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What are the most common challenges that you encounter as an Agile coach?

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it’s the management that is suspicious of the agile approach. In agile we propagate self-organized teams and for some managers, this sounds like: we do what we want. But that’s not true at all. There is always a product owner who says what to do and an agile coach that helps to ensure that the work is carried out efficiently.

But there is somehow a lack of control. The partial results are no longer checked. You no longer measure whether an employee did this or that, but only focus on the added value at the end of a sprint. That’s what makes many managers suspicious and some have a problem finding their own role in it. What is the role of a manager when the teams work independently? In the sense of an agile leader, management is more than just servant leadership. Instead of directing and controlling work, they must clearly communicate expectations and goals and then support the teams in achieving them.

It must be acceptable to make mistakes, because only then can the teams learn and further progress. You should try something out and then we have to make sure that the mistakes can be quickly fixed so that no disaster is triggered. Everybody learns from small mistakes and that’s why I cannot come and punish people. Instead, I have to say, “Making one mistake is no problem, but do not make them twice”. We always have to learn from the mistake made. When the lived culture becomes part of the company, everything is actually fulfilled. The big challenge is to make everyone believe in this and to take everyone along the way, not just the team, but also the management and top management.

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