Companies often claim to be agile, but are they really? To be agile, a company needs to be able to continuously adapt, renew itself and change quickly to meet the ever-changing market demands.
For this to occur, businesses need to have working processes and systems that boost stability and flexibility. This enables your company to anticipate and tackle challenges as they arise. Some of the core processes and systems that make it easy for a company to be agile are:
- Adopting a shared services model instead of having each division run its own administrative centers.
- Replacing legacy systems with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to tackle automation – call-center automation and process automation like Oracle Financials and PeopleSoft that manage human resource and payroll.
- Purchasing a business process management (BPM) tool to fill automation gaps and automate workflows associated with vendor maintenance, capital project approval and other forms. BPM tools greatly support business agility as processes and workflows can be rapidly created and modified to suit the changing trends in the environment.
How Can You Make Your Company More Agile?
To determine whether your company is truly agile or not, here is a checklist of characteristics your company needs to have to truly become agile company, not just pretend to be:
- Do you have a customer-centric culture?
An agile company does this by involving customers in its development process and incorporating their feedback into their plans. In turn, the company works on satisfying the needs of its customers and creating value for a wide range of stakeholders, employees, investors, partners and communities.
- Are your teams empowered enough?
Your company needs to have teams that can make swift and informed decisions to redirect their efforts if need be, operating with high standards of alignment, accountability, expertise, transparency and collaboration. In other words, leadership should trust employees to deliver quality work and give them the space to do so rather than micromanaging them or over-centralizing power in the higher ranks.
- Do you encourage face-to-face interactions?
Regular in-person meetings allow both the managers and the employees to consistently reflect on what is working or not and hence, make quick decisions to double down on certain efforts and cut back on others. Face-to-face interactions are important because they enable a company to build and maintain the key feedback loops between managers and employees that are vital for it to be truly agile.
- Do your departments work together?
Agile companies encourage collaboration between the different organizational departments so that everyone is in the know of what is going on in other parts of the company and can add their input in order to deliver rich outputs. It allows these departments to make each other’s work easier than if they are strictly compartmentalized e.g. the sales department can help the R&D department with product development by sharing key insights from their experience with the company’s customers.
- Are your teams performance-oriented?
In agile companies, the teams are more concerned with delivering high quality products which are right for their customers rather than in simply finishing production for sake of hitting targets. Hence, they continuously make incremental releases to gain feedback from customers and other stakeholders like investors in order to improve and refine their end product to suit the needs of their customers.
- Do you have an agile leadership mindset?
Becoming an agile company requires a mindset change from a command and control type of leadership to a hybrid of top-down and bottom-up. This empowers employees to take on challenges and make informed decisions. To accomplish this, put processes and structures in place that streamline collaboration, easy sharing of information, accountability and fast decision making. This makes it easy for your company to quickly adapt to market demands.
- Do you have agile employees?
Hire employees who are creative, self-motivated and flexible enough to work in a volatile environment. To do this, forgo the traditional hiring process that emphasizes the need for certain skills, and instead hire applicants who are creative, curious and team players. Equip these employees with capabilities to quickly adopt and implement new strategies through training, education and technology tools.
Do you have what it takes to really be an agile company?
For your company to be truly agile, you need to put together the right processes and systems to ease organizational flexibility. This is where the experts at ASB Resources come in! As one of the top providers of business consulting solutions, ASB can put in place the necessary process and systems for your company to become truly agile. Schedule some time with us today!