Usually when an organization takes the path of an agile transformation, they have to revise the roles they used to have. Previous project managers are now product owners with new tasks and responsibilities. There are scrummasters without real power and then there are teams consisting of people with mixed backgrounds. There might even be an agile coach guiding the people in their daily work, new roles and environment.

It is extremely important that the new roles are introduced properly. Your old fellow coder may be the new scrummaster, not doing the same job as they used to. Not actively contributing to the code base, testing or release efforts. Old line manager could be the company’s new agile coach. Wondering around and giving advice instead of direct commands and without direct responsibility of the deliverables.

It is sometimes very difficult to perceive these new roles without proper introduction. The old habits and command chains must be cut by introducing the new roles. A higher level manager could introduce everyone’s new roles giving a clear signal that the management is behind them and the change.

It is much easier to act as a scrummaster/agile coach/product owner when the people around you know your new role and the new tasks and responsibilities it brings. And that the new role is supported by the management level. This creates an image that this is not just the usual organization change on slideware and that things will not continue as before.

You have to make the change credible. Otherwise succeeding will be much more difficult.

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