Management 3.0 – Takeaways

Management 3.0 – Takeaways

Some weeks ago I finished Jurgen Appelo’s book Management 3.0 – Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders.

Here are, in very short form, my most important takeaways. I have no intention to summarize the whole book with this post. You might want to read the book if certain topics sound interesting.


Team organization

  • Self-organization:
    There is always more information in the network, than in one single node.
  • Work the system, not the people or the rules. 
  • Don’t build – let grow!
    Since a team is way more complex than one would be aware of, you can not build it out of a box with just the right ‚ingredients‘.Three responsibilities in setting up constraints

Complex systems

  • Things are (most always) more complex than they seem. Linear cause – effect seldom applies.
  • Subsidiarity principle:
    Everything should be handled on lowest/smalles, least centralized competent authority.
    Which leads us to:
  • Delegation is not a binary thing.
    Decide with the team, which level of delegation is right for a given topic. (see also: Delegation Poker)


  • Miscommunication is the norm. 
  • Increase the quantity and quality of communication.
  • Have no secrets.
    If a piece of information is not there, people will fill the gap (with gossip). Because communication happens.

Evolution and fitness

  • Everything is a success. Until it fails.
    (On a side note: did you know: Scorpions remained basically the same during the last 350 million years. They seem to be a big success.)
  • Fitness landscape:
    Know where you are. From there small steps or big jumps may both be wise.
    Stepping and jumping through the fitness landscape
  • The red queen’s race:
    It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. (Which means: A complex system need continous improvement to maintain its current fitness.)


Of course these are just notes. Go, get the book and read it all. It may very well be worth the time. Have I already mentioned: It’s fun to read, too.

Ari Byland