Anyway, about the duck. As the story goes, the artists had created all of these animation cycles for their game, and it had to pass through the review stage of a project manager. One of the artists knew the way these guys tended to want to "leave their mark" on things, and did something a little extra. Supposedly, the PM saw this and said "it's great... just remove the duck". So, the artist went in and removed the duck (which had been carefully placed to make that easy), and that was that. The sacrificial duck kept the meddling manager away from the stuff that was important. It's almost like they want to be able to point at any given part and say "I'm the reason that happened".
compare this to cody powell's article you're not a software development manager, you're a software helper:
I believe it's actually easy to earn trust as a manager, provided you understand a few very important things. It's the team who contributes the key, valuable actions behind great software like writing, reviewing, and designing code, not you. The people on your team are way better at this than you are, and they have far more context. As a result, your team's contributions are much more important than your personal contribution.
also mike hadlow in coconut headphones: why agile has failed:
Because creating good software is so much about technical decisions and so little about management process, I believe that there is very little place for non-technical managers in any software development organisation. If your role is simply asking for estimates and enforcing the agile rituals: stand-ups, fortnightly sprints, retrospectives; then you are an impediment rather than an asset to delivery.