Skip to main content
Enterprise Agile Planning Image

This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Jul 29, 2009 — Enterprise Agile Planning expert

Product Owner and Team Advice from a USMC General

Enterprise Agile Planning

 

While the U.S. military has historically relied on size and strength, a small book issued by Marine General A.M. Gray advocated an alternative approach relying on speed and skill as force multipliers. Effective Scrum teams, with business-savvy Product Owners, have also learned to outmaneuver larger competitors.

I’ve picked a few quotes to encourage you to read the complete text (less than 100 pages) here:
http://www.marines.cc/downloads/FMFM1/FMFM1-1.pdf

Note that Marine doctrine is constantly revised, and people continue to debate which nails maneuver warfare is the right screwdriver for.
–mj

Attrition vs. Maneuver

“In contrast [to warfare by attrition –mj], warfare by maneuver stems from a desire to circumvent a problem and attack it from a position of advantage rather than meet it straight on. The goal is the application of strength against selected enemy weakness. By definition, maneuver relies on speed and surprise, for without either we cannot concentrate strength against enemy weakness. Tempo is itself a weapon, often the most important. The need for speed in turn requires decentralized control….

“Successful maneuver depends on the ability to identify and exploit enemy weakness, not simply on the expenditure of superior might. To win by maneuver, we cannot substitute numbers for skill. Maneuver thus makes a greater demand on military judgment.

“Potential success by maneuver, unlike attrition, is often disproportionate to the effort made. But for exactly the same reasons, maneuver incompetently applied carries with it a greater chance for catastrophic failure, while attrition is inherently less risky.”

Leadership

“The Marine Corps’ style of warfare requires intelligent leaders with a penchant for boldness and initiative down to the lowest levels. Boldness is an essential moral trait in a leader, for it generates combat power beyond the physical means at hand.

“Initiative, the willingness to act on one’s own judgment, is a prerequisite for boldness. These traits carried to excess can lead to rashness, but we must realize that errors by junior leaders stemming from overboldness are a necessary part of learning. Not only must we not stifle boldness or initiative, we must continue to encourage both traits in spite of mistakes….”

Product Owner and Team Advice from a USMC General_blog.pdf165.43 KB

 

More from the Blog

View more
Jul 27, 2021

Digital.ai Becomes First to Achieve FedRAMP Moderate “In Process” Status for Enterprise Agile Planning Solution

Enterprise Agile Planning
Digital.ai, the leading AI-driven DevOps value stream delivery, and ma ...
Read More
Jun 21, 2021

How Agile can be implemented effectively across the organization

Enterprise Agile Planning
Just a few decades ago, a “disruption” was seen as an undesirable thin ...
Read More
May 31, 2021

Agile change management processes are key to delivering software faster

Enterprise Agile Planning
With its emphasis on delivery value faster, agile product management s ...
Read More
May 03, 2021

Bringing the agile planning approach to your whole business

Enterprise Agile Planning
The events of the last 12 months have demonstrated that the only sure ...
Read More
Contact Us