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Agile management vs traditional management


From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s and due to the extensive changes in world economic policies, many efforts were made to understand the origins and factors affecting the new global business systems. This issue became more apparent in America, which witnessed the emergence and presence of its Asian and European competitors in various businesses. Therefore, this country took the helm of agility.

In 1991, a group of management experts in this country observed that the increased rate of changes in the business environment is more swift than the capabilities of traditional production organizations in adapting to these changes, and these organizations are unable to use the opportunities ahead. This inability in the long run led to the bankruptcy of many American businesses.

Therefore, for the first time in 1991 and at the meeting of scientific and executive experts of the industry, officially a new paradigm was explained with the title "Strategy of manufacturing companies in the 21st century - the point of view of industrial experts". Immediately after the introduction of this paradigm, the term agile production was commonly used by experts.

But the first person who officially proposed "agile business" was Peter Drucker. He compared the structure of manufacturing companies with heavy navy. He explained that a large ship can only be replaced by a set of smaller ships to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the organization. Today we know it as agile team structures or virtual structures.

After Drucker, other specialists and experts analyzed the dimensions and components of agility at the level of businesses and believed that the only way to produce and supply diverse products and services, without interruption and according to hidden, obvious and changeable demands of customers and employers, it is an approach that is called agile management. These people also pointed to a new topic called agile thinking and introduced it as a new management philosophy that aims to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the organization in response to changes in the business environment, as well as increasing the variety and quality of products in a shorter period of time.

Agile methods, frameworks and approaches are used to implement agile thinking. Agile approaches are repeatable and in predetermined time intervals (from 2 days to 1 month), deliverable items, although small, are provided for the customer without problems and tested. This work is done by the agile team under the guidance of an individual named Agile Coach.

Agile methods are implemented in situations where there is no experience of executing that work and it is suitable for spaces where the requirements are not final and there can be many changes. (such as technology fields, startups, research projects, etc.)

In contrast to agile approaches, there are traditional or waterfall methods. An approach in which the work execution steps are specified in advance and are done sequentially or overlapping cascade. This method is implemented in conditions where there is experience in executing same work. Also, the use of methods is suitable for spaces and conditions where the requested requirements are already known and do not need changes much (such as constructing a building).

In this method, with the completion of each phase, the next phase begins, and in this way, they create a specific sequence that evokes a cascade movement. Therefore, it is called the waterfall method. Traditional or waterfall management brings many challenges such as long implementation time, failure to meet changed requirements, and finally, high cost of modifying.

In agile management, however, with the presence of new processes and concepts such as teamwork and team interactions, delivery of efficient outputs, having interaction with the customer as much as possible, quick response to changes, delivery of valuable output to the customer or employer, adaptive and variable planning, and finally, Agile risk management minimizes the disadvantages of traditional management. More interestingly, it is even possible to combine the agile management method with traditional management methods and call new methods hybrid.


Today's world has changed a lot and of course, the management methods have also changed and along with the traditional and waterfall management methods, agile management has emerged. A new way of thinking that focuses on responding quickly to changes, as well as receiving continuous feedback from the customer and providing efficient outputs.


In this situation, if someone does not align himself with these changes and does not update his knowledge, he will not have a clear future in managing his business. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to learn more about agile management. In future articles, we will discuss the details of the agile method so that you can get to know the principles and attractive techniques of agile management.

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