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Agile Leadership Toolkit: Learning to Thrive with Self-Managing Teams

Book Description

Practical, Proven Tools for Leading and Empowering High-Performing Agile Teams

A leader is like a farmer, who doesn't grow crops by pulling them but instead creates the perfect environment for the crops to grow and thrive.

If you lead in organizations that have adopted agile methods, you know it's crucial to create the right environment for your agile teams. Traditional tools such as Gantt charts, detailed plans, and internal KPIs aren't adequate for complex and fast-changing markets, but merely trusting employees and teams to self-manage is insufficient as well.
In Agile Leadership Toolkit, longtime agile leader Peter Koning provides a practical and invaluable steering wheel for agile leaders and their teams. Drawing on his extensive experience helping leaders drive more value from agile, Koning offers a comprehensive toolkit for continuously improving your environment, including structures, metrics, meeting techniques, and governance for creating thriving teams that build disruptive products and services. Koning thoughtfully explains how to lead agile teams at large scale and how team members fit into both the team and the wider organization.

  • Architect environments that help teams learn, grow, and flourish for the long term
  • Get timely feedback everyone can use to improve
  • Co-create goals focused on the customer, not the internal organization
  • Help teams brainstorm and visualize the value of their work to the customer
  • Facilitate team ownership and accelerate team learning
  • Support culture change, and design healthier team habits
  • Make bigger changes faster

This actionable guide is for leaders at all levels–whether you're supervising your first agile team, responsible for multiple teams, or lead the entire company.


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Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. About This E-Book
  3. Half-Title Page
  4. Series-Page
  5. Title Page
  6. Copyright Page
  7. Dedication Page
  8. Contents
  9. Foreword
  10. Preface
    1. Introduction
    2. Audience—Who is this Book for?
    3. Responsibility of an Agile Leader
    4. Agile Leadership Toolkit
    5. Why This Book?
    6. Reading Guide
    7. After Reading This Book
  11. Acknowledgments
  12. About the Author
  13. Part 1: Co-Create Goals
    1. 1.1 How do you Set the Right Goals?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Traditional versus New Goals
      3. Tool 1: Key Value Indicator
    2. 1.2 How Do You Find The Right Kvis?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. What is a Good KVI?
      3. In Three Steps to a First KVI
      4. How Do I Know We Have An Inspiring KVI?
      5. The 5×I for Inspirational KVIs
      6. Pitfalls When Choosing and Using KVIs
      7. How Do I Give Inspiring Goals?
    3. 1.3 How to Visualize the Customer Impact?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Complex Customer Impact
      3. Tool 2: Impact Ladder
      4. Summary of Part 1—Co-Create Goals
      5. The Agile Leader as a Co-Creator of Inspiring Goals
      6. Concrete Actions
      7. Notes
  14. Part 2: Facilitate Ownership
    1. 2.1 When Do Teams Take Ownership?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. What is Ownership?
      3. Why Ownership?
      4. How do Teams Deal With Ownership?
      5. The Agile Leader as a Facilitator
    2. 2.2 When is Intervening the Best Strategy, and When is Letting go Better?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Tool 3: Ownership Model
      3. Horizontal Axis: Maturity on Achieving Goals
      4. Vertical Axis: Freedom
      5. Two Bad Zones
      6. Good Zone
      7. Staircase
    3. 2.3 How Mature is My Team?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Stages in Maturity
      3. Other Indicators
    4. 2.4 How do Typical Teams Grow?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Stage 0, Start
      3. Stage 1, Output
      4. Stage 2, Quality
      5. Stage 3, Scaling
      6. Stage 4, Impact
      7. After That?
    5. 2.5 How Can the Borders be Aligned With the Maturity?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Concretely Expanding the Borders
      3. Tool 4: Freedom Matrix
    6. 2.6 When Does the Ownership Model Work and When Does it Not?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Teams Need a Single Concrete, Shared Goal
      3. Teams Should Be Able to Give Open Feedback to the Leader to Maintain Ownership
      4. Teams Need to Focus on Working Smarter
      5. Quick Customer Appreciation
      6. Agile Leaders Need to Escape The Yearly Employee Feedback Ritual
      7. Resilience
      8. Summary of Part 2—Facilitate Ownership
      9. The Agile Leader’s Responsibility to Facilitate Ownership in His Team(s)
      10. Tangible Actions
      11. Notes
  15. Part 3: Learn Faster
    1. 3.1 How do you Know Your Teams are Doing the Right Things?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Control Over Activities
      3. What is the Learning Loop?
      4. The Agile Leader as an Experimentor
    2. 3.2 How Quickly do My Teams Learn From Users?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Tool 5: T2L
      3. Higher Agility Through Shorter T2L
      4. T2L in Practice
      5. Four Additional Benefits of a Better T2L
    3. 3.3 How can the Learning Loop be Put Into Practice?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Tool 6: VLB
      3. The Card on The Board
      4. How Detailed Should The VLB Be?
      5. Common Place, Close to the Team
      6. Stakeholders and Customers Meeting
      7. Power of the Validated Learning Board
    4. 3.4 How can Teams Implement Big Ideas in Small Steps?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Split Into Target Group and Situations, Not Into Parts and Functionality
      3. Pitfalls When Shortening the T2L
    5. 3.5 Minimize the Blast Radius
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. If all Changes are Successful, Insufficient Innovation Will Take Place
      3. Summary of Part 3—Learn Faster
      4. The Agile Leader as an Experimentor
      5. Concrete Actions
      6. Notes
  16. Part 4: Design Healthy Habits
    1. 4.1 How Do You Stimulate an Agile Culture?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. How Do You Improve the Culture?
      3. What Is an Agile Culture?
      4. Why Did the Existing Habits Block the New Culture?
      5. What Are Habits?
      6. How Do Habits Change?
    2. 4.2 How do you Design Healthy Habits?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Healthy and Unhealthy Habits
      3. Tool 7: Habit Matrix
      4. Recognizing Underlying Habits—Two Examples
      5. Role of the Agile Leader
    3. 4.3 Can you Anchor the Cultural Improvement?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Who Are the Heroes of an Agile Culture?
      3. A Few People Define the Culture for Many
      4. How Do You Anchor the Cultural Improvement?
    4. 4.4 What is a Healthy Habit to Implement Improvements?
      1. Introduction Questions
      2. Enabling Improvements
      3. Tool 8: To-Grip
      4. Summary of Part 4—Design Healthy Habits
      5. The Agile Leader as Culture Leader
      6. Concrete Questions
      7. Notes
  17. After Reading This Book
    1. Why a New Toolkit?
    2. Agile Leadership Toolkit
  18. Index