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Management 3.0 is a management theory that is designed to help organizations navigate the complexities of their environment. It recognizes teams as adaptive systems and leverages the strengths of individuals and their networks. This approach is aligned with Agile and is specifically targeted towards leaders of Agile teams.

Management 3.0 is a management philosophy that rejects the obsolete theories of Management 1.0 and Management 2.0. The former, scientific management, is based on a hierarchical organization, while the latter aims to improve scientific management through methods such as Six Sigma and Total Quality Management, but fails to question its underlying principles.

To enable teams and organizations to navigate optimally in a complex environment, the proposed model is based on six complementary pillars:

  1. Energize people;
  2. Empower teams;
  3. Align constraints;
  4. Develop competence;
  5. Grow the structure;
  6. Improve everything.

The article introduces the theory and tools of Management 3.0.

Energize people

The first pillar aims to enhance team members’ capacity by fulfilling 5 criteria: knowledge, creativity, motivation, diversity, and personality.


Acquiring knowledge is closely linked to innovation, as it involves absorbing information from the environment. A development team functions like a system that gathers, processes, and transforms information to create innovative solutions. That’s why the Management 3.0 theory emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, identifying technical requirements, providing feedback, and evaluation.


Creativity is fueled by the knowledge and diversity of the individuals involved, but is also a question of method.


All interactions come from individuals. Understanding intrinsic sources of motivation is vital for successful team functioning. Management 3.0 emphasizes this by using the Moving Motivators workshop.

Moving Motivators - - Community Template
Moving Motivators Template


Promoting team diversity is essential, even though it may require some investment in the beginning. It helps individuals to understand and accept each other, which ultimately enhances the team’s flexibility and its ability to adapt to changes. Furthermore, it also fosters creativity and innovation, leading to a positive impact on the team’s performance.


Jurgen Appelo defines the personality of a team as its ability to establish and identify its own unique identity, including its values, culture, codes, processes, tools, image, and even name.

Empower Teams

Knowledge workers are crucial in an environment that demands a large amount of knowledge. Management plays the role of a facilitator or coach, just like in a sports team, and must learn to guide their teams toward success.

Emancipation involves delegating responsibilities to team members while accepting and taking risks and supporting the personal development of colleagues as well as the changes they bring.

The goal is to make the team function as smoothly as possible, avoid unnecessary discussions or meetings, and encourage initiative and innovation.

Jurgen Appelo emphasizes the importance of trust, respect for colleagues and their initiatives, and feedback, both asking for and providing it to the team.

Levels of delegation

Assessing the ability of team members to take initiative is the responsibility of the leader. To help with this, a model has been developed that offers 7 levels of delegation. These levels are as follows:

  1. Tell: The leader makes the decision and announces it to his colleagues.
  2. Sell: The leader makes the decision, but tries to obtain the support of his colleagues by selling it to them beforehand.
  3. Consult: The leader invites his colleagues to share their opinion before making a decision, but remains clear that he is the one making the final decision.
  4. Agree: The leader invites his colleagues to debate in order to seek consensus regarding the decision to be made, with his voice being equal to that of the others.
  5. Advise: The leader tries to influence his colleagues by sharing his opinion with them but leaves the final decision to them.
  6. 6.Inquire: The leader lets his colleagues make the initial decision while offering them the option to convince him of the merits of their decision in a second step.
  7. Delegate: The leader lets his colleagues deal with the subject entirely, without even wanting to be informed of the details.


The Management 3.0 toolbox offers a Delegation Poker workshop to determine the appropriate level of delegation based on the situation and implement the delegation levels listed above. This workshop allows team members to express their preferred delegation level and resolve any differences in viewpoints.

Delegation Poker - - Community Template
Delegation Poker Template

In addition, the Team Decision Matrix is a complementary tool that offers five levels of decision-making, depending on the situation:

  1. Unanimity: All team members must reach a consensus to make the decision.
  2. Democracy: The decision must be made by a majority of votes of team members, for example, through a voting session.
  3. Sociocracy: Some team members may make the decision after consulting those with knowledge of the subject matter or those involved or likely to be affected by the decision. This is also called consent decision-making.
  4. Aristocracy: Only one member of the team can make the decision, with the team fully delegating the responsibility to that person.
  5. Randomly: Any decision is acceptable, as long as a decision is made to move forward.
Team Decision Matrix - - Community Template
Team Decision Matrix Template

Align constraints

It is important to streamline the team’s functioning. Management 3.0 emphasizes the need to define and communicate objectives explicitly to team members. This can be the vision of the organization or the team’s objectives. Such information influences the daily behavior of individuals. 

