Podcast Interview with Ron Lichty, author of Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Ron Lichty, Agile throught leader co-author and of Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams. One of the great things about the books is that Ron and his co-author Mickey W. Mantle have culled their collective experience and offered up a set of tools they have found useful over the years in working on software projects.
Ron and Mickey take the approach that software developers are a unique group within the knowledge workforce and that they require an adjustment in how we treat them, how they treat each other and what we can do to help them work with non-developers.
One of Ron’s current areas of focus is rooted in the question of “Why do we need managers if Agile teams are supposed to be self organizing?” Ron’s has found that only about 5% of software managers have had actual training in how to manage people. We basically just expect developers to be able to move into a managing role and just know how to do it based on their experience in not being a manager. Ron looks at the critical role that management can make in helping companies transform to Agile and the importance in making sure that they are trained both in management AND in how Agile works so that they can be better prepared to help, rather than impede the Agile teams as they are getting off the ground.