by Jurgen Appelo
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Software businesses are complex adaptive systems — and this complexity means there is no one ‘right’ answer for an organisation in people, process, or tooling. This means the role of the modern manager is not to optimise to a single perfect business construct — but to create the right environment for aligned, adaptive, high performing, and continuously improving teams that can apply the systems and principles of modern Agile to be adaptive to the changing business context.
Chapter in one sentence
- Why Things Are Not That Simple
Establishing a truly agile organisation requires and qualities and thinking that enable the culture and creativity required for rapid learning and discovery. Key to this are managers who understand the complexity of creative software delivery — managing their teams by aligning constraints, developing competence, growing structure, empowering teams, energizing people, and improving everything.
- Agile Software Development
Managers are key to addressing the key challenges to a successful Agile transformation — including change aversion, discipline, and lack of talent. The Agile world needs managers, but it needs new managers — that can build an environment, culture, and capability that allows the adaptive and empirical methods of Agile to thrive.
- Complex Systems Theory
Managers cannot structure and steer a self-organising team through planning and frameworks. Instead, they must create an environment that develops self-organisation and evolution through people, culture, and adaptation.
- The Information-Innovation System
People are what makes software projects complex — being the active agents that can organize and reorganize themselves. As a result, our focus needs to be on creating the environment to foster innovation through fast and easy sharing of knowledge, fostering creativity, motivation the team, creating diversity, and establishing the team identity and personality.