This article is part of our Process 101 guide.
Agile is an approach that was originally created for software development. The idea behind it was to encourage cross-functional collaboration, and to develop in sprints so that the team could continuously improve throughout the process. According to research published on TechBeacon, two-thirds of software development teams now described their company as either “pure agile” or “leaning towards agile”.
But while the approach was originally created with software in mind, numerous other industries, sectors (such as the Public Sector) and departments (such as Quality & Assurance) are now embracing Agile methodology due to its highly collaborative and more efficient nature.
Agile is geared toward continuous improvement
As a value-driven approach to management, Agile provides a highly efficient way of working. The 13th annual State of Agile report shows a 71% project cost reduction as being the primary reason organisations adopt Agile. Meanwhile 67% say its ability to connect the business is important.
Benefits of adopting agile methodology include:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased productivity
- Increased transparency
- Higher quality deliverables
- Decreased risk of missed objectives
- Increased stakeholder engagement and satisfaction
But while there are numerous benefits to adopting an Agile business model, there are a number of challenges that prevent teams from successfully scaling it internally.
Challenges of scaling Agile
Research from Forrester suggests that two of the key challenges that organisations experiencing when rolling out Agile methodology are:
- Cross-team collaboration
The way people work within an organisation helps to define its culture (see also: Workplace transformation). As such, it becomes ingrained in the DNA and therefore very difficult to change.
When organisations look to adopt Agile, it generally requires people to change the way they work. Naturally, people resist change, instead preferring to continue with “the way we’ve always done things”. Asking them to even consider that their way might not necessarily be the right/best/most efficient way, is plagued with trouble.
Organisational functions are often very good at organising themselves, and finding productive ways of working that get the most out of their department. Where they fall down is when they have to move outside of their function.
Cross-team collaboration, and also collaborating with external third-parties, is fraught with danger; everyone has different priorities, different working styles, different processes around reviews and approvals…
Attempting to identify and agree a single way of working could be a big ask.
beSlick enables you to embrace Agile with ease
According to CIO, there are 12 key principles of Agile. Here we consider how beSlick works to adhere to some of these…
Change is embraced at any stage of the process
The best time to identify how to improve process is at the time it’s being performed. When users are ‘in the moment’ they quickly see why things are broken or not running as efficiently as they should be – and they’ll probably figure out a new way of fixing it and making it better.
Within beSlick, we allow users to provide feedback on every step within a process. This feedback can then be reviewed and incorporated into the process template as necessary.
Cross-team collaboration is simple
There will be occasions when processes and workflows span multiple departments. In these instances, you want to be certain that they’re being followed, and that key steps and important information isn’t lost once they leave one department, or move outside the organisation to a third-party.
beSlick allows teams to collaborate on processes in the way they work best. Each process is assigned an owner, who has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the process is complete. But then people can add/change/delete the steps that are specific to their function. And people can be assigned to each step, so the process owner knows who to speak to if there’s an issue and the activity becomes stuck.
Teams have all the information they need
Unless a process is useful, it’s going to be condemned to a file share, never to see the light of day again. When people feel like they need the process in order to do the job in the most effective way, it becomes a part of business-as-usual activity, and the steps are followed.
beSlick contains all the information a user needs in order to complete a task. Links, documents and descriptions are saved within the relevant step, guiding the user on how to complete the task at hand.
Teams are trusted to accomplish project goals
When you hired your team, you chose the best people for the roles. And because they’re the best, you can trust that they’re clever, they’re experienced in performing the role, and they have some pretty good ideas too.
beSlick acknowledges that people are your most valuable asset, and enables them to get on in the best way they know how. It doesn’t try to control them, forcing them to tick off steps (regardless of whether they’ve actually been done or not). It gives them a framework in which to continuously improve the organisation.