3 min read

Agile is Dead, Long Live Agility

Agile is Dead, Long Live Agility
Photo by Parabol | The Agile Meeting Toolbox / Unsplash

Let’s face it, folks. There’s a whole industry out there selling “Agile” as a magic potion. They have rules and frameworks and ceremonies you must hold. And they promise that after you do it exactly like that you achieve the nirvana.

The truth is, I love working in an agile environment and I love a lot of things that come with agile. But it's not because they have implemented “Agile”, it's because of the agility.

Agile, Waterfall, RAD… the methodology isn’t that important. Well, you must apply the right methodology in the right context, but other than that, they all work.

BUT… Agility, my friend… oh, Agility is a different story. That is quite important. That can make your company thrive or go to dust.

What is Agility?

Agility is the ability of your company to adapt and respond quickly to change.

While the term Agile is associated with software product development, the term Agility is broader and includes market conditions. It's associated with the business.

Why is Agility Essential?

The speed of change in today's world is completely different than what it was years ago. Remember how great a Blackberry was before the iPhone got released? How many people do you see holding a Blackberry nowadays?

This is a Blackberry younger readers

And think about the evolution of LLM in the AI field. It’s revolutionizing entire industries. Old, rigid companies will be left in the dust.

Agility isn’t just about tech disruptions, though. Think back to the recent interest rate hikes. Companies that could quickly adjust budgets, find cost savings opportunities, and streamline operations not only weathered the storm, but they actually have thrived (I’m looking at you Spotify). The others? The inflexible ones? The rigid? Not so lucky.

The roadblocks to agility

So, agility is important and you want your business to have it? It is important to be aware of some of the roadblocks to your business' agility:


  • Fear of change: Foster an environment of learning and innovation and a safe environment to fail. Learning from mistakes is crucial.
  • Silos and bureaucracy: Break down the walls and ensure collaboration. Create the right incentives for cross-functional teamwork. How to do it? Ensure collaboration through shared goals - OKRs may help with this.
  • Lack of empowerment: People often want the best for the company and they are more aware of the challenges and pitfalls of their work. Empower them to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Put in place a growth mindset.


  • Inefficient reporting: Ensure you have good data to improve the decision-making and ensure you make the right decision.
  • Focus on the output and ignore the outcome: The output is a great signal, but keep your eyes on the ball. Measure and adapt using the outcome.

Structural challenges

  • External fixed-bid contracts: Have you won a client that will take your company to the next level? The project just takes 24 months? With ~100% capacity? Sure it will take your company to the next level… the level of bankruptcy if interest rates spike. Negotiate clauses for flexibility in scope or timeline based on the risks you identify for your agility.
  • Legacy systems: Invest in modernizing your systems. You don’t want to spend 12 months migrating to a new system to invest in AI, do you?
  • Compliance deadlines: Well, just do them 📅. Invest in automation and put in place the right processes to streamline these compliance activities.


Agile may be dead, but don’t let lack of agility kill your company.