- Theory X
- Employees dislike work and don't want to take responsibility. It is the manager's job to incentivize them to work hard using carrots and sticks, and to take responsibility for their work.
- Theory Y
- Individuals are intrinsicially motivated to do their work. A manager's job is to create an environment where they're given the autonomy they need to thrive. Purposeful work and mastery of the craft are also strong motivators.
Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.The most effective Agile environments are based on a Theory Y attitude. Note that the first step here is to acknowledge the intrinsic motiviation employees already have. Be on the look out for organizational structures and management attitudes that signal Theory X. Theory X will dampen people's sense of intrinsic motivation, and making a shift toward a Theory Y environment takes time and patience.
Dan Pink summarizes the ideas in the book quite well in this excellent 10-minute video:
Coaching & FacilitationCoaching & facilitation skills are key to success in an Agile environment. If the expert or the loudest voice in the room are the only ones talking, the team's thinking will remain within the familiar options, and the team will feel less engaged. This skill is important at both the team and management levels. See my article Why Coaching Matters for more, and take advantage of the excellent resources below.
"Make smaller classes, make smaller methods, and let them know as little about each other as possible." -- Sandi Metz