AoAD2 Practice: Management

This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for additional excerpts and more!

This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.



We help our teams excel.

Stakeholder demos and roadmaps allow managers to see what their teams are producing. But managers need more. They need to know whether their teams are working effectively and how they can help them succeed.

Unlike the other practices in this book, which are aimed at team members, this practice is for managers. It’s primarily for team-level managers, but the ideas can be applied by middle and senior managers as well. In an environment where teams decide for themselves how work will be done (see the “Key Idea: Self-Organizing Teams” sidebar), what do managers do, and how do they help their teams excel?

Measurement-based management doesn’t work.

Most organizations use measurement-based management: gathering metrics, asking for reports, and designing rewards to incentivize the right behavior. It’s a time-honored approach to management that stretches back to the invention of the assembly line.

There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work. continue reading, buy the book!

In this Section

  1. Management
    1. Cargo Cult: Maximum Acceleration
    2. Theory X and Theory Y
    3. The Role of Agile Management
    4. Measurement Dysfunction
      1. Stories and story points
      2. Code coverage
      3. Lines of code
      4. Say/do ratio
      5. Defect counts
    5. Why Measurement Dysfunction is Inevitable
    6. Delegatory Management
      1. Make measurements inconsequential
      2. Go to gemba
      3. Ask the team
      4. Define goals and guardrails
        1. Sidebar: An Example: Code Coverage
    7. When Metrics Are Required
    8. Questions
    9. Prerequisites
    10. Indicators
    11. Alternatives and Experiments
    12. Further Reading

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For more excerpts from the book, see the Second Edition home page.

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