Adapting Agile Principles: Toward a More Nimble World Bank, 2016–2020


Enhancing its own efficiency and effectiveness was front and center on the World Bank’s agenda in 2015. An internal survey revealed staff concern about how long it took to develop and complete projects. The middle managers, team leaders, and specialists were better positioned to spot problems and solutions than senior leaders, Bank strategists said. Why not turn them loose on the problem? To assist, a small unit within the Bank introduced some principles the tech sector used in developing and adapting software, initiated three pilots that invited staff to develop their own proposals, and created a way to scale the best of these across the institution. Five years after the initiative began, the Bank considered how to make managers more comfortable with delegating and collaboration, and how to foster broader cultural change within its ranks.

Agile Principles
incentive design
work processes
Focus Area(s)
Civil Service
Country of Reform
United States
Case Studies
Tyler McBrien