August 2011
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Month August 2011

Can Design be Agile?

Over the years, I have been involved with very large enterprise digital engagements and more and more IT professionals have been embracing agile methods to make accelerated progress, in shorter amounts of time, to maximize diminishing resources.

It seems as if the term “agile” is permeating more and more content. Usually the term implies “fast” and “simple” without further definition. Many companies think they are agile, when in reality the term becomes a euphemism for repackaging the waterfall status-quo.

Agile has an admirable goal: to break down complex systems to more digestible parts and maximize communications and outputs with a limited set of people. This increases accountability and closes broken communication loops. However, agile methods are driven by IT (developers) and user experience / design resources are unevenly integrated or design is considered outside agile activities.

Design by its very nature is an iterative process and most designers will state that revisions are part and parcel of refining a design concept. I do not think this is only unique to design, as a number of disciplines learn by both trial-and-error as well as learning more about a concept and through that learning, refine and strengthen a desired result.