The Agile Method: 4 Steps to Better Business Agility

By Andy Sio
March 15, 2018

As technology continues to evolve, and companies throughout the world struggle to find the solutions they need to keep up with the trends, more organizations than ever before are embracing the “agile” approach to business.

Becoming an “agile” company, simply means adapting your company plan in such a way that you always have enough room to transform when a sector-changing evolution comes your way. Unfortunately, while many ventures can appreciate the potential of great business agility, few know how to get started making their company “nimbler”.

If you want to successfully become an agile business, then the first thing you need to do is get to the bottom of how your company currently operates. The more you understand about the functions and dysfunctions of your enterprise, the more you can discover effective ways to change so that you can adapt to the ever-more-demanding marketplace.

What Does It Take to Become more “Agile”

For most organizations, the path to agile working is quite complex. Just like planning the perfect product, it requires input from your entire team and a solid understanding of what you hope to achieve by the end of a certain time frame (usually three months). Since each company has a different vision of what “success” will look like to them, there’s no one-size-fits-all route to agility.

Usually, the best way to get started with your agile business plan is to ask yourself what’s currently holding your venture back. What stops you from being agile right now? Your answer to that question will reveal the areas that need the most work before you can begin to take advantage of the nimble transformation framework.

To get to the bottom of what it takes to become agile, we’re going to look at the four aspects of agility that most leaders consider when they start to re-design and remake a business strategy. These four aspects include:

Step 1: Evaluating Business Processes

Your business processes are the strategies that leaders use to guide your team towards success. In an agile business, these systems are often defined by constantly evolving and upgrading processes, enhanced by new policies, tools, and solutions that support the growth of your company.

When business processes are agile, the managers and leading minds in a company can make quicker decisions about the products and projects of the future without detracting from business value and customer experience. Your agile business processes should work together with the technical strategies that you’re using to tap into the benefits of digital transformation and modern trends.

Step 2: Technical Practices

You may have noticed that the “agile” framework for business operation has become more popular in recent years. Part of the reason for this is that companies have more demands to meet when it comes to satisfying their customers. Another element is the fact that technology has made it easier for companies to evolve and operate in a nimble way.

Adopting flexible technical practices for your business can help you to change more rapidly in the current environment,making decisions for development based on the needs of your industry, and the customers you serve. Remember, becoming an agile business doesn’t necessarily mean adopting each new technology as it appears, but being able to embrace solutions that best serve your business without lengthy roll-out procedures.

Step 3: Inspiring Leadership

Leaders in an agile company are the inspirational factor that drives other individuals towards success. Leaders can perform SWOT analysis of their organization to determine which areas need the most care and support when adopting agile practices. Importantly, while leaders in the agile industry are careful about the choices they make, they don’t spend too much time defining exactly what needs to be done, and how people need to complete their tasks.

To some extent, becoming a leader in an agile business means trusting your team to work according to the standards that are set for them. Additionally, as a leader, you can also remove the obstacles that might get in the way of agile working and hold your staff back from their full potential.

Step 4: Creating Culture

Finally, company culture is more important today than it has ever been. Without the right culture, a business begins to stagnate, and stagnation is poison to an agile business. If you’ve never dealt with cultural transformation before, the first thing you need to know is that it represents the beliefs and behaviors that are embraced by your professional community. An agile culture is ready to adapt to changes as they come and willing to try new things when they emerge.

For your agile company culture to be successful, remember that you’ll need to put a great deal of focus on transparent and authentic leadership. Learn how to overcome the mistakes, and celebrate successes together, and your entire team will be less likely to feel the disruption whenever things don’t go entirely according to plan in your industry. Above all else, make sure that you inspire a mindset based on continuous improvement and evolution.

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