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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.

What members say

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

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  • CBM
  • 05-03-18

2 Part Book - The part on Agile is truly Awesome!

Probably the best book about Agile currently available (excluding Mike Beedle’s work). I give the first 7 chapters 10 Stars! The 2nd half of the book is a thinly disguised anti-capitalist rant that is simply unnecessary.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank from Virginia
  • 18-03-18

This book devolved into a political treatise

The first half of the book is about agile management and is pretty good. The last half of the book devolves into a LONG diatribe against maximizing shareholder value. This is literally half of the book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Johannes Klose Andersen
  • 07-08-18

A must read for people who want a change

It have a lot of interesting points, and have become a reference for a lot of debating about organizations and agile transformation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Luqman
  • 16-04-18

Paradigm shift worth every minute !

Must read, as every company will become software with the advent of Industry 4 and digital transformation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Srikanth Ramanujam
  • 06-03-18

This is "Radical Management" 2.0

I have been following Steve Denning and his storytelling for a while now. The "Age of Agile" is an updated version of his earlier book from 2010 - "Radical Management". If you haven't read that one, skip it and read this one instead.

As a practicing Agile coach and transformation agent, I can empathize with Steve's views on Agility. Agility is certainly a strong organizational competitive advantage, but it is an answer amongst other things - he does take elements of that on in the second part of the book including moving from shareholder centricity to being client-centric, stock-market manipulations, etc.

One missing piece is innovation, there is an assumption that just being agile could make organizations innovative - though possible, in the complex domain without building an organization that is capable of identifying and nurturing innovation and thinking outside-the-box to build resilience is a missing piece.

A good read for Leaders and Managers, especially to those thinking of "Business Agility" and "Strategic Agility" though I wonder whether the people who would need to imbibe and introduce real change might be put off by his brutal honesty and the complexity of the magnitude of change required to introduce the new reality.

If only organizations would change by reading a $10 book, if only... :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rossum
  • 16-09-18

A revealing report of our new era

An excellent book connecting the principles of Agile with other topics such as consumer-centric economy, finance regulation, innovation and the need to protect long-term thinking. Denning shows that far from being just some superficial set of tools to organize work, Agile is truly a wide encompassing topic that sits in the middle of contemporary political debate.

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  • Matt
  • 06-08-18

Thorough explanation of agile principles for non-agile managers

I liked that the book provided a thorough explanation of agile principles - with real-world case studies - and in the language of your typical executive or manager. The progression between the three laws of agile (law of the small team, law of the customer and law of the network) clearly explained what I have previously experienced. I recommend this book for any manager or executive who wants to understand why their organisation “needs to be agile” and for any agilest who wants to learn how to present agile principles in a language managers and executives will understand.

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  • J.
  • 03-04-18

Business Agility "Must Read".

If you want to understand how business agility impacts the highest level of an organization, this book is one of the best yet.