It’s been 14 years since the original Manifesto for Agile Software Development was forged on February 12, 2001, by 17 software development leaders. The pace of change continues to accelerate and Agile Methodologies have begun to successfully replicate themselves beyond software and IT.
Recently Andrew was chatting with some of his colleagues at Knowit Group in Stockholm, Sweden and they had suggested creating a Manifesto that deals with Scaling Agile. It was during one of the discussions on this topic that Andrew pointed out that there is actually a subtle, yet key, difference between Scaling Agile and Enterprise Governance. And, so far, it has been a really tough sell for the Technology side of the company to convince the Business side of the organization to adopt “Agile.” The graphic below might help describe the issue:
Scaling Agile has primarily been limited to all activities below the line in the Technology area. Governance, on the other hand, is above the line and impacts the entire organization. To date, Agile has grown organically from the bottom-up. There are a myriad of team-level tools like Scrum, Kanban, XP, Scrumban, etc. And, for scaling technology teams and programs there are tools like SAFe, DAD, LeSS, etc. But, they all are targeted at the technology side of the house. Management 3.0 sort of straddles the line between technology and business, but it is primarily aimed at and utilized on the Technology side (for the middle-layer of management).
Our tool, the Unified Vision Framework, begins with the Executive in mind. But also, due to its simplicity, also works at the team-level, regardless of the methodology:
We believe it is time to initiate the discussion about a Manifesto for Agile Governance instead of just for Scaling Agile. This is because we feel that a Manifesto that could be used for just Scaling Agile, for example, would limit the discussion to only Technology through a management lens. In our opinion, a Manifesto for Agile Governance raises the discussion to the Executive and leadership levels in the organization.
A number of well-known, authors and experts in the Agile community have recently published books on how to scale Agile and Scrum to the Enterprise level. We’ll look at those tools in another blog post. We find it interesting that a Manifesto for either Scaling Agile or Agile Governance hasn’t yet been agreed upon by the Agile community.
To get the ball rolling, we propose the following Manifesto for Agile Governance for consideration:
Manifesto for Agile Governance
We are uncovering better ways of delivering business value
by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:
Clear Vision and Strategy over team-level, self-prioritization
Servant leadership over micromanaging, command and control
Business value delivered over completed product, service or result
Stakeholder collaboration over unbending governance structures
Iteratively leading change & innovation over following rigid plans
That is, while there may be value in doing the items on the right,
we value delivering the items on the left more.
All thoughts, comments and input to improve this draft Manifesto for Agile Governance are most welcome; and, in advance, many thanks…
Andrew Kallman and Ted Kallman are the co-authors of the Unified Vision Framework and their book, “The Nehemiah Effect” is a #1 National Best Seller on Amazon.com (in as many as 3 categories: Business, Consulting and Project Management) for 4 of the last 10 months: