Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders
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Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  437 ratings  ·  48 reviews
This is the eBook version of the printed book.

Pragmatic Insights for Successfully Managing Your Unique Agile Team or Organization

In many organizations, management is the biggest obstacle to successful Agile development. Unfortunately, reliable guidance on Agile management has been scarce indeed. Now, leading Agile manager Jurgen Appelo fills that gap, introducing a realist...more
ebook, 451 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Addison-Wesley Professional
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Management 3.0 by Jurgen AppeloFlow by Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiDrive by Daniel H. PinkAgile by André Faria GomesThe Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Agile Brazil 2013
1st out of 66 books — 19 voters
Drive by Daniel H. PinkManagement 3.0 by Jurgen AppeloBehind Closed Doors by Johanna RothmanThe Lean Startup by Eric RiesSwitch by Chip Heath
Management 3.0 Recommended Books
2nd out of 58 books — 18 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jurgen Appelo
Mar 03, 2011 Jurgen Appelo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It's my own book. Of course, I like it! :)
Yves Hanoulle
This book made me think.

Jurgen managed to write a book that links the tons of books he has read. Although there were a few moments I did not agree with him, I loved the way this book challenges my thinking. This is the perfect book if you want to know how to create your own answers in this complex world.
Kim Leandersson
Reading this book is like reading an executive summary of many other management books and tons of research made in this field. Saves you a lot of time and makes it quite efficient, but at the same time the format becomes a bit special with all the referrals to other sources.

The book itself is good but not great, the author makes good conclusions and have a good way to mix in examples from the normal life. He also uses his own experience in a way that makes the book a bit less heavy to digest.

Management is changing.
Things are not as simple as we thought, and their behavior not as predictable.

This book is a good first step to introduce complexity theories in the body of knowledge of management. Specially in management of software organisations.
Unlike the usual business books, this one is so inspiring and solidly based on literature, scientific research and lesson learned that make it an absolute must read for everyone who deals with an organization - any of them
It is one of the most important books about this topic. From my point of view, it is a required novel for anybody who wants to improve management skills.
It is a funny book but few chapters are very difficult.

Paul Brandt
Are managers the reason why the agile (r)evolution is hampered within organisations? Or more positively put: what can and should be done to nurture the agile culture and see its growth in your organisation? Acknowledging that organisations and their culture are complex systems, he draws from current scientific insights in complexity theory in lending a hand to overcome this obstacle of management. Even better so, he provides for the insights that will definitely embarque managers onto a path of...more
Henri Hämäläinen
Management 3.0 is an excellent book. Even though the name might promise a one more management model to learn, Jurgen Appelo tells that there isn't a model that would suit all. To be more precise, Jurgen tells that all models have their flaws. He does say that models are important, but we need to remember that all companies, products, people and environment are different in every case.

Jurgen does give his view on what is important in Management in the future. His model has six major themes, which...more
Sep 07, 2011 Marie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fact
I have set myself the goal of reading one job related book a year and this was this years' lucky book.
It was a good pick as it was a realtively easy read. It avoided the unnecessary duplication favoured by so many American academics (the all seemed to have gone on the course of say what your going to say then say it and then tell them what you've said course and missed the part where the course was for presentations and not books). I enjoyed the way that theory from other areas was brought in an...more
Laurens Bonnema
I've read a prerelease copy of this book, then the first edition, and recently the Kindle version. And only now, after reading it three times, do I get around to writing a review. That's because the first two times I read this book, it sent me off on a reading spree that had me dive into complexity theory and complex adaptive systems.

I agree with three-star reviewer Glen B. Alleman that the book is a bit anecdotal. That might not be to everyone's taste. The anecdotal style serves a purpose thou...more
Andy Lowry
As the first proper management book I've read (at least to completion) it's difficult to compare this to other management books. However I still believe this is a fantastic book.

The first part of the book presents a general overview of Management, Agile Software Development and Complexity Theory. The second part alternates between theory and practise of Jurgen's model.

For me this is a very different view of management than I've previously been aware of, and having an interest in Complexity Theor...more
Unlike must books on agile methods, this book is not aimed at developers but at managers. Really nice read. Some critics claim that Jurgen is only repeating and combining already widely known stuff like system theory, agile, lean, kanban, kevin kelly, richard dawkins, peopleware. True. But he manages to:
1. explain the concepts concisely and clearly
2. apply to concepts to real world use cases

What is nice as well is that the author doesn't take himself too serious. I like that. On the other hand,...more
Collin Rogowski
This is a good overview and starting point on "modern management". It's very comprehensive and includes theoretical background and practical tools (most books on this subject have only one or the other). Everything is thoroughly researched and the bibliography is probably worth the price of the book alone.

One thing that I didn't like so much:
The tone is sometimes too aggressive for my taste. E.g.: "Every time I'm on a plane, I get to see the safety instructions, reminding me that I have to put o...more
The key takeaway from this book is that complexity is inherent in a team/organization and there is no straight forward predetermined way to manage it. It requires strategies specific to the problem and the situation at hand. Thus, any theory is equally right or equally wrong but all of them bring in (or take away) some value or another to the situation at hand! It rests in the hands of a capable manager to use them judiciously and create a high performing Agile team.

