The Defense Industry’s Use of Scrum

Agile leadership techniques are often explained by contrasting with the military’s “command and control” approach. Although structured and hierarchal organizations like the military can make iterating and responding quickly to change difficult, the field model of “command and control” is misunderstood when comparing with agile techniques.

Command and control in military field operations is very agile in nature. When military leaders have a vision and strategy in place, they communicate (i.e. command) it to the team, but it is up to the team to take control and carry it out. There’s no time in the field for micromanaged decisions by officers at headquarters. Military teams are made up of multi-skilled individuals that are empowered with the control they need to make decisions and carry out tactics in the moment that best support the mission’s strategy.


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