The Responsive Manifesto

I am increasing working with groups other than IT who want to adopt Agile. In addition, Agile is becoming an increasing toxic term causing division and fear within the organisations that I work. On that basis, as a bit of fun last week, Richard Warner and I wrote our own “Responsive Manifestos”. Both were very similar. This is mine.

We chose the word responsive because it is a term that has resonance with the business. There is already a concept of responsive marketing. Responsiveness is the goal, agility is the way that IT has chosen to achieve the goal of responsiveness.

By choosing to break with Agility, it allows the business to focus on the goal rather than the implementation of Scrum, Kanban or Lean as a end point for Agility.

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About theitriskmanager

Currently an “engineering performance coach” because “transformation” and “Agile” are now toxic. In the past, “Transformation lead”, “Agile Coach”, “Programme Manager”, “Project Manager”, “Business Analyst”, and “Developer”. Did some stuff with the Agile Community. Put the “Given” into “Given-When-Then”. Discovered “Real Options” View all posts by theitriskmanager

9 responses to “The Responsive Manifesto

  • Simon

    The thought came to me about what insight you would arrive at were you to replace the word “over” with “in” or “within” in your manifesto. This does make total sense for the “fixed mindset” line, but in the others there is more a sense of and and an expansion of the term on the right.

    I really get what you guys are doing and it makes total sense to me. It

  • theitriskmanager


    I see what you mean. Some of those on the right are things that could be used to achieve the thing on the left, though only one of many things that could be used and probably not the best one at that.

  • Stuff Rich Writes

    For completeness, here is the list I drew up of what a responsive business might favour.

    People and Learning over process and certificates
    Outcomes over intermediate product
    Genuine collaboration over deference to hierarchy
    Being responsive over fixation with roadmaps

    As close as makes no difference, which was reassuring as it suggests that there are common areas of concern.

  • theitriskmanager

    Thanks Richard, I did not want to publish your ideas without your permission. I think they add another layer of texture to the discussion.

  • Gary

    I like where you are going with this. The leadership/management community could definitely use a general theory of agility/responsiveness.

  • KentMcDonald

    I like both versions (Chris’ and Richard’s). I think the right side of Richard’s list hits closer to the (not responsive) organizations that I unfortunately run into a lot these days.

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