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The Sustained Model for Productivity and Leadership

  • Fair Use Notice

This guide is being actively updated. For the most up to date, and official copy, please visit

© 2018 Offered for license under the Offered for license under the Attribution Share Alike license of Creative Commons, accessible at and also described in summary form at By utilizing this SMPL Guide, you acknowledge and agree that you have read and agree to be bound by the terms of the Attribution Share-Alike license of Creative Commons.

  • The purpose of the this Guide

    SMPL is a modern agile framework. It provides the constructs to create models for organizations so that they can achieve sustained productivity and leadership outcomes. It is a post Agile Manifesto body of work. This guide provides the ideas, principles, and definitions of what the Sustained Model for Productivity and Leadership (SMPL) framework is, whom it involves, and how to go about implementing it successfully.

  • Why SMPL?

    SMPL is a better way to maximize outcomes for the benefit of all who are involved, in any game where creating value, in a relevant arena is the definition of a win. The Agile Manifesto was signed in 2001 in Snowbird. One of the capping decisions of that event was to never stop innovating. The verbiage of the Agile Manifesto captures this agile and growth mindset in its opening statement. "We are uncovering better ways...". SMPL is a culmination of modern, proven pillars, that are applicable at any scale and to any domain.

    • Why is SMPL a better way?

      1. Agile practices without an agile mindset = Cargo cult agile, and cargo culting plagues too many Agile implementations. SMPL is from the ground up cargo culting proof.

      2. SMPL is about people and interactions and leaves process to the people.

      3. SMPL is rooted in empiricism from the vision statement to the customer feedback and everything in between.

      4. SMPL puts the customer of the transformation front row and center. It does so through its pillars (Principles, Values, Areas of Accountability, Events, and Artifacts).

      5. SMPL is a fully scalable framework. It can be applied to 1 person working on an idea or activity just as well as thousands of groups working together to achieve a shared vision.

      6. SMPL, through it's pillars places the trust into the participants and not into the artifacts, ceremonies, rituals and tools.

      7. SMPL is waterfall proof. It compels its participants to continuously adapt to changes as they start to become evident.

      8. SMPL cannot be faked because it is validated by those whom it impacts. Models based on SMPL, are either sustained or aren't. The empiricism, and the SMPL pillars when combined with the feedback from those impacted, determine whether a model for productivity and leadership has been achieved and is sustained.

      9. SMPL is a modern agile framework. It is a post manifesto framework and it embodies its core principles. By contrast the agile manifesto is the common denominator among all other pre manifesto frameworks such as Scrum, SAFe, DSDM, XP, and such.

      10. SMPL is not mutually exclusive. While the other agile methodologies and frameworks tend to be all or nothing recipes, SMPL, focuses on the outcomes and the agility of those involved. In doing so it shifts the attention away from processes and tools and places the emphasis on the people involved and their interactions.

  • What is SMPL?

    Sustained Model for Productivity and Leadership (SMPL): is a framework that is built with the Agile mindset at its core. It is a model for producing sustained outcomes that are driven by measurable reactions during virtuous cycles. Furthermore, it provides individuals or teams the foundation to define the optimal steps for addressing varying complexity problems in an adaptive manner.

    • The principles of SMPL are

      • Vision

        A visually vivid description of the reaction, behavior and emotions that a transformation should produce upon succeeding. It must be visible to the naked eye at every stage, phase, interval, milestone, and activity performed during the value creation process.

        Vision is decomposable or compoundable as part of continuous transformation.

      • Transformation

        All the things that will have changed to bring the vision to life [Realizing the vision]. This encompasses, behavior, priorities, mindset, values, organizational structures, skills, technical specifications, implementations, and in a nutshell all 360 degrees of the body that has accepted the responsibility of producing the outcomes set forth in the vision.

      • Adaptation

        The empirical reactions - and changes in the vision and the approach to produce the best possible outcome - on which ensuing response to change and subsequent decisions will be based.

        These are not stages or phases, but rather continuous practices for achieving maximum outcomes, where vision, transformation and adaptation are applied throughout the idea development and materialization process and activities.

    • SMPL Values

      • Transparency

        Vision necessitates transparency. Without it the visibility will be opaque and/or skewed. SMPL teams are not only encouraged, but required to verify transparency through empirical evidence.

      • Openness

        The ability to examine the proofs and determine their applicability is essential for the success of any organization and SMPL places this at the heart of each model

      • Respect

        Participants in a SMPL model must feel respected as individuals, and as accountable contributors. Equally, participants must respect the accountability that they've aligned with.

