Building a Leadership Backlog

Getting leaders to adopt an Agile Mindset doesn’t happen by sending them to training. It won't happen simply because they approved the funding to do a transformation. Many leaders need your experience and appreciation for how Agile works differently than what they may have seen in the past. Helping them build, own and progress through a backlog of system wide challenges is key to their success and the success of the teams. We will walk through some examples, help you identify some backlog items of your own to take back to our office during this session.

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Outline/Structure of the Talk

In this talk, I will be sharing the experience of working with a large transformation where teams across the globe struggled to get work done because of blockers that they could not resolve on their own. They needed leaders to take ownership of issues that only they could solve

As a 55 minute session, it will likely run like this:

0:00 Introduction: What is a Leadership Backlog?


0:05 Why did we need a Leadership Backlog and who are the leaders we were addressing?

0:20 Steps we took to create the backlog and how we coordinated with leadership

0:28 Suggested areas that leadership should consider as part of their backlog such as necessary training, on/off shore challenges, new manager training, tram training, missing and necessary roles and misalignment on strategy vs execution.

Call to Action

0:45 Bring the concept to your team, craft your first backlog and make it stick!

Learning Outcome

  • Learn how to use a Leadership Backlog
  • Understand why it's crucial to a successful transformation
  • Transparency across teams and leadership will influence culture change
  • Develop a strategy to encourage your leaders to develop a Leadership Backlog

Target Audience

Coaches, Leaders and People Managers

Prerequisites for Attendees

A fundamental knowledge of large scale transformations is helpful but not required.

schedule Submitted 2 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  4 weeks ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • the idea of a leadership backlog

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • pitching the abstract to the leaders. They're the ones to attract to this session. The current abstract sounds like it's pitched to people who are going to "fix" the leaders.
    • revealing to the reviewers in the outline what goes into the leadership backlog and how the leaders go about building it.

     - George Dinwiddie, Program Chair

    • Christen McLemore
      By Christen McLemore  ~  2 weeks ago
      reply Reply

      The audience is intentional because many coaches are in a position to see the issues that need leadership to own. The collaboration between coaches and leaders is important so this talk is for both. 

      Move updated the outline a little bit but didn’t want to give away too much. ;)