Agile is a powerful mindset.
When adopted beyond it’s original purpose (software development), it opens up a world of possibilities. Organisations in any industry, can now lean in to using these new ways of working. We all want greater productivity, happy employees, better quality products and more ROI.
It’s worth understanding Agile is not an ‘all or nothing’ opportunity. Understanding the basics of what Agile is designed for, appreciating what the ‘mindset’ of Agile is – can be the first step to introducing new ways of working into your workflow. You will start to see the immediate benefits by just beginning.
At Adaptovate, we’ve found time and again that’s exactly what’s happening when we work with teams introducing new ways of working into their day to day work life.
However, if you know nothing about the Agile Methodology, and want to know the basic answer to this question – what’s in it for us/me? – we wanted to share with you four key benefits.
Doug Ross, our Adaptovate co-founder and senior advisor at BCG, says “A big risk acknowledged by leaders contemplating starting an Agile transformation is that it will go badly, and that business as usual will be worse off. That short term profitability will be worse off.
Well this expected anti-benefit is something that rarely happens.” He states.
“We start small with a lighthouse team, that tests the new way of working, and when it finds the successful way of working for the culture in the company, then this is scaled, so rarely is there any short term negative impacts of the change.” Doug says.
So here are four key benefits of using Agile, that we have found consistently rise to the surface on every client we work with.
FOUR KEY BENEFITS OF USING AGILE
- TRUST & TRANSPARENCY
- GETTING CONNECTED
- THINGS GET DONE, QUICKLY!
- FOCUS. ON THE RIGHT PRIORITY.
We asked around – both from our own consulting and coaches, but also from our clients. Below you will see why these four benefits popped up to the surface.
TRUST & TRANSPARENCY
We all understand that transparency builds trust. Given that one of the key elements of Agile is transparency – Trust can be an unexpected but welcome benefit to stakeholders.
Alan Trivedi, one of our consultants in Los Angeles says, “Agile often has helped teams build greater trust at a highly accelerated rate by learning together.”
This was recently reiterated by one of our Sydney clients “When asked the question, – their response was “Visibility of what people have on/are doing …which also links/leads to transparency”.
When writing this article, we wanted to create a list of just four benefits to keep things simple. (oh there are so many more!) In doing that we decided to keep “empowerment” within the Trust and Transparency benefit. It really should be on it’s own – it’s a powerful one. However, you could argue Empowerment is the outcome of greater Trust and Transparency. So consider it a bonus benefit! As one of our Australian clients stated “The bottom-up resource allocation means greater empowerment of team members”
Or we like this better – as one of our associates, Shilen Modi, says “A lift in spirit!” Shilen explains “Transitioning to Agile means more face to face communication. More face to face conversation means more people talking to each other and enjoying themselves”
When we discussed this with one of our clients in Poland, they agreed. “Some of the benefits were to be expected. Based on the methodology. However, the most unexpected benefit I have encountered is the exposure and rapport that you get across the business.
The client said “You get connected with a lot more people within and outside of the head office. Previously I also haven’t had many chances to regularly speak to some of the some of the senior leadership in my organization.”
THINGS GET DONE, QUICKLY! (Early, or on time delivery)
“To me one of the most unexpected things was seeing how quickly things move forward with agile approach. We’re pushing forward. No procrastinating.” said our Polish client.
Introducing new ways of working into an organisation is always done for a reason. Usually (but not always) it’s ROI. Agile tools, if used properly, create more time, to get more done and obviously the ultimate benefit of this, is things get done earlier than originally designed.
When we were deep diving into the unexpected benefits of adopting Agile, we were surprised at how “more time” was consistently up there.
FOCUS. ON THE RIGHT PRIORITY. (Efficiency & improved Quality)
Finally we come to the big one. FOCUS. And not just focus, but focusing on the right things, not the easy things. Prioritisation can be hard. Especially when there are a million things to distract. Focus was by far an unexpected benefit.
One of our Polish clients said “To me the most unexpected benefits was the way I priotize my tasks. Previously I opened up my to-do list in the morning and started with the smallest, easiest tasks that I could do by myself, so I could at least get something done and have an illusion of progress.
Agile helped me to focus on the most important things prioritized according to business value.” She said.
One of our Australian clients agreed wholeheartedly. “Agile has transformed the way I look at my capacity not only across projects but my entire workload.
It has taught me to break down tasks into manageable pieces which also helps me to delegate tasks in order to deliver on larger pieces of work.” They said.
Another Australian client discussed the importance of ceremonies, specifically daily standups to help focus. “Daily Stand ups allow people to collaborate in a quick 5-15min session ….and has also been a reminder of ‘what I said I’d do’ yesterday (oops, I’ll do that today and/or it was to big a task so I’ll now break it down to a ‘doable ie 2-4hr task’ )!” they said.
“I didn’t have any expectations going into the Agile process as I didn’t really know what it was! So this is a bit of a tricky one to answer. But what I really like and what it has taught me to do is to break up tasks into even smaller, more achievable tasks. I thought I already knew how to do this, but Agile forces you to be really specific!” one client said.
We think this statement is important to reflect on for a moment. Often times, the challenge with the leadership team is – they think they know better, or have tried it before. However, sometimes until they understand the unexpected benefits of an Agile mindset, they may never move forward. Sometimes it helps to provide them with these unexpected benefits that will flow on from a new way of working, rather than dive into it with reasons like ROI.
We encourage leaders to dive into the above 4 benefits for yourself. Do your own research on them and share with your lighthouse teams. When everyone has an understanding of how adopting an Agile mindset will help them personally, it can fast-track the take up within the broader organisation.
If you have questions on how to get started get in touch. Just reach out to us, on any of our social channels, or go to our website. Remember we also have a MEDIUM publication, where we regularly publish thought leadership articles.
(Editors note: a head’s up –most of our clients are confidential, however all of the quotes have been used with permission)