Agile vs. Agility: What is the difference?

Nowadays, more and more words are becoming buzzwords. These are often passed on unfiltered without the understanding of them always being clear. In this article we will explain the terms “agile” and “agility” and their relationship to each other.

Both terms have gained massively in importance within software development in the last years. This is partly due to the publication of the agile manifesto on software development.

Agile and agility are often used as synonyms, but in my opinion this is not quite correct. Since the terms are formed from the same word stem, it is obvious that they have a relationship to each other.

Simplified, one can say that “agile” focuses on the tools and methods that are used to develop software. In other words, on the concrete activities.

Agility, on the other hand, is our ability to respond or react to changing situations. The so-called “business agility” is known from organisation theory. This means that organisations have to react to changes in customer demand, market conditions, new technologies and customer expectations.

The focus of agility is not on tools or methods, but rather on people and their mental attitude towards work and their behaviour. This means, for example, that you make several attempts to find a solution using several methods until you have found the right solution. You don’t see mistakes as an opportunity to learn, you enjoy facing up to tasks that are still unknown to you and you are constantly looking for new ways to solve problems.

Agile vs. Agility Pyramid

Agile working helps organisations to improve their agility and respond more quickly to change. In agile transformation, it is therefore not only necessary to ensure that employees learn, understand and use agile methods, but also that their “mindset” increasingly moves towards agility.

Here are a few thought-provoking ideas to help you better understand what the difference between “agile” and “agility” is:

– You are not an agile developer, but a developer who develops with agility
– They do not work in an agile team, but their team uses agile methods. This does not necessarily mean that the team already has an “agility mindset”.
– They do not use agile tools, but tools that improve their agility

We are happy to support you in introducing agile working, as well as more agility for your company!

If you still have questions or suggestions, please contact us!



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