Where to put the many department heads?

Where to put the many department heads?

When companies or organizations start an Agile Transformation, depending on the size and context of the company, 100s even 1,000s of employees are moved into agile topologies/structures depending on the agile (methods/framework)

For them, there is no longer a team, group or department head in terms of their expertise/skillset, The Product Managers and Product Owners determine what outcomes need to be achieved by the Product teams to achieve the business vision. The Scrum Master or RTE (Release Train Engineer) will then be responsible for the administrative how.

Departments are thinned out or even dissolved, depending on how deeply they are involved in (product) development.

Where to put the team, group and department leaders who are no longer needed?

Should a department head automatically slip into the role of Product Manager or RTE?
Should team/group leaders be „transformed“( or Upskilled) into Scrum Master and Product Owner?

It’s not that simple, there is so much to consider, local labor laws, legal aspects, above all the (social) psychological aspects also need considering. Perhaps a department head will feel „dethroned“ if he is „only“ a Product Manager in the future.

The value and importance of a Product Owner or Product Manager is often not properly perceived and thus often underestimated. Becoming a Product Manager or Product Owner is perceived by many as a hierarchical descent and as interruption in their career progression. From my experience when these roles are filled correctly it is a significant contribution to the company’s success,

Do you think if as a Product Owner or Product Manager you were responsible for adding a new feature to a product and received positive feedback you would have a sense of achievement?


An Agile Transformation requires a personnel policy concept if you don’t want to run into the problem of where to put team leaders, group leaders and department heads.
If you manage to get people in a new role, which grabs their personal interest, a challenging area of work is a right fit for their current skill set and future development objectives – part of the problem may solve itself.

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