Christophe Martinot

From VUCA to BANI, the importance of agile methodologies in companies

We have been thrust into a turbulent time, a time of climate disasters, political chaos and global pandemic. This era clearly rejects structure, so the transition from VUCA to BANI is accelerating.

If there is one thing these concepts have in common, it is that they seek to represent reality in a simplified way in order to better understand the context in which we live. We will now explain what they mean and how organizations can prepare themselves for the state of uncertainty in which we find ourselves.

What is VUCA?

It is a concept created at the end of the 1980s, when the Cold War was coming to an end and an unprecedented horizon without confrontation was opening up. Rapid changes, global instability and the emergence of technological advances were some of the characteristics attributed to this scenario.

Therefore, a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world was perceived. Uncertain is uncertain in English. Since then, this term has been extended to the daily lives of individuals and companies.

It was with the creation and expansion of the Internet that it began to be used in the business world. The meaning of the four initials of VUCA is as follows:

  • V = Volatility: An environment in which changes occur at enormous speed. It is related to the fluctuations that occur in demand or the agitation caused by any news.
  • U = Uncertainty: Inability to know exactly what changes will occur. Environments in which it is impossible to make predictions.
  • C = complexity: The number of factors that need to be taken into account makes it impossible to make decisions efficiently.
  • A = ambiguity: Lack of clarity on how to interpret what is happening, as information is often incomplete or contradictory.

What is BANI?

This term has gained a lot of traction in the wake of the pandemic. At a time when the global situation is changing so abruptly, new tools are needed to help us understand what is happening.

BANI goes a step further than VUCA, as it defines a reality of confusion and chaos, not just instability and uncertainty. The meaning of its initials is this:

  • B = Brittle: The context has become very fragile, social and economic systems do not have solid foundations and can collapse at any moment..
  • A = Anxious: It is one of the most evident symptoms of today's society, both in people's lives and in work environments.
  • N = Non linear: The events that are occurring do not follow a coherent line; they are disconnected from each other. Because of this, long-term planning starts to become meaningless.
  • I = Incomprehensible: Even with plenty of information available, we find it impossible to understand everything that is going on around us. This is because almost nothing follows the usual, logical patterns.

Organizations must adapt to this new reality

Regardless of the two terms we have seen above, one thing that is indisputable is that companies need to adapt their management and work methods to each situation. Agile methodologies arise to reduce time, costs and, in addition, to offer a better quality service to customers.

These approaches allow you to adapt the default work manual to the specific type of project you will be developing at that time. They are flexible, productive and efficient, something that is impossible to achieve today with more conventional methods.

If you apply agile methodologies in your company you can obtain the following immediate benefits:

  • Profitability: Thanks to them you will avoid the unnecessary use of resources, since you will use the right number of people for each project. In addition, you will also reduce delivery times.
  • Flexibility: Changes are more easily integrated. As these methodologies can be easily adapted to changing circumstances, you can divide the work and maintain specific control of each task.
  • Commitment: The motivation of the members of each team increases considerably. They participate and contribute ideas because the environment can change from one moment to another, something that does not happen in more traditional methods, where only one person is in charge.
  • Final product: The service or product that ends up reaching your customers is the one they are looking for. Keep in mind that the customer himself is involved in this process, because to apply these methodologies it is necessary to keep them in mind at all times.

VUCA and BANI are two concepts that explain a changing reality over the years. At the end of the day, what they tell us is that organizations must adapt to change quickly. An ideal way to do this is by applying agile methodologies. If you want to know more about this topic, contact with Agilewow4all.

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