1. The Agile Consensus

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.

—Paul Romer (attributed)

Wars and recessions become focal points for economic and engineering trends that have developed gradually for many years before. The Great Recession of 2007 through 2010 is a case in point. In 2008, for example, Toyota—youngest of the world’s major automobile manufacturers—became the world market leader, as it predicted it would six years earlier.1 Then in 2009, two of the three American manufacturers went through bankruptcy, while the third narrowly escaped. The emergence from this crisis underscored how much the Detroit manufacturers had failed to adapt to competitive practices that had been visible and documented for decades. In 1990, Jim Womack and colleagues ...

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