The objective is to create a social contract that binds team members together, where objectives are set, areas of responsibility are defined, and constraints are established. Constraints could be in terms of quality, resources, or time. 

This contract will help establish internal rules for the team, which will evolve over time. Discipline in performance is essential, which means respecting the rules. When we ourselves have contributed to creating these rules, we are more likely to respect them. 

Once the constraints and rules have been established, team members can carry out their work and make decisions with confidence.

Develop competence

Jurgen Appelo defines competence as the team’s ability to perform a task efficiently and to a high standard. In the context of a development team, this ability typically manifests in eight dimensions: features to be developed, quality, value, people, time, tools, processes, and money.

To enhance team competence, the author emphasizes the importance of the following aspects: learning and personal development, continuous evaluation, optimizing tools, supervision, and improving the quality of communication between team members. Let me know if you need anything else.


The offered model consists of 7 levels that provide different approaches for individuals to develop their skills. These levels are as follows:

  1. Self: This level focuses on developing a personal approach that is conducive to learning and encourages compliance with rules and procedures.
  2. Coach: This level involves providing support to individuals with the aim of helping them acquire certain skills.
  3. Tests: This level involves assessing the ability of individuals to carry out the task that they are responsible for at regular intervals.
  4. Tools: This level involves putting in place tools that help individuals ensure that they have done correctly what they were supposed to do.
  5. Peers: This level involves using social pressure from other members of the group to get an individual to change their behavior.
  6. Supervisors: This level involves checking that individuals are doing their work properly.
  7. Manager: This level involves highlighting good examples and making necessary decisions when an individual has acted against the interests of the organization.


In order to effectively manage a team, the author recommends conducting regular evaluations with short cycles. The evaluations should cover different topics instead of just providing an overall score that encompasses different aspects of different natures. 

Jurgen Appelo suggests implementing 360° evaluations through formal or informal meetings where team members can evaluate each other. However, this approach requires the team to have a strong bond of trust.


Management 3.0 theory emphasizes on the creation and exploitation of networks. This highlights the importance of bringing individuals together, fostering relationships, and building trust. 

The author emphasizes that the quality of communication is determined by the information exchanged, the relationship between the interlocutors, and the feedback. Therefore, it is crucial to encourage individuals to build good working relationships and to establish a culture of feedback. Individuals should not hesitate to speak up when the message seems ambiguous, lacks clarity, or precision.

Grow structure

When an organization has multiple teams, it’s natural to consider how to constitute teams, whether functional or transversal, and how they will coordinate with each other. The appropriate organization to adopt depends on the environment and the communication channels required for delivering the service or the product.

To be more specific, the author recommends forming teams of five people, which he considers to be the ideal number. The goal is always to form a network, and the author advises encouraging communication and collaboration beyond links and hierarchical levels.

The author also emphasizes the importance of making the achievements and functioning of teams transparent. This will enable them to follow the work of others and potentially learn from their good practices.


To aid discussions around organizational issues, the Meddlers Game from the Management 3.0 toolbox allows teams involved in multiple projects to visualize and strategize. issues, particularly in a context where several teams are involved in several projects.

Meddlers Game - - Community Template
Meddlers Game Template

Improve everything

The final pillar of Management 3.0 involves implementing a process of continuous improvement, which includes incremental changes. The author emphasizes that change is not always linear. After implementing certain improvements, the situation may even deteriorate for some time before the system can return to a state of balance, better than before.

Jurgen Appelo presents his own improvement process, called the Simple Linear Improvement Process or SLIP, which comprises 8 stages. These stages are:

  1. Determine problems: Analyze the situation and identify problems;
  2. Set goals: Determine objectives that can resolve these problems;
  3. Define metrics: Define indicators that can measure the achievement of these objectives;
  4. Identify Improvements: Determine improvement actions that can bring us closer to achieving the objectives;
  5. Implement improvements: Carry out an experiment to validate the improvement hypothesis;
  6. Execute processes: Integrate improvement into daily operations;
  7. Check measurements: Analyze the indicators to verify the reality of the improvement 
  8. Learn from the results.


Management 3.0 offers the Change Management Game, a serious game designed to help change actors ask the necessary questions for the success of an organizational transformation project. The game aims to identify the current working practices to leverage them during the change process.

Change Management Game - - Community Template
Change Management Game Template

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