Key Roles of an Agile Sports Organization

The key members of the Agile Sports framework are the architect, lead analyst, the players, assistant coaches and the Agile Sports Consultant. Secondary roles include the owner, General Manager, front office, scouts, event staff, fans and other stakeholders. Players are self-organizing and versatile (cover a wide range of skill sets and attributes). Self-organizing teams determine the best way to accomplish their goals, with direction from the coaching staff. 

 

In Agile Sports teams execute their plans and improve performance incrementally. This allows them to evaluate (inspect) and make adjustments (adapt) frequently, and increase their chances of staying on track and meeting team objectives.

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Lead Analyst: Agile Sports Framework

The lead analyst is responsible for maximizing the results on the field through analytics and shaping the goals of the Sprint, as well as the overall objectives. In Agile Sports, the lead analyst is the head decision-maker in the data/analytics team. The lead analyst is responsible for team data, the interpretation of data, and reporting performance. This person translates the needs and goals of the team to the player’s performance. This is something you need to know about the roles and responsibilities of the Agile Sports Framework.

 

The lead analyst clarifies any details regarding the team’s focus and areas for improvement. Also  is responsible for maintaining a dashboard that lists and prioritizes the target metrics and goals. It recommends the planned value for each Sprint. It’s the lead analysts’ responsibility to analyze what metrics and strategies drive organizational success. Thus, constantly search for new ways of interpreting data, so that players can understand it. Most important identify new ways of adding value to the team.

The Lead Analyst has the following additional roles:

  • Communicates the team’s progress towards its overall goals and presents the results to key stakeholders.
  • Identifies key analytics and recommends areas for team and player improvement, and ways the team can reach their long-term goals. This is all about roles and responsibilities of the Agile Sports Framework
  • Gathers data, identifies key attributes and analytics that align to team objectives, prioritizes areas for improvement, and manages player and team statistical reporting.

The lead analyst is responsible for maximizing player productivity and identifying areas of concern as quickly as possible.

 

The lead analyst is responsible for managing the Sprint Performance Dashboard. Sprint Performance Dashboard management includes:

  • Clearly defining Sprint performance metrics and their associated value,
  • Ordering the metrics in the Sprint Performance Dashboard to best achieve goals and missions,
  • Optimizing team and player performance through Team Value Cards and Player Value Cards,
  • Ensuring that the Sprint Performance Dashboard is transparent and shows what the team is trying to accomplish during the Sprint, and,
  • Ensuring the players understand the metrics in the Sprint Performance Dashboard and what each can do in order to add value and accomplish the Sprint Goals.

The lead analyst is one person. They may represent the analytic team or stakeholder group’s recommendations, but those wanting to change the goals, metrics and/or their value must do so through the lead analyst.

In order for the lead analyst to be successful, all stakeholders must buy into their decisions. The lead analyst’s decisions are transparent in the Sprint Performance Dashboard. No one is allowed to change player or team goals, except the lead analyst.

Players:  Agile Sports Framework

The players consist of the athletes who deliver the organization’s product on the court, field or ice. They are the individuals responsible for setting and meeting their Sprint Goals and executing their roles and responsibilities of the Agile Sports Framework which contribute to the team’s overall objective.

 

Through their planned Player Value Cards players can manage their game plan on how they will add value and help achieve team goals (see Player Value Cards for more details). With the assistance of the lead analyst and/or coaching staff, the players use data to identify how they can add value and contribute to each game. Provided the metrics are valued correctly, the player’s and team’s overall efficiency and effectiveness will be optimized.

 

Players also provide recommendations to the lead analyst into areas they believe data could be organized to help them play with more synergy.

Players have the following characteristics:

  • Players on the team are self-organizing. No one dictates to the players how to achieve their target value during the Sprint,
  • Continuously building their skill-set and Sports IQ to self-organize and build synergy,
  • Agile Sports Framework does not recognize ranking or seniority for players, regardless of age, experience or salary.
  • While some Individual players may have key strengths or skillsets that clearly add value, they are encouraged to identify and learn new skillsets that add value in the areas the team needs skills the most, and
  • The whole team shares equal accountability.

In Agile Sports, the way the players work together to create synergy is the top priority. The boundaries between player status and role are torn down for the goal of working as a team instead of a group of individual players. Team members are encouraged to be versatile and grow beyond their skill set and specialty. Because team members are versatile, they gain skills beyond their primary roles, and can be used more effectively.

 

Some players may be reluctant to give up the role where they feel comfortable or have the most expertise, for fear they may lose relevance or value. The opposite is true with the Agile Sports framework.

 

Players learn to create value in the areas where the team needs them the most, even if those areas are not where the player perceives their value to be. This helps players grow and learn how to create value, which ultimately will allow them to stay in the league longer by sending a message to other teams that they are team players, goal oriented and willing to learn and adapt their game..

