Agile Manifesto For Organizational Agility

I have been frequently critical of the “Agile Manifesto for Software Development”. There are things in it that I disagree with and I don’t believe add any value whatsoever to a team or organization. It is almost 20 years old and there are parts that haven’t aged well or held up to scientific research. It was also aimed at software development, but many of the motivating ideas behind it are capable of so much more (Complexity Theory: The Most Important Part of Agile)


Non-software development Agile Manifesto

CHOOSING THE BEST PROCESS over Dogmatic Adherence to Processes

QUALITY WORKING OUTPUT over Strictly Defined Work Methods and Tools

PEOPLE AND COLLABORATION over Authoritarian Rule

ADAPTING TO CHANGES WITH CAUTIOUS THOUGHT over Reacting to Changes Chaotically

There is almost no value in the items on the right.


  1. Our highest priority is to the people who work to satisfy the needs of the customer; without their guidance and input, customer satisfaction would not be possible.
  2. Change is necessary for complex environments to thrive, be flexible and adapt to it as intelligently as possible.
  3. Evaluate your work product frequently, work to do better than the last time, and recognize that you are unlikely to ever be perfect.
  4. Collaborate when needed and with those that are needed, but don’t collaborate for the sake of collaboration; there is only value spending time in meetings to talk about how you are going to do things when you don’t know how you are going to do things.
  5. Build employees into motivated individuals by working to recognize their accomplishments and building an environment that doesn’t hinder progress; it is unlikely that they care how much money they are putting in the pocket of the organization unless it benefits them.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information is what works for a given scenario;  E-mail can be very effective when used correctly.
  7. The output and quality of work is the primary measure of success.
  8. Overworking employees with long hours and sudden overtime only solves short-term problems with short-term solutions and leaves behind a long-term negative impact; it causes employee disengagement and should be avoided as a constant solution to problems.
  9. The best solution is often the solution not known about; work to improve how things are done and find the best solutions you can.
  10. Bureaucratic processes add very little value; focus more on the work that needs to be done and shed as much of the non-essential work as possible.
  11. Self-organizing individuals and teams allow for a greater sense of employee ownership, increased innovativeness, and emergent leadership.
  12. Work to improve regularly in all aspects of the creation and delivery of a product; adjust behavior, approaches, and processes as needed to create a more efficient workflow.


Complexity Theory for Organizations



Additional Information:

Agile Manifesto for Software Development

Agnostic Agile




Applying Complexity Science for Organization Development:




Categories: Agile

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