MWD: Calling BS

Scott Francis
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MWD has a great series of posts entitled “Calling BS on…” In a recent installment, the topic was calling BS on “Our technology makes your business more agile.”  Of course, it is silly to think that any technology by itself can make your business more agile:
Making a business – or at least, the parts of it that make sense – more agile requires you to review and be prepared to change people’s incentives, business measurement systems, skills and training plans, information sharing and collaboration practices, operating models and procedures, and management culture – and probably more. Even if we just confine ourselves to the technology domain then increasing business agility is likely to require you to review architecture, governance, portfolio and change management practices. If you don’t at least think about this stuff, then the most you might be able to do is increase potential technology flexibility.
It’s nice to see some of the stereotypical pitches blown up in this series…! As Neil says:
The key realisation here is that agility is something that – if you’re serious about it – has to be sustainable and sustained for the long haul. It’s not something you can just worry about for 6 months and then forget about.
Exactly.  Which is why it is so frustrating to hear pundits or analysts say that something like “continuous process improvement” is a pipe dream.  What they’re saying is that companies should throw in the towel and just stop trying to keep up with a changing world. That’s madness for a corporation.  If a corporation wants to be agile, it takes constant attention.  This isn’t a philosophical point, it’s just reality.