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You might have heard the word “agile”before . You might know, that it’s the “it thing” we all need to be these days; whether you work in marketing, administration, or as a software developer. Besides all the buzz words and fancy fuss, what is this all about? Isn’t it just another word for “work harder minions”?

To get an idea of where it comes from, we first need to take a look at software. Working agile is well known in the software industry as a pendant, to working with the so called Waterfall Model where an entire process is planned then developed and lastly tested. The model has been heavily criticized for being non-flexible and causing misfits between the actual need and the developed solution. Just consider it the “classic” working process for project management and let’s move on. 

Agility where does it come from?

The term agile in relation to a working process was made popular by the agile manifesto from 2001- which stated how some very prominent software developers and gurus strive to work with software.

The principles of agile software development dates back as early as the 1950’s in the early days of the computer industry. It has now started to “sneak” into other industries as well as you might have experienced if you for instance are working within marketing. 

About the author

Sune is one of the co-founders of Cobraid.

He is a software engineer, but in Cobraid he handles everything from coding to Sales and Finance

The whole principle lies in the word “agile”.

If you take a look in the dictionary you will find that “agile” comes from from the latin word “agilis“, which is a composition of the first part of the word “agere” (ag-) which means to do (act) and the part -ilis or, in English, -ile meaning capability. This means that “agilis” could roughly be translated into “the capability to move or act“. In software this translates into the ability to change quickly as things change. It has been translated into various frameworks like “Rapid Development”, “Extreme Programming”, “Kanban” and “Scrum”.

To “borrow concepts form Agile software development” one must understand what makes something agile and as we’ve been through here it simply means to be able to act upon changes.

It doesn’t mean the ability to take an extra task even though you have a pile of existing ones to do, just because somebody states that “we are agile, so you should be able to take this new task right?” (take a look at this blog post if you want to know why this is psychologically a bad idea). It also doesn’t mean to adapt daily stand ups from Scrum and make it an hour long meeting with no agenda.
When used correctly, agility and the thoughts behind it, are an extremely modern and progressive way of working. This practice could be the life or death of a business in this rapidly changing world.

Now you know a little more about the fuss, so try it out and know, that being agile It is something that comes with practice and the right mindset.