Are You Running An Agile Organization?

Most businesses in the 21st-century place focus on being agile — but what does market responsiveness look like in concrete terms? Here are the 12 principles of agile business development: 

1. Customer Needs and UX Improvement Take Center Stage

No business can be successful without providing its customers with a product or service worth paying for — yet far too many organizations focus on secondary functions such as bureaucracy, branding, and staffing before meeting customer demand efficiently with their current resources. Agile businesses emphasize user experience first and begin working the details out once they have the revenue to justify such endeavors.

2. Both Strategy and Tactics Must be Adaptive.

If you depend upon following formulas or rulebooks to attain success, then running an agile business might not be for you. The very definition of corporate agility relies upon quick adaptations of both strategy and tactics, so agile businesses must consistently track and evaluate data for the purpose of effective, accurate, and up-to-date understanding of customer needs and the best way of meeting those needs.

3. Agility Relies on Progress and Momentum.

Organizations that embrace an agile philosophy embrace change — which means consistently building upon past success. If implementing a new technology creates positive results, for example, you should immediately reorient your existing goals toward continuing that success by enacting further changes in the same efficient direction.

4. Cross-Functional Collaboration Is Key.

First and foremost, agile businesses share information between departments — and, whenever possible, employees and departments should be working together to reach mutually inclusive goals. If you suspect that your organization has room for improvement in this respect, then we recommend this Blogin article as a good resource for implementing change.

5. Motivated Team Members Are A Must.

Every co-founder, partner, and employee that you work with must be highly motivated, self-starting, and open to constructive criticism if your organization is going to be truly agile and adaptive.

6. Minimize Bureaucracy; Maximize Face-to-Face Interaction.

Office politics and standardized processes might serve a function in certain types of organizations — but they are enemies of agility. If you aim to adapt to market demands faster than the competition, you should emphasize in-person meetings and direct lines of approval over more formal alternatives.

7. Success is Measured By Output.

Abstract thought has no place in agile production: if you want to consider a certain idea or process successful, then have the concrete numbers to support your claim. If not, then it’s time to work on improvement.

8. Innovation Must be Relentless.

No positive change in your business is worth implementing if it is not scalable!

9. Technical Excellence is a Fundamental Requirement.

This topic is closely related to scalability. Sloppy tech work, no matter how effective, is never going to be scalable on a grand scale, which is why investing in strong tech should be a priority from the very start.

10. Minimise Duplicated Effort and Wasted Resources.

These problems are rampant in most large-scale organizations — a fact that gives smaller organizations an opportunity to overcome the economy of scale and offer innovative and efficient solutions that can compete on virtually any market.

11. Create Small, Highly Autonomous Teams.

Studies have shown that people are most productive and innovative when working in this format, so take advantage of your ability to implement and utilize such groups.

12. Support Learning.

Offering employees at every level ample opportunity to grow professionally while discussing and reflecting on relevant workplace issues is a big commitment — but it is one that will pay dividends in terms of enabling your company to stay competitive.