We all know agile manifesto. Over decades it has provided the basis for all agile frameworks and methodologies in software business. It’s built on four core values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
During recent years I’ve introduced one more value for the agile teams that I’ve been responsible for. The fifth value is:
- Personal authority over positional authority
Personal authority is gained through knowledge and experience. It is given by the team members, not by an higher authority. People with greater personal authority are typically more respected in organisation. For agile organisation this means flexibility and capability to change, because leaders with great personal authority do not require strict processes or hierarchies to use their power.
Positional authority on the other hand requires strict hierarchy and command chain. Without processes, formalities and roles positional authority does not even exist. That’s why a leader with great positional power often resists the change without even realising it. This is of course against the core agile values.
Both personal and positional authority are needed. Personal authority helps the leader to motivate people and encourage to perform better. Positional authority brings clear responsibility and status for negotiations, especially with external stakeholders such as clients or company executives. But while there is value in the positional authority, we value the personal authority more.
Leading a development team or SaaS startup?
Would you like to boost your team's productivity with
process improvements, new tools or agile management? You can
hire me online for interim management and coaching.
I provide remote consulting to companies mainly
from US East Coast, UK, Central Europe and Nordics
having outsourced teams across the world.