Disciplined Agile

Critical Concepts About Roles

The number of roles you need within your organization reflects the complexity of your organizational process and structure. Here are a few points critical concepts about roles: 

  1. Roles are not positions. Many people can fulfill the same role and any given individual may take on several roles at a time. How you choose to define your organization structure and positions within it is up to you.
  2. It can be more complicated than this. For several of the process blades, particularly the DAE ones, there is an opportunity to define a more comprehensive view of how to address them. In doing so we will invariably identify more specific roles.
  3. Existing roles will need to evolve. All aspects of your organization will need to evolve their way of working (WoW), and by implication that means all roles within your organization will potentially need to evolve. This is an important aspect of your People Management efforts.
  4. Some existing roles will go away. As your organization streamlines its WoW, as it becomes more agile, you will automate many existing tasks, rethink how you approach the manual aspects of work, and rethink aspects of your organizational structure. An implication of these changes is that some existing roles in your organization will disappear, some will evolve, and some new ones will emerge.
  5. You need to support people in becoming agile. Change is afoot. The leadership in your organization needs to recognize that an important aspect of becoming agile is that they need to help people transition into agile roles and ways of working.
  6. You still need managers. As you likely noticed, there are still many management (or perhaps coordination or leadership) roles. Having said that, organizations that work in a traditional manner tend to have many more people in management roles than what we see in agile organizations that are working in more streamlined and effective manners. The implication is that some existing managers may transition into new agile management/leadership roles but many will discover that they need to find different ways to add value to your organization in non-management roles. This is a topic that we will cover in a more detailed article.