For the uninitiated, ‘agile’ means working collaboratively, operating efficiently, and delivering in increments to reach end-goals faster than by more traditional methods. The most successful agile teams employ rapid testing and learning and are continuously evolving their ways of working to improve success.
However, there are barriers to successfully embedding agile. Silos can be deeply entrenched, with profound expertise that’s valuable and must not be lost; mindsets are often fixed in the previous way of operating, and culture is one of the hardest things to change. Not everyone thrives naturally in an agile environment, meaning it is essential to bring your team members along with you. Often the biggest hurdle is not realising that, if we want people to behave differently, we need to change the targets by which they are measured.
The risks of not shifting to agile are too great to ignore. Challengers are ready to strike if your brand cannot rapidly address changes in the market and the threats they pose. Disruption can take many forms – whether technological, organisational, or cost model – and can mean that your business is quickly overtaken if unable to respond.
If you employ consultants to help you to embed agility, it’s important to ensure your dedicated transformation team is collaborative. This can mean co-locating teams to help them live and breathe what’s important to your organisation, such as understanding the ways you currently work and how best to evolve, rather than simply providing playbooks and expecting them to just 'go'. Delivery in increments is also key to success, ensuring that you can keep an eye on outputs and continually shape the next iteration to best meet your goals and vision.