Business Agility

A Public Business Agility Literature Review

Agile Customer-Centricity Manifesto

Agile Customer Centricity Manifesto

ABSTRACT: Agile practices make the manifesto credible and effective, not the other way around. By adhering to these practices and values, organizations can create dynamic and responsive environments that align with core Agile principles and foster sustainable growth and customer satisfaction.

Understanding How Agile Practices Shape a Legitimate Manifesto

Agile practices are the foundation of any legitimate agile manifesto, particularly in business and customer-centric contexts. This is because these practices emphasize adaptability, customer focus, and continuous improvement. The manifesto isn’t what creates agile practices; instead, agile practices give life to the manifesto. Here’s how this relationship works, with insights from researchers such as C. Larman, K. Petersen, C. Wohlin, and S. Soundararajan:

Key Agile Practices:

  1. Value Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools: Prioritize people and communication over rigid procedures and software tools. Emphasize human connections and respect for diversity.
  1. Deliver Working Software Frequently: Aim for shorter, regular release cycles to ensure continuous progress and feedback.
  1. Focus on Technical Excellence and Good Design: Uphold technical quality and design principles to support long-term sustainability.
  1. Maximize Work Not Done by Focusing on Simplicity: Streamline processes and eliminate unnecessary tasks to increase efficiency and clarity.
  1. Build Projects Around Motivated Individuals: Empower team members by providing the necessary resources and support to foster motivation and productivity.
  1. Welcome Changing Requirements: Remain adaptable and open to changes in requirements to better meet customer needs and market conditions.
  1. Foster Continuous Communication and Collaboration with Stakeholders: Maintain ongoing dialogue with stakeholders to align project goals and expectations.
  1. Regularly Reflect and Adjust: Conduct frequent retrospectives to assess performance and implement improvements.
  1. Keep Customer Satisfaction as the Highest Priority: Focus on delivering value and meeting customer expectations to ensure their satisfaction.
  1. Develop Software in Small, Incremental Cycles: Use iterative development to build functionality gradually, allowing regular assessment and adjustment.
  1. Integrate and Test Incrementally: Break down requirements into smaller, manageable parts and integrate them step by step, ensuring each part is thoroughly tested.
  1. Embrace Evolving Requirements: Allow requirements to evolve as the project progresses, refining and adjusting them based on feedback.
  1. Seek Regular Feedback from Stakeholders: Continuously gather feedback from users and stakeholders to inform development decisions and improve outcomes.
  1. Continuously Improve Code Quality Through Refactoring: Regularly refactor code to enhance its structure, readability, and maintainability without changing its external behaviour.
  1. Practice Test-First Development: Write tests before the actual code to ensure requirements are met and to reduce bugs.
  1. Encourage Self-Organizing Teams: Promote self-management among teams, allowing them to take ownership of their processes and outcomes.
  1. Integrate Code Changes Frequently: Use continuous integration to merge code changes often, identifying and resolving conflicts and errors promptly.
  1. Maintain a Constant Pace: Strive for a sustainable pace of work to avoid burnout and maintain consistent productivity.
  1. Keep Documentation Concise and Relevant: Focus on essential documentation that provides value, avoiding overly detailed or unnecessary documentation.
  1. Utilize High-Bandwidth Communication Methods: Prioritize direct and effective communication methods to enhance understanding and collaboration.
  1. Hold Regular Retrospectives: Conduct retrospectives at the end of each iteration to review performance, identify issues, and implement improvements.
  1. Drive Iterations Based on Client Feedback and Priorities: Ensure that each development cycle is guided by client input and prioritized according to their needs.
  1. Ensure Skill Distribution Across the Team: Allocate expertise where it is most needed to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
  1. Maintain Robust Configuration Management: Implement robust configuration management to track changes and ensure consistency.
  1. Follow Standards and Best Practices: Adhere to established standards and practices to maintain quality and coherence across the project.
  1. Eliminate Unnecessary Work: Focus on reducing waste by identifying and removing non-value-adding activities.
  1. Create a Safe Environment for Idea Expression: Foster psychological safety within the team, allowing members to share openly without fear of negative consequences.
  1. Support Individual Growth and Professional Development: Encourage continuous learning and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  1. Promote Social Responsibility and Ethical Behaviour: Ensure that agile practices align with broader social and ethical standards, contributing positively to the community.
  1. Strive for Technical Excellence and Good Design Principles: Maintain a commitment to high technical standards and sound design principles to support long-term success.

