Agile management requires in nutshell agility of the management, organization structure, decision making, and execution to ensure a high probability of survivance and success in a complex and unexpected business world.

Adaptive management

Not agile project management, Agile Management System! We called in past #NoHierarchy or Non-Deterministic management. The name is important, but what matter are the content and the intent. they never changed. Like any management system, the agile management system is based on several management theories. Agile management is mainly based on “System approach” and “Adaptive Management”, a new management theory pushed by Galaxies. 

The adaptive management theory is based on principles of other systems working for years in a complex and unexpected environment, yet they survive and even thrive. When we say systems, we are not talking about software systems! Systems are any set of parts that work together to reach a common goal, such as organizations. 

Two contemporary sciences deal with the phenomena of complexity and unexpected world. Chaos theory focuses on how complexity is created from a state of order. Complex systems, which explore the characteristics of systems and organizations that survive and thrive in complexity. How they succeed in complexity and uncertainty. 

Adaptive management is based on the main characteristic of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), a branch of complex systems that focus on systems that continuously adapt themselves to the environment.

Adaptive management suggests that organizations are a collection of groups (with the same organization structure) grouped using simple rules to serve the purpose of the company (same as fractals in chaos theory). This structure might be called hierarchy, but there is no authority, control or ranks involved in this structure. 

Groups are collections of other groups and people. Each group repeats a structure that is consisted of a nucleus and electrons. Several people are the nucleus of the group and around then several electrons (people) that attract to the nucleus at different levels. Same as atoms. Groups are connected into a bigger structure, molecules. As in nature, groups (atoms) are responsible for creating different levels of attraction to other groups and form molecules. 

The core concept of adaptive management is decentralization and distribution.  Decision making and management capabilities push into groups and individuals. Groups should be self-organized and people should be self-managed. Group autonomy enables each group to adopt any deviation of management style that works for them. Management can change and adapt to the group needs at any point in time. 

On top of decentralization and distribution, adaptive management recognizes that fact that each group will be a set of other people or groups that will be more or less bound to the nucleus group. The nucleus needs to find a way to create strong bonds and recognize that contribution is based on bond strength.

Agile Management

Agile management is a practical implementation of the adaptive management and system approach. This management system understands that each group of people should find the management system that works for them. 

Groups, Individuals and their interactions are key for business success. If the management system is not ensuring healthy interactions, impact, and flow between people and groups, the business will be impacted. 

Separating people into silos based on their skill set is not a good practice. Creating hybrid teams that build from all skill sets needed to support a given business purpose is a better approach. Hybrid teams can be long-term teams or ad hoc teams. 

Business and management need to be adaptive. They need to change all the time to better respond to the changes and challenges imposed by the business environment. If the management system is not changing over time, the organization is increasing its exposure to external risks. 

Execution needs to be adaptive. Continuous feedback from the environment should be provided directly to groups. Groups need to adjust their execution when the environment shows that it requires a change.

Central control is not enabling groups to adjust themselves to the business environment. The company needs to find the balance between ensuring that all groups working to reach the same purpose and that groups can adapt themselves to the challenge that their environment challenge them with. 

Agile management sees the transition between chaos an order as a law of nature organizations should leverage. This law can be used to create energy that will push the business forward. It’s a big responsibility and effort to make sure that an organization won’t swing too much to order or to chaos.

Deterministic point of view of the world is not conducive to business. Management/Leadership in organizations need to embrace duality and opposites to see the world, decide and course-correct decisions based on reality.

 Agile management realized that being agile required a change in many management and HR processes. Without adjusting management and HR, the adoption of agile management will be close to impossible. 

If you want to find more on Agile Management, feel free to contact Galaxies.  


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