Improve Your Business Processes With Agile

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One of the most important aspects of any business is being able to speed up processes and work more efficiently. With an increased focus on customer satisfaction, shifts in the market and advances in technology, businesses need to adapt to remain competitive. Agile workflows are one of the easiest and most effective ways for a business to improve its processes. When you consider your business processes as a straight-line speed versus lateral quickness, it is easy to see the key differences. When it comes to speed, it is all about being able to perform the same processes even faster than you could previously. Using Agile focuses on how you can quickly adapt to changing environments to get the best possible results.

What Is Agile And Why Use It For Business Processes?

Agile methodology for business processes means that you and your team are better prepared to handle changing environments and boost efficiency. Famously a software management technique, Agile was created specifically for an industry that needed changes to be made quickly. Although the methodology was developed primarily for software development, it originated from a need for an alternative to lengthy existing processes. This need still exists for many businesses when it comes to automated workflows and efficient processes, and that is why Agile is a well-placed solution. When you choose to combine Agile methodology with business workflows, you can increase the speed of your business processes. Agile works to be iterative and breaks down processes into small, manageable pieces. It combats document-driven processes that are slow and cumbersome. With every iteration, new features and fixes can be made. This ongoing development and willingness to change means that you can avoid tasks and areas that are a waste of time. Using Agile for workflow automation is very similar to using Agile for development, as it aims to remove and replace any processes that are worthless. This frees up workers time so that they can focus on more time-dependent and critical tasks. When you adopt Agile for your business processes, your workforce will be better placed to adapt to any eventuality.

How To Use Agile For Business Processes And Teams?

There is a lot of thought and work that needs to go into an Agile approach. Once your team has adopted Agile completely, they will be better placed to tackle any problem or project thrown their way. When you take an Agile approach, you do not define the entire project and set a plan for how to move forward. Instead, you take everything much more iteratively. On a practical level, this means that teams will need to meet regularly in order to share any success or problems they have come across. This is also the perfect time to introduce improvements that might have come up along the way. This method of continuous improvement is easy to adopt within any business and is a way of working that will feel natural once it has begun. For example, your team might meet once a week for a brief meeting. In this meeting, everyone will look at their output and processes over the past week, and you can decide on any changes going forward. Each member of the team has the opportunity to voice their opinions and ideas, giving everyone the chance to learn and review continuously. This is a retrospective approach where you can ask the crucial questions, such as what has worked for us before? How has it changed and is different now? What should be done about it next? Asking these relevant questions and reviewing the workflow regularly is what will lead your business to continuous improvement. The whole idea behind Agile processes is to give yourself and your team the opportunity to try out new approaches and methods that you might not have used before. Because things are reviewed continuously, there is always the chance to change anything that isn’t working well. Working in an Agile fashion is very different from how most businesses currently operate, as most teams tack their review process into the end of a project. At this stage, it is nearly impossible to make constructive changes and learn lessons from the process. Taking this Agile approach allows you to try and fail faster, which may sound counter-productive, but over time it will lead to a trend of ongoing improvement.

What Is The Agile Process?

Some businesses are often hesitant of change, and many believe they don’t have the time for regular meeting and updates on every project. Even if your company is currently very rigid and traditional, there are some small steps you can adopt from Agile methodology to begin improvements;
  1. Be disciplined with having regular update meetings where all staff members can discuss their issues and opinions.
  2. Set your meeting up with inclusiveness in mind, for example, choose a round table and a whiteboard for ideas.
  3. Keep hierarchy out of the meetings and consider everyone in the room as equal with the same opportunity to contribute.
  4. Always discuss your processes and not your people.
  5. Keep the meeting short by discussing issues first and agree on actions straight away.
  6. Meet again a week later and discuss the actions from the previous meeting. Consider which worked well and which didn’t.
By continuing this process with the team, you will begin to see positive changes within your processes, projects and people. Your team will have the opportunity to learn along the way, and issues are bought to attention earlier than with traditional forms of working. Here at TSG Training, we understand the importance of adopting Agile processes for your business. For a thorough look into the Agile way of working, we recommend the BCS Agile Business Analysis course. Our BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile is another three-day course that is perfect for anyone who wants an understanding of Agile and working within an Agile environment. For professionals who are expecting to use Agile to deliver major projects, the BCS Practitioner Certificate In Agile course teaches effective adoption, roll-out and adaptation of Agile methods within an organisation.

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