Agility is no silver bullet, but …

May 18, 2022 | Academy

Even though agility seems to be the answer to every question these days, it is no cure-all for an organization’s aches and pains. It must be utilized appropriately in order to be effective.

AGILITY IS NO SILVER BULLET IF …

  • the context does not require agile work.
  • internal framework conditions hinder cooperation within the system.
  • agility is seen as hype and companies only “want to become more agile” because it sounds good.
  • working methods only focus on agile methods / frameworks / practices.
  • changes in the scope of services are justified with agile and flexible working, instead of admitting to managing requirements in an unprofessional manner.
  • methods from the software environment are blindly copied into the hardware environment.
  • top management is looking to rename old procedures.

Result: Any efforts will not achieve the desired effect!

THE CONTEXT DETERMINES THE NEED FOR AGILITY – NOTHING AND NOBODY ELSE!

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Factors outside the organization and their level of complexity determine whether agility is appropriate and necessary. However, a conscious decision must be made within the company as to where adaptability and agility are required.

For example, agility in the context of accounting can have a decelerating and hindering effect, since processes here are typically predictable, routine and often very repetitive. For this context, Lean Management would be a suitable answer. On the other hand, agility in the context of innovation / development can have an accelerating and beneficial effect, since working methods are strongly characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA world).

THEREFORE: AGILITY WORKS IF …

  • adaptability is considered to be an essential factor of success for survivability.
  • agility is understood as a basic attitude that can be seen in the patterns of thought, action and behavior of each individual.
  • an agile mindset plays an important role, agile methods / frameworks / practices support collaboration in the system and are specifically adapted to processes and the company.
  • there are adequate framework conditions for agile methods of working.
  • people are supported on their path towards self-organization and personal responsibility.
  • agility is accepted by the entire company and exemplified by decision-makers

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