Agility Explained - Back To The Basics

It is easy to deviate from the goals we set. If you are on a agile journey then take a step back and try to validate if you are going on a right track. May be you are too busy in implementing a process that is not really agile. It doesn't hurt to validate.  Do you know types of agility? What are agility drills? How can agility drills help you in successfully implementing strategy?

The following video provides a fresh perspective on agility and explains it with the help of real life examples. I really enjoyed making it. I hope you will find it valuable. Here are the key learning objectives:
  • What is agility?
  • Types of agility - Programmed and Random
  • Agility drills - preset, reaction, quickness
  • Where does Scrum fit in agility?
Presentation slides are available here in the PDF format.


    1. Posted by Sherry Hall, CSM @ Linkedin
      Great article and the video breaks it down nicely. I can use that to explain to my friends what agile is! Thanks for sharing.

    2. Posted by Rich Guess on Linkedin
      • Good points in the video. My takeaway is that just because development is using scrum, if the company isn't in an agile mind set, it doesn't have as much benefit as it could. Agile is a company decision, not just development, which means the buy-in has to be global, or at the very least driven from the top.

      Posted by Richard Acosta on linkedin
      • Thanks for your video Yogesh, you mention inspection and adaptation which is done in Scrum via planning meetings, daily stand-ups and retrospectives, and it´s part of the core of agility (plus transparency which can be supported via taskboards and burndown charts). Automate wherever possible is also a good point to mention.

    3. There are lot of comments and feedback on linkedin forums. I just want to talk about an specific comment:

      By John Clifford • My definition for agility is simple: agility means the ability to effectively respond to change.

      I looked at the video, and while I liked the effort and the production quality, I'm not sure if I can agree that there are two types of agility. Isn't 'programmed agility' merely another phrase for 'planning'? And 'reactive agility' the same thing as 'responding to change'? I submit that if I were to break agility up into two types, they'd be strategic agility (the ability to effectively respond to changes from the customer/market) and tactical agility (the ability to effectively respond to changes in our project and processes).

      Here is my response:
      By Yogesh Kumar • Thank you folks. It is good to see amazing thoughts and ideas from the people. This such an interesting topic that we can spent days discussing it. I just want to add to the type of agility (@John).

      As I Indicated in Random agility example, Kodak had to to refine its strategy, which was driven by the external factors, Kodak could have done it better if they had programmed agility of being the change agent. In other words, strategy applies to both type of agility.

      Let's take another example - most iOS app developers are agile enough to incrementally release feature to their customers. They are also good at quickly adapting to various iOS releases. They are mostly agile. Does it mean that Apple's agility falls into same category as app developers? Not really. An iOS release can destroy business of many app developers (e.g. new iOS5 "Reader" feature). Apple has programmed agility as they define the change. App developers have random agility as they follow the change.

      Just a minor difference between good v/s great; opportunist v/s the best...

    4. Really powerful message with good content and different perspective on agility. I am very impressed with the quality/creativity of videos you make. How do you manage to do it?

    5. Thanks David. I am just trying to do something different to help people learn about agile. I believe that videos are much more powerful to communicate the message. I use simple tool (keynotes) and lots of creativity. Videos take way more time than writing an article though but I get better sense of achievement.

    6. These are considered carefully and produced very well, Yogesh. Good job! Play that funky music!