      • Accountability

        Participants in a SMPL model accept the outcomes of their transformation and act dutifully towards the impacted by said transformation.

    • Areas of Accountability

      SMPL does not edict team roles per se. Roles should be part of the process that the SMPL framework inspires. Instead, SMPL places an emphasis on accountability. Sustained models must incorporate the 4 key areas of accountability:

      • Quality:

        Quality is the responsibility of every participant in the SMPL model; however, the subject matter experts are accountable for the quality of the design, material, functionality, and operation.

      • Value flow:

        SMPL places high emphasis on the accountability for ensuring that the work flows with as much efficiency as possible. Lowering overhead and maximizing focus time on value creation are among the key objectives of the organizational flow accountability.

      • Relevancy and usefulness:

        There must be a single individual in a SMPL model who will be accountable for the relevancy and usefulness of each change that is shipped within a SMPL cycle.

      • Investment

        There must be a single individual in a SMPL model who will be accountable for the financial health of the set of outcomes that are being delivered by a SMPL team.

        Accountability could be concentrated or distributed depending on the scale of the model and other business factors. Empirical evidence should be provided as a founding justification for team structure and size.

    • SMPL Events

      Transformations are continous and SMPL is infinitely scalable to support this concept. Furthermore, SMPL discourages the installation of artificial cycle times or predefined time allocation without empirical evidence of the period's organic duration.

      • The SMPL Attempt

        SMPL recognizes one event, the attempt.

        An attempt is the shortest period of time necessary to produce the proof of transformation which are intended to realize the vision that has been negotiated and agreed upon by the actual participants in the SMPL model. Attempts in SMPL are empirically defined periods of time. An attempt encapsulates all the necessary actions, and interactions that are critical to exhibit that a transformation has taken place. Each attempt is defined by the people involved. The attempt, at its most atomic level, is the shortest duration of time that is necessary to collect feedback from those impacted through an incremental candidate.

      • The Optimal Feedback Loop

        SMPL participants are encouraged to discover the optimal feedback loop that intrinsically governs their visions.

    • SMPL Artifacts

      • Vision Statements

        Vision statements are admissible artifacts that convey a visually rich view of the reactions that the candidate increment of value add generates among its recipients. The emphasis on recipients and not intended audience is important as it is possible for a vision to focus on one particular portion of those who are potentially impacted. A vision statement should be continuously enhanced with focus statements.

      • Transformation Exhibits

        Transformation proofs are the empirical evidence that support the claims of the participants in the attempt.

      • Empirical Feedback

        Empirical feedback is the evidence of the reactions that the transformation generated among the impacted recipients. The capturing of the reactions is essential as it completes the attempt's feedback loop. Without the empirical evidence of the reactions that a transformation attempt had on its recipients, an individual or a team could potentially misjudge their returns on their investments.

  • Who should pursue SMPL

    Any individual seeking to maximize the value add and the transformation of the ideas and concepts into tangible effects.

  • When to SMPL

    SMPL is a framework for productivity and leadership and it should be leveraged any time these pillars are the keys to success for a body of work. SMPL sustains productivity and leadership by organically incorporating checks and balances that are fundamental for effective and timely response to change. This approach serves statically and dynamically linked markets and asserts that the demand side is direct affected by the value that is created during each attempt at the various levels of the model.

  • How to SMPL

    First, read the guide, second, understand the areas of accountability and adhere to them, then third, start an attempt.

  • Scaling SMPL

    Scaling SMPL begins with vision statements that are amenable to sharpening. A SMPL vision is sharpened through the increase of details and higher definition of the expected outcomes. Bigger visions must be decomposable into finer, high resolution, high granularity ones, akin to zooming in on the specific focus area. Each of which shall in turn be candidates for transformation through either adhering to the parent's model or receive an adapted model of their own. The participants into the transformation of the focused vision shall determine whether the inherited model is ideal for their capabilities and resources. Focused visions must be highly autonomous to minimize interdependency and decelerating the progression of each attempt.

    Furthermore, scaling SMPL is bi directional. SMPL can be applied to an activity or a collaboration as well as to an entire body of work. Whether a scenario involves 1 person or thousands of teams are collaborating together to produce favorable outcomes, the principles, core values, and areas of accountability that are defined in SMPL provide the necessary framework to adapt.

  • End Note

    Coming soon

  • Acknowledgement

    Coming soon


The Guide for Sustained Model for Productivity and Leadership







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