2Business outcomesover measurement and compliance.Open and ownedover anonymous and unowned.Frequent small actionsover big slow actions.Getting feedback to where it’s usefulover following the hierarchy.Participation and inclusionover rigid experimental-design.Usefulness for employeesabove everything else.

3The Agile EmployeeFeedback ManifestoTwenty years ago, the team who wrote the Agile Manifestorealised we were prioritising the wrong things in the way wework. They came up with a set of values that form the AgileManifesto and in turn, changed the way organisations workaround the world.Since then Agile has helped teams work more collaboratively,brought businesses closer to their customers and made workenvironments more dynamic. And yet, Agile enterprises are stillasking employees for feedback through occasional anonymoussurveys.We set out to fix employee feedback for Agile enterprises.To make it something that supports an Agile mindset andreinforces Agile principles.Over the past few years working with Agile enterprises, we’vecome to realise that in much the same way, the solutioninvolves re-thinking what we value when it comes to employeefeedback.So we wrote a new manifesto:The Agile Employee Feedback Manifesto.

4Business outcomesover measurement andcomplianceDespite years of surveys the consistent employee belief is“nothing ever changes”. This is because employee feedback hascentred on measurement first. Reducing people to statistics.Instead, start with the question. How could feedback advanceour business outcomes? Employee feedback is too valuable(and finite) a resource to be squandered on HR only. Stretchbeyond measuring engagement. Apply feedback to manybusiness outcomes – crowdsourcing change, adoption of newprocesses, shifting culture.Also. Preoccupation with measurement is a bedfellow ofobsession with benchmarks. Benchmarks narrow yourapplication of feedback, and ensure you aim for the average.

5Open and owned overanonymous and unowned.When an employee leaves anonymous feedback they abdicateresponsibility for that feedback. It becomes “someone else’sproblem”.Also, psychological safety is a defining feature of successfulAgile teams. Only ever asking for feedback in secret sends anopposing message – feedback here is unsafe.Instead the goal is to help everyone feel comfortable giving andreceiving feedback. Feedback should focus on outcomes ratherthan being ego-bruising. Feedback should encourage empathy,honesty and ownership.

6Frequent small actions overbig slow actions.Traditional feedback gets aggregated to a subset of leaderswho create valuable high level programs in response. But,aggregation also destroys useful opportunities for individualaction, and it removes ownership for outcomes. Many manyindividual actions will have an impact greater than a few macroprograms. And action will happen faster.

7Getting feedback to whereit’s useful over respectingthe hierarchy.Feedback systems shouldn’t just aggregate feedback up thehierarchy. They should direct feedback to where it’s most useful,and often that means to multiple places. Not only to leaders,but to subject matter experts, within squads, to coaches. And ifteams reconfigure often, historical feedback needs to move towhere it’s relevant.

8Participation and inclusionover rigid experimentaldesign.Traditional feedback systems are built on statisticalassessment. They ask rating questions with precise language toget to very specific measurements. This is often at the expenseof reading age and inclusion.Instead of asking questions, start conversations that encouragedialog, and prompt action. Rather than statistical analysis usenatural language processing to extract insights.

9Usefulness for employeesabove everything else.Employee feedback programs fail if they are not useful foremployees. Feedback should give employees a voice that theycan see is heard, includes them in change, and gives themownership of their own experience of work.

10The Agile Employee Feedback Manifesto is based on the:Manifesto for Agile SoftwareDevelopmentWe are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helpingothers do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and toolsWorking software over comprehensive documentationCustomer collaboration over contract negotiationResponding to change over following a planThat is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items onthe left more.Kent Beck Mike BeedleArie van BennekumAlistair CockburnWard CunninghamMartin FowlerJames GrenningJim HighsmithAndrew HuntRon JeffriesJon Kern Brian MarickRobert C. MartinSteve MellorKen Schwaber Jeff SutherlandDave Thomas 2001, the above authorsthis declaration may be freely copied in any form, but only in its entiretythrough this notice.


The Agile Employee Feedback Manifesto. The Agile Employee Feedback Manifesto. 4 Business outcomes over measurement and compliance Despite years of surveys the consistent employee belief is “nothing ever changes”. This is because employee feedback has cen