Lean-Agile Leading and Managing – Revisited

Lean-Agile Leading and Managing – Revisited

SAFe Updates

Hi Folks,

We’ve been engaged in continuous dialog and feedback sessions regarding the role of Lean-Agile Leadership. Most of you know that we have a short, overpacked Leadership Module in Leading SAFe. It’s always well received, and people generally want more time on it, rather than the 90 minutes we give it there. But two days is still two days, so we are going to stick with that timebox in Leading SAFe. So, the larger question becomes, how can you both extend the knowledge and it make it simpler at the same time.  That’s why it’s been a continuous dialog!

Also, on a parallel, but related thread, SAFe has always provided a bit of basic guidance on what happens to a traditional manager—development manager, test manager, program manager, and so on— in the move to SAFe. We all know we need our leaders’ skills, expertise and deep technical and institutional knowledge, but that the move to value-organized, empowered Agile teams and release trains dramatically changes their responsibilities. The nature of their new role is not clear. Do they even have one? And, if these managers don’t understand what their new role would be—or worse, fear that it will be eliminated—the transformation is unlikely to happen in the way we intended.  We’ve all seen that movie before.

To that end, we’ve restructured and extended the role of leaders in the brand, new SAFe Lean-Agile Leadership article. We’ve simplified and extended it around two primary aspects and responsibilities, becoming a Lean-Thinking Manager-Teacher, and Leading the Transformation, as the figure below illustrates.

Check it out the new article here. This content will be introduced in Leading SAFe at some point soon. And perhaps, more importantly, we envision additional courseware, guidance and other content in the future.

We’ve also developed deeper guidance on the things we do need our managers to do in the new way of working. In addition to leading the change, they, of course, have a variety of ongoing responsibilities as well. Check out this brand, new Advanced Topic article: The Evolving Role of Manager in SAFe.

Hopefully, we can advance the state of the art a bit with this new content. And more importantly, we’ll all be a lot SAFer when our managers and leaders lead the charge.

And as always, comments are welcome here.

Stay SAFe,


Author Info

Dean Leffingwell

Recognized as the one of the world’s foremost authorities on Lean-Agile best practices, Dean Leffingwell is an author, entrepreneur, and software development methodologist.

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