We could just call it “speed,” except that when you paint it on a placard outside a business conference session hall, “speed” sounds more like something you’d need to survive it than something you’d take away from it.  

Agility is typically defined in CMSWire as the capability of a business to adapt to change.

What’s so lovely about the concept is that it’s easily marketable, as that shiny, bright, clean-smelling feeling you get after switching from the leading brand to new, improved, all-temperature Agility (now with added softness)!

Defining the Term

Perhaps in the interest of more effective change management, now would be a good time to review the various concepts and products being sold in the name of agility, and reconsider whether these things are actually delivering change to your organization — or instead candy-coating another set of locked-down technologies as change itself.

  1. Intranet portals. CMS and EIM producers make the case that, when employees have unfettered access to the content produced within their company for their company, the results are literally more agile employees — people who work faster because they’re inspired to do so.
  2. Change instigation tools — essentially, whatever products and services an organization may employ to stimulate the use of whatever other products and services that organization has already invested in.
  3. Digital asset creation tools, which typically include graphics programs.  The theory here is that marketing needs nimbler applications on the creative side to be able to respond to viral, or accidental, marketing trends in social media.
  4. Digital asset management tools.  Here’s an example from the last decade that will appear dated, but whose template may be applied to a number of situations today:  Your IT department is being burdened by having to service the previous version of a software class, thus the way to regain lost time and investment is to switch to the next version that has far fewer problems for IT to have to resolve.
  5. Talent assessment platforms.  If you’re in human resources, you’ve probably experimented with the notion that the talent levels throughout your organization can be categorized and quantized.  From there, the theory follows that achieving business agility is a matter of hiring or assigning people whose production indices and coefficients are best suited for the roles you’re looking to fill.

If change is such a potent and unstoppable force, then it bears asking, why does any organization need so many technologies to help jump-start it?  

Here’s where you tell us about the things that were sold to your business as the harbingers of change itself, and whether they truly did what they set out to do. Jump into the conversation in the comment section, below.