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James Taylor's Decision Management

James Taylor

Measuring Agility

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The bloggers here at ebizQ got an interesting question - can one benchmark agility? Joe posted the question on his blog and I heard Sandy Carter of IBM talk about (and blog about) "Key Agility Indicators" - IBM, in turns out, has been trying to establish how to measure agility. I blogged about this before, however, as I don't think IBM is using agility the way I do or the way Joe does. Agility to us, I think, is a measure of responsiveness to change rather than responsiveness to customers or to orders. It is not the time it takes a company to, for instance, restock a product. While that's an interesting thing to measure, it is not agility to me. The time it takes a company to change its reorder approach or a specific product/vendor is, however, a measure of agility. Here are some thoughts on the topic. What do you think?

  • I would argue that agility is the time and cost involved in making a change to the way in which a company behaves and not the time or cost involved in it executing that behavior.
  • A increase in agility means changing systems, people and processes so that it is cheaper and quicker to go from a current, sub-optimal state to a future, more optimal state.
  • Agility is the lag between the first moment when it is theoretically possible for an organization to know it should change its behavior to the moment at which it has successfully done so
  • Measuring agility means measuring time to notice that action is required, time to decide what action to take, time to take the action and time to make sure the action has the desired effect.
  • Agility would seem to require performance management, event-based architecture, flexible and changeable systems/services and organizational skills

James Taylor blogs about decision-management technologies such as predictive analytics and business rules, discussing how they deliver agility, improve business processes and bring intelligent automation to SOA.

James Taylor

James Taylor blogs on decision management for ebizQ, and is an independent consultant on decision management, predictive analytics, business rules, and related topics.

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