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The Age of Agile

How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done
Narrated by: Tom Parks
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Summary

More value from less work.

An unstoppable business revolution is under way - and it is Agile. Companies that embrace Agile Management learn to connect everyone and everything...all the time. They can deliver instant, intimate, frictionless value on a large scale.

Agile began emerging many decades ago, but truly took off in the software development industry. Sparking dramatic improvements in quality, innovation, and speed-to-market, the Agile movement is now spreading quickly throughout all kinds of companies. It enables a team, a unit, or an enterprise to nimbly adapt and upgrade products and services to meet rapidly changing technology and customer needs. And the process is applicable anywhere—companies don’t need to be born Agile, like Spotify. Even centuries-old Barclays is making the transition and reaping rewards.

Filled with examples from every sector, The Age of Agile helps readers:

  • Master the three laws of Agile Management (team, customer, network)
  • Embrace the new mindset
  • Overcome constraints
  • Employ meaningful metrics
  • Make the entire organization Agile
  • And more

With this breakthrough approach, even global giants can learn to act entrepreneurially. Their future depends on it. 

©2018 Stephen Denning (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with AMACOM, a division of American Management Association International, New York.

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Extremely Dogmatic

Any additional comments?

The author is extremely dogmatic throughout the entire book which makes it somewhat of a painful listen. Some useful takeaways but I would not recommend this book.

Just to use an example. Making claims like focusing on a small team, customers and the network effect should justify a Nobel Prize in business is equivalent to arguing better eating, more exercise, less stress and focus on sleep would justify the same in medicine. These are not revolutionizing views and have been used in practice well before someone coined the phrase Agile.

While I agree that corporations often fall victim of short term focus, but arguing for outlawing share buybacks because some companies rely on it during the wrong time is quite extreme. Prohibiting companies from buying back shares but allowing them to issue an infinite amount of shares could equally have unfavorable systemic consequences.

The author seems to argue innovation for the sake of innovation which is contrary to the conclusions made by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen in Great by Choice.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Thought provoking and timely

A book not just about the process of agile but the philosophy behind and need for the movement. Inspiring.

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A book of two halves

A slightly odd book - the first 1/3 or 1/2 is on topic you'd expect i.e. all about Agile transformation & Agile mindset. Found it super useful & helped my understanding. But remainder of the book switches to the problem with please shareholders & share price mindset which the author clearly feels strongly about but repeats essentially the same point over & over again (i.e. corporate greed / shareholder mindset BAD, Agile & innovation GOOD).

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Very good reading

Very interesting subject, full of examples and context. it's a good starting point to the agile theme.
The only thing to i.prove is that the examples are very specific to the US.

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Not about agile

This book is more about the place of agile in the context of the history and its impact and less about practical application of the concept.

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Insightful

As someone with interests in Management i found the book insightful.

It tells about examples which are slowly showing up around the workplace.

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More than sprints etc. This is for business leaders that want to innovate

Wow. This book really surprised me.

Ok, I hadn’t read enough about it to know what to expect before I plunged in. I imagined it would be a dry reminder about the manifesto, sprints, back logs etc.

It wasn’t.

This book is a broad socio economic and business management model critique and analysis. It is surgical in its precise dissection of forces holding back innovation and argues that Agile will become more relevant and disruptive as “software eats the world”. It is not an evangelical pitch for Agile but rather offers a realistic appraisal of the barriers to adoption and how it is doomed to fail in many organisations -that said, the wider point is that many organisations are also doomed to fail…

I didn’t expect to be inspired but I was. This book is as relevant to C -suite and business execs as it is to technical leaders.

I’m an MBA and as you’d expect that means I’ve studied strategy but this book gives one of the best critical appraisals of Michael Porters much lauded five forces I’ve ever read.

I loved the detail about hedge fund activists, stock price manipulation and the insanity of the primacy of share holder value.

I did the audio book at 1.5 speed whilst driving. I’ll be listening to it again because this is full of gems I’d like to more fully absorb. The narration is really good. I might even get the print copy as well because I will want to refer back to sections in this.

In summary, this book should be consumed by any business leader that wants to be relevant in 10 years from now.