The manifesto is not something new. There is something that is much older and it originated somewhere in 10th century. Yes, more than a thousand years ago somewhere in the north of europe. Somewhere in the Norse world the first of these laws originated amongst the vikings. They were not made up with Agile in mind but with something else as a goal. They were written to conquer and rule. The vikings came up with the “Viking laws” and over the years they changed a bit. The Norse also were very straightforward incoming up with all kinds of laws and agreements on how to behave or life together. The very word LAW in English is a Viking word. After the vikings stopped their reign of terror and christianity spread, the laws changed and became less aggressive. But the first four basic laws are still very powerful. So what are they, and keep in mind that the sub-laws derived from the original four laws.
First law: Be brave and aggressive
Now this one strikes me as a good first rule when you are a warrior, but it can also be used in business. It is also very well usable in producing something. So what does it mean, Be brave and aggressive?
- Be direct
- Grab all opportunities
- Use varying methods of attack
- Be versatile and agile
- Attack one target at the time
- Don’t plan everything in detail
- Use top quality weapons
Second law: Be prepared
Need I say more. It’s all about team and team dynamics. And to be prepared means you can do the following.
- Keep weapons in good condition
- Keep in shape
- Find good battle comrades
- Agree on important points
- Choose one chief
Third law: Be a good merchant
This one could apply to product owners, salespeople and even managers. I think it should be an sales oath.
- Find out what the market needs
- Don’t promise what you cannot deliver
- Don’t demand overpayment
- Arrange things so that you can return
Fourth law: Keep the camp in order
Workplace, work environment and working together. And it is not just keeping you sprintboard up to date.
- keep things tidy and organized
- Arrange enjoyable activities which strengthen the group
- Make sure everybody does useful work
- Consult all members of the group for advice
If you read these laws with a working environment in mind it makes sense for your team and even your company. These simple laws worked for the vikings and admittedly they are written so they are a bit more acceptable for our thinking. The vikings didn’t have a workplace or went out to find what the marked needed. And also being on the other side of the viking blade was not a really good place to be as they used these laws to plunder, pillage and rape. But for the vikings it worked.