From Red Tape to No Tape: Maximizing Agile in Your Organization

Part 1

Bureaucratic Orientation

Agile Manifesto

Develop processes and tools to standardize our interaction and maximize individual’s productivity.

Values individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

Software has comprehensive documentation so that anyone can understand it.

Values working software over comprehensive documentation.

Requires strict signoff without business partners in order to plan and cost a project.

Values customer collaboration over contract negotiation.

Follows a detailed, written plan in order to minimize change and maximize predictability.

Values responding to change over following a plan.

Table 1

If you find yourself following the statements on the left, you are probably emphasizing a bureaucratic philosophy.  It’s time for a change.

The power of successful agile development is truly realized once a company makes the shift from a bureaucratic to a post-industrial organizational philosophy.  Recognizing that you are following a bureaucratic organizational philosophy isn’t always easy, but understanding the values of the agile manifesto and understanding the implications are a good step in the right direction.  Management should focus not only on the techniques of the process, but also the interactions of the team.  Only then can businesses begin to fully experience the high levels of performance afforded by using the fundamental values of agile development. 

At this point, you may be wondering if you are following the wrong philosophy, how you can tell if you’re on the wrong path, and what to do about it.  If this is the case, you’ll have to wait until next month when I present part two of this article on recognizing and correcting organizational misalignment with agile principles.


About the author

AgileConnection is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.