Thursday, March 22, 2007

Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN)

Leaders from the Agile community decided that something more should be said for those that manage agile and adaptive teams. Thus, Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) was born. Here some information provided by their web site:

APLN was founded in 2004 by a group of people who are active in writing about, practicing, and evangelizing the movement towards fast, flexible, customer value driven approaches to leading projects of many types. Although this organization is separate from the Agile Alliance, our intention is to work closely with that group within the software community, but also work with people and companies outside of software and IT to help them become better Project Leaders.

This group was also responsible for their own manifesto, called the Declaration of Interdependence (DOI). A group of managers, authors, consultants, and team members from different project and product domains came together to discover common ground with respect to Agile and Adaptive Management (Similar to the Agile Manifesto meeting of 2001). This group represented people from the software development community (Alistair Cockburn, Mike Cohn, Jim Highsmith), the product development community (Preston Smith), and the general project management community (Doug DeCarlo, Robert Wysocki). Six core values emerged from that collaboration:

1) We increase return on investment by making continuous flow of value our focus.
2) We deliver reliable results by engaging customers in frequent interactions and shared ownership.
3) We expect uncertainty and manage for it through iterations, anticipation, and adaptation.
4) We unleash creativity and innovation by recognizing that individuals are the ultimate source of value, and creating an environment where they can make a difference.
5) We boost performance through group accountability for results and shared responsibility for team effectiveness.
6) We improve effectiveness and reliability through situationally specific strategies, processes and practices.

From a executive management perspective, this is great material to sell upper management on the business advantages of moving to agile or adaptive development. They think in terms of management, and understand less about the inner workings of an agile team (either because they don't relate or don't desire that level of detail). This still speaks to the core values of agile, but in terms management likes to hear (I highlighted those terms above). If you are a manager or trying to sell management on agile, check out the APLN. They have some excellent resources. If you want to attend a local chapter of APLN, you can find out if your city has one here.

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