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Mission Impossible Really was Agile

Team and project agility is as vital to a corporation as it was to the team on the Mission Impossible television series.   Brian Lucas focuses on this comparison in his article to further highlight the importance of agility to a successful corporation:

MI really was a very fine example of an agile organization and operation.   First off, their funder the “Secretary” gave them a goal and stayed out of the team’s way.   The Secretary never told them how to accomplish it; although at times a deadline was set, based on environmental conditions, that the team might not have otherwise known about.

Lucas proceeds to mention that the MI team was a perfect example of a small core team working together at one time for a common goal.   The fact that their interactions became “second nature” ensured trust and strength, as it would for any successful company.   Sometimes, additional resources were needed. A pre-established and agreed upon set of professional abilities within the team were referenced so that the flow of work would occur more easily.

A corporate team, like the MI team, sometimes requires immediate and orderly assembly.   This should, in both instances, be expected to come easily.   Lucas also stresses the importance of that team being able to ask questions to the person who assembled them:

Team members clearly felt comfortable questioning Briggs/Phelps, who justified points with logic based on the need of the circumstances, not blatant authority.   The point being, the team very clearly understood exactly what was expected of them.   Furthermore, they accepted the assignment, they were not ordered to do it.

Total freedom of operation is the key to a happy, organized, and most importantly motivated team.   When the boss is able to give the team everything that is needed to operate with optimum efficiency, there will be less time wasted by the team on over-justifying their own needs.   Less second-guessing leads to more trust. This is vital to the completion of any mission or project.

The MI team also mastered the art of communication during each and every stage of a mission.   Any project team should behave the same way.   Although recaps make entertaining wrap-ups at the end of riveting television episodes, group   recaps at the conclusion of extensive projects or completions of goals can be equally if not more useful.   Accept your mission, do not forget recaps, and throw some agile action moves in there if the project calls for it.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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