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Paul T Kidd's Agility Home Page

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The Agility Problem

The Agility Problem


Wherever one looks in the business world, one sees change. But change of itself is not the problem. The world is always changing, always has done and always will. Businesses have always had to adapt to a changing world. But often the changes that have taken place in the past have often been incremental. When a radical change has taken place, the pace has been slow, and has not been quickly followed by another significant change. Furthermore, while there has always been uncertainty in business, it has rarely been significant or sustained for long periods.

This really is the problem. Change is no longer just incremental. Radical "nonlinear change" which brings about a different order is becoming more frequent. The pace of change is also significantly more rapid. Major and sustained uncertainty is also common place.

This is the central problem which agility addresses. It has very little to do with mass customisation, or offering solutions, or cooperating to compete, or lean enterprises, or e-commerce. Companies, whether they pursue mass production, mass customisation, e-commerce, lean production, or whatever, face very similar problems - nonlinear change, rapid change and significant uncertainties. Mass customisation and other things do not solve these problems; they just happen to be the things that at a particular moment in time, companies need to do. Agility deals with the problem of how to do these things, and then the next thing, and the next ....... and onwards.







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