I was first introduced to the concepts of “agile” in 2007 as a newbie in the product management world. A small recruiting software company in Florida had poached me from a competitor to help expand their product offerings with the addition of a new performance management solution. Seeing as how we were given less than a year to accomplish this, the company decided to pilot a new software development methodology with our team, agile (Scrum, specifically). So off to training we all went and got certified. We returned and for 8 months we worked together in a tiny room to make it happen. And it did…
…just in time for another competitor to acquire us and the product to never see light of day. (I admit, this hurt like the dickens when it happened, but as they say, time heals all wounds 😊). The story did have a happy ending though, as the CEO of another competitor had heard what I’d done and hired me to repeat the process for them. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and today I’m happy to report that Performance product (Perform) was successfully launched and continue to perform well in the public sector HR tech market.
Okay, back to agile.
While I’ll always be a bit bummed about missing out on launching that product at Vurv, I realized something about this new methodology. That it works not only within the realm of product or project management, but you can easily apply it to achieve agility in life.
I discovered that the essence of agile – adaptability, responsiveness, and continual improvement is a perfect framework in which to orient how I approach my work and life.
Being agile-oriented doesn’t mean a lack of planning or preparation. It’s about shifting your mindset to one that’s adaptable. It’s about being prepared to pivot when necessary. It’s about approaching work in a way where change is seen as an opportunity for growth, innovation, and enhancement.