The Benefits of Agile Thinking and How to Create an Agile Work Culture
Fostering an agile work culture is a growing interest for businesses worldwide. In fact, several firms have increased their focus on agility since COVID-19.
According to a recent study, agile firms were more responsive to the crisis. Those that don’t adopt an agile work culture may lack the resilience needed in today’s work environment.
Agility means being able to move strategy, structure, and processes toward a new operating model. This is done by reorganizing the company around self-directing teams built on a strong foundation.
What Does “Agile Thinking” Mean?
Agile thinking refers to the adoption of agile values such as adaptability, rapidity, and client responsiveness. However, thinking in an agile way is not helpful without decisive action.
Agile thinking supports user-first thinking. It is an iterative process based on modification and feedback to produce high user value. It requires you to switch from simply making decisions to actively discovering new ways of operating.
For example, this can include adopting new leadership models and recognizing that invention happens at all organizational levels. It’s essential to introduce efficient practices all throughout the business to adopt an agile work culture.
The Benefits of Agile Thinking in Business
The benefits of agile thinking in business span all levels of your workforce. Now, let’s look into some of them.
Improving customer satisfaction
First, when you have poor or nonexistent communication between the project team and the customer, satisfaction suffers.
With agile thinking, the team and the customer are always in contact. This contact touches on many topics, including testing, evaluating, and providing feedback. This strong communication is crucial for achieving the desired goal for the user.
Building trust between teams and managers
Building trust means giving the project team the freedom to deliver the customer’s product in the most ideal way.
Although it’s common, a top-down management strategy can sometimes be constricting. This is especially true with micromanaging. This practice may be difficult to cut back on. Even so, giving your teams room to breathe and trusting them to deliver could improve the quality of your products and services.
Increasing return on investment
An agile work environment can also provide a better return on investment. An agile management style uses systems to complete tasks quickly without losing quality. Project management requires many resources, but with an agile approach, these expenses can be lowered.
What Does it Mean to Have an Agile Work Culture?
Cultivating an agile work culture means bringing together people, processes, connections, and tech in the most ideal way. These connections determine the best way to complete an assignment.
An agile culture has flexible working arrangements and focuses on customer needs. This culture embraces collaboration and creativity. It encourages employees to experiment, even if it’s risky. Managers with an agile mindset know that risks can lead to discoveries that benefit the organization.
How to Create an Agile Work Culture
Agile thinking shifts how individuals think in different moments. Adapting the company’s thinking to align with agile principles is the first step.
To start, you’ll want to promote the following agile principles across your teams:
- Accepting change in all its forms
- Fostering individualized drive
- Encouraging interpersonal dialogue
- Meeting expectations consistently
- Promoting self-governance
- Finding purpose
- Achieving mastery
Practicing these concepts can help you create an agile mindset at every organizational level.
Now, let’s take a look at some steps to help sustain that mindset:
Promote a learning culture – Learning from businesses who use agile thinking could be beneficial. You may ask department heads to explain their methods to your team.
Measure outcomes – It’s important to track your progress as you implement agile thinking. One way to do this is by observing employee behavior. Eventually, when your staff begins making agile choices, you will know you’re making progress.
Begin slowly – It’s advised to start small as you shift your organization into agile thinking. Starting off too quickly may cause push back. It’s helpful to make gradual moves and adjust your strategy as you move forward.
Show patience with teams that may be slower to adapt. It may take time, but eventually you will have a more independent and accountable workforce.
Promote eLearning – Online education has become more valuable with the increase of remote work. eLearning can help your teams reach their goals so they can easily excel in their positions.
The flexibility of online learning works well in the agile workspace. It allows team members to learn on their own terms. Also, completing training at home prevents a feeling of competition that traditional training may cause.
It’s essential to adapt to changing conditions. As you have seen, agile thinking can benefit your company in many ways.
Your Next Steps with KnowledgeCity
KnowledgeCity can help you gain these benefits with our course on agile organization culture. Additionally, if you produce contracts within your organization, we offer a course about using an agile approach in contract management.
With Knowledge City’s expansive library of online curriculum, you can prepare your organization to thrive in today’s evolving work landscape.