You’re not the boss of me!

One key aspect of the Agile PM is that you are a servant leader, whereas those mean old waterfall PMs were good old-fashioned managers bossing you around. They would walk into the middle of your cubes and, standing on a chair and waving their N,000 lines of PERT estimates around, would loudly proclaim that “My name is Project Manager, PMP of PMPs: Look on my Gantt charts, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Or did we?

Looking at the description of my role, it states that my key responsibility is the “… delivery of the required project deliverables, within the specified time frame, within the specified cost and to the required quality level.” Nothing about how.

It also states that one of my key responsibilities is to  “Lead, encourage and manage the project team.”

In my role, I have no direct authority over the developers, business analysts, consultants, etc. that are delivering my project. My role is officially to lead the project, but that means doing so by inspiring my team, by providing all they need and letting the experts work their magic – and I have worked with some real .Net magicians in my time.

So I can lead, I can encourage – but my ‘managing’ is purely practical in making sure they know what is needed and when. It is somewhat nerve-wracking if you think about it too hard. If they screw up, it’s my neck in the noose. If I succeed, well that’s just me doing my job.

Since we aren’t running agile, this makes me the single wringable neck, just as well I have a great team. (NB. An Agile Product Owner should not be the single wringable neck.)

Ellen the uberPM


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