On Agile management

This week I came across two interesting articles about agile management (related to software of course ;).

One is from Joel Spolsky, it’s called “The Development Abstraction Layer” and talks about the need for good management to enable the work of productive and creative software developers.

The second article comes from CNN and is about an Indian manager that embodies a new way to manage.

Both these articles talk about the need to have a new way to look at management in a software company. Management is a key enabler for work to be productive. Management needs to understand that role. The era of counting coins and seeing $-signs every time a contract was signed is over.

Today’s users expect much more from the software they buy then just flawless functionality. They expect an experience that makes their time worthwhile. Companies like Microsoft that sell mostly disconnected products (ever tried to edit a small newspaper and a blog with Microsoft tools or have you ever used MSN?) can sell many products but not in the long run.

People expect also passion in the products they use. Not just a mindless collection of features requested by everybody and their dog. Design will become more and more important and design, good design, only happens if your employees are motivated, and if your employees are motivated they will be the first to motivate your customers.

These two articles touch the surface of an important transformation in the software business but there’s a lot more to learn.

One book that also discusses agile management is “Maverick!” by Ricardo Semler, a must read if you are interested in turning your company around.