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Topics: Agile, Leadership, Scrum
How is the new empowerment age after waterfall and agile called?
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Nowadays, it looks like everyone talks about empowerment, of teams making own decisions, taking risks, etc. It feels like those times everyone was talking about being agile compared to traditional waterfall. So after the 'agile' age of Scrum, Kanban, DSDM/AgilePM, SAFe - is there a name of the new 'empowerment' age?
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Empowerment do not depends on the approach you use to execute initiatives. In fact, into your statement, you stated framework (Scrum and SAFe), you stated technique (Kanban), you stated method (DSDM). Along the years empowerment was a must, including if you use a warefall life cycle (waterfall is not an approach). The problem when you use any approach but mainly Agile is the changes that organizations have to create at whole organization´s enterprise architecture (business, application, technlogy, information, security). The critical one is business layer where things like culture, style, structure, etc belongs.
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1 reply by Mirko Blüming
Mar 28, 2019 1:35 PM
Mirko Blüming
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Hello Sergio, I was referring to an empowered team meaning that the team takes full responsibility also about the how and what incl. the choice method/technique - only the goal and some border conditions are fixed by the sponsors. As I understand in 'waterfall' the team is not empowered, they are required to follow the project manager's plan (the project manager is outside of the team). In Scrum the team is self organised, but not empowered - the final decision power is with the product owner. Therefore I think empowerment is something new, coming with 'new age' or 'Next gen' project management. Well maybe it's not that new - I've just found the following article from 2012: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/next-...management-6093
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My two cents: I don't need to be "agile" to have self-organized teams. And I know there's a lot of talking about "Scrum vs. Waterfall" - especially from Scrum coaches. But I don't think those people have understood what it is all about. "Agile" is not a new age. It's just a different approach that I can choose depending on where I am on my complexity-matrix. (By the way, there's predictive, iterative, incremental, adaptive, where "agile" is an umbrella term for the latter three as far as I'm concerned)

Oh, and if you are just looking for the latest buzzword: that should be "New Age Project Management".
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Mirko,

Frederic Laloux explored this in his book "Reinventing Organizations." Here's a video summary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rUbNSDLfxY

To your specific question, I haven't heard any dominant names for what's beyond Agile. Perhaps so many organizations are still struggling to become Agile that we can't yet focus on what's next. Perhaps we'll get there one day, or perhaps organizations without a hierarchy will always be on the fringe of business models.
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Empowerment was discussed (using different terms) in both Greenleaf's Servant Leadership and McGregor's The Human Side of Enterprise - both of these are over 50 years old. The key difference is that it is much more critical now to inspire and retain talented workers than it might have been back then, hence the surge in popularity of the term.

Kiron
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1 reply by Mirko Blüming
Mar 28, 2019 1:41 PM
Mirko Blüming
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Thank you, Kiron, for the link. I think the difference nowadays is that the empowerment is understood broader, with a team resp. unit including the former roles of project managers and product owners stirred with a pinch of entrepreneurship.
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Well now that you know which are frameworks, methodologies, and techniques.......

I agree that empowerment is not and should not be directly linked to any of these but that it is just the way in which people are empowered that differs. And we need to keep in mind that empowerment goes wider than just the team. While the agile age is very much focused around empowerment the rise of cloud-based, self-service platforms have empowered the business stakeholder as well. With business riding the shadow IT wave PM's and BA's have very different challenges that they need to address.
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1 reply by Mirko Blüming
Mar 28, 2019 1:42 PM
Mirko Blüming
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That's why I was asking for a better term ;-)
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Good points made in above posts on the said subject/question
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A new "empowerment" age require also a high level of transparency.
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Mar 27, 2019 11:13 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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Empowerment do not depends on the approach you use to execute initiatives. In fact, into your statement, you stated framework (Scrum and SAFe), you stated technique (Kanban), you stated method (DSDM). Along the years empowerment was a must, including if you use a warefall life cycle (waterfall is not an approach). The problem when you use any approach but mainly Agile is the changes that organizations have to create at whole organization´s enterprise architecture (business, application, technlogy, information, security). The critical one is business layer where things like culture, style, structure, etc belongs.
Hello Sergio, I was referring to an empowered team meaning that the team takes full responsibility also about the how and what incl. the choice method/technique - only the goal and some border conditions are fixed by the sponsors. As I understand in 'waterfall' the team is not empowered, they are required to follow the project manager's plan (the project manager is outside of the team). In Scrum the team is self organised, but not empowered - the final decision power is with the product owner. Therefore I think empowerment is something new, coming with 'new age' or 'Next gen' project management. Well maybe it's not that new - I've just found the following article from 2012: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/next-...management-6093
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Mar 28, 2019 2:45 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
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That´s my point. In waterfall the team must be empowered. Is not abaout the approach, is about the organization itself. Empowerment is not new. You can find how lot of people have get money selling the "empowerment pill" from more than 20 years ago. In fact, I wrote an article about that that was published by the PMI in 2000.
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Mar 27, 2019 7:16 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Empowerment was discussed (using different terms) in both Greenleaf's Servant Leadership and McGregor's The Human Side of Enterprise - both of these are over 50 years old. The key difference is that it is much more critical now to inspire and retain talented workers than it might have been back then, hence the surge in popularity of the term.

Kiron
Thank you, Kiron, for the link. I think the difference nowadays is that the empowerment is understood broader, with a team resp. unit including the former roles of project managers and product owners stirred with a pinch of entrepreneurship.
Network:213



Mar 28, 2019 1:35 AM
Replying to Anton Oosthuizen
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Well now that you know which are frameworks, methodologies, and techniques.......

I agree that empowerment is not and should not be directly linked to any of these but that it is just the way in which people are empowered that differs. And we need to keep in mind that empowerment goes wider than just the team. While the agile age is very much focused around empowerment the rise of cloud-based, self-service platforms have empowered the business stakeholder as well. With business riding the shadow IT wave PM's and BA's have very different challenges that they need to address.
That's why I was asking for a better term ;-)
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1 reply by Anton Oosthuizen
Mar 29, 2019 2:30 AM
Anton Oosthuizen
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I don't believe there is a new name but somebody will undoubtedly come up with one and spark a whole new debate about what exactly it is. As pointed out, empowerment is not something that should, must or even could be linked to a specific [insert whatever terminology you use]. Empowerment is a concept that should be applied regardless because without an empowered team/team member you are micromanaging which in itself is not a good management style. A quote from Steve Jobs (?) comes to mind - you do not hire smart people to tell them what to do, you hire smart people so that they can tell you what to do.
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