2 Things the Agile Manifesto Completely Missed that Legacy Enterprises Can Learn from the Product Manifesto

Since the Agile Manifesto’s creation 20 years ago, organizations now regularly spend billions to undergo Agile Transformations. But the despite these efforts, flawed logic underlying the Agile Manifesto continues to lead to a series of destructive preconceptions that affect teams, businesses, and users daily:

  • Agile will help you build faster
  • More & better working software will make the world a better place
  • Pleasing the people who hired you to write the software is all you need to do

The Agile Manifesto’s biggest flaw: the “service provider” mentality 

The Agile Manifesto signatories were simply trying to design better software engagements.

But every company is now a software company, and software is the main way of delivering value. Companies that don’t recognize this treat “Agile” teams as “cost centers,” & subject them to factory measures of productivity – how busy people are, number of features released – with little to no improvement in the value delivered to customers.

The newly-released Product Manifesto recognizes that it’s not about shipping more software, but about addressing user needs through two crucial mindset shifts:

Delivering on outcomes is the only measure of success.

The Product Manifesto moves away from the legacy “service provider for hire” mentality, measuring success not by feature acceptance but by effectiveness at solving meaningful customer problems.

Cross-functional teams doing discovery deliver better outcomes.

The Product Manifesto lays out a series of powerful discovery principles, including starting with “why,” effective framing, quantifying through data, working backwards from goals, and regular customer contact that help reduce risk in delivering better user outcomes, and ultimately, business results. 

While still a classic document with much to offer, think carefully about which Manifesto will be the cornerstone of your organization’s transformation.

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