3 Ways Agile Makes Work Better
Agile has always been an extremely efficient way of working, but the number of teams and organizations using Agile has increased dramatically during the pandemic. And it makes sense, because agile is a brilliant approach for our new hybrid workplace landscape: it’s able to serve employees and businesses with extraordinary efficiency given its principles.
A new study from digital.ai found that Agile adoption increased from 37% to 86% for software development teams, and adoption doubled for non-IT groups. Work has become more unpredictable and volatile, requiring higher levels of speed and flexibility in the work process and more alignment between and among teams. And companies are recognizing the power of agility to respond to these changes and these needs.
Agile can also make work more rewarding, which is a major concern for the 41% of people considering quitting their jobs and finding greener pastures elsewhere and companies considering how to attract, retain and to hire a largely hybrid workforce.
Why Agile, why now
Agile Drives Adaptability
Today’s work requires greater adaptability. The future is more ambiguous and the complexity of context, conditions and work has increased. The agile methodology prioritizes responsiveness to changing conditions and avoids processes that slow things down or impede progress.
Data from the digital.ai study demonstrates that agility has the right effects: organizations that have implemented or extended agility have experienced an increased ability to manage changing priorities (70% of companies) and 52% of them have also increased their efficiency in distributed management. teams. Nearly half of companies (49%) also reported reduced risk due to the ability to make faster changes and react to changing customer needs and market realities.
Agile helps people and businesses scale quickly, respond to emerging needs, and respond effectively with little notice.
Agile drives speed and results
Work is also becoming more intense with increasing customer demands, increased competition, and increased levels of transparency and accountability for product quality. Businesses need to run faster to keep up with the competition and can’t afford missteps given the amplifying effects of social media when things go wrong.
The Agile Manifesto emphasizes customer needs and releasing working software that can be improved over time. Therefore, agile methodologies also contribute to speed and results. Companies that have implemented or extended agile practices have:
- Accelerated software delivery (64% of companies)
- Increased team productivity (60%)
- Better delivery predictability (51%)
- Improved software quality (45%)
- Increased process discipline (45%)
The results are compelling for businesses and their customers, but they’re also compelling for employees. When people feel their work is effective, they tend to be more engaged. Moreover, performance is correlated with happiness. People tend to have a greater sense of joy and satisfaction with their work (read: likelihood of committing to and staying with an organization) when they feel good about their contribution and know that their work counts.
Agile drives engagement
Perhaps one of the most powerful elements of the Agile Manifesto and Agile mindset is people prioritization. Agile values people and their experience, and puts people before process. This is especially relevant today, as people’s expectations of their work have changed. They expect more from their companies and claim the conditions of well-being, belonging and meaning. Agile also makes a difference here.
When companies adopt Agile, they report improved alignment between groups within the company (66% of organizations). When people see a line of sight between their work and the work of others and the effects on customers, they tend to be more engaged. And that’s especially important given the distributed nature of hybrid working: people always need to feel connected and included, no matter where they work.
In addition, 70% of companies report greater visibility on projects through the use of agility, which has positive impacts on attention and focus on projects, but also on people. who work there. Employees want to know that they are recognized and validated for their work, and project visibility is positively related to people visibility.
Agile also positively affects team morale, according to 60% of companies. People want a sense of belonging. The work that is most rewarding, and that will engage and inspire employees, is in part driven by teams that work well together, embracing challenges, solving problems, iterating, learning, and celebrating when they succeed.
Overall, agile is embraced informally with businesses adopting its general concepts, and it is embraced more formally with a variety of established agile methodologies (scrum being one example). Many companies are also embracing agility at scale, in which they extend agility to more departments and embed it across the entire value chain.
The study shows that companies use key rituals that are part of the agile methodology. In particular, they use daily standups (87% of companies), retrospectives (83%), sprints and iteration planning (83%) and Kanban (77%).
You can choose to use different approaches, but the best method is the one you put into practice. Don’t try to be perfect. Try agile methodologies, gather feedback, learn and improve over time, using the iterative nature of agile to implement agile itself.
Overall, you’ll be in good company if you choose to incorporate agile practices, and given the number of companies that use agility to drive results, it may be imperative that you embrace agility.
Embrace agile concepts, embrace agile methodologies, and continually improve your agile implementation. Do this for the business benefits of adaptability, speed, and results. But also for the benefits for people. Agile is fundamental to better work outcomes, but also to better work experiences for people.