Author Michael Levine helps us unleash the power of large, diverse teams of smart, experienced individuals to deliver positive business results.

Show Notes

How can you unleash the power of large, diverse groups of smart, experienced individuals to deliver positive business results through software development?

Large-scale software development is a complex endeavor, especially in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.  While groups of people have come together in the past to achieve great things (build the pyramids, send humans to the moon), the complexity and scale of software development requires a different type of leadership, especially in an Agile environment.

For large, diverse teams to successfully develop software solutions, we need people who can both lead those teams to the right outcomes and create the type of environment within the organization where teams can succeed.

Facilitative Leadership 

Command and control or directive leadership styles don’t create the environment where Agile software development teams can succeed.  A Facilitative Leader uses a different style of leadership.  They use the elements of rigor, alignment, and efficiency to achieve better outcomes.

Rigor leads to better decision-making by establishing an approach to decision-making.  Defining the decision to be made and using meaningful data removes bias and leads to better decisions. 

To overcome the complexity of many individuals creating a large software solution, the Facilitative Leader must ensure alignment by setting a vision and common goals.  Alignment towards a compelling goal leads to everyone’s engagement and the entire team contributing their diverse skills and thinking to achieving that goal. By developing a rigorous approach to decision making and gaining alignment within the team, the Facilitative Leader can create efficiency by eliminating waste.  Ensuring that the team is able to focus on achieving the goal is critical.  Meetings need to have goals and agendas that bring the team members closer to developing the right software solution.

Listen to the full episode to understand how to put people first and become a facilitative leader.


Go on a Gemba Walk.
Go see real users and observe how they use the system. This gives you insights to better and more valuable solutions for your customers.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Michael Levine

Michael Levine is an expert on lean and agile software development and the author of three books. His previous books are Tale of Two Systems: Lean and Agile Software Development for Business Leaders, and Tale of Two Transformations: Bringing Lean and Agile Software Development to Life. His third book is People Over Process: Leadership for Agility.

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