“Agile” is a word that gets thrown around a lot lately. Most often, it’s used to refer to an operational theory as it relates to software development and management. There are numerous strategies to enact agility in the workplace, finding what will work for your company is critical for success. It may mean stretching yourself, your business and your team to find the right combination for you.
So, let’s start with the basics. Agility is defined as: Nimbleness; the ability to change position efficiently and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength and endurance.
Wow. That seems like a lot of things to get right all at once in order to produce the desired outcome. But what you should focus on is getting the right combination of these factors. Not all of these markers are needed at their 100% fullest to achieve agility. But all are needed in varying strength. Think of agility as a spectrum – not an “all or nothing” or “zero-sum” strategy. There are 10 markers that the best measure of workplace agility.
- Team Communication: Implementing open and trusting environments with multiple channels versus minimal or handbook only style communications lead to
- Organizational Culture: Having a Results Oriented Work Environment (ROWE) and an inclusive atmosphere versus a leader driven pressure cooker creates the optimum culture for success.
- Team Structure: Creating cross functional, self-organizing, small teams versus departmental, top-down, large teams generate a collaborative and stimulating environment.
- Ability to change direction: Embracing an evolving business versus trying to maintain the status quo yields higher growth in most industries.
- Measurement in Progress: Focusing on business values, deliverables and results versus phases, tasks and documents will lead to improved and efficient outcomes.
- Benefits Offered: health, dental and vision are great but flexibility, extended parental leave, return transitions, flexible vacation time are huge trends in the workplace.
- Work Schedule Options: Being flexible and adaptable versus having a traditional Monday through Friday, 9-5 schedule creates an atmosphere of highly productive and resourceful teams.
- Team Location: Having a widely distributed workforce versus highly centralized grants businesses access to broader and deeper talent pool.
- Planning Approach: Adaptive and continuous planning with shorter goals allow for modifications along the way.
- Feedback: Automated, collaborative, consistent feedback from all players, employees and clients, will deepen relationships and foster growth.
Being more agile means higher productivity, faster production, decreased costs, and much higher employee satisfaction. No one is saying it is easy. It may feel nearly impossible and inefficient for a company to implement the MOST AGILE solution in all of these areas. This is an evolving practice and in the coming weeks, we will be taking a deeper dive into implementing an agile workplace in the hopes of finding the best solutions that work for YOU, your TEAM and your company.