For the past twenty-five years, manufacturing has endured a seemingly endless assault by gurus promising salvation from the despair of competitive failure. The path to competitive success often has a catchy name, like "total quality," "zero inventories," "flexible manufacturing," or "lean production systems." "Agility" is among the newer "must have" attributes for globally competitive firms. What is agility, really? How would you know if you were agile? How would you set out to become agile? And why?