Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:?
- How can I make my teams more efficient and effective?
- How can I create more capacity in my teams (without spending money)?
- How would I even know what my teams’ capacities are?
If someone suggested to you that Agile may help with this, would you respond with an additional question that runs something something like:
“Does this “agile” thing work outside of software?”
Agile is actually a collection of frameworks that have their roots in lean manufacturing. Many companies have claimed to implement Lean – though this has not always been viewed in a positive way. (Refer to our video called “Stop Using Lean to Cut Costs” – halfway down our Process Improvement Services page).
Using Agile, just like Lean, should be part of an overall execution strategy – and should be considered in the right context. If your company has knowledge workers, there is a good chance that some Agile frameworks that are focused on planning and execution and can help visualize capacity, especially when it is hard to “see” work in the form of tangible goods, work-in-progress, or materials.
The most important aspect of implementing any Agile framework, as with a Lean framework, is actually the corresponding changes in management behavior.
So what makes something “Agile?”
Agile frameworks, particularly Scrum and Kanban, create a fast cadence of predictable value delivery and continuous improvement. Agile works well in complex environments, especially when the ultimate requirements and technology needed to support those, are not well understood up front. When projects are simple, straightforward, or have been done “a hundred times before,” Agile is not the best framework to apply.
Agile frameworks, particularly Scrum and Kanban, create a fast cadence of predictable value delivery and continuous improvement.
Of course, this implies that organizations deploying an Agile framework – especially in the form of Scrum and Kanban tools, value continuous improvement. They will be willing to empower teams to self organize and patient as they get started, especially with cycle of continuous improvement that will ultimately drive achievement beyond the sum of predictable “pre-planned” parts.
Read our Case Study on how AJC deployed Agile at a client recently, where the Management Team was definitely dialed in to this approach.
If you are interested in learning the answers to the questions we posed at the beginning of this article, review this article on how to get started. Be on the watch for a future Lunch and Learn session with our overview of Agile – we will post the link here when that is available.