Many organizations watch the well-known tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple and see with envy, how these companies continuously innovate and quickly adapt to changing market circumstances. At the same time, other companies struggle to improve their speed to market. Agility is an approach that has been successfully used by technology companies for several years. It enables companies to both stay nimble and flexible like start-ups but also being able to scale-up and grow.
Although agility started as a practice within the tech space, to gain the full benefit, it needs to be implemented across the whole organization. The ultimate goal is to enable organizations to quicker innovate, that is to bring improved products and services to the market. This includes a quick iteration on developing hypotheses, testing them in the market place, collecting feedback, and adapting the hypotheses. An agile approach can help organizations of any size to achieve this Goal.
What is agility?
Agility is based on the agile manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org). In short, this manifesto gives clear priorities of:
Individuals and interactions over processes and Tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
Agility is not a fixed ruleset but rather a mindset and an approach to organizational structures and processes. As such, the implementation will be different for every company. Two key components of any agile implementation are the focus on pushing decisions towards the people who are closest to the problem, and the active use of feedback loops to continuously improve both processes and outcomes.
About the author: Steffen Heilmann is Senior VP IT at MYTOYS GROUP. Together with his team, he is responsible for the operation and further development of the entire IT for MYTOYS GROUP.