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No, you can’t describe your business as agile

We’re used to technology buzzwords crossing over into the general business world. If someone talks about their personal bandwidth it is clumsy and ugly. Yet we understand what they mean even while we are laughing at them.

But spare us from large, unbending monolithic companies who wake up one morning and decide to describe themselves as agile.

They may do this because a few people started holding quick meetings where staff stay on their feet or they want to tell the world they respond quickly to change.

Agile software development is a set of methods encouraging a fast, responsive approach attending quickly to customer needs. Agile was formally defined in a manifesto more than a decade ago but its ideas are now reaching the management suite.

Some bosses like what they hear and want to ride the agile wave. Or at least use the name to make themselves look smarter. It doesn’t work. At best, the organisation has adopted a few useful ideas and practices. At worst, they’re kidding themselves.


Published by Bill Bennett

Not actually a geek, more a chronicler of geekdom. Still mainly a journalist, sometimes a blogger.

3 replies on “No, you can’t describe your business as agile”

  1. lol, Agile to me, always brings up the phrase ‘fail fast, fail often’. That is the meaning of it in software development.

  2. Customer needs? Who do they think they are! We would be a lot more agile without them.

    Agile, lean, show me the case studies and let me talk to your customers, no not the ones you talk to first, give me a dozen customer names and let me ring them.

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