Do you feel that innovation and speed are important to your company’s growth? Then agile software development principles should be applied to running your entire business.
Creating detailed tactical plans for months (and sometimes years) worth of work and then handing them off to your group of ‘doer’s’ is a sure way to stagnate and crush the innovative opportunities of your company.
Spending time on the vision of where to take your organization and engaging your employees in the creation of it is a very good use of time. Planning every step of the way is a waste of time.
At Total Attorneys we have created small teams in every department of our organization; we task them with high-level business objectives (that they often help shape) and give them the ability self-organize the execution of the work. These teams break down work into short time frames–never longer than a few weeks–and focus on results through iteration. Teams evaluate and then plan out the next few weeks of work.
The saying goes, ‘How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time.” We now have agile principles applied to HR, Sales, Call Center, Product Development, Accounting, Finance, and IT.
By working in short bursts and being agile we are able to:
• Focus on what is important now
• Adapt new product deployment in real time with our customers
• Enable employees to be creative and innovate, which results in attracting and retaining top talent
• Never head in the wrong direction for more than a few weeks
• Frequently evaluate and re-evaluate everything we do
• Change directions without organizational resistance or confusion, because we do this all the time
• Not get overwhelmed with our aggressive product role out and growth plans
• Move faster and have more fun than everyone else : )
Traditionally you need multi-year planning to keep your organization in lock-toe step with one another. Now technology has enabled organizational agility through collaboration and transparency. We have recently launched Jive Software’s SBS, formerly called Clearspace, to allow us scale our agility. Check out a great Fast Company interview with Cisco’s John Chambers on how the multi-billion dollar company is doing the same.
If you want to move faster than your competition and engage your work force in innovation, go agile.