The Manifesto Most Organizations Live By

Mar 7, 2024 | Agile Values, Mindset, Organization, Transformation

Ah, the hallowed halls of traditional management, where the air is thick with the scent of printed reports and the sound of keyboards clacking away into oblivion. Here, in this fortress of solitude, the “Manifesto Most Organizations Live By” is not just a document; it’s a way of life, a beacon of predictability in the tumultuous sea of business. Let’s embark on a cheeky exploration of this manifesto, shall we?

Let’s look at the Manifesto Most Organizations Live By first. I’ll give you a text version, but I also created a beautiful high-res download for you 😁

Management Principles

We follow these principles:

  1. Prioritize Shareholder Satisfaction Our highest priority is to satisfy the shareholder through consistently strong quarterly earnings.
  2. Resist Changes to Requirements Especially late in the development process, as they can disrupt the project plan.
  3. Postpone Testing and Integration Focus on developing individual components in isolation, deferring the more expensive testing and integration processes until the final stages.
  4. Separate Business and Development Teams Since business people and developers have different perspectives, they should operate in distinct departments.
  5. Centralize Around Project Managers Projects should be led by experienced managers, who assign clear tasks to their teams and monitor progress closely.
  6. Prefer Written Communication Use written documentation, ideally within a dedicated tool, for clarity and record-keeping.
  7. Measure Progress by Task Completion Progress is determined by comparing completed tasks against the project plan.
  8. Accept the Need for Crunch Time Expect to work extra hours towards the end of milestones or projects, but ensure teams rest afterward.
  9. De-prioritize Quality and Training Under Pressure When under tight deadlines, overlook built quality and engineer training as they are less valued by customers and shareholders.
  10. Match Complexity with Complexity Solve complex problems with equally complex solutions.
  11. Value Senior Expertise in Design The best architectures, requirements, and designs come from the minds of senior architects and requirements engineers.
  12. Learn from Every Project Collect and analyze lessons learned at the conclusion of each project for future improvement.


Our Shareholder, Who Art in Equity

First and foremost, the almighty shareholder reigns supreme. The pursuit of pleasing this deity through the sacred ritual of “continuous delivery of good quarterly earnings” is the highest calling. Forget about long-term value creation or customer satisfaction; it’s all about those sweet, sweet short-term gains.

Change Is the Enemy

Ah, change. The unpredictable beast that lurks in the shadows, ready to pounce on any project daring enough to venture into its territory. The manifesto wisely advises avoiding change, especially late in the game. After all, why adapt when you can rigidly stick to the plan devised in a completely different time and context?

The Modular Conundrum

Why interact when you can work in splendid isolation? Divide and conquer, they say. Split work into modules, developed in parallel universes, and pray to the gods of integration that it all somehow works in the end. It’s like building a puzzle where each piece is made by someone who hasn’t seen the picture on the box.

A Tale of Two Planets

In the galaxy of traditional management, business people and developers orbit different stars. Communication? A quaint concept. Let’s just organize them into separate departments and wonder why products don’t meet market needs. It’s the corporate version of sending a message in a bottle across an ocean.

The Iron Fist of Project Management

Behind every great project, there’s a seasoned project manager with an iron grip on the reins. Empowerment and autonomy are mere myths in this realm. Tight control ensures that creativity and innovation are safely locked away, far from where they might disrupt the meticulously crafted project plan.

The Written Word Shall Prevail

Why talk when you can write? In-person communication is so last millennium. Instead, let’s drown in a sea of documents and emails, ensuring that every word is recorded for posterity but seldom read by anyone. It’s the perfect strategy to avoid ambiguity and human connection.

The Progress Paradox

How do we measure progress? By the sheer volume of tasks completed, of course! It doesn’t matter if we’re building the right thing, as long as we’re building something. The project plan is our bible, and deviation is heresy.

The Cult of Crunch Time

Occasional? More like customary. Crunch time is a sacred rite, a testament to dedication and the pursuit of deadlines over well-being. Sure, we’ll give you rest, but only after you’ve sacrificed your health and social life on the altar of the project milestone.

Quality and Training: The Expendable Duo

Who needs quality and training when you’re under the gun? These are mere luxuries in the grand scheme of things. Customers don’t notice, shareholders don’t care, and we can always fix it later, right? Right?

The Complexity Conundrum

Simple solutions to complex problems? Heresy! Only a solution as convoluted as the problem itself can suffice. It’s like fighting fire with, well, a bigger fire.

The Architectural Oligarchy

Let the senior architects and requirements engineers dictate the course. After all, innovation and fresh ideas are overrated. The best solutions are those conceived in isolation, far removed from the messy reality of users and their needs.

Lessons Learned: The Afterthought

Once the dust has settled and the project is no more than a smoldering crater, it’s time for reflection. Gather round and document those lessons learned, destined to be filed away and forgotten until the next project. Because, surely, this time will be different.

In the realm of traditional management, this manifesto may serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path to predictability and control. But let’s remember, in the agile world, we cherish adaptation, collaboration, and customer value above all. So, let’s take this manifesto with a grain of salt (or perhaps a whole salt shaker) and continue to seek better ways of developing products and delighting our customers. After all, agility is not just about moving fast; it’s about moving wisely.

Thank you for reading The Agile Compass. I’m Matthias, here to help you help those around you become agile.

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