Is Agile What You Need In Order To Get Your Team To Do More?

Perhaps agile is what you need in order to streamline your processes
Perhaps agile is what you need in order to streamline your processes
Image Credit: Xavier Albaladejo

Managers are always searching for ways that they can use their manager skills to empower their team to accomplish more. We understand that the things that we have to do, the processes that we have to go through, are good but they may be holding us back and they may be slowing us down. What we’d really like to do is use our manager training to find a method that our team can implement that would allow us to streamline how work gets done. In the world of software development, the term “agile” has been thrown around for a while. Is this something that mangers could use to get more out of their teams?

Say Hello To Agile

So just exactly what is this “agile” thing? It turns out that agile is a continuously repetitive work approach that was initially introduced in, where else, the IT sector. Today, the Agile workflow has been implemented across almost every sector, including supply chain, automotive, marketing, and many more. There are a number of factors at play in implementing Agile, such as an unstable macro-environment, fluctuating market conditions and customer-centric approach. These factors are what compel businesses to adopt an Agile workflow to streamline their processes. Managers need to realize that implementing Agile does take tremendous amounts of time and resources. Typically a business has to go through various trials and tribulations before achieving a successful implementation. The good news is that all that effort is rewarded by yielding higher revenues, improving productivity and providing excellent customer service. Here is a guide to successfully implementing Agile.

Make Sure That You Have A Thorough Understanding Of Agile

What you don’t want to do is to suddenly shift from the traditional approach to Agile without having a proper understanding of its concept. There are two main reasons you should make sure that you have a clear understanding of Agile prior to implementation:

You need to know the intended outcomes. This requires a clear knowledge of your desired outcomes. The general idea behind Agile is to divide the different processes of developing a product into smaller parts. A team is assigned to work on each small part of the product, which makes building a product much swifter and effective as the product is created in multiple iterations.

You can customize your Agile workflow as needed. When adopting Agile, you also need to know how you can customize this strategy as needed. If you’re looking to streamline all the processes that improve your business’s overall productivity, you will need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify your current state of business.
  2. Steadily move toward achieving your goal.
  3. Implement and adapt from your learning and experience.
  4. Iterate.

Understand That There Will Be Hurdles And Challenges

In order for a manager to successfully implement an Agile workflow a great deal depends on coordination among teams, transparent policies and flexibility. Each of these elements could be a hurdle for some large-scale organizations because the entire corporate chain could be disrupted with an Agile implementation. In implementing Agile, larger organizations might struggle, whereas small and medium businesses might have more ability to take disruptions in stride. Managers who know what kind of business they operate will be able to determine how you approach this method.

Start The Agile Implementation By Creating An Initiation Plan

Don’t just jump in. Instead, you need to take baby steps when you’re creating an Agile plan by finding the obvious opportunity areas where Agile can be most easily and readily implemented. Having found those areas, you need to determine the best approach and consider all your business’s critical elements.

Implement Agile By Experimenting, Learning, and Adapting

Managers need to realize that Agile brings innovation to the table, providing an effective and efficient solution to a particular problem. Just like at most startups, managers will have limited guidelines to launch their particular product. These guidelines will be mainly based on assumptions, which is not the most effective way to develop a plan. Once you have implemented the Agile methodology, you can have your stakeholders on board during meetings and share the project’s updates. Doing this will help your team. Once this is in place, you can prioritize the tasks accordingly. You will also need to conduct a safe experiment that doesn’t jeopardize the project but works as a learning mechanism.

Take Steps To Empower Your People

At most companies, the traditional corporate culture is authoritative and based on hierarchy. A challenge that managers will face is that Agile doesn’t believe in authority – instead it believes in freedom, liberty and empowerment for everyone to effectively work autonomously with the best of their abilities. When you implement an Agile process, there are no managers in charge of the Agile process but rather leaders who guide and mentor their subordinates. The benefit of implementing an Agile process is that it provides a harmonious culture where every employee’s opinions and suggestions are valued and discussed on a bigger scale. This is almost a form of team building that can be done every day.

What All Of This Means For You

Managers are judged by what their teams are able to accomplish. What this means for us is that we are always looking for ways to make our teams more efficient and effective. One possible way to boost the productivity of our team is to implement a process called Agile that has been implemented by IT teams. If you get interested in the Agile process, you are going to have to understand how to go about implementing it for your team.

If a manager decides to implement an Agile process, then they need to make sure that they have a good understanding of just exactly what Agile is. This means that you need to know what you want your outcomes to be. You will be able to customize the workflow to meet your needs. In order to start implementing an Agile process, you need to create an implementation plan. Agile is implemented by gradually experimenting, learning, and then adapting what you are doing, The true value of going to the effort of implementing an Agile process is what it will do for your team. Agile can empower each member of your team.

It’s important to note that it’s no easy feat for a managers to successfully implement Agile in a well-established business enterprise. If you want to do this, then you need to start small and build up to full-level expansion. When the Agile workflow is applied effectively, it will help streamline business operations for managers along with processes and even human resources.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How could you measure the success of implementing an Agile program.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

One of a managers biggest tasks is to use our manager skills to build a successful team. Once we have been able to do that, our job is not done. Instead, it’s just starting. There is always the possibility that the best members of our team are going to leave. If they are good workers for us, then they would probably be good workers for another firm and those firms will always be reaching out trying to see if your team members are interested in joining them. As a manager you need to be aware that this is going on. We don’t have any manager training in how to keep our best workers. What will you do to retain your best workers?