The Agile Model, Agility Model, and Manifesto for Agility

We live in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world where we are challenged to be thriving on chaos in an age of discontinuity — where the past is plagued with incoherence & inconsistency, the present is plagued with chaos & ambiguity, and the future is plagued with unpredictability & uncertainty!

The Agile Model (Nick Horney and Tom O’Shea), our notion of Agility (The Agility Model) (Si Alhir), and The Manifesto for Agility are well aligned.

The Agile Model

The Agile Model focuses on “five characteristics needed for organizations to be capable of anticipating and responding to changing demands and adapting to new requirements . . . in real time.” That is, these critical capabilities across three enterprise domains (people, processes, and technology).

For the Agile Model, “pay attention to multiple dynamics” . . .

Anticipate Change: Interpret the potential impact of business turbulence and trends along with the implications to the enterprise. — Visioning, Sensing, and Monitoring

. . . “address issues” . . .

Generate Confidence: Create a culture of confidence and engagement with all stakeholders especially associates in effective and collaborative teams. — Connecting, Aligning, and Engaging

. . . “ensure there is a shared mindset . . . urgency for getting stuff done . . . positive accountability for doing so” . . .

Initiate Action: Provide the fuel and the systems to enable things to happen proactively and responsively, at all levels of the organization. — Bias for Action, Decision-Making capability, Collaborating

. . . “ensure openness” . . .

Liberate Thinking: Create the climate and conditions for fresh innovative solutions by empowering, encouraging, teaching and expecting others to be innovative. — Bias for Innovation, Focusing on Customers, and Idea Diversity

. . . “identify critical metrics for success . . . learn . . . to improve.”

Evaluate Results: Maintaining a strong focus and feedback system to continuously learn and improve from actions and changing dynamics. — Creating Expectations, Real time Feedback, Fact Based Measures

The Agile Model is holistic: “A comprehensive approach, meaning each driver is a vital force only when combined with the others. Applying one or two drivers in the absence of the others is an incomplete solution and will not result in Agility.”

The Agility Model

The Agility Model focuses on “Responsiveness and the ability to continuously Re-orient as we Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Agility is not merely about Speed . . . not merely about Reactiveness . . . is about Responsiveness!”
For the Agility Model, the essence of Agility is expressed using three aspects (as patterns).

The Results/Value-oriented pattern:

To maximize Value, foster Focus, leverage Feedback, and foster Balance. This must blend opportunity-seeking with stability-creating.

Focus on results, which can only be achieved by iterating and leveraging feedback within context such that people balance competing forces.

The Context-aware pattern:

To foster Focus, lead through collaboration (contribution and confirmation). This is opportunity-seeking.

Lead within context, which can only be achieved by collaborating with people such that they contribute to and confirm results; leadership is essential for focusing on results.

The People/Team-centric pattern:

To foster Balance, empower people. This is stability-creating.

Empower people who are able to achieve results within context; empowerment is essential for balancing competing forces.

These patterns are interdependent:

These patterns are interdependent. Without Leadership through Collaboration, we jeopardize Focus; without Empowerment, we jeopardize the ability to Balance; without Iterating, we jeopardize the degree of Feedback; and ultimately we jeopardize Value!

The Manifesto for Agility

The Manifesto for Agility emphasizes that “Agility is a value system (mindset) that emphasizes people, results, collaboration, and responsiveness.”

The Agile Model, Agility Model, and Manifesto for Agility

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The Agile Model and the Agility Model consider Agility or Responsiveness as emergent properties from the capabilities/drivers or aspects/patterns while the Manifesto for Agility identifies Responsiveness explicitly.

The Agile Model’s People domain relates to the Agility Model’s People pattern.

The Agile Model’s Anticipate Change capability relates to the Agility Model’s Context pattern. The Agility Model’s concept of leadership is congruent with the Agile Model’s concepts of potential impact, turbulence, trends, and implications.

The Agile Model’s Generate Confidence, Initiate Action, and Liberate Thinking capabilities relate to the Agility Model’s People pattern. The Agility Model’s concepts of empowerment is congruent with the Agile Model’s concepts of engagement, enablement, empowering, encouraging, and teaching.

The Agile Model’s Evaluate Results capability relates to the Agility Model’s Results patterns. The Agility Model’s concepts of focus and feedback are congruent with the Agile Model’s concepts of focus and feedback.

The Agile Model’s Generate Confidence, Initiate Action, and Liberate Thinking capabilities relate to the Agility Model’s patterns interdependence.

  • That is, “leadership through collaboration” (The Agility Model, Context-Results pattern interdependence) is essential to “create a culture of confidence and engagement” (The Agile Model, Generate Confidence).
  • That is, “empowerment . . . ability to balance” (The Agility Model, People-Results pattern interdependence) is essential to “create the climate and conditions for fresh innovative solutions” (The Agile Model, Liberate Thinking).
  • That is, “iterating . . . feedback” (The Agility Model, Results pattern interdependence on iterating for feedback) is essential to “provide the fuel and the systems to enable things to happen” (The Agile Model, Initiate Acton).

Fundamentally, Agility is realized by

  • anticipating change, generating confidence, initiating action, liberating thinking, and evaluating results; or by
  • fostering focus by leading through collaboration in context, leveraging feedback by iterating on results, and fostering balance by empowering people.
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