To further ignite Abley's agile journey, some of our Software Development team members attended the third annual Agile Christchurch Conference held at the Hagley Oval on 21st February 2020.
Although agile concepts date back to the 90’s and are commonly applied in Software Development teams, businesses are now recognising the need to apply agile to their entire business, which is what this year’s speakers mainly focused on.
What is agile?
One key advantage of using an agile approach over a traditional one is that agile accepts uncertainty as a given and deals with it in an adaptive way, rather than trying to have all the answers upfront. It gives the ability to change dynamically to a situation rather than being stuck on a path that may no longer be viable.
Modern agile methods are defined by four guiding principles:
How can agile help businesses?
Agile business practices allow an organisation to rapidly adapt to market and environment changes as well as helping to break down silos, boosting employee engagement and encouraging self-organisation.
Speakers discussed how, unlike in software development, there can be no process framework to implement business agility as every business is different. One concept that stood out was agile enterprise’s use of fluid role definitions that allows for dynamic decision-making structures compared to rigid hierarchies as seen in traditional models.
There seems to be a growing trend in business on making software development teams ‘agile’ but forgetting about the rest of the business. This can result in software development teams either outpacing their own organisation or getting held back by slow-moving bureaucracy.
No longer is agile just a set of guiding principles for software developers to use. We are welcoming an area where business agility will be the most significant factor in deciding the winners and losers in the new global economy. Those who master the competencies of enterprise agility will thrive in the new post-digital age.