These practices create a dynamic and responsive environment that aligns with the core values of any effective and legitimate agile manifesto aimed at fostering customer satisfaction and business agility.

The Influence of ExtrAgility

ExtrAgility expands on traditional agile principles by incorporating a holistic perspective that balances profit, people, and the planet. This includes:

  • Human Interactions Over Processes and Tools: Valuing diverse human interactions reflects ExtrAgility’s holistic approach, which acknowledges the collective skills and contributions from both internal and external customers.
  • Obsession for Fulfilling Customer Needs Over Focusing on Irrelevant Work: This aligns with ExtrAgility’s focus on creating real value for customers while balancing broader social and environmental responsibilities.
  • Cross-functional Engagement with Customers: Frequent interactions and shared ownership transcend traditional contractual boundaries, embodying ExtrAgility’s emphasis on holistic engagement and collaboration.
  • Responding to Change Over Following a Static Plan: Adaptability and responsiveness ensure dynamic balance among profit, people, and the planet.
  • Learning Through Experiments and Data Over Opinions and Conventions: Continuous learning and improvement drive innovation through data and experimentation, key aspects of ExtrAgility.
  • Transparency Over Secrecy: Promoting transparency builds trust and aligns with ExtrAgility’s commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices.

These principles from the ACCM Agile’s Customer Manifesto encapsulate key Agile values, emphasizing a customer-centric approach, collaboration, adaptability, continuous learning, and transparency. They underscore the broader impact of Agile practices on organizational success and social responsibility, reflecting the influence of ExtrAgility in achieving balanced outcomes.

ACCM Agile’s Customer Manifesto: Cross-Comparison with Other Agile Manifestos

Value 1: Human Interactions Over Processes and Tools

  • Agile Development Manifesto: Prioritizes individuals and interactions over processes and tools, emphasizing effective communication and teamwork.
  • Agile Sales Values: Focuses on customer needs over a repetitive pitch process, highlighting adaptability to specific customer requirements.
  • Agile Marketing Values: Emphasizes delivering customer value and achieving business outcomes over merely completing tasks or generating outputs.
  • Agile HR Values: Values intrinsic motivation over extrinsic rewards, fostering a people-centric approach recognizing individual motivations and contributions.
  • Foundational Agile Practices: Emphasize a people-centric approach, valuing individuals, their interactions, and contributions over rigid processes.

ExtrAgility Influence: This value reflects ExtrAgility’s principle of fostering a holistic perspective that values human interactions, acknowledging the collective skills and contributions from both internal and external customers.

Value 2: Obsession for Fulfilling Customer Needs Over Focusing on Irrelevant Work

  • Agile Development Manifesto: Emphasizes working software over comprehensive documentation, focusing on delivering functional value to the customer.
  • Agile Sales Manifesto: Prioritizes creating value over merely closing deals, ensuring a customer-centric approach.
  • Agile Marketing Manifesto: Focuses on delivering value iteratively and early, rather than delaying delivery for perfection.
  • Agile HR Manifesto: Values inspiration and engagement over simple management and retention, fostering an environment focused on creating value for customers.
  • Foundational Agile Practices: Emphasize value focus and waste reduction, ensuring efforts are aligned with customer needs and organizational goals.

ExtrAgility Influence: This value aligns with ExtrAgility’s concept of balancing profit, people, and planet, emphasizing a relentless focus on actions that create real value for customers.

Value 3: Cross-functional Engagement with Customers Over Contract Negotiation

  • Agile Development Manifesto: Emphasizes customer collaboration over contract negotiation, ensuring continuous alignment with customer needs.
  • Agile Sales Manifesto: Stresses iterative and collaborative engagement with customers, fostering a partnership rather than a transactional relationship.
  • Agile Marketing Manifesto: Promotes cross-functional collaboration, ensuring marketing efforts are well-coordinated and customer-centric.
  • Agile HR Manifesto: Values collaborative networks over hierarchical structures, promoting teamwork and shared ownership.
  • Foundational Agile Practices: Emphasize collaboration and feedback, ensuring customer needs are continuously integrated into the process.

