Agile organizations are prevalent today across all industries and in all forms. Whether it is a business, a non-governmental organization, or an association, one can witness agile organizations across all domains with certain differences. The need for agile transformation is strong, especially for organizations functioning in dynamic markets and creative sectors, so that they can keep up with the changing market demands.
Creating an agile organization is about unleashing the already-existing potential that the organization has by removing rigid practices, unhealthy mindsets, and redundant rules. It requires prioritizing participation, progress, customer value, action, and speed.
To form perpetually evolving organizations, agile transformation is necessary. In this article, we will discuss some ways which can help leaders to create agile organizations. Let’s begin.
- Plan in Stages and Iterations
Iterations are an essential cornerstone of agile methodologies. It requires the project to split into several stages, and each stage is concluded with a deliverable. Instead of delivering the entire project in one go, it is built gradually and the end of each stage or iteration delivers a concrete output to the client.
Iterations help organizations to build a product gradually and implement their client’s feedback. It enables them to improve gradually and cover loopholes along the development process without waiting for the project to end. Agile organizations work in iterations, as this practice is also supportive of the other aspects of agility, such as increased communication, increased collaboration, continual adjustments, flexibility, etc. Hence, planning in iterations helps to build an agile organization in its true sense.
It is important to ensure that project managers and team leaders are communicating well with the rest of the team. Communication discrepancies can cost an organization more than they may realize.
While dividing the project into stages and iterations, leaders must communicate its importance to their team so that all members are on the same page and put in exceptional effort to provide the best deliverables at the end of each stage. Motivating employees and including them in certain decisions boosts their productivity and satisfaction, which is important because the employees are going to be the ultimate drivers and key factors in determining the success of your agile organization.
- Increase Collaboration
Collaboration is an essential part of becoming an agile organization. Agile methodologies focus on breaking silos and bringing teams together to collaborate and work on a project to shape it well. Increasing collaboration leads to better teamwork and better outcomes. Leaders can increase collaboration by:
- Creating self-managing teams
- Becoming a mentor to their team instead of strictly micromanaging it
- Being open to suggestions and constructive criticisms
- Listening to the opinions of their teams and employees
- Allowing autonomy to team members to come up with creative solutions for their tasks
- Continually Review and Adjust
When an organization becomes Agile, it starts delivering projects in iterations, which gives them the opportunity to review and adjust as the project progresses. Contrary to the traditional approach of reviewing at the end of the project and making a “Lessons-Learned Report,” agile allows organizations to consider their faults at the end of each iteration and implement their learnings in the next iteration so that the final product comes out to be immaculate.
Organizations can continually review and adjust by:
- Asking for the client’s feedback and implementing it
- Searching for ways to improve the processes to make them seamless
- Learning ways to improve communication and collaboration
- Taking inputs from their team members and implementing them effectively
- Indulging in reflective practices to evaluate their actions critically and then come up with the best solutions
- Strategist and Flexible Approach
It is essential for leaders to be flexible with their approaches, especially if they are transforming their organization into an agile one. Being intellectually reflective enables leaders to develop a strategist mindset, which stops them from sub-optimizing the impact of their actions. The absence of rigid approaches will inspire their teams to come up with better solutions and offer more creative inputs, hence increasing collaboration and communication as well. Being flexible and willing to change the way they do things will enable them to build agile organizations successfully.
- Agile Culture
An organization’s culture reflects its values and objectives. Hence, while building agile organizations, leaders must ensure that their organization’s culture, values, and underlying agreements align with the principles of agility. Any discrepancies or misalignment will impact the transformation and won’t be supportive in building an agile organization successfully. It is important for organizations to tailor their culture and internal practices in accordance with the agile principles that they are trying to implement.
- Implementing Agile Methodology
Implementing agile development methodologies is an obvious yet essential way of building an agile organization. Agile methodologies focus on customer value and drive organizations to develop strong partnerships with their clients. They motivate teams to come up with creative solutions, facilitate increased collaboration and break organization silos by causing cross-functional teams to work together for exceptional output. Agile methodologies are at the core of agile organizations.
Today’s era is of increased complexity, accelerated change, and increased interconnections across sectors and industries. To navigate around all the repercussions of such a situation, organizations need to build their capabilities. Agile environments are the breeding grounds of creativity. They help to create a strong work environment with motivated employees and satisfied clients. Creating agile organizations may be a big undertaking, but it is certainly not the one that doesn’t prove to be fruitful in the end.