This article looks at agile working and how you can implement it in your business. Agile has been spreading through the manufacturing, project management, and IT fields, and now many companies are reaping its benefits by applying its methods in their general business operations.
Learn how to use technology to work more efficiently, become more collaborative, and become more profitable.
What Is Agile Working?
The notion of agile working usually leads many to think about flexible working hours or home working. But agile working is not about this. Agile working is less about where we work and more about how we work.
Agile working brings people together through technology and follows the most effective processes to carry out a project. One of the key differences between traditional and agile working is the process of completing tasks. Traditionally, tasks are completed one by one in a linear order—the problem, however, is that if an issue arises halfway into your project, you may have to replan, redo tasks, or even restart the whole project.
Agile works differently: agile works in cycles, in iterations, and ensures that if a problem occurs, it can be quickly resolved before moving on to the next stage. Project tasks are broken down into groups, which are gradually cycled and progressed. This process prevents costly errors and makes team working much more manageable by setting clear goals throughout the project.
However, agile is more than just a way of working; it is a way of thinking, a philosophy. Agile working has developed from several business operations strategies, including lean manufacturing and just in time (JIT). JIT originated in Japan from Toyota, and it allows factories to operate without having stockpiles of spare parts and supplies in reserve. The fundamental concept of them all is kaizen, which means change for the better or continuous improvement.
What Does Agile Working Mean To Your Business?
Working agile means that your staff and business will be working more efficiently. If people find it more efficient to work from home, then it means granting people that freedom. If it means using collaborative applications instead of traditional applications, then that’s the deal.
In this way, agile can mean different things to different businesses. It is all based on the same integral idea of maximising the efficient use of resources and continuous development. Other companies have different resources, and they have different ways of allocating those same resources.
One of the key ways of making teams more agile is by improving their ability to collaborate. In the past, people would write documents, send them to others for their input, and even to someone else for editing and proofreading. Now, everyone can work on the same document simultaneously, without being in the same office or even the same time zone.
Technology is allowing teams and businesses to be more agile. Modern laptops and cloud applications are taking away the need for teams to be cramped together in one office. Often, we now find workers in the same teams located all around the world. This type of remote work allows companies to save on overheads and relocation costs, and empowers them to choose the best talent from anywhere in the world.
Implement Agile Working Technology
The quickest way to make your teams more agile is by using cloud technology. This type of technology includes applications that are not restricted to any one computer or any one location. Cloud applications not only make it easier for your team members to work together, it makes your business more secure.
Your documents are backed up on an external server when you’re working in the cloud. This means that if your laptop is lost or stolen, or if your computer network gets hacked, there is no risk of data leaks or data losses. You could call this agile disaster recovery. It enables your business to get back to work straight away after suffering from something that would cripple a regular, non-cloud-based business.
Agile working means giving greater freedom to our workforce while making the most of our resources. As a result, greater levels of employee satisfaction and higher levels of annual profits are achieved. Whether your business is an SME, and you want to maintain your entrepreneurial nimbleness, or whether it’s in the Fortune 100, and you want to stay one step ahead of the competition—agile working makes your business more flexible and more competitive.
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