The establishment of flexible and adaptive, i. e. agile, organisations is one of the responses to better integrate all the actors and their needs in the management of projects faced with the complexity of human and natural systems. The term ‘agile’ is now commonly used to describe organizations that are able to adapt and function well in rapidly changing environments, and, by extension, develop their ability to innovate to create value in uncertain environments.
These new agility practices have been popularized by the ‘Agile Manifesto’, which advocates a new approach to software engineering design and development. The ‘technophile’ side of the community behind the concept underlines the importance of distance from the strict development of the disembodied technological product. Thus, to be part of an agile innovation approach is to go beyond the mere search for technical innovation or short-term performance in order to: (1) Foster interactions between individuals because a cohesive team is much more important than tools (structuring or control) or operating procedures. (2) Make the client a full partner throughout the development of the project to jointly endorse strategic decisions on a ‘run-of-the-river’ basis. (3) Formalize and embody change so as not to be a slave to strict planning.
Agility is also a response to the complexity generated by information and communication technologies… The very technologies that must free us from a complex world and make our lives easier oblige us, in particular, to the ‘collaborative load’ that we are able to carry and to the sense of the connections that connect us and (over)solicit us. The multiplication of social networks, communication applications and even modes of exchange question the very value of the messages that come to us wherever we deliver… Thus, agile innovation is a response to the evolution and amplification of the enterprise 2.0 to face the new issues brought about by increasingly connected organizations. In a continuous and increasing flow, how to access the right information at the right time? How to focus on fertile solicitations? How can we find the right rhythm that respects both our personal ecology and that of our environment? Agile innovation is, without doubt, learning to make an apparent detour to forge powerful and fruitful links between actors, organizations or territories and to get closer to each other in mutual respect, in harmony with the ecosystem that welcomes us.
University of Lorraine, ERPI Laboratory, France, email@example.com
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