5 Ways your Company can Improve Agility
May 11, 2021
The extent and rate of change that your organization experiences can be influenced by many factors. The state of the economy, company growth, changes in technology, and the dynamics of a particular market or geographical location all contribute to what can often be turbulent times.
If your organization is to remain competitive and take advantage of new opportunities then the ability to anticipate change and adapt quickly is critical.
Business agility is a term that’s becoming increasingly popular. At its simplest, agile is a way of operating that empowers an organization to adapt rapidly and flexibly to external or internal changes.
According to Forbes, more than simply a single process or methodology, organizational agility is the ability to:
Adjust strategies on a continuous basis
Empower employees to make key decisions on challenging projects
Respond to ambiguity and uncertainty with flexibility and speed
View unanticipated change as an opportunity for transformation
By introducing flexibility and adaptability enterprise-wide, organizations can respond faster to fluctuating market conditions, improve overall organizational efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Here are 5 ways your business can become more agile today.
1. Build an Agile Mindset
An agile culture relies on trust, teamwork, and innovation. This means engaging your employees in the changes you will need to make.
The basics of an agile workplace – clear goals, increased autonomy, and improved communication –are naturally aligned with better employee engagement. McKinsey found that a company-wide agile approach improved employee engagement by as much as 30 points.
Agile allows you to empower your teams by identifying opportunities for development and improvement. Agility means leveraging their talent by creating teams that perform at their best.
At its core "Being agile" is all about expecting, managing, and embracing change, so it is both a mindset and a methodology.
2. Communicate & Interact
To become more agile, get smart with prioritizing. Create focus by reducing priorities into a short (3-4) list that must be done. Then, as each priority is completed, add a new priority to the list in response to your company’s drivers, strategies, and new events.
Each morning have a quick meeting to review what you did yesterday, what you plan to do today, and check for issues that need to be resolved.
Team huddles are fast-paced, organized, and to the point kind of meeting, meant to be part of a very effective time management system. These meetings are a great way to engage everyone on a daily basis and build better communication and cohesion within your team.
Communication and interaction are key to the success of any project. Huddles are short fast meetings that help to raise awareness, share knowledge, and bring teams together to work collaboratively.
Agile values people, collaboration, solutions, and change. An agile team values being agile over being perfect, they look to release their work early and gain feedback to enable them to continuously improve and refine the value they deliver and be responsive as markets and customers change and evolve.
3. Plan for the unexpected
No one knows what the future holds, so plan for the unexpected. Building flexibility into your plans, and reviews will give you a better chance of dealing with change quickly and easily.
When customers demand new products and services or as an organization you need to make changes to existing offerings, time is often a luxury that cannot be afforded.
Take a moment to reflect and review progress and evaluate the current situation. Ask yourself some questions to examine your work and its impact: What is going well?, What can we do better? Why are we not doing it? What are the options going forward?
4. Automate Processes
Agile information dashboards provide real-time, tactile communication channels for collaborating and maintaining a shared understanding throughout the business. Agile dashboards break down business silos and encourage cross-team working.
A daily catch-up with the team members can eliminate the need for the lengthy and inefficient monthly meetings no one enjoys.
- Measure and Optimize
Vanity metrics are statistics that look great on the surface but don't necessarily translate to any meaningful business results. At best Vanity metrics make us feel good and show us what’s going well, at their worst they distract and mislead us.
Actionable metrics, on the other hand, are statistics that link to specific tasks that you can improve on, and to stats that you can tie into the goals of your business. These metrics tell us if what we are doing is the right thing and if our actions are moving us closer or further away from our goal, they show us where we are gaining or losing traction.
Agile is a learning-based method and builds continuous improvement into our daily workflow, so it adds time to reflect, think, and experiment into the process, it provides a structure to make regular small iterative improvements.
If unpredictability has become the norm in your business, transitioning towards an agile approach can greatly benefit your company. An adaptation to agile techniques can help your business increase its adaptability and build in change rather than resisting it.
Agile is a highly effective method for navigating uncertainty, empowering teams, and creating a positive working environment and culture.
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema.Categorized under agile.
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