5 Leadership Lessons From Scrums’ Agile Framework

I love the Scrum Framework, not just as a development framework but also as a leadership framework and here are five reasons why.

  • You must have a clear and agreed view of what success means.
  • Delegate decision making to the right level in the organisation
  • The use of Servant Leadership
  • Keeps meetings to a minimum 9number and duration)
  • Strong transparency into progress

Clear, Agreed Definition of Success

A lack of clarity into the objectives is one of the key causes of failure. When team members have a different view of what success looks like it can lead to conflicts, with teams working against each other, which hampers progress. It can cause teams to believe that they are working on the right things and doing a good job, when actually the opposite is true.

You need to have your teams all on the same page working towards the same goal as this optimizes cooperation and collaboration, which increases effectiveness and the results achieved.

Delegated Decision Making

As a leader its great to be able to make decisions and it’s why any people go into leadership, but the leader is not always best placed to make decisions, and they could end up making commitments that teams do not believe or buy in to.  It’s great that the leader is committed, but it’s much better when teams are committed too.

Best way to achieve this?

Get them involved, let them make some of the decisions especially around what they are prepared to commit to. When teams make commitments they have taken accountability and ownership of the results and this is one of the key factors in getting things achieved.

More ownership means better results.

Servant Leadership

A leaders job is to ensure that their teams are set up for success, and the best way to achieve that is to set direction, and then work to clear any roadblocks that prevent them from going in that direction.

This is a leaders key role. They look to facilitate the removal of roadblocks. This is where the term servant leadership comes from, as the leader works for the team, helping to ensure that they can be successful.

I know that this sounds like leadership upside down, but it is one of the key traits of great leaders.

Keep Meetings To A Minimum

I know some meetings are important, they can be used to share the vision, review performance, to clarify misunderstandings, but honestly how many meetings do you attend that fall outside of those categories.

Too often meetings are just talking shops which erode the productive time of teams. 

I worked for one boss who used to love having all day meetings that would often run til 8 or 9 pm. Which then meant the team had to work at home until midnight to get their work done, and honestly for 90% of those the important meeting topics could have been covered in just an hour. This would have left the team with an additional 8hrs of productive time.

Any time spent not being productive is wasted time and it needs to be kept to a minimum. So you review all of the meetings and ask yourself these x questions

  • Is it really needed?
  • Could you reduce the duration?
  • Does everyone invited need to attend?

The more waste you can eliminate the more productive your team will be, and the more appreciative of you as a leader too.


Many of you who know me, know how much I love transparency. Transparency is the feedback loop that lets us know how we are progressing. If things are going well it acts as a motivator. If not it gives us a chance to ask what could we be doing better to get back on track.

Transparency allows you to hold people accountable, and to give them an opportunity to react and adapt.