The Three Jobs of Agile Management (Part 3)

Tip 3 – use the full Agile Management Canvas to see the larger system of management when trying to address challenges.


If we take the example of a team complaining that their daily standup is taking too long and start to look for ideas in the canvas, we might start with the Collaboration Structures element.

This element is about how we coordinate, meet, and interact.

We might ask how the meeting is being facilitated – is the purpose of the meeting clear, what approach does the team use to conduct the meeting, are there other circumstance at play like people showing up late?

As we look more deeply into the issue, we might discover that the team is a bit large – 13 people. This might cause us to look over at the People Structures element to examine how we organize and team. Do we have the right team structure in place to deliver value?

The answer might come back that team members don’t really collaborate on work – they just do their tasks and report on them during the meeting, but the reports never cause anything to change, so it just feels like a boring status report to everyone. That might imply that the team is not set up to collaborate around a shared purpose, and are functioning more as a group that coordinates their work.

So we might examine Purpose and Vision from the Clarity job – what’s the team’s mission? What impact do they have for customers? Do we have a sufficiently cross-functional team that can deliver value without dependencies? Perhaps there are some basic team-building skills that are missing – the ability to communicate effectively, to share enough vulnerability to engender trust, etc.

This use of the model helps us consider many multiple aspects of complex systems as potential variables in a challenge.


Download Peter’s Three Jobs of Agile Management PDF for an infographic of the three jobs to help in your Agile management journey.

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Peter Green

Peter Green led a grass roots Agile transformation at Adobe from 2005 to 2015, starting with his own team, Adobe Audition. His influence includes the teams behind such software flagships as Photoshop, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro, as well as dozens of internal IT and platform technology teams and groups like marketing and globalization. His work was a major factor enabling Adobe product teams to make critical business transition from perpetual desktop products to the subscription-based service, Creative Cloud. His hands-on Scrum and Agile training and coaching at all levels of the organization including executives, helped lay the groundwork to shift teams from two-year product cycles to frequent delivery of high-quality software and services. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST), instructional designer, coach, facilitator, and a popular speaker at Tech, Agile, and Scrum conferences.

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