Agile Management

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading lately on Agile Software Development and Agile Project Management and have come to the conclusion that the folks that created the Manifesto for Agile Software Development could have just as easily named it the Manifesto for Agile Management (with a few minor changes of course).

If you’ve never read the manifesto, please don’t get put off by the Software Development terminology…it’s definitely worth reading.

The main theme of the manifesto is as follows:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

If you take a second to think about it, this can be rewritten as the Manifesto for Agile Management by changing a few words. After rewording, the manifesto is:

Individuals over processes
Engaged teams
over organizational charts
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

If you were able to run an organization business with the Agile Management Manifesto in mind, I truly believe employees would be excited to come to work and clients would love you. Think about how engaged a person would be if they knew that they had the ability to do their job unencumbered (or at least less encumbered) by formal processes that do but impede their ability to deliver value to the client.

I think the Agile Management Manifesto is a great way to run an organization and/or project team.

There seems to be a lot out there in the blogosphere and internet about Agile Management and Agile Leadership…a few interesting and noteworthy posts on the subject can be found at:

[tags] Agile Management, Agile, Lean, Project Management, Leadership [/tags]

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Eric BrownBill JoinerScot Herrick Recent comment authors
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Scot Herrick
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The interesting thing about agile management is that is should be something managers do naturally. It should be easier to do than trying to apply a process-driven, six-sigma orientation to what people do every day.

Eric Brown
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You are correct Scot….but my experience over the last 12 years (as I’m sure yours is) is that organizations/managers attempt to ‘process-ize’ everything instead of applying simple leadership methods.

Bill Joiner
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Eric, Another source out there on agile leadership is the book, Leadership Agility, which I recently published with co-author Stephen Josephs. Although the book is not specifically grounded in the software development world, it is based on years of research and experience, and seems very consistent with the ideas and practices emerging from the Agile Manifesto. If you’d like me to send you an executive summary of the book, I’d be glad to do that.

Eric Brown
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Bill – Thanks for the pointer to the book…I hadn’t seen that book yet. It looks like an interesting book and would love to see an Executive Summary.

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