(EH&S) domain is a moving target. While things may not change quite as quickly as they do in the information technology (IT) world, EH&S professionals can learn a great deal from agile software development methods that attempt to minimize business risks. This column applies agile development attributes to EH&S management information systems (EMIS).
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines agile as “(1) marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace; or (2) having a quick resourceful and adaptable character.” Agile processes initially applied only to software development, but the terminology was later extended to other business areas, including human resources management. Defined in the 1990s and refined ever since, agile processes deal with change and unpredictability and attempt to balance structure and flexibility.