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The Age of Agile

How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done
Written by: Stephen Denning
Narrated by: Tom Parks
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's 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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  • SB
  • 2019-03-27

Brilliantly written & conceptualized !!

Agile Management is the way forward. The monolithic management era is nearing its end. The faster you adopt agile, the better it is.

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  • CBM
  • 2018-03-05

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Srikanth Ramanujam
  • 2018-03-06

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... :-)

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  • Jhan Knebel
  • 2019-04-09

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.

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  • Johannes Klose Andersen
  • 2018-08-07

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

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  • Luqman
  • 2018-04-16

Paradigm shift worth every minute !

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

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  • Frank from Virginia
  • 2018-03-18

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.

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  • Robert Bouillon
  • 2020-06-04

The author must have been paid by the word.

I'm a software engineer looking to better understand Agile. This is one of the books I purchased. What I got, instead, was half of a book that was a marketing brochure, extolling the successes of Agile, with the second half of the book being an introduction to economics theory. I got virtually NOTHING from reading this book.

The first half of the book describes anecdote after anecdote about how great Agile is, sprinkled with the double-speak that tends to be be a hallmark of Agile evangelists: "Agile is both top-down and bottom-up" and it's "organized chaos." Agile is apparently the proper solution for every problem in every scenario, from software to business, with no shortcomings. The only Agile organizations that fail are the ones that "aren't really agile." How do you measure who is and who isn't Agile? Well, you can't, because Agile isn't a process you can measure. It's a "mindset." So how do you know which organizations are Agile? Well, successful ones are Agile, and unsuccessful ones are not, even if the organization hasn't adopted the Agile methodology! I'm not even kidding - the book dedicates significant text to attributing the success of the Apple iPhone to agile, when it's well-known that Apple was not Agile, but in-fact had their own design-driven processes that revolved around making ONE user happy: Steve Jobs.

The second half of the sounds like a book that was written for economists that was quickly edited to loosely tie the content back to Agile somehow. An entire chapter will go into great detail about the dangers of shareholder value, just to abruptly talk about Agile management for a paragraph. It will then suddenly shift right back into economics. It feels overtly artificial and unnatural, each time attempting to justify the 6-chapter segue into economic theory by claiming that agile managers need to "understand economics to talk to C-suite executives."

There are many, better books on economics I'd recommend, and if I wanted to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of shareholder value, I would have purchased a book on economics, not Agile. This is neither a good Agile nor a good Economics book. I'd stay away unless you're expressly looking for 6 chapters of marketing material for Agile.

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  • Jon H
  • 2019-12-15

Good and Insightful

Insightful with immersion to real life use cases that makes the ideas more relevant and practical.

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  • Jill
  • 2019-11-26

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
  • 2019-11-10

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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  • Damien Thouvenin
  • 2018-09-27

High level overview of agile

An opinionated and strongly argued view of agile as a force for long term greater good.
It’s interesting in that it proposes a principles-based high level view of agile, illustrated by numerous case studies.
It’s also a bit frustrating in that it leaves you to sort out what it is exactly that you can or should do in your company.