Michael Lang, manager at an IT service provider, lecturer for project and IT management and publisher of CIO 3.0, software developer Stefan Scherber and 12 other IT experts and managers describe in their book,
- what agility means as a management concept,
- how I achieve agility with employees, teams and the company,
- and why executives have to rethink drastically.
As an example of agility, the authors explain the Scrum concept and its core statements:
- Interactions are more important than tools. As useful as digital tools such as online Wiki or open space marketplaces are, they cannot replace personal contacts and corporate meetings.
- The product counts – not the product bureaucracy: The fact that the software runs is more important than its complete documentation.
- Look more at the customer than in the contract: contract negotiations are overestimated compared to working with the customer.
- Adapt instead of pulling through: Turn over plans when changed reality demands it.
In order to transfer the concept from “small” to “big”, i.e. the company, the authors provide the reader with five characteristics of agility:
- Openness for communication: In agile companies, not only the operative business is addressed, but also the surprising – and the unpleasant.
- Openness for experimental learning: Agile companies learn from experiments and also from their failure.
- Appreciation of abilities: Respect for the practical skills of employees at all levels creates a culture of continuous learning.
- Leadership as a catalyst: Managers in agile companies ensure that teams are able to organize themselves and achieve the company’s goals.
- Results-oriented controlling with a long-term perspective: Switch from budget-oriented to results-oriented controlling. This directs the view from the current situation to the long-term perspective.
In the following, the contributors to this anthology will address the classical questions posed by a transformation process:
- Does pure teamwork require a manager at all?
- How does leadership change in an agile organization?
- How team culture develops
- What (de-)motivates my employees?
- How to stick together in good teams?
For the implementation of agility in the company, the authors recommend starting with a pilot team and then sharing the agile culture that has developed in the pilot team and replenishing it with new, to spread the word to our members. If there are three or more teams, they should be coordinated accordingly. The authors also provide tools such as Scaled Agile Framework for this, and the three-stage Agile Scaling Cycle offers the appropriate structure for extending agility
- Reduce dependencies between teams by designing processes accordingly
- The teams coordinate by determining a product owner and planning the work cycles together.
- draw conclusions about the organisation through regular reviews
In this book, the editors and contributors show the advantages of the agile company as well as the hurdles on the way there. All in all, managers find good orientation here – despite the repetitions typical of anthologies.