3.83 (749 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$29.99

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


An unstoppable business revolution is under way--and it is Agile. Sparking dramatic improvements in quality, innovation, and speed-to-market, the Agile movement has helped companies both large and small learn to connect everyone and everything . . . all the time.With rapidly evolving consumer needs and technology that is that is being updated quicker than ever before, businesses are recognizing how vitally essential it is adapt. And adapt quickly. The Agile movement enables a team, unit, or enterprise to nimbly acclimate and upgrade products and services to meet these constantly changing needs.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!Companies don't need to be born Agile. With the groundbreaking formulas laid out in this book, even global giants can learn to act entrepreneurially. Your company's future may depend on it!
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 62 x 92 x 11mm | 1g
  • Nashville, United States
  • English
  • Special
  • 0814439098
  • 9780814439098
  • 94,525

Flap copy

We are at the genesis of a new age -- the age of Agile. It's an exhilarating time, because unprecedented change can happen nearly overnight. Why? Because a truly "agile" organization connects everyone and everything . . . all the time. It is capable of delivering instant, intimate, frictionless value on a large scale.

But how? How can a complex company such as Ericsson, Barclays, Fidelity Investments, or Microsoft jump into new initiatives with the nimbleness of an athlete? How can large organizations act like small entrepreneurs? In The Age of Agile, you will learn the principles and techniques that make up Agile management. Originally developed in the software industry, this flexible approach to management has been refined and molded to function powerfully in industry after industry: technology, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, health, telecommunications, aircraft, automobiles--nearly any field.

The Age of Agile unpacks the groundbreaking ideas and practices that are remaking the very foundations of business. Agile isn't simply a new "process" to be grafted onto current management practice. It is a fundamentally different concept -- a new mindset -- about the structure of your company . . . and how you must operate to succeed in today's world.

Reporting from the frontlines, author Steve Denning takes you deep into the Agile management revolution. He provides specific, inspiring examples of how some of today's enlightened companies are leveraging the power of Agile, including firms such as: Airbnb, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Menlo Innovations, Saab, Samsung, Spotify, Tesla, Uber, and Warby Parker.

Drawing on lessons learned from these bold companies and his own ongoing practice, Denning demystifies Agile by providing three "laws" that make it practical and clear:

- The Law of the Small Team shows how to operate in a "VUCA" world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). Using this law, difficult problems are split into manageable batches and performed by small cross-functional, self-governing teams, working iteratively in short cycles, with fast feedback from customers and end-users.

- The Law of the Customer flows from the epic shift in power in the marketplace from seller to buyer, and the need for firms to radically accelerate their ability to make decisions and change direction in light of unexpected events and new customer demands. It amounts to a Copernican revolution in management.

- The Law of the Network (the linchpin of Agile) illustrates what's involved in making the entire organization Agile.

Becoming "agile" is a continuing journey, not a finite accomplishment. You'll know your company has joined the fray when its goal has shifted from creating profits to creating delighted customers. And you'll find that not focusing on "making money" . . . makes more money.

Stephen Denning is a renowned Agile advocate who serves on the advisory board of the Drucker Forum. He is a former World Bank executive and author of several books including The Leader's Guide to Radical Management.
show more

Back cover copy


"The Age of Agile is an indispensable guide to building an organization that can thrive in a world of unrelenting change."-- Gary Hamel, Professor, London Business School, and Director, MLab

"The Age of Agile should be a go-to reference for navigating the transient advantage economy."-- Rita Gunther McGrath, Professor, Columbia Business School

"The Age of Agile vividly demonstrates why an organization needs a new manage-ment paradigm to thrive in a world of rapid and continuous change." -- W. Chan Kim, The BCG Professor of Strategy at INSEAD and New York Times bestselling coauthor of Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift

"This eye-opening book challenges us to think, not just about which technologies will shape the future, but about which organizations will be able to handle -- and develop -- them."-- Carlota Perez, author of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital

"The Age of Agile demystifies a fuzzy topic, delivers a stinging critique of flawed management practices, provides practical advice, and is an enjoyable read. A great book."-- Scott Anthony, Managing Partner of Innosight and lead author of Dual Transformation

