Among both proponents and detractors, Agile Software Development has a reputation for being anti-command & control; that the The Agile Manifesto promotes (even requires) flatter organizations that decentralize decision-making in favor of empowering individuals. However, the four values and eleven of the twelve Agile principles do not address the wider organization at all. This reputation is more likely due to the preferences of Agile's founders and early-adopters than anything inherent in the text. The only advice for the wider organization is found in the remaining principle. The 12th principle:
Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.
Unique in the manifesto, the 12th principle's subject is the containing organization, not the delivery effort itself. However, it neither prescribes nor promotes a wider organizational structure. Instead, it suggests to members of the wider organization what is needed in successful delivery environments. A mistaken belief that such environments naturally arise from deploying Agile has resulted in the erosion of the 12th principle as Agile spread beyond the ideals of it's founders; its rarity is a key element of the increasing claims that Agile has outlived its usefulness. We'd like to change that.
Regardless of methodology or surrounding organizational structure, a delivery context of motivation, trust & empowerment is vital for success. However, such a context is not an effect of adopting an Agile process but a prerequisite. It is neither necessary nor sufficient that the larger organization have any particular structure or methodology. What is essential is that it not be toxic to the formation of environments where trust and empowerment of people who are already motivated to deliver can thrive.
This site is dedicated to rediscovering this principle and fostering its eudaimonic pursuit of success - whatever the context.
We are the 12th principlists.