With the new financial year fast approaching, it’s a good time to reassess your working tactics and adopt a more agile approach. To get you up to speed, let’s look at the benefits of agile working, and some strategies and rules for implementing it in the workplace.
The benefits of using agile working tactics
At its core, agile working is about creating a more responsive, efficient and effective organisation to improve business performance and boost customer satisfaction.
On one hand, agile working empowers employees by letting them choose how, when and where they work. On the other, it helps businesses cut down on costs, proactively respond to changes in customer demand, and develop high-quality staff capital. Some other benefits include:
- Better project control
- Less risk in managing multiple arms of a complex project
- Faster return on investment (ROI)
Business can greatly benefit from adopting agile project management, so it’s certainly worthwhile to adopt agile working strategies to enhance the way you work.
5 Agile strategies to use to improve the way you work
Once you’ve wrapped your head around what agile working means and what it involves, it’s time to implement some strategies. To break it down, here are five tried and true approaches regarding adopting agile to consider.
Pick the right framework
Within agile there are many different frameworks to consider. Selecting the right ones to use is just as important as the decision to work agile in the first place.
Some of the main frameworks include Scrum, SAFe DSDM and LeSS.
Start small (but don’t forget about big)
Changing the whole business overnight is impossible. Your best bet is to introduce agile working into individual departments – perhaps beginning with IT.
If you start seeing success, then it can become easier to spread agile working across the other departments of your business. That said, it’s also worth thinking about bigger strategic changes, such as a shift in planning philosophy, or a new employee value proposition.
Don’t forget about leadership
While agile working is focused on collaboration, experimentation and ambiguity, leadership still has its place. Leaders need to be able to identify and reinforce best practices to staff during the transition to agile working. However, it’s important that adopting agile is driven bottom-up and well supported top-down.
Focus on building cross-functional teams
Implementing agile working ultimately requires organisational change. And one of the best ways to push for this is by focusing on building and empowering cross-functional teams.
For managers and leaders, this means looking at the big picture, emphasising the need to learn from other departments, motivating and listening to staff, and breaking down counter-productive barriers.
Introduce work flexibility
A core component of agile working is employee satisfaction. To boost morale and productivity, think about introducing agile working arrangements, such as:
- Unlimited vacation
- Results-only work environment
- Remote working
- Flexible working time
- Job sharing.
How to implement agile working
When it comes down to it, there are some basic rules to follow if you want to implement agile working. According to Fiona Cannon, author of The Agility Mindset, there are five golden rules which businesses should live by:
- Be business-led.
- Understand the needs of the business and the workforce.
- Develop the agile working model bottom-up.
- Consider big, strategic changes.
- Educate leadership first.
Implementing agile working is easier said than done. Leaders and managers across all industries will benefit from agile project management training to help put these rules into practice.
Getting off to an agile start
For companies across all industries, adopting agile working tactics can help improve overall business success, as well as customer and employee satisfaction. Take into consideration these tips for agile working and get the new financial year off to the best start possible.