Roles of Middle Managers in Agile Project Governance

Uwadi, Peggy, Gregory, Peggy orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7891-6666, Allison, Ian and Sharp, Helen (2022) Roles of Middle Managers in Agile Project Governance. In: Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Agile Software Development, XP 2022. LNBIP 445, 1 . Springer, pp. 65-81.

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Project governance is an important activity in agile software development (ASD) projects for project success. Middle managers
are part of the governance structure in ASD projects. Despite the efficacy of project governance and existence of middle managers in agile teams, project governance and middle management in ASD projects are under-researched. This multiple-case study investigates the roles of middle managers in agile project governance activities within two Nigerian ASD projects through the lens of activity theory. We collected data in semi-structured interviews, observations, questionnaires, and company
documents. Our findings show that middle managers performed 25 roles related to planning and coordination for project alignment and execution, continuous improvement and organisational change, agile and technical leadership, monitoring, and capability building. We conclude that middle managers are pivotal to project governance practice and the effectual functioning of agile teams in ASD projects. The study will help agile practitioners to better understand the roles of middle managers in
agile project governance. Results from this work contribute to the ‘middle management in agile’ debate and offer an alternative view that may change beliefs about middle managers in agile project settings.

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