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Defining Agile Management – part 1

Following a post I wrote a few months ago, I keep trying to define the principles behind agile management and so far I came up with the following:

  • Be humble: When it comes to the details, your team knows more than you do. Tell your team what you are trying to achieve and the reasons why but don’t tell them how to achieve the goal. Offer your help if they need it.
  • Provide space for experimentation: Not all outcomes are known at the beginning of a project. Give your team time and resources to experiment. Playing is highly educational.
  • Try quickly: When someone has an idea, try it out immediately with a trusted audience. No single brain can anticipate all potential issues. Share the ideas as soon as possible to get feedback.
  • Start small: In line with the previous principle, use prototypes. An incomplete tool will provide far more information than a simple explanation. People need to see and feel things, don’t just rely on their imagination.
  • Learn from mistakes: Allow failures and learn from them. Nothing significant has been accomplished in a single iteration.
  • Do not punish failures: In line with the previous principle, failure is part of the learning process. Penalizing people for their mistakes sends a strong message that your team is risk averse.
  • Maintain constant communication between the demander and supplier: Communication is key to building relationships. Bi-directional communications will help prevent assumptions and increase chances of success.
  • Have strong integrity: Say what you will do and do what you have said. People will respect you for it.
  • Do not be afraid to commit: Nobody likes indecisive people. Commit to other people will give you increased credibility.
  • Make sure to re-negotiate: In line with the previous principle, if you are unable to meet your commitment re-negotiate them immediately. Do not wait.
  • Focus on results and not process: The methods used to achieve results are much less important than the results themselves.

What are your thoughts? Have I missed anything important?

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