Managing Work Entry: How the Mushy Middle is Killing Your Agility

Many of us yearn to work with teams that have a high degree of autonomy and independence. But the reality that many of us face is that the teams we work with don’t have very much of either. They’re part of a larger organizational ecosystem. Work that enters this ecosystem between the portfolio and team — let’s call this the “mushy middle” — can be especially detrimental when it’s not managed.

This session targets those who live in the “mushy middle” — middle managers, team leaders, and those who want to influence them — so they get the right work done in the right order and get more value out of Agile. We’ll examine how work enters this layer, how it impacts teams and products, and give you practical strategies for recognizing the problems this work can cause. We’ll also show you how to adapt, prioritize and sequence mushy middle work, as well as how to ultimately get alignment around those priorities. We’ll even show you how to defend that alignment. Finally, we’ll cover the metrics that you can use to show that you’ve gotten a handle on work coming from the mushy middle.