"The Age of Agile provides a compelling and actionable overview of the new mindset that will create significant new value."-- John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge
show more

Table of contents

Foreword by Gary Hamel xi

Introduction xiii


Chapter 1: More Value from Less Work 3

BOX 1-1: Manifesto for Agile Software Development 22

BOX 1-2: Glossary: Definitions of Agile, Scrum, DevOps, Kanban, Lean 23

Chapter 2: The Law of the Small Team 27

Chapter 3: The Law of the Customer 49

BOX 3-1: Paradigm Shifts in Science 67

BOX 3-2: Ultimate Customers, Internal Customers, and End-Users 69

BOX 3-3: Practices of the Law of the Customer 70

BOX 3-4: Aligning People Management with Agile Management at Cerner 73

Chapter 4: The Law of the Network 81

BOX 4-1: Agility Through Market-Based Approaches 94

BOX 4-2: Achieving Large-Scale Operations Through Platforms 96

BOX 4-3: "Big Bang" Change: Six Mistakes Salesforce Didn't Make 97

Chapter 5: Implementing Agile at Scale: Microsoft 103

Get the Right Balance of Alignment and Autonomy 106

Master the Role of the Agile Manager 108

Handle Dependencies at the Team Level 108

Ensure Continuous Integration 109

Keep on Top of Technical Debt 110

Embrace DevOps and Continuous Delivery 110

Continuously Monitor Progress 111

Listen to Customer Wants, but Meet Their Needs 112

Deal with Directions from Above 113

Use Self-Forming Teams to Encourage Team Ownership 113

Recognize the Team Is the Product 114

Build Quality from the Beginning 114

Use Coaching Carefully 115

Ensure Top-Level Support 115

Box 5-1: Flattening the Hierarchy Isn't the Answer 116

Chapter 6: From Operational to Strategic Agility 119

The Principles of Strategic Agility 122

Four Components of a Market-Creating Value Proposition 127

BOX 6-1: The Collapse of Sector Boundaries 134

BOX 6-2: The Path from Operational Agility to Strategic Agility 135

Chapter 7: Changing the Organizational Culture 139

BOX 7-1: SRI's "NABC Value Proposition" for Siri 155


Chapter 8: The Trap of Shareholder Value 163

BOX 8-1: The Unsound Legal Case for Shareholder Value 182

BOX 8-2: What Is True Shareholder Value? 183

BOX 8-3: Adam Smith and the Philosophical Origins of Shareholder Value Thinking 185

BOX 8-4: The Unanticipated Risks of Shareholder Value 187

Chapter 9: The Trap of Share Buybacks 193

The Challenge for Public Policymakers 199

The Challenge for Agile Leaders in Dealing with the Stock Market 199

The Challenge for Agile Managers Within the Corporation 201

BOX 9-1: Defending Share Buybacks 203

Chapter 10: The Cost-Oriented Economics Trap 205

The Case of Dell Inc. 206

The Urge to Offshore 209

A Permanent Loss of Expertise 211

Explaining Agile Management to a CFO 213

Throughput Accounting 213

BOX 10-1: Technical Debt, Regulatory Debt, and Brand Debt 216

BOX 10-2: U.S. vs. German Manufacturing 218

Chapter 11: The Trap of Backward-Looking Strategy 221

BOX 11-1: The Strategy of "Doing More of the Same" 233

BOX 11-2: Options Reasoning and the Portfolio Approach 234


Chapter 12: Nuclear Winters and Golden Ages 239

BOX 12-1: The History of Golden Ages and Nuclear Winters 251

BOX 12-2: How the Change Might Happen: An Agenda for Action 255

Acknowledgments 265

About Steve Denning 269

Notes 273

Index 305
show more

About Denning

STEPHEN DENNING is a renowned management innovator and popular columnist. A former World Bank executive, he serves on the advisory board for the Drucker Forum and is the author of several books including The Leader's Guide to Radical Management.
show more

Rating details

749 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 27% (202)
4 38% (283)
3 28% (209)
2 6% (43)
1 2% (12)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X