Agility: The act of basing actions on current reality, as opposed to being predictive or plan-driven.

Often, we see people make plans, very detailed plans and when those plans need to change they fault the planning effort. Managing effort by shifting precision and attention is key to an agile process and keeping things moving through the system. A great leader manages to detail enough to get moving, learn from realities encountered and in a positive manner shift attention to ‘next steps’.

As we encounter information that informs or alters our expectations we manage that with planning. In this context planning becomes a continuum and our agility is an observable behavior of an adaptive system finding a way to build complex products. Complex problems require an adaptive approach to management.

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2 Responses to Agility

  1. Rob Lytle says:

    Exactly. You prepare for the game and then you play to win the game. Executing the plan is not an end, it is a means to an end. Sounds like common sense, but I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked to go back and update _preperation_ type documentation ( like a risk matrix_) _ after_ the work has been completed…

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