Role of a Manager in an Agile Organisation – Transition from Manager to Agile Manager



30 November, 2023

Role of a Manager in an Agile Organisation – Transition from Manager to Agile Manager

‘An agile manager on a larger picture looks the same as any manager- It is rather in the details of it that you realise how different agile managers function; to guide, lead and inspire’.

The key to management is the division of tasks in such a manner that each task is completed systematically, within the time boundaries, and keeping the goals in focus. The one who heads these tasks is the person responsible for making sure that the management is in place.

Managers are the ones who are responsible for making sure that all different tasks regarding projects, organisations, teams, individual aspects, etc. in any segment of a firm are being managed.

Most people believe that agile managers are the same as general managers. However, there is a vast difference between the functioning and the work approaches of the two. Agile managers are what every team celebrates as a guide. Their work approach is intrinsic for growth and team value enrichment.

Understanding Agile Management System

To understand how a manager transitions to being an agile manager, one first needs to decode the concept of agile management and the process of transitioning.

Agile management is a working system where a team uses the approach to break down the task and the projects into simple different phases and then continues to achieve the goals in terms of improvement and collaboration.

Adapting to changes quickly, following self-set goals, and continuously improving while achieving goals is the breakdown of an agile management team.

So how does a simple manager transition to being an agile manager?

The answer is complex in terms of the requirements of the role but the crux is: that the goal-setting formula and communication level are different.

Agile managers use a highly work-effective approach that teaches the teams to tread on problem-solving ways of working. They don’t force but rather create a thriving environment.

An agile manager always leads by example.

What is the Difference Between the Two: General Manager and Agile Manager?

General Manager

  • Managers function like the head of the team and the most important part of it. They manage the team, measure their abilities, and do not assign the leadership to the team members as independently as agile managers.

  • They are also called traditional managers because they use the approach of top-down decision-making and often use preplan rigid and linear working systems.

  • Managers most of the time do not rely on the two-way feedback system and just provide their inputs to the team members rather than taking the same from them.

  • Often, managers can indulge in using the micromanagement methods where they can assign the teams, some particular task without taking any feedback from them and not giving them the independent power or choice to work.

Agile Manager

  • Particularly, in an agile environment, a manager focuses more on setting goals and improving the communication between the teams.

  • An agile manager does not rely on micromanagement and rather makes the teams more responsible by letting them make the decisions that seem fit to them.

  • Goal setting is based on a short-term and long-term basis that helps teams understand the purpose of tasks more clearly.

  • They choose a rapid feedback system, frequent communication fosters needed collaboration at the right times, and use a transparent and flexible working environment.

How does a  Manager Become an Agile Manager? Here are Some Answers!

As already discussed, the role of an agile manager is different in terms of its approach, goal setting, communication level, work environment, and feedback sharing with the teams. A manager is often more successful in terms of completing goals since they clearly define the purpose of the goals making them easier to achieve.

So how can a manager transition into an agile manager? Let’s get to know about it.

1. The Team is Your Priority

As an agile manager, the members of your team will be your top priority. You will encourage them at each point of the project. You will give them the free space to make decisions independently and will not micromanage them. All your actions and decisions relating to the team should reinforce trust and stability and use collaborative work methods to grow together.

2. Goal settings: Long-term and Short Term

One of the key steps to transition into an agile manager is that your goal-setting approach will always have to encompass not just the present but also the future. Whatever decisions you are taking in collaboration with your team, should always encompass the vision of the coming times. Team meetings, continuous feedback systems, and taking upon ideas from the teams often help record how the goals can serve both short-term and long-term purposes.

3. Mentoring the Right Way

Being an agile manager in a general sense will mean that you are the head of a team and that ultimately all the decisions that are made will round up at your table either for confirmation or to take note of after-effects.

So, you must maintain your team in such a way that they are able to express themselves freely, encouraging them at times when their decisions fail. Periodic meetings, systematic feedback from the teams, improvement on the weaker portions, etc. often help to be a mentor that a team needs in the best way possible.

4. Building the Right Platform

Often managers assign tasks to their teams when they do not even have the right platform and the tools to achieve those goals. As an agile Manager, the primary role before assigning any task is to make sure that your team has the right tools, technology, and platform that they can use to achieve the goals. This ensures that the teams learn at every step of the way and there are fewer chances of default & failures.

5. Evaluation: Knowing What and How to Say

Performance evaluation is very important since general management is often based on increments and appraisal. A 360° evaluation is important for the team members since it will let them know their weak links and will help them improve. Guiding them to use the right ways, and encouraging them to keep up the good work brings improvements in the work quicker than one realises.


Managers have to be honest with the managers that each team deserves. Agile managers are said to be more productive in the work environment because their approach to managing the work and helping the teams is based upon achieving team stability and completing goals while consistently improving. They focus on synergetic growth and creating a work environment in which every team member thrives.

Get Free Career Guidance