VUCA Environment And The Relevance Of Agile

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VUCA Environment And The Relevance Of Agile

The demise of the former Soviet Union caused the known cold war strategy change rapidly. Instead of dealing with one known and stable advisory the United States Army War College found itself contending with a strategy to engage with multiple players with complex and varied agendas. Suddenly, the known world order had become more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA)., The United States Army War College is attributed to coming up with this acronym in 1987 to define this new world order.

Business and technology climate is also in a constant churn, we are operating in a VUCA environment. In-order to remain competitive and relevant organizations need to reinvent themselves by focusing on flexibility. Organizations needs to quickly anticipate changes in-order to inspect this deviance and have the ability react to it quickly. This translates to an organization being more Agile in their culture, organizational hierarchy, communication, and decision making.



The rate of change of requirements and technology is happening at a rate which overwhelms the organization and teams

Solution: Have a clarity of vision and mission for the organization. Ensure that the vision, mission, and values are well understood by the team and they “Walk the Talk”

Ensure that the work environment is stable so that the team can focus on the end goal without the constant fear of losing their jobs.


Unpredictability of requirements leads to information overload this often confusion information impacts the ability of the organization to delivery work and to make quick and efficient decisions.

Solution: The organization should constantly strive to communicate and provide clarity on the product and the product vision. If the teams are out of the loop or out of sync it impacts their quality of work and their morale


In a typical project there are multiple dependencies which make the project overly complex and introduces unnecessary delays. This is a very unproductive element which is introduced that adds to the project budget and duration

Solution:  Ensure that you focus on the value of the product and eliminate any information noise or extraneous processes to streamline the delivery of the product. The organization should support flexibility and be creative about the solutions.

Ambiguous: This refers to a disconnect between operational reality and product vision. Which leads to disconnect and distrust between the teams and the leadership. This is a confusion is toxic in a VUCA environment

Solution: Organization should reduce the latency of communication by reducing the layers of hierarchy. Encourage an environment where you support a culture of consistency and accountability. Transparency become critical at the team and the organizational level.

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