When new buzzwords are introduced, they inspire a new way of thinking. As they are adopted more and more, their meaning is often clouded and we don’t know what to think anymore. Just think about the word “innovative." It has been used so much – “we are the most innovative!” that you almost lose trust in the word. Related – shouldn’t the customer determine who is innovative?
Suddenly I’ve been seeing a lot of messaging around agility in Randomization and Trial Supply Management (RTSM) or as some refer to it, Interactive Response Technology (IRT). Is “agile” becoming the new “innovative”?
Then I paused. Does everyone understand what it truly means to be agile with regards to software development? What about project delivery? Both are equally important, but I will argue that agile software enables agile project delivery and not the other way around (which has its limitations).
If I didn’t know what agile stemmed from I’d automatically equate the term to simply being flexible. But flexible how, with what? The technology? Services? Timelines? Without context, you are left to your own interpretation. So herein lies the challenge. Our industry is craving flexibility as clinical trials are becoming more complex. How do you cut through the clutter and gain much needed context behind this new wave of agile?
Start with the basics. What is agile, really? Fundamentally, agile is a software development methodology that: