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Agile versus agility - are we clear on what this means?
Simone Jo Moore 04 Jun 2016 20:07
At the recent IT500 conference, I had the pleasure of sitting in an Agile & ITSM workshop with Dave van Herpen and Claire Agutter. The whole group gave some good views on the different way Agile works with ITSM but the most illuminating point was how Agile and Agility are not the same thing although many organisations believe that doing agile makes them this way. What experience can you share on helping organisations understanding this point?
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06 Jun 2016 10:42
Hi Simone!

This sounds interesting to me, I've heard a lot about Agile, but I've never had the key difference between Agile and Agility highlighted to me. Could you give me an overview of the differences? I'd be very grateful!


Harri
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07 Jun 2016 00:10
I'm not sure I fully understand the difference. But, I would expect Agility to be where the whole organisation runs in an agile way - focussing on teh core agile concepts to develop and progress and keep changing and evolving. 
Agile, on the other hand can be seen as a bit of a simple, magic bullet that doesn't require all the complex paperwork of PRINCE2. Which is clearly not true. And clearly not Agile. 
 
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07 Jun 2016 02:22
When referring to business agility, we refer to the distinct qualities that allow organisations to respond rapidly to changes in the internal and external environment without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility.  While agile refers to an iterative, incremental method of managing the design and build activities of engineering, information technology and other business areas that aim to provide new product or service development in a highly flexible and interactive manner. On that premise alone, one could argue that agile enables business agility and business agility supports an agile product delivery approach.
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07 Jun 2016 09:34
That's really helpful, Milvio. Thanks.

I agree that the two support each other. It's also clear that just using Agile does not give a business agility.
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07 Jun 2016 10:07
Milvio wrote:   Adaptability, flexibility and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility.  While agile refers to an iterative, incremental method of managing the design and build activities of engineering, information technology and other business areas that aim to provide new product or service development in a highly flexible and interactive manner. 

@Milvio like the way you've defined the 2 subjects up for discussion and diferentiates between enterprise agility and project/product agility - for me this is similar to a differentiation between portfolio/program and project mmnt 
 
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07 Jun 2016 10:01
@simone - intersting to hear how @Dave van Herpen and @Claire Agutter define the 2 concepts.  Everyone has a differnet definition - I'm more inclined to unifiy the 2 concepts
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09 Jun 2016 08:46
Hello!

Do you have any references (papers, links...) that explain clearly the differences...

Thanks
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09 Jun 2016 11:37
Business and IT executives think about agility differently. For IT, agility is technology-focused, while non-IT leaders look for broad organisational and leadership qualities that are difficult to implement. To understand agility, we need first to define what that means: Business agility is the quality that allows an enterprise to embrace market and operational changes as a matter of routine. An agile enterprise is change-proficient, whether that change is driven by market trends or is internal and operational. It responds quickly to both threats and opportunities, and executes change in a sustainable way. Agile, on the other hand, is the mechanism that allows businesses to have agility by implementing incrementally, and more frequently. It does this through the Minimum Viable Product concept, which is maximum amount of learning for the least amount of effort.
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09 Jun 2016 15:28
In my opinion agility is a mindset which allows organisations or people to act in agile way.
Also you cant "do" agile, you can implement agile ways in your doings. 
Another interesting question would be "Can we be more or less agile?" How can you measure agility in your company?
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