Scrum for Top Managers

April 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm 4 comments

“As a top manager I want to introduce Scrum.”



“Ok, you are used to say people what to do. But Scrum is about not saying people what to do. You should not start the journey to self-organisation with command&control as the first step.”

“So I am not allowed to do anything? I just have to sit here and hope that something changes for the better? You are kidding!”

“Of course you can do something. To make change happen you have to do something. But focus on the goal not on a specific approach like Scrum, XP or Kanban. So what is your primary goal?”

“I want shorter time to market and better products.”

“Fine. You could tell the team that you want to see running software demonstrated to happy customers every 14 days. And you leave it to the team how it achieves this goal. You should offer your help when impediments occur and you could offer to hire a coach. But the most important thing is: don’t interfere with the work the team is doing. Focus on their achievements.”


This blogpost is very much in line with Tobias Mayers Scrum: a 5-step guide for managers.


Entry filed under: it-agile-blog-planet. Tags: .

StartupMarch@it-agile 2012 Scrum in project business

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. flowchainsensei  |  April 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Nice post. But overlooks the eternal truth that Analytic (Command & Control) organisations only have Analytic tools (and viewpoints) with which to tackle the transition to Synergistic thinking (i.e. including Agile, Scrum). Yes, it would be nice to think that traditional managers could shift their worldview – even somewhat – before making the transition, but the world rarely works like that.

    – Bob

  • 2. stefanroock  |  April 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Hi Bob,
    interesting area of conflict 🙂

  • 3. Tobias Mayer (@tobiasmayer)  |  April 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Bob, the power of declaration: declare something and it will become. It may just need a little more declaration. The opposite is also true. Kudos to Stefan for being an early declarer 🙂

  • 4. flowchainsensei  |  April 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Tobias, I think you missed my point. How might we (dis)confirm whether that is indeed the case?

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