[Satire] – World’s Most Agile Manager?

Martin Proulx has announced a new contest: “World’s Most Agile Manager” (or WMAM for short) Award this last week. I didn’t know what to make of it, frankly, I didn’t know you could just make up awards like this. But we guess you can!

What to make of this?

While I’m all about giving recognition where it is due, I wonder what the real value of receiving this award is. Martin tells us that the winner receives:

“Public recognition and the rights to brag about being the World’s Most Agile Manager, the winner is likely to receive countless job offers, a potential salary increase from his/her existing employer, much publicity in well-known blogs, and maybe even a plaque to be posted on his / her office walls.”

The criteria of the “World’s Most Agile Manager” is:

“[Someone] who clearly demonstrated his/her adherence to the Agile values and principles in 2010.”


To me, as a ScoutEditor, this amounts to a middle school popularity contest in the boy’s locker room. In other words, “What does it meeeeaaaaaan?” To quote the Double Rainbow guy.

What ever happened to the downtrodden ScrumMaster in the trenches working 60+ hours with a team that is borderline juvenile? What about the developers and QA folk that adhere to the Agile principles working and slaving as Agile evangelists and change-agents only to get their voices cut short by a terrible and ignorant manager?

If you want to get radical, I believe that the only way you know you’ve “made it” in business is not when you receive an award. It’s when you’ve been spat on in the face. Then you know you’ve made it. [Ref: Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch]

Being the good investigative reporters we are, we asked Martin himself: “Why are you doing this and what’s the point?”

Martin responded:

“There are a few reasons why I decided to launch the 2010 WMAM contest:

  • Agile has come a long way in the last 10 years and is getting increasing attention from people in management roles
  • Agile adoption is also increasing but still facing resistance as adoption moves up the ladder
  • Despite hearing from managers “we are already agile”, very few managers behave according to the values and principles
  • There are a few managers out there that have modified their leadership style and I believe they deserve recognition
  • I wish to give visibility to managers who have adopted an “Agile Management Style” and are having success within their organization
  • I’m hoping that by giving visibility to such an accomplishment, more people will eventually get on the band-wagon and modify their style.”

While I full respect Martin and what he provides to the Agile community at large, this new award may take time to sink in to the general populace. My hope, is that the great Agile managers out there are frequently praised and recognized by not only their teams, but by those that have been changed for the better because of them. Award or no award.

After speaking with a couple other trusted Agile-folk on the interwebs, it seemed that creating an award for “Best Agile Place to Work” or “Most Agile Work Environment” may be a better award to give (Think Best Places to Work). This gives the award to a full team and can boost productivity and encouragement, to which obviously the manager of that team can take his lions share of the credit. Double win? Who knows.

Vote for one if you want, just know that you can make your own certificate and award for free at GoCertificate.com. Look I made one!

Thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.

[VIA: Analytical-Mind]

5 Replies to “[Satire] – World’s Most Agile Manager?”

  1. Though I appreciate Martin’s efforts, as someone involved in management and passionate about Agile, I don’t think I would want to be nominated for this award. It’s hard enough for the Agile community as a whole to define what Agile is. Do you think this award would help? This award does sound like a popularity contest. Before it becomes the next Dancing With the Stars and we see a 900 number to call, why not have a contest that will help others in the Agile community?

    I like to see contests like the Ultimate Wallboard contest by Atlassian. http://www.ultimatewallboard.com/ Perhaps we could see the Ultimate Collaborative Work Environments contest?

    I don’t see the harm in individuals or websites giving awards to people or organizations. I just wouldn’t solicit community involvement if it didn’t necessarily align with the community it is to serve.

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