Agile, by definition, means to move quickly and easily. Organizations that are agile are people-driven organizations composed of teams that can respond quickly and adapt to the changing needs of the market and the customers.
Promoting agile policies, structures, and practices foster growth in a company by constantly shifting mindsets. Employees in such organizations need to come up with new models and strategies that challenge traditional business models. Because of this, agile organizations survive better in adverse conditions.
What is the Framework of an Agile Organization?
Traditional business models have certain shortcomings and an agile organization aims to circumvent those shortcomings, or at the very least, improve upon them. Business scenarios are changing constantly, so an agile framework helps cope with the changes.
For instance, an agile framework compels as well as encourages employees to keep up with the constant changes in technology. It also allows the division of responsibilities in such a way that lack of alignment or communication within and between teams is brought down to the absolute minimum, if not completely eliminated.
How are Agile Organizations Structured?
Agile organizations are structured to be more focused on customers than on merely making profits. These organizations operate under the 80-20 rule, which, in other words, means operating under the presumption that 20% of their customers will bring 80% of their profits.
To do that, they focus on building customer loyalty, which that commitment begins right from the way the organization is structured internally. Agile organizations see themselves as organisms with teams circling the leader rather than being extremely hierarchical and overly bureaucratic.
This allows an agile organization to make communication more open across teams and allows a better flow of information. This way, they can make decisions faster, take initiatives more quickly, have a more engaged workforce, and grow their revenues quicker and higher.
Agile organizations also conform to the VUCA approach, which helps them be better prepared and better equipped to operate under conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
What Are the Benefits of an Agile Organization?
Agile organizations enjoy many advantages over traditional organizations, some of which are:
Better communications among teams.
Adapting to changes easily.
Collaborative measures all the time.
Quicker response with more frequency.
Tasks get done much more quickly.
Ability to rotate jobs easily to develop skills.
More opportunities to learn from failure.
Constantly evolving the environment.
Brings more return on investment and increases revenue faster and more effectively.
What Are the Building Blocks of an Agile Organization?
When establishing the building blocks of an agile organization, you need to ensure that agile principles permeate every aspect of the organization right from the organizational strategies and goals to the structure of the organization, people, processes, and technological development. These make the five trademarks of an agile organization.
Five Trademarks of an Agile Organization
The first trademark, forming the strategy of the organization, is the shared purpose and vision of employees across the company. In an agile organization, you need to make sure that resource allocation is flexible and that teams and/or the organization can seize opportunities as soon as they arise.
The second trademark, forming the organization’s structure, is creating a network of cross-connecting teams. It makes the structure flat and clear, making communication and collaboration much easier.
The third trademark focuses on processes where you need to ensure rapid decision-making and constant learning.
The fourth trademark, focusing on manpower, is a dynamic people-centric model. You need to make sure that employees work with an entrepreneurial mindset, have mobility across roles, demonstrate different types of leadership, and form a compatible network.
The fifth trademark focuses on harnessing improvements in technology to enable continual improvement in processes and best practices. This involves adopting and adapting to new cutting-edge architecture, tools, and systems.
How Can You Bring Agility to Your Organization?
It’s not an easy thing to transform a traditional organization into an agile one. It needs strategic planning and a lot of time and effort. But most importantly, you need to instill the right mindset and behavior into your workforce, which takes time.
However, you can start by making some basic changes to your organization. Consider making these changes to start introducing the agile model:
Changing the reporting structure to make teams more autonomous;
Revising the roles and responsibilities to enable greater mobility between roles and more scope for learning and development;
Bringing changes in the organization’s culture to make employees value things like proactiveness, independence, ingenuity, and so on;
Changes in talent management so that the best people are hired and high-performers are encouraged and retained;
Networking and communication systems to allow cross-communication among teams;
Planning methods to ensure everyone can discuss and come up with the best plans;
Decision-making processes in which employees are empowered and decisions can be made more quickly;
Making employees more open to improvement and self-development so that they can receive feedback well and work on them effectively.