Understanding the roles of the manager in agile project management

Yogeshwar Shastri, Rashina Hoda, Robert Amor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Agile project management (APM) does away with the role and the job title of the manager and instead places emphasis on self-organizing teams. However, recent surveys show that the job title of managers, particularly the project manager, is in existence on a significant number of agile projects. At the same time there is very little empirical evidence on the manager’s role in an APM framework. To address this issue, a Grounded Theory study involving 20 software professionals from 18 different organizations which employed Agile Software Development (ASD) was carried out. The key finding of this preliminary study is the identification of the four roles played by managers on agile teams: mentor, coordinator, negotiator, and process adapter. As a mentor, the manager guides and supports the team in agile practice; the coordinator facilitates and coordinates the teams functioning; the negotiator takes care of the budget and customer requirements; and as a process adapter, the manager customizes agile and also implements agile-waterfall hybrids. The results of this study highlight the need for in-depth research into the different management roles and functioning of the agile team and manager. Additionally, this study will help guide new and existing managers to better understand the various aspects and boundaries of their new roles on agile projects and enable them to better facilitate self-organizing teams.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Innovations in Software Engineering Conference (Formerly known as India Software Engineering Conference)
EditorsSantonu Sarkar, Nenad Medvidovic, Vinay Kulkarni, Atul Kumar, Padmaja Joshi, Paola Inverardi
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348560
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInnovations in Software Engineering Conference 2017 - Jaipur, India
Duration: 5 Feb 20177 Feb 2017
Conference number: 10th


ConferenceInnovations in Software Engineering Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleISEC 2017
Internet address


  • Agile project management
  • Agile software development
  • Grounded theory
  • Manager
  • Project management
  • Self-organizing team

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