Agile is a verb

Agile is a verb - person moving a kanban card on a board

I recently read through a lengthy article describing organizational change and what companies need to consider in order to better adapt to the technology-driven economy we reside in.

It was a good article, but one thing that struck me was the constant use of the word agile as a noun, as if it’s something we can buy online and have it shipped to the office and then set it up with an app. Perhaps that’s an unfair exaggeration, but there is truth to this point.

I suppose it’s worth saying that agile is a verb – it is something that results from applying a set of modern practices and principles which stem from many sources and are then applied in your context. I know we all desire a single methodology and answer, but that doesn’t exist.

When people say that they want agile vs. that they desire agility, or to be an agile organization, they reveal that they have the wrong view of what they’re actually asking for.


First, be clear by what you mean when you say agile. Defining expectations and understanding what your organization’s desired outcomes are can go a long way in defining the right approach, which will likely involve a set of practices from various sources.