Move fast with agile methods
We unleash the true potential of your organization by equipping your teams with the tools, practices, and mindsets for agility.
The agile movement was born in 2001.
That’s the year a group of developers arrived at a set of values and principles to enable rapid changes to software in a fast-moving world.
Some agile principles (e.g., “simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done”) can be traced back decades earlier, to scientist William Deming and the Toyota Production System.
True to these roots, agile principles are now being applied in every industry, not just software. And for good reason: agile projects are 3x more likely to succeed than traditional approaches.
Business agility doesn’t arise from following a cookie-cutter process. It’s about approaching work with the right mindset, and behaving in a way that aligns with agile values and principles.
What this actually looks like will depend on the team and organization.
We bring extensive experience and a personal approach to helping our clients:
Structure teams to enhance agility
Small, cross-functional teams form the building blocks for performance in an agile organization. These teams typically take on end-to-end responsibility for delivering customer value.
Teams work autonomously in short, iterative cycles called sprints. Once goals for the sprint are set, the team collectively decides on how to achieve them.
During a sprint, leaders and teams try to stick to its scope of work. This increases the team’s focus and chances of getting the job done.
Leaders help teams flourish by providing appropriate opportunities, access to customers and resources, coaching, and “blocking and tackling.” This gives teams the freedom to act, fail fast, learn, and deliver efficiently.
We work closely with you to roll out the most effective structure for teams—taking into account your unique strategy, culture, and dynamics.
Embed ceremonies, mindsets, and behaviors
The objective of an agile team is to produce something of value for a customer (internal or external) at the end of each sprint. Throughout the sprint, the team engages in behaviors that enable them to do so.
- During sprint planning, the team estimates how long the work will take, commits to goals, and devises a plan.
- An agile board and daily standup meetings allow team members to share progress, goals, and obstacles.
- Team members limit the amount of work in progress, ensuring work gets carried to completion.
- At the end of each sprint, the work is reviewed, along with stakeholder feedback.
- The team holds a retrospective to learn from what did and didn’t go well during the sprint.
We help leaders and team members adopt these behaviors and the mindsets behind them—tailoring ceremonies to your context. Where multiple teams must work together to deliver value, we help you establish the necessary structure and roles.
Business agility is about approaching work with the right mindset, and behaving in a way that aligns with agile values and principles.
Measure performance to continuously improve
Business agility can profoundly affect an organization’s performance. The following outcomes can and should be measured.
- Productivity. In agile organizations, productivity is measured by value generated, rather than steps accomplished or time spent. Agile organizations have a 30 percent edge in productivity.
- Time to market. From the moment an idea hits the backlog, to the time it generates value, progress can be measured. Business agility reduces time to market by about 30 percent.
- Innovation. A simple way to measure this is the number of hypotheses tested versus resources consumed. Agile organizations see up to 75 percent improvements here.
- Product quality. This can be assessed by customer satisfaction, errors, and incident reports. With business agility, product quality increases by up to 50 percent.
We help organizations devise appropriate metrics to measure and improve performance, in all of these areas.
Design the optimal agile work environment
A great work environment can attract and retain talent, improve flexibility, and increase creativity and collaboration. For these reasons, agile organizations are putting more thought into how they design their workspaces.
It’s important to create multiple environments where people can work and meet. Being able to choose a space that is appropriate for a particular task is empowering, and enables creativity and productivity.
Informal meeting spaces and break rooms encourage conversations and collaboration. Spaces designed for teamwork allow teams to get stuff done. Open space creates transparency and trust. Relaxation rooms provide revitalization and serendipity.
Across agile organizations, a range of environments have been experimented with. The same is true for collaboration tools that enable teaming at a distance.
What one organization or team finds indispensable, another might find unnecessary—or counterproductive. We advise leaders on work environments suited to their culture, employee personas, and desired agile behaviors.