Crash Your Own Party: Functional Managers in the Next Wave of Agile Transformation

Talk about a bad rap: no name in Agile world gets less praise than that of the tenured, home-grown functional manager. Scrum provides no role. Coaches ask them not to interfere with self-organizing teams. Executives provide little direction. Everyone worries they may be roadblocks to the Agile future. Sound right? Well, they may be about to prove us so wrong.

In this survey, enterprise agility coach Dante Vilardi explains how partial transformations frustrate today’s functional managers, and yet how they just might become stars in the next wave of Agile growth. Many organizations set out into the Agile frontier relying mainly on self-organizing teams. In most cases, this isn’t enough. Dante argues that managers, once mobilized for the task – and aware of their value as “positive disrupters” – can bring sustained focus on key functional capabilities that fuel transformation up and down the organization.

This presentation will ring true with seasoned agilists, who will come to see functional management and transformation through a common lens. It will build from established theories of self-organizing systems, the influence model of change management, and Toyota’s improvement Kata. It will challenge over-reliance on cadence synchronization, team autonomy and matrixed management.