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Business that have been developing for many years using the traditional hierarchical organizational system may not understand the culture of how the horizontal interactions between Agile employees is successful.

Traditionally trained business management talent has a deep seated comfort with knowing everyone’s position and the expectations of everyone’s level of power and decision making capabilities. With the evolution of Agile business systems, they are rooted in computer programming techniques that focus a function or algorithm dynamic process.

The work process repeats itself over until a specific condition is satisfied through the common responsibility of all team members. This method or working began organically as team members in the IT environment became aware that one person could not independently design all areas of a project, and passing the work back and forth through the team allowed more program flexibility and adaptability.

The IT work progress requires an agility and adaptable response to quickly changing needs, ideas, and requirements of a customer’s product development. Sending a continuous stream of work order changes up the vertical channel of an organization was very time consuming, bottlenecked the IT work patterns, and made it impossible to satisfy a clients changing needs on demand. One major conflict was the budgeting estimates and labor hours charges.

Working as an Integral Unit

When IT development teams work as a complete unit, they assume responsibility for common goals.  They behave as an entire organization revolving around client needs and expectations, interacting with an open platform of constant communication between all discipline teams. There is no “need-to-know” limitations, it is a platform that every team member needs to know everything.  The teams accept that in an environment where their clients must be free to change their minds about their needs for a project, the focus is always on optimization of a team’s ability to deliver on those changes quickly and effectively, responding to unexpected emerging requirements.

Product Owners

These are the communication bridges between the product development teams and the stakeholders. The position of leadership is considered a servant-leadership and everyone is expected to take on the role of leadership at least some of the time.

Some communications tasks include:

  • Ensuring all product backlogs are transparent, visible, and clear
  • Negotiates schedules, funding, scope, and priorities
  • Demonstrates solutions to stakeholders
  • Organizes milestone reviews and releases

The Development Team

A cross-functional team that analyzes, develops, deigns, tests, documents, and communicates the technical information.

The Team Facilitator

Performs core responsibilities to buffer between the development teams and distracting events, removing all impediments that would disrupt the ability of development teams to work effectively and efficiently.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Helps each product owner maintain backlogs
  • Coaches development team on agreed definitions of “done” for each project
  • Facilitates milestone and progress team meetings
  • Promotes team self-organization

Corporate managers are recognizing the need for a fundamental change to at least combine both agile and traditional project management styles. The present economics are forcing the change from old managements methods, just for the ultimate survival of many U.S. firms.