What Covid-19 Has Revealed About Agile

Back to Ask the Authors

Q: Can adopting Agile ways of working at different levels in an organization help it better steer through the pandemic’s chaos?

Author Darrell Rigby responds: Yes. In fact, many executives tell us that both their usage of and confidence in Agile approaches have increased significantly during the pandemic. Necessity, as the mother of invention, has driven all levels of many organizations to better prioritize, to focus more on the welfare of customers and employees and less on short-term profits, to solve problems more creatively, to try more testing and learning, to make decisions faster, to give teams greater autonomy, and to reduce the layers of approval. All, of course, are hallmarks of Agile ways of working.

Customers, however, tell us that companies are still not changing fast enough, and business leaders worry that many of their people are mentally and physically exhausted. Our fear is that when the crisis wanes, people will revert to old habits. Our goal is to help companies bottle up the best of Covid-19–induced agility, to teach how to do Agile in more systematic and sustainable ways, and to help companies prepare for and thrive in a world of unpredictable and accelerating change.

For more, please read our article in Harvard Business Review, “Develop Agility That Outlasts the Pandemic.”


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