Adaptive S/W Development - Management

A flowchart of the Traditional software management is demonstrated below as follows.


Traditional software management has been described by the term command-control.

Many organizations are steeped in a tradition of optimization, proficiency, consistency, control, rigor and process improvement. In any case, the developing information age economy requires adaptability, speed, collaboration, improvisation, flexibility, innovation, and suppleness.

Harvard business review and management books have come up with the terms such as empowerment, participative management, learning association, human-focused management, etc., but none of these are being put into managing modern organizations.

In the context of Adaptive Software Development, the gap looks much wider and there is a need to consider the Adaptive management methods that have been demonstrated successful in different fields.

Adaptive Management

Adaptive management has demonstrated successful in the environments where the asset supervisors worked together with stakeholders and scientists as a team, with the following objectives −

  • To learn how managed systems respond to human interventions.

  • To improve resource policies and practices in future.

The principle behind adaptive management is that many asset management activities are experiments as their results cannot be reliably predicted already. These experiments are then used as learning opportunities for the improvements in the future.

Adaptive management is intended to build the capacity to respond timely in the face of new data and in a setting of varied stakeholder objectives and preferences. It encourages stakeholders to bound disputes and discuss them in an orderly fashion while the environmental uncertainties are being investigated and better comprehended.

Adaptive management helps the stakeholders, the managers and other decision makers perceive the limits of knowledge and the need to follow on imperfect information.

Adaptive management assists to change the decisions made by making it clear that −

  • The decisions are temporary.
  • A management’s decision need not always be right.
  • Modifications are normal.

There are two types of Adaptive management approaches −

  • Passive Adaptive Management.
  • Active Adaptive Management.

Passive Adaptive Management

Adaptive management plans to improve the scientific knowledge and thereby reduce uncertainties.


Within Passive Adaptive management, a single preferred course of action, based on existing data and understanding, is chosen. The results of management activities are observed, and subsequent decisions are adjusted based on the results.

This approach contributes to the learning and powerful management. In any case, it is restricted in its ability to enhance scientific and management abilities for conditions that go beyond the course of action selected.

Active Adaptive Management

An Active Adaptive management approach reviews the information before management actions are taken.


A range of competing, alternative system models of ecosystem and related responses (e.g. demographic changes; recreational utilizations), rather than a single model, is then developed. Management options are chosen dependent on the assessments of these alternative models.

Leadership-Collaboration Management

Adaptive management is what is most appropriate for Adaptive Software Development. The approach requires asset managers, for example the managers who can work with people, allow human-interventions, and create an amicable environment.

In software development, the leaders often take up these responsibilities. We need leaders more than the officers. The leaders are collaborators and work alongside with the team. Collaborative-Leadership is the most sought after practice in Adaptive development.

The leaders have the following qualities −

  • Grasp and set the direction.

  • Influence people included and give guidance.

  • Collaborate, facilitate and macro-manage the team.

  • Give direction.

  • Create environments where talented people can be innovative, creative, and make effective decisions.

  • Understand that occasionally they need to command, but that is not their predominant style.

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