ExtrAgility Influence: Reflects ExtrAgility’s emphasis on holistic engagement, leveraging collective skills and fostering a customer-centric approach that transcends traditional contractual boundaries.

Value 4: Responding to Change Over Following a Static Plan

  • Agile Development Manifesto: Highlights the importance of flexibility and adaptability to evolving requirements and customer feedback.
  • Agile Sales Manifesto: Focuses on adaptability rather than a prescriptive approach, ensuring responsiveness to customer needs and market changes.
  • Agile Marketing Manifesto: Values the ability to pivot strategies based on real-time data and customer feedback.
  • Agile HR Manifesto: Emphasizes flexibility in HR practices, allowing a responsive approach to managing and supporting employees.
  • Foundational Agile Practices: Underscore the importance of being flexible and adaptable to better meet customer needs and organizational goals.

ExtrAgility Influence: Aligns with ExtrAgility’s focus on adaptability and responsiveness, ensuring that the organization can dynamically balance its goals related to profit, people, and the planet.

Value 5: Learning Through Experiments and Data Over Opinions and Conventions

  • Agile Sales Manifesto: Emphasizes courageous introspection and personal accountability, aligning with learning from experiences and data.
  • Agile Marketing Manifesto: Directly mirrors the value of data-driven decisions and experimental results.
  • Agile HR Manifesto: Focuses on ambition and continuous improvement, encouraging a culture of personal development driven by data.
  • Foundational Agile Practices: Emphasize continuous learning, rigorous experimentation, and reliance on data to guide improvements and innovations.

ExtrAgility Influence: This value resonates with ExtrAgility’s emphasis on continuous learning and improvement, driving innovation through data and experimentation to achieve balanced outcomes.

Value 6: Transparency Over Secrecy

  • Agile Sales Manifesto: Prioritizes openness with customers, building trust through transparency.
  • Agile Marketing Manifesto: Values transparency to foster trust with customers, enhancing credibility and effectiveness.
  • Agile HR Manifesto: Prioritizes transparency to build trust, psychological safety, and social responsibility.
  • Foundational Agile Practices: Highlight the importance of a culture that promotes transparency, psychological safety, and social responsibility.

ExtrAgility Influence: Reflects ExtrAgility’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, fostering trust and ethical practices through transparency.

Conclusion

The values and principles outlined in the ACCM Agile’s Customer Manifesto are deeply intertwined with core Agile practices, emphasizing a customer-centric approach, collaboration, adaptability, continuous learning, and transparency. These values are consistent with various Agile domains, including development, sales, marketing, and HR. By integrating ExtrAgility’s holistic perspective, the manifesto further ensures that Agile practices contribute positively to balancing profit, people, and the planet, thus enhancing overall organizational success and social responsibility.

Sources

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20886.83524

Agile Sales Manifesto by Thomas Hormaza and Christophe Martinot (2021) is licensed under Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Business Agility portmanteau words such as Intragility, Interagility and Extragility, came from Graduate work completed at University (Hormaza Dow, 2022) © 2022 Hormaza Dow, T. (2022, April). Comparative website structural study and proposal of intragility, interagility and extragility as contextual framework to guide an adaptive business agility path [MBA Project]. Laval University, Faculty of Business Administration (FSA) Quebec, Canada.

Larman, C. (2004). Agile and iterative development: a manager’s guide. Addison-Wesley Professional.

ACCM Sprint 0 C. Martinot and T. Hormaza (2022) is licensed under Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Jalali, S., & Wohlin, C. (2010, August). Agile practices in global software engineering-A systematic map. In 2010 5th IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering (pp. 45-54). IEEE.

Soundararajan, S., Arthur, J. D., & Balci, O. (2012, August). A methodology for assessing agile software development methods. In 2012 Agile Conference (pp. 51-54). IEEE.

Photo by Jason Goodman

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