Agile vs Fragile: Empower the “Right” Employees

Part 7 in a series of 17. To start at the beginning, first read Agile vs Fragile: A Disciplined Approach or an Excuse for Chaos.

Agile principle 5 is all about the people you chose to be a part of your team.  If focuses on the principle that if you get the “right” people, give them the right environment to be successful, and then get out of their way, they will deliver great things.  In an Agile world, the best and brightest are sought out to be a part of the team, and then they are enabled to make the right decisions as a team, without intrusion by leadership.  The teams identify the work that can be accomplished in a sprint.  After all, the people who do the work are in the best position to identify what needs to be done, and how much time it will take.  Management goes out of their way to remove barriers from the team, including themselves.Agile empower the right employeesIn Fragile environments, management still maintains the power and control structures.  They overburden the team with status and update meetings, and they leverage their power to “drive” the team to meet project timelines.  In a Fragile world, this principle is manipulated to mean that “super” developers are all you need to have success, and other team members are either eliminated or their value marginalized.  One of the biggest indicators of a Fragile team is the level of burnout and turnover on the team as people grow weary of the death march mentality of the project.

In the next installment of the blog we will talk about the 7th Agile principle. In the meantime…Keep on testing!

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Brian Copeland

About Brian Copeland (19 articles)

With over 25 years of senior level experience in the software development industry specializing in organizational transformation and development, Brian has been instrumental in the testing of critical business systems, from mission critical applications to commercial software. Mr. Copeland’s career has included 10 years as the Test Operations Manager for the Titan II, 34D, IVA, and IVB programs, managing both flight and ground software-testing facilities for Lockheed Martin. Mr. Copeland also served as the Sr. Manager of Quality Assurance for the shared services of Deloitte & Touché, LLP. His diverse experiences range across the aerospace, medical device, title insurance, legal services software, big four accounting firm, and banking industries. Brian led the global testing organization for The Nielsen Company, overseeing the successful transformation of the testing function made up of over 750 testing associates. Mr. Copeland has been a key-note speaker at the International Business Forum, and has been a featured speaker at HP Software Universe. Brian is a past president of the greater Cincinnati International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA), and holds an ITIL v3.0 Foundations and RCV certifications.