Agile Management, Myth or Reality?

Despite over a decade of focus on agile practices for software development teams, the truth is that agile is not just for developers. If you’ve been hanging out in the agile world for a significant period of time, you probably already know this to be true. Agile is not just for developers and it never was. But the real question is, how far can agile really reach? Can management really be agile? Some might say agile management is an oxymoron. But we disagree. Agile is for everybody!

In a wide variety of industries outside of IT, agile practices are the norm. It is simply a way of doing things that has grown organically out of the need for feedback and communication. Take, for instance, the graphic design industry. A graphic designer would never dream of rolling out new branding for a client without meeting with them continuously to run over each minor change as it occurs, adjusting the course of the redesign accordingly.

Word cloud for Agile managementHere at 3Back, we practice agile techniques throughout every portion of the company, including Finance, Sales, Logistics… you name it. And we’re not the only ones. Lots of companies use agile outside of software development. For many of them, the hard part is getting agile into management. Could agile management be a reality? Based on our experience (and our own agile management), we say, “Absolutely!”

Lucky for us, Steve Denning, always pioneering innovation in management, agrees. In his recent article on Forbes, The Best-Kept Management Secret on the Planet: Agile, Denning asks the resounding question, “How do you get disciplined execution along with continuous innovation?” And here, the answer does lie with developers. Through the use of agile practices, development teams across the world are doing exactly that – providing disciplined execution alongside continuous innovation.

If agile development teams work, why not agile management too?