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Agile Organization

 An “agile organization” refers to a company, business unit, or function (e.g., HR) that practices the agile model for organization, work, rewards, and career. The agile model consists of the following:

  • Projects and customers are primary; each “project” is made up of a cross-functional team that often includes a designer, engineer (e.g., developer), tester, documentation, and support staff.

  • People work on multiple projects over time, their job title or role is more functional in nature. Individuals have project leaders (who manage projects) and career leaders (career advisors) who serve as developmental managers. The latter are often functional leaders not project leaders.

  • Projects are developed and delivered in small iterative stages (often called “sprints”) and stakeholders are interviewed and involved throughout the process. Support staff (e.g., shared services) are available to help projects succeed, with project leads as their customers.

  • The principles of design thinking and customer empathy are central to problem-solving, so in a sense everyone is working as a consultant to design and delivers solutions to stakeholders.

  • In the agile model, careers move from project to project or up a functional area. Becoming a career manager or project manager may be considered a promotion, but people can be promoted as experts and subject matter experts also.

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