The book is witty, entertaini...more
This is more a collection of scientific methods Appelo tries to map onto management than anything else. It's mildly entertaining in the beginning, but very frustrating in the middle to end (for instance when he talks for the fifth time about his beloved car, or when he states that his code is his and no-one should touch it... Wait what?)

I gave it a 2/5 just because of the nice reference material present. You could skip the entire book and just browse the appendix if you're interested in complexi...more
Frederic Vandaele
I finish it! I must admit that I like it so much that I take time to read it on purpose. It is a very dense book that covers tons of management concepts. I was really happy to get the Management 3.0 training before I start to read it.

Most of Management books presents 1 or 2 big ideas and some case studies to validate it. Jurgen's book is completely different. It expose thousand of theories and confront it to each other and to the reality. It embrace complexity thinking and provide a reflection...more
Geert Theys
Decent book opening some new perspectives to management. The writer used different scientific fields to create a new management theory. Written in a witty tone and easy to read.

The only minus is that something is only scientific if you did empirical research to prove your theory. It doesn't mean because you use unrelated scientific theories to match your context it's true. I still want to see a form of scientific research.

Therefore I think even when the forewords explain it's not the next anecdo...more
Renato Willi
Very good concepts and insights for the managers of the new kinds of works.
Damir Prusac
Book covers a lot of things, from theory of complexity, theory of queuing and many techniques up to "improve everything" that might help leaders to improve. The focus "where to start" and "how to start" is not expressed explicitly and is left to every person to decide depending on the own situation. The author obviously has put a great effort to connect the things and write them as a manual for next generation of leaders. Top executives will find hard to read such a book, since it is quite compr...more
Dave Bolton
The best book on managing software teams and projects in an agile context that I've read. So many books are prescriptive and easy to misunderstand, leading to people dogmatically taking the teaching literally. Jurgen's book is excellent in that it acknowledges complexity at it's core, and makes it repeatedly clear that there's no easy solution or methodology or process that will lead a team in a complex environment to the promised land, but at the same time provides guidance for handling the com...more
bardzo teoretyczna. opiera się na opracowaniach naukowych, co dla chcących pogłębić wiedzę jest fajne, ale dla praktyków zbędne. Kilku ciekawych i nowych rzeczy można się dowiedzieć.
By far, the best management book I've read till the date.

It has the perfect mixture between the theory and the reality "injecting" in the reader the need to put in practice some of the actions suggested.

Moreover, it opens your eyes to "think-in-complex"

Of course, I will need some time in order to put in place some of the ideas exposed and probably come back again to review some content. But that's the spirit, complexity is not something easy to manage ;)
Read Larman & Vodde "Scaling Lean & Agile ..." instead as this book is a bit more solid and has sources & tons of pointers to the ideas/concepts presented/used.

Content-wise the books are similar although Appelo comes across much less humble but he is a good speaker live.
An entertaining, well researched, and well written book on managing self-organizing, agile teams. Full of examples and references, in addition to theory, this book will be one that you will read and refer to, and perhaps share. The one downside of reading the book is that you may realize that your current situation is not as good as it can be (be you an manager, or team member). But the book provides tools for understanding and change.
No model can paint a complete picture of complex systems, like software projects.

This book is packed with information and theories without giving a final answer (see quote above). But it gives you lots of stuff to think about and to re-think stuff you thought to be true.

I enjoyed reading it. And I need to re-read it.

One of my highlights in the book is the "Pamphlet for complex projects".
Torben Rasmussen
Simple, entertaining and inspiring. Jurgen have managed to pull together a very good and entertaining diary for agile leaders. The composition of agile and complexity thinking hits the target. There are some minor issues with references, simplified examples, but if you are up to Jurgens very personal style of writing, which certainly is very funny, this is a great introductionary book for agile leaders.
Great book about dutch drivers! :) Besides that you will learn also some useful stuff about management. It just feels not very trustworthy to base management theories on dutch drivers or behavior of lions (but these oversimplistic examples served for explanation quite well). You will not find tips what a manager should do, but rather a description of the system as a whole.
Amanda Varella
For sometime since the starting of the Agile movement I felt some gap of information in how these new kind of leaders should behave. This book came in the right time. It also have helped me understanding better the meaning of self organization, that it not happens by accident, but is a guided process. A must read for Agile leaders
Asif Mushtaq
The book is entertaining and very cleverly written. It covers topics from how to energize people and empower teams over how to align constraints and develop competence to growing structure and improving everything. If you want to read a book about management in the near future, I can fully recommend this one.
I did NOT realize when I got this that it was a textbook! Oops. As a result, far longer and far more pedantic than I was hoping for. However, as a textbook, I thought the author did a good job making it digestible and using an entertaining voice - almost like a funny professor in the room with you.
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Jurgen Appelo calls himself a creative networker. But sometimes he's a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, illustrator, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, leader, freethinker, or… Dutch guy.

Since 2008 Jurgen writes a popular blog at, covering the creative economy, agile management, and personal development. He is the author of the book Management 3.0, which describes the role of th...more
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