Coach:  Agile Sports Framework

The coach is the team decision maker and works closely with the lead analyst. While this role functions much like a traditional coach, the self-organizing principles of Agile Sports open up the possibilities of utilizing a player-coach for this role. Players such as Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby are a few who possess the qualities to possibly fulfill the dual function of player/coach. The coach’s job is to guide the team toward synergy, where all players are working together on both sides of the field, delivering the value they commit to during Sprint Planning (see Estimating Player “Value” toward Team Goals to learn more about measuring value).

 

The coach guides the team in executing the game plan and adjusting the strategy as necessary to win games

 

They are the leader in team conversations and validating that all team members have total buy-in into the team’s strategy. They are responsible for ensuring the team stays focused on the Sprint Goals, and overall team objectives. The coach facilitates communication, empowers the team to self-organize and optimize its strategy, ensures that the team’s voice is heard across all stakeholder groups, and works with the lead analyst to prepare the game plan.

Architect:  Agile Sports Framework

Team architecture is a key source of success and risk. The architect is responsible for ensuring the team is built around players that complement each other. Also  fit the team identity and can build and sustain value. The architect is the person who owns the personnel decisions for the team. He is the one who facilitates the creation and evolution of the overall team identity.

 

Some owners are more closely involved in player personnel decisions, while others leave these decisions to the architect, GM, scouts and assistant coaches. The architect can be the owner, however the rule of empiricism and analytics within the Agile Sports Framework suggest that the decision maker(s) for player personnel be a sports expert, an analytics guru and able to map player acquisitions (drafts and free agents) to the performance needs and goals defined by the lead analyst.

General Manager:  Agile Sports Framework

General Managers oversee the business and financial operations of the team, thus making it critical that the GM, architect and lead analyst share common strategy for helping the team achieve its goals. The lead analyst is responsible for prioritizing the needs and performance goals of the team. The architect is responsible for recommending the players that best fill the unmet needs or goals identified by the lead analyst. The General Manager can be the architect.

 

The General Manager takes the feedback received from the lead analyst, scouts and architect during each Sprint Review Meeting, and integrates feedback into the decision making process.

 

GMs also have an important public relations role. They oversee the day-to-day operations and short-and long-term strategic planning. Effective GMs surround themselves with a rounded staff capable of making sure they have all the information necessary to make a decision.

Assistant Coaches:  Agile Sports Framework

Assistant coaches help the players develop their skills and knowledge of the game. They share their experience with the players, and help them players reach their Sprint target metrics and maximize their value. The key role of assistant coaches is to make sure player IQs are growing.

 

Ideal assistant coaches are former coaches or players with deep understanding of spatial data, improving offensive and defensive efficiency, and teaching players how to react off the ball. They have a track record for promoting ball movement and player movement, in addition to exploiting analytics from spatial data.

Scouts:  Agile Sports Framework

The job of a scout is to evaluate players on their strengths and weakness. The ultimate goal of scouts is to identify the players who can add the greatest contribution to achieving the team’s goals. Scouts deliver reports that identify these players and their availability status (free agency or trade). Through Agile Sports, a scout can persuade a player to join the team because the data and analytics supports the value they can add to achieving the team’s goals.

 

Scouts are team ambassadors and are responsible for creating relationships with players around the league. Specifically players who can buy into Agile Sports philosophy and help the team achieve its goal.

 

Scouts must have a keen eye for identifying and rating players in the Sports, Sports Developmental League, international leagues and college whose style is consistent with the team identity. While there are some stats and performance indicators that can indicate an external player’s compatibility with the team’s players and philosophy, scouts must be skilled at evaluating the intangibles, or attributes that can’t be quantifiably measured.

 

Agile Sports Consultant

The Agile Sports Consultant is responsible for ensuring the Agile Sports Framework™ is understood and executed successfully. Agile Sports Consultants do this by providing feedback and recommendations to ensure that the team adheres to Agile Sports principles, processes, and rules.

 

The Agile Sports Consultant is a passive-leader for the organization who helps stakeholders understand how to effectively communicate with the players how they can maximize value and performance.

Role of Advisor to the Lead Analyst

The Agile Sports Consultant advises the lead analyst in several ways, including:

  • Providing techniques for effective Sprint Performance Dashboard management;
  •  Helping the lead analyst develop clear and concise Sprint Performance Dashboard goals and metrics;
  • Understanding Sprints and Sprint Performance Planning and using past known outcomes for adaptation and refinement;
  • Ensuring the lead analyst knows how to prioritize the Sprint Performance Dashboard metrics to maximize performance and player value;
  • Comprehending and executing agile principles;
  • Facilitating Sports Agile events when requested.

Role of Advisor to the Players

The Agile Sports Consultant serves the Players in the following ways:

  • Coaching the Players in self-organization and understanding how to add value;
  • Helping Players assess what they must do to perform at the highest level;
  • Removing obstacles that impede on a Player’s or the Team’s progress;

Role of Advisor to the Organization

The Agile Sports Consultant serves the organization in several ways, including:

  • Although providing leadership in adopting Agile Sports processes;
  • Helping plan Sprints throughout the season;
  • Helping the team and stakeholders understand and implement the Agile Sports Framework; and maximize player and team performance;
  • Consequently recommending changes that build upon the six pillars of Agile Sports.