Agile Principles Applied to Management
As I was driving back home after another exciting day at the office, I was wondering how much information I would find on “Agile Principles Applied to Management”. Google.ca returned 273,000 results most of them about Agile principles applied to workflow management or Agile project management (scrum) but nothing about applying those principles to management in a business setting. Interesting!
The Principles behind the Agile Manifesto were originally drafted in 2001 to promote a new approach for software development but with the growing success and pragmatic approach of Agile, I believe the principles can indeed by applied to management. Below is my first attempt at rewording the Agile principles so they can be applied to management. To avoid confusion, I am presenting my proposal in brackets .
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of [our goods / services].
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in [the production / delivery process]. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver [innovations] frequently, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- [Externally focused employees] and [internally focused employees] must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals.
- Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a  team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working [products are] the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development.
- [The extended project team] should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to  excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best [work / products] emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Which I would summarize to the following Agile Principles Applied to Management:
- Customer satisfaction is the highest priority – demonstrate it by constantly delivering on their expectations.
- Focus on providing your customers a competitive advantage.
- Improve your product / service frequently – even in small increments.
- Assemble cross-functional teams and ensure they work together.
- Assign motivated people to your critical projects.
- Trust your motivated people to get the job done.
- There is no better communication than face-to-face communication.
- Progress can only be measured with working products – incomplete products are useless.
- Maintain high focus on quality and simplicity.
- Self-organized team produce better results.
- Allow the team to inspect and adapt.