of developing a team is fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. Good Agile managers actively encourage their team members to work together and share ideas, which helps to build trust and create a sense of shared ownership among the team. They also provide opportunities for team members to learn and grow through training, coaching, and mentoring.

Open Communication & Transparency

Good Agile managers also understand the importance of open communication and transparency and remember, transparency is one of the pillars of the empirical process on which Scrum is based! They create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, and where there is a clear and open flow of information. This helps to build trust and understanding between team members, which in turn leads to better collaboration and more effective problem-solving. Team stability should be favored to ensure the investments in this team will pay back dividends as the team grows and matures together. Constantly changing the team roster can bring the team back to basics with each change.

Lead by Example

Finally, good Agile managers lead by example. They demonstrate the behavior and attitudes that they expect from their team members, and they consistently model the values and principles found in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Examples include valuing “individuals and interactions over process and tools” and “responding to change over following a plan”. This helps to create a culture of respect and accountability, which is essential for building a high-performing team.


In conclusion, good Agile managers play a critical role in the success of any Agile team. They provide clear and achievable goals, foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement, promote open communication and transparency, and lead by example. By developing their teams in these ways, they can help to create high-performing teams that consistently deliver high-quality products.

If you’re a manager working with a newly minted Scrum or Agile delivery team, consider attending one of our Professional Agile Leadership Essentials courses to help grow your skills moving away from predictive management and more toward empirical management.

If you have any comments, questions, or would like to share any thoughts with us please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Robert Pieper

Robert Pieper has been a licensed Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer since 2014 and National Public Speaker since 2013. Robb holds an MBA from Marquette University and an Electrical Engineering Degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Robb has 15 years of professional software development experience with a passion for making Scrum work delivering real products and services
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