Agile working is not a panacea, but it is an element of success
According to an international study by the Scrum Alliance and the market research institute Forbes Insights from autumn 2018, four out of five managers consider agility to be one of the most important features of successful companies. Above all, they feel agile working speeds up innovation and time to market and increases employee motivation – capabilities that are essential for companies who want to survive in these dramatic times of rapid digital transformation.
Most of those surveyed see different levels of agile practice development in their company. This is because agility requires change on three tiers: desire, ability and permission. That means a serious transformation for the people, the existing structures and the processes within the company. Firms such as the direct bank ING and the Otto Group have demonstrated that this is not something that can be achieved quickly and easily. But they have also shown that it is worth the effort.
Agility can be seen, felt and measured
A study by Korn Ferry on agility in enterprises names six factors that can be used to measure the maturity level of an agile company. These qualities change considerably in the internal work environment depending on the stage of development towards becoming an agile team. The higher the factor, the more progress must have been made in the agile way of working within the company.
- Involving all employees
- Working together across departments
- Reacting to customer requests
- Learning from mistakes
- Making quick decisions
- Taking risks
The digital transformation is happening. With or without you?
Even if it just sounds like a new buzz word to many people, agile working is not optional. It is the key to surviving the digital transformation successfully. This workbook uses the Cynefin framework from Dave Snowden to explain the potential actions that can be used to react to the problems, situations and environments of the digital transformation.
Conventional work in hierarchical structures, with slow decision-making paths and comprehensive planning, helps you survive in a simple world – as was the case in the Industrial Age. But other structures and processes are required to face the challenges of the complex, complicated present.
People make companies agile
Agile working cannot be achieved at the touch of a button – it takes time and work. It requires people to have a new skill set, tool set and mindset. The most important element in this is the question of attitude. It is about having the desire to work in a self-organised way, to take on responsibility, to learn together, to share knowledge and to work in a networked manner. That requires trust and confidence, but also patience.
Precisely because the technological world is driving the transformation, people – with all their abilities and possibilities – are becoming even more important. That is the difficult but valuable point about agile working. The cogs in the machine become employees with energy again. That is why there is no way back to traditional, bureaucratic work for many of those who have started to work in an agile way.
The free Job Wizards Workbook #2 ‘Agile Working’ explains how the concept changes companies and can become a success factor. For every knowledge section there is also a practical section, in which you can test whether your team or your company could benefit from agile working, and if so, the best way for you to get started.
Think ahead, work smart: the Job Wizards workbooks are published four times a year. They provide entrepreneurs and decision makers with up-to-date facts, content and inspiration on important topics relating to the world of work.