There are so many written posts and articles debating on the future of agile as a project management mechanism or as the future of work itself. It is essential to note that Agile is not only just about software development at all neither is it all about project delivery. Agile is a philosophical dimension way of organising and executing work.
Agile has recorded tremendous success especially since adoption in Software Development, therefore the next wave of Agile now is “enterprise agility” which speaks volume about agile as the future of work.
Gerard Chiva said “Agile is no longer about product development; it concerns the whole process and organisation. Finance, legal, HR – everything must work together as a complete, adaptable and agile organism”.
The real agility of a business is not only about a segment of the organisation such as (the production or the operational side), but it’s about the entire organisation which includes the strategy, management, decision making, governance and structure.
Business Agility will enable individuals the flexibility to switch roles and responsibilities swiftly. There will be less of specialisation and more crossovers between functions, instead of witnessing careers going up or going out, it will only go across.
A deeper understanding of the Agile mindset opens up some of the most basic principles that an organisation effective and the alignment with how job functions need to evolve for the nearest future. This core principle serves as the barometer or a way of predicting the future of the adoption of agile philosophy within corporate organisations.
Some of these core principles include:
Self-organization with teamwork.
Agile makes sure that predicted outcomes and requirements are clear, but how that job function gets executed is up to the team. This will allow every team the autonomy to find solutions to problems and also create solutions in the way they deem fit. Based on research, this autonomy as demonstrated in agile is on the key points that make agile so engaging for those involved.
Agile gives room for the creation of cross-functional, dedicated teams to collaborate on projects. It brings together people with different skills and perceptions which makes better work product. This act of dedicating resources to the team, ensuring focus and team commitment contributes both to the speed and quality of the product or service.
There is usually no manager in an agile team, merely because they don’t need one. They often will have a servant leader who protects the team and facilitates conversations and meetings. Each member of an agile team has a role to play with specific deliverable (with a facilitator of the group). A highly effective agile squad makes agreements upfront on how they will work together, the kind of behaviour expected and how they will handle feedback and conflict resolution.
Real-time and ongoing feedback.
The nature, structure and the focus of the team where all are working on the projects simultaneously, feedback becomes a necessity and a major required part of the process on a daily basis. There’s also a formal meeting, built into the process after work product is shipped/delivered.
Continuous iteration and calibration.
Agile gets work done in increments, unlike the traditional model or way of doing things which allows long project cycle of planning, working the plans out and delivering the outcome. The problem with the conventional model is that things are happening so fast this present time that the model might go obsolete before the project gets delivered. The agile model has continuous testing, feedback and calibration process to ensure that the work they are doing is in line to meet the changing needs it is intended to satisfy.
Agile has proven to be highly effective in so many domains and going by this indications, the future of agile is well beyond project delivery. However, for agile to activate its full potential, it requires an overhauling and implementation of a new culture, philosophies and mindset within your organisation. Everything will have to be changed, from leadership to management to employees.
At WayMaker Digital, we help organisations to deliver their corporate goals while adopting the Agile & Lean principles. Our core specialities include Requirements Specification, Business Analysis, Process Engineering, and we establish an Agile / Lean culture with Project Delivery cadence that’s repeatable and sustainable for the business & customers. If you would like to have a conversation on how we might be able to help, please get in touch.
Also published on Medium.