We have all been advised to be more agile, but what does ‘being agile’ really mean? What are the benefits of being agile? If you want answers to these questions, then this article is for you.
Read on to learn where agile began, where it can be used, what benefits being agile brings and what steps you can take to introduce agile methods into your drone businesses today.
Adopting an agile approach makes your operations stronger
“Rather than organisation as machine, the agile organisation is a living organism.” – McKinsey & Company’s ‘The five trademarks of agile organizations’ (Jan 2018)
Agile methodology is a mindset or approach you can use to make your operations and projects stronger and more reactive to external changes. By understanding and adopting agile approaches, you’ll enable you and your teams to:
● Create more customer satisfaction
● Build strong, scalable operations
● Learn fast and continuously improve
● Achieve better and faster ROI
Agile approaches originate from software development and include working in two-week cycles called ‘sprints’, breaking deliverables into smaller chunks and constantly reviewing and responding to change. The use of these concepts is not restricted only to software development and technology.
Staying nimble, staying flexible and constantly improving – these same concepts can apply to all of today’s business operations, especially in the fast-changing environments of drone ecosystems.
Agile beginnings with ‘The Agile Manifesto’
The swift rise of the internet and the accompanying growth of Web 2.0 companies, such as Facebook and Google, helped to launch the widespread movement towards agile techniques. Software developers and digital product teams have long been using agile and lean methods to maintain productivity and ensure project success!
Written in 2001, The Agile Manifesto arose from this new movement and its iterative and incremental development methods. The Agile Manifesto highlights how agile methods have come to value:
● Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
● Working software [or solutions!] over comprehensive documentation
● Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
● Responding to change over following a plan
The Agile Manifesto lays out the philosophical concepts of agile methodologies forming the foundations of the agile movement. They believe we need to embrace the uncertainty where complete predicting and planning are not possible.
Agile principles: It’s not only about what tools you use!
The Association of Project Management (APM) recommends concentrating best practice and effort for the ‘practical adoption of agile methodologies for success’. How can you adopt agile approaches in your drone business operations?
Here are our top five steps.
Break requirements into smaller sections. Make regular small changes by reviewing progress and requirements at short intervals. Doing this allows you to respond to your business needs in real-time rather than waiting, because by then it may become too late for any changes to have any beneficial impact.
Interlink agile methods with planning. Ensure your team works with fluid processes and plans. Although you should start with a clear plan, ensure your team remains adaptable and responsive to change. You want to allow room to make iterative changes quickly and to respond to uncertainty by having a regular feedback loop.
Ensure strong collaboration and communication. The success of agile approaches depends on teams working well together, team members working well on their own and being adaptable to change. This requires strong collaboration and communication in your team. As mentioned before, you should provide your team with a clearly defined scope of work while allowing them room to respond to change and uncertainty as they progress. Make sure you all agree how and when you communicate as a team – agree when your weekly meetings will take place, how will you communicate in between these catch-ups, what tools will your team use to track, collaborate and communicate together.
Regularly review progress against tangible benchmarks Agile teams work in two-week sprints involving regular progress reviews and retrospectives. You can set up your regular check-in points with your team and agree on what benchmarks and milestones you will review together each week to assess progress. Your goal is to determine if real progress is achieved so make sure you set tangible measurements of success.
Continuously improve There is always room for improvement in everything. In your operations or projects, your team can review what worked best in the past or by learning from new industry practices. Make sure you constantly review your current processes and reflect on the results so that you can quickly change course to achieve the best results.
If you’re keen to learn more about Agile Operations, we recommend the Agile Operations Podcast for a series of interviews with start-up founders and technology leaders covering how they handle agile operations at growing companies.
Do you want to apply Agile approaches into your operations?
We are AGILE and PRINCE2 certified and can support you to inject agile mindsets and methods into your business operations.
Book your consultation today to find out how we can help you achieve your agile revolution in your business today!