What is agile working?

Hierarchy has long been a determining factor in organizations, but times are changing. Organizations want to be flexible with fewer managers and more committed teams. This allows them to respond faster to changes and they are agile. Agile is a flexible way of organizing that puts four things into practice:

  1. A flexible strategy
  2. multidisciplinary teams,
  3. Short cycles
  4. work visually.

In this example we look at Food Co, where Anna and her team work agile. Together they want to develop a new product, namely a healthy biscuit. How do they do that in an agile way? First, her team formulates a flexible strategy. They don't make elaborate plans, but they discover what the best product can be. This way they have maximum room to make adjustments. An Agile organization like Anne's has multidisciplinary teams that can act independently, quickly and are allowed to experiment. They can organize their work themselves and take responsibility, without the intervention of a project manager or line manager.

Agile organizations get results in short cycles. This helps teams achieve something valuable in the short term. In a fixed rhythm of one or two weeks, the team can make adjustments, assisted by customers and stakeholders. An agile team stands for boards on which work is visualized at a glance, Anna and the other team members can see what they are going for, progress is and which signals come from the environment: flexible, multidisciplinary in short, cycles and visual. Those are the four characteristics of an agile organization. The promise of agile is that Anna can launch a healthy cookie in her organization faster, more successfully, and that she has more autonomy and pleasure in her work. That is why more and more organizations are discovering what agile can mean for them and are working with agile coaches to be able to change.

How could your organizations develop?