Here at Sunwapta Solutions we live and breathe software development. Whether it is consulting work for clients or building software products, we need to follow and excel at the latest technologies and trends.
Agile development is a methodology and even more if done right; a state of mind for the development team that can lead to more rapid software development cycles with value for the customer early and often.
Agile business means an existing company being able to set a new direction followed by rapid implementation… the ability to respond quickly to the marketplace. This may mean launching a new product. If it is a software product you may use agile development to build it. But what about the marketing, sales, billing, customer support, etc? The scope for an agile business is quite a bit bigger than development.
Taking this to the next level, agile business creation would be the ability to quickly create whole new business entities (or something that behaves like an independent entity within a large organization).
There are "super" entrepreneurs who have a knack for this. They start up and direct business after business. This includes the business model, putting all the processes in place for all critical business functions, finding a great management team, hiring or contracting out the execution, etc.
With technology improvements this may very well be an upward trend. Rapidly create a new enterprise, grow sales and let the enterprise liquidate when the service or product is no longer profitable… and if you hit it big, well you can retire or repeat the process more often. The startup and operating costs are dropping all the time for the right business models.
Unfortunately for many would be entrepreneurs, there are not a lot of recipes for quickly building businesses, especially if it is something a little different. It is a little like baking, you need some flour, a sweetener, eggs, some oil/butter, a liquid and some other ingredients. But depending on how you put them together you will either get a cake, cookies, a pie or an unpalatable blob of dough. You need to be a master cook or be willing to experiment for a while to get it right if you are doing it from scratch. The best you can do is copy someone else's recipe.
But just as agile development is a bit of a proven process so too are many aspects of agile business. Then by extension it must be possible to have an agile business creation process or formula… something to make things a little easier and faster.
Ultimately, skill and experience still play a big role in all three endeavours… they are as much art as science.