Adherence to agility is essential for organisations eager to level its performance through continuous improvement on products and services. However, achieving adherence to agility can be challenging, especially for the squad and the individuals within.
The human factor is the most important to progress in agile. Adherence to agility can only be embraced and achieved by helping the squads understand agile not only in concept but also during its implementation process within the organisation.
In this writing we will outline the two crucial aspects of adherence to agility, the Process Agility and Behavioural Agility. Let’s begin by breaking down those agile concepts and processes up to its examples in practice.
What is Process Agility?
Agility is entities’ ability to adapt its working processes due to external factors that can drive market turbulence or significant shifts within the internal working framework - ie. technology advancement - or in rare occasions, both can occur at the same time.
The most recent example would be how the COVID-19 pandemic drives changes in how businesses deliver their customers’ needs and services. This situation gives the perfect example on how urgent it is for organisations to start seeding agility to their working environment.
Then, what is Process Agility? Process agility are agile methods and frameworks applied to incorporate potentially multi-teams, various working-steps and innumerable value-streams. Some of the applicable methods and frameworks are Scrum, Kanban, Lean Six Sigma, SAFe, LeSS or Disciplined Agile - this is not closing doors to more complex frameworks applied within a bigger enterprise level.
The key element of process agility is focussing on outcomes and products over outputs and projects. The decisions, workflow and process are directed towards continuous delivery of values and business outcomes. Process agility helps to ensure continuity of values in products and services delivered by teams. Teams should be enabled to take decisions directly related to their works - this validates ownership of the work being done.
Process agility is enabled as organisations initiate the Value Cycle practice, beginning from Value Identification process to Value Realisation. These value cycle practices are materialised within sprint activities conducted by the squads.
4 Sprint activities forming process agility in teams
Sprint is a concept closely attached to agile implementations. In its practice, we break down four activities that shape the process agility in teams as:
- Sprint Planning. This is a period where the squad plans their sprint work and defines the sprint goals.
- Daily Standup. A 10-15 minute update session that enables the squad to discuss their progress, identify any blockers, and make plans for the following day.
- Sprint Review. This session allows the squad to demonstrate their work to stakeholders and gathers feedback. The feedback will later be incorporated into their next sprint planning.
- Sprint Retrospective. This is a period where the squad reflects on their sprint performance to identify areas of improvement. This is not limited to the outcomes of the sprint, but also on how the squad collaborate as teams.
Here are some practise of building adherence to process agility that can be helpful for the squad:
- Providing training on agile practices. All squad members should receive training on the agile practises that the team is using. This will help to ensure that everyone has a common understanding of the practices and how to apply them.
- Create a clear process for each step of the value cycle. The squad should have a clear process for each step of the value cycle, from Value Identification to Value Realisation. This will help to ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it.
- Track progress and make adjustments as needed. The squad should track their progress on each sprint and make adjustments to their process as needed. This will help to ensure that the team is on track to achieve their goals.
What is Behavioural Agility?
Behavioural Agility is the ability to demonstrate the values and characters of agility onto day-to-day activities. It is essential for individuals and teams aiming to achieve process agility to win in the ever-changing today’s market.
4 Habits that correlate to strong behavioural agility
Individuals with strong behavioural agility can be identified with the following characteristics. It can be seeded within the squad through collaboration. By working together, squad members will influence each other through habits and desire to obtain their objectives.
- Collaborate. The willingness to work together to achieve the set goals. Having this habit onboard will make the teams work together for their objectives and also adding value to each other's works.
- Communicate. The most difficult habit to seed in a team is openness in communication. Teams that can embrace open communication will have a smoother journey in adopting agility. This will help them convey any information more effectively with stakeholders.
- Continuous Improvement. This is a habit that unlocks the path to continuous improvement. Team members shall constantly look for ways to improve their processes and work products.
- Customer Focus. Having a customer focus mindset as a habit can be helpful in the team’s journey of delivering value of products or services. This will enable the teams to think thoughtfully about their customers which is often followed by trend identification, research to continuous innovation.
Here are some practises of building adherence to behavioural agility at the squad and individual level:
- Creating a culture of collaboration and feedback. The squad should create a culture of collaboration and feedback. This means that team members should feel comfortable sharing ideas and feedback with each other, even if it is critical.
- Encouraging continuous learning and improvement. The squad should encourage continuous learning and improvement. This means that team members should be given the opportunity to learn new skills and to experiment with new ways of working.
- Celebrating successes and recognising contributions. The squad should celebrate successes and recognise the contributions of team members. This will help to motivate team members and to create a positive work environment.
- Using a shared project management tool. Using a shared project management tool can help to improve transparency and communication within the squad. The tool can also be used to track progress and identify blockers.
- Holding regular team meetings. In addition to the daily standup, the squad should hold regular team meetings to discuss their progress, make plans, and identify any challenges. These meetings should be open and collaborative, and everyone should feel comfortable sharing their ideas.
- Encouraging cross-training. Cross-training can help to improve team collaboration and knowledge sharing. It can also help to reduce the risk of the team being impacted by the loss of a team member.
- Providing opportunities for professional development. The organisation should provide opportunities for squad members to develop their skills and knowledge. This could include providing training on new Agile practices, attending conferences, or reading books and articles on Agility.
Bring it all together!
Building Adherence to Agility at the squad and individual level is essential for any organisation that wants to improve its performance and deliver high-quality products and services to its customers.
By following the points above, organisations can build a culture of agility that will help them to achieve their goals.
By taking these steps, organisations can create a culture of Agility that will help them to improve their performance and deliver high-quality products and services to their customers.