“Next time, I’ll come and spend a week teaching them ( PG mgt students) how to use Agile for business innovation.” was a suggestion to the Board. It wasn’t the first time I was attending a board meeting, but it was the first time I was in attendance for a business school.
I wondered what the concept was, an oft repeated statement. Is it often that IT philosophy is used in other disciplines? I remember Prof. Karl Ulrich at Wharton had a background in Mechanical engineering and also borrowed some concepts from operations management to create rather interesting and simplified matrix for use to students learning about design & innovation.
Before I could organize or even attend the above stated, I was bag and baggage out of Mumbai and journeyed to Calcutta. What this term, and its cousins used in IT industry were, I never got a chance to delve. Until today.
At this point, lets look at the similarity of Ulrich’s method of design process and agile. Both talk about iterative design. (Then there is “Lean” and “scrum”. Both of which I haven’t googled yet. leaving it for another post.)
Two concepts that emerge from the overlap in similarity is: resource management and time management, leading to fast results and speed of innovation. If I were to consider time as a resource, then only one variable, resource, is at play, behind all innovation processes. Resource dictate what we make and how we make. Ironically, on a macro level thinking, our entire world resources should benchmark and ascertain which resources should be used how and when, and in how much quantity. That we have already overshot our capacity to fulfill our needs gives us two options; to stop production completely or to stop wanting more things.
Recently I also read (along with a million more people of this world) the book by Marie Kondo, The Life changing magic of Tidying.
Both Agile and Marie Kondo’s book stress on “eliminating waste”.
Both breakdown work into manageable chunks. Kondo, takes up categories of home one by one, eg clothes, books etc.
Agile tries to create a minimal viable product; Kondo tries to keep things which spark joy and eliminate those that don’t.
We are at a threshold of a time, when our own organizations, our systems and documentation of our systems is an impediment to our work and life. The more we build systems upon system, we are further complicating and putting stress on our own time commitments. Wouldn’t you at school also have liked to learn, five-methods-to-do-something and try developing a sixth one on your own, rather than a huge historical note about something which might get obsolete by the time you graduate? Now the question is, Can we have speed and agility in education? Could we have a discussion one day, think about what to work on; work on it the next day?
I mightn’t have wondered about speed and agility, had it not been for this prompt.