Decision Making Systems Matter

Abstract – written with the Supporting Agile Adoption initiative at the Agile Alliance

Change has changed. The amount of information and speed of information flow have outpaced our organizations’ abilities to filter and make sense of available facts and take good decisions.

Therefore, we need to look at our decision making systems and optimize them to meet today’s challenges. Traditional management hierarchies are especially struggling with this.

Agile approaches provide a good starting point, but often come to a limit when agile is hitting the constraints imposed by traditional hierarchies.

In many cases, this is perceived as a choice between either strong hierarchical leadership and low participatory decision making or weak hierarchical leadership and strong participatory decision making.

The good news is, that this doesn’t have to be an eitheror decision for one of these two perspectives. Combining Agile with ideas from Sociocracy provides us a way to create alignment between Agile ecosystems and the business needs of strong leadership and a clear hierarchy.

The Authors

Hendrik Esser

Jens Coldewey

Pieter van der Meché