Agility Is Not Just About Software Development

In the web world, we tend to associate the word “agile” with software development, but in this ever-changing world, it’s not a bad idea to apply the basic principles of agility to our busy professional lives. Does this mean you have to be some kind of superhero to manage a lifestyle like ours? I think not.

This is what a day in my hectic life looks like — a never-ending game of Tetris (in which colored blocks are work and black are non-work). It’s probably a lot like yours, but with different labels:


The Millennials, for better or for worse, have grown up living like this, and apparently it comes pretty naturally to them. But what if you are from an earlier generation, or if you had crunchy granola parents who had a “Kill Your TV” bumper sticker on their old car and whose most sophisticated piece of electronic equipment was the toaster?

I think there are certain personality traits that many of us share that can help us to capitalize on the principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto. And they might not be what you expect:

  1. You have to be lazy. Yes, lazy. Because lazy people find the most efficient solutions to problems in order to get the job done. (From the Agile Manifesto: “Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.”)
  2. You have to be easily bored. Because then you’re exhilarated and stimulated by the constant turmoil rather than overwhelmed by it. (From the Agile Manifesto: “Welcome changing requirements.”)
  3. You have to be curious. Because then you’ll always be increasing the breadth and depth of your knowledge, which will give you more/better marketable skills and enable you to diversify when the opportunity arises. (From the Agile Manifesto: “Continuous attention to technical excellence…enhances agility.”)

These are only a few of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto. I encourage you to read them all and envision how you can integrate these principles into your business practices.

What other characteristics do you think we need to deal with life and work in our constantly changing world?

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