Agility is not as new a model of business innovation as is commonly understood. By some estimates it started way back in the early part of the seventeenth century by Francis Bacon. Yet a more realistic timeline will take into account Bell Labs’ PDSA cycles. It was taken to its next level during the 1950s in Japan where Edwards Deming helped frame the famous Toyota Production System based around lean manufacturing. The IT industry got on to the act pretty late by the early 2000s and that is where the term agile was coined for the movement. Eventually it spread far and wide and today the Agile Alliance has around thirty thousand members and subscribers. Thus wrongly this term has been associated exclusively with the IT industry whereas that is just one of the several industries affected by this approach.


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