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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 (57 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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).

1 of 1 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The part on agile is very interesting, but bundled with personal views on poorly researched/understood topics

The part on agile is very interesting and enlightening, but the author bundles it with his personal views on poorly researched and understood topics beyond agile management. Some of the points are even fair, but the author’s biases and lack of understanding becomes too apparent to take it as a serious advocate voice for change and stimulate discussions on the topics... a shorter to the point book on agile would likely make a greater impact for this important field of management.

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1-7 chapters for Agile Transformation

8-10 chapters are focusing on the current system and also show the way of convincing C level management...

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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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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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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.

11 of 11 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... :-)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jhan Knebel
  • 09-04-19

great for c suite

Great for someone new to Agile management. Rudimentary for those with experience. Recommend this to your C suite if you are justifying an Agile shift.

1 of 1 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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  • 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.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill
  • 26-11-19

Great explanation of the reasons for agile mgmt

Narration was clear and precise.
Book gives good examples of how and why to implement Agile. I will re-read and employ many of the concepts in the book.

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  • Alex
  • 10-11-19

Lot of fluff

The first half of the book that actually described agile was good. the second half, discussing financial practices of corporations, was completely unrelated to agile.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-08-19

adjectives

so many adjectives, so little substance. a disappointment.

Annoying also that audible requires more words for a review to be valid. Is this enough for you now?

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  • SAMANTHA
  • 18-06-19

Lackluster feel

I think the message could have been summed up in 2 hours max. And hearing the word “delighted” 100 times is making me want to break something.