What has Agility Achieved in the Technological Words ?
Let us review the progress IT businesses have made in the run up to being “Agile” and how is it related to what has been achieved in today’s world of technology! Let us look at an analogy from area of sports to open various points. Eventually, to understand what it means from the perspective of “ways of working”, “culture” and “Rules” of the game.
"what matters is the ability to lead and sustain in ever changing markets"
Historically, it all began with very simple devices capable of doing calculations. With the passage of time, technology has advanced rapidly and eventually resulted into complete paradigm shift. Speed of processing and associated costs had larger role to play in making decisions for setting up compute environments / IT infrastructure. A shift from few transistors, integrated circuits and eventually VLSI designs which allows for several such circuits on extremely smaller chips.
Cost of setting up data centres went south wards in comparison to the processing speeds.
A stage came when virtualization and related technology became mature enough to show impact on the overall landscape of how computing was perceived. Soon cloud computing became a reality. Of course, the spread and speed of internet, its availability across different geographies, lesser cost of hand held devices and choices has provided for making the business reach across globe.
All these factors have had a huge impact on how the products were developed, rolled out and agility as such. Respective improvements eventually allowed for faster development of products and offerings.
In the field of software development, right from waterfall to Scaled Agile framework, different methodologies for developing software’s / applications / products / offering and project management have been applied individually / parallel in respective times.
At the end of the day, what matters is the ability to lead and sustain in ever changing markets. Out of the several aspects agile methodologies seek to deliver are the business aligned and acceptable results. Smaller component(s) of software tend to roll up in one way or the other to form the expected product, in smallest feasible defined time. The basic idea here is to “fail faster to succeed even faster”. There are some important questions asked during the process: Are the requirements aligned with business, on a higher level? How many features / modules are being developed for acceptance at the same time? How quickly are the results demonstrated? What percentage of re-work is needed?
One very practical analogy that can be drawn about the changes in rule of game:
Once upon a time cricket had 2 forms - One Day International and Test matches. These have changed hugely with time and eventually third form called T-20 came up. At the same time rules of the game have changed to. Historically, a score of 200+ runs in 60 overs was considered good enough to be winners, later reduced to 50 overs and teams scored even 350+ runs. Nowadays teams can score 200+ runs in 20 0vers.
The point is the time available to score same 200 - 250 runs is less than 40 percent of what was there in the past. Of course other versions of the game are happily on, this example highlights the fact that rules of the game are changing and agility can be the key to be “in the business”.
In the real-life business, there were a few instances when agility was the need of the hour - for example - when demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee notes was declared in India.
This demanded the banks, e-payment, e-wallet companies, business houses etc. to adapt extremely fast and be agile to be able to sustain and continue their businesses.
Being agile and ability to introduce new products / offerings in the markets (concept to cash) in optimum feasible duration with appropriate quality and innovate, would be one of the aspects that will define future of corporations.
Being agile is something that happens in a day. It is all about the ways of working, culture and being pro-active.
Technology keeps on changing. Being agile is what the present demands. Organisations must become agile keeping in perspective newer and promising technologies, and could become the fulcrum of how business organize and deliver in future for example - IoT, Block-chain, Robotic Process Automation, DevOps, cloud computing etc.
So, let’s be agile and be successful.