The digitalization of our economy and society has unleashed a storm of transformation. Rapid technological development has completely changed the way people work. Teams and organizations work increasingly on a global scale. Knowledge and technology are growing exponentially, making multidisciplinary collaborations essential—onsite, via video conferencing, or through virtual spaces. Businesses have been forced to change, rapidly, just to remain competitive. But while Agile companies can deliver products and services faster and smarter, and often at a lower cost, organizations with a long history and complex technological legacy have had a difficult time transitioning. What’s more, the long-established patterns and work habits of the people who work at these companies has also often impeded change.
This article is written by Petra Kiers, Els Aarts and Theo Gerrits.
At Xebia, we embrace the challenge of change and complexity. We’ve been guiding companies in their journey towards agility since 2008, with ever-increasing urgency. Whether it’s to improve and renew their IT landscapes, redefine their organizational (strategy), develop an innovation-fostering culture, or to become (and remain) more Agile— we thrive on helping companies and people adopt the mission and mindset required. Because we know that it’s not the strongest or the smartest who will survive, but the ones who can best adapt to changing circumstances.
Already, we’ve seen a noticeable shift from the old ways of working. New positions, such as product manager, project leader, Agile coach, and team leader have appeared. IT has been (scaling) Scrum for a few years now, and operations have become SAFE adept. Meanwhile, the creative minds of marketing and sales have designed and implemented their own agnostic Agile model. So, what's next? What's next in Agile? What are the next steps an organization needs to take to become extremely Agile? And what does that mean for you—what is your role in your organization’s future?
Living and breathing the Agile principles is something few organizations have mastered. Yet, it's exactly what enables an organization to develop its full potential. But how can an organization create a culture shift that sticks; one that makes true Agility work?
True agility is about continuous improvement—constantly changing, adapting and evolving—learning from initiatives that don’t work well, and building on the successful ones. It’s done in small steps, managed and substantiated by facts and metrics, to verify that everything is going in the right direction; faster and with higher quality. It’s also about performance improvement—producing a valuable, functioning product on schedule while continuously improving the methods and processes involved in creating it.
AGILE NXT is about the future of business agility. It asks, what do we really want to achieve with agility? How can we ensure that we’re moving in the right direction? How can we measure how far have we come, and what do we need next to continue making progress? It explores performance management from a contemporary perspective; one that’s transparent, broadly supported, discussed, and understood. It’s about creating an organization where a performance-conscious culture takes hold—an awareness of the individual contribution to the whole, and a shared understanding of why it’s important. One where tough questions are asked, facilitated by a transparent, broadly supported dialogue. It’s about a data-driven approach that validates the value added and balances:
- Autonomy with the alignment of teams
- Innovation with production
- Visible and hidden aspects of the organization
- Flexibility with stability
- Value delivery with cost reduction
AGILE NXT holds all the old values of Agile —inspecting and adapting, cooperation, continuous improvement, job satisfaction, self-organization, and craftsmanship— in service to achieving the desired results. It creates and maintains focus on these results; identifying what the organization wants to achieve, what it stands for, and what its purpose is in the world, working towards that with every NXT step.
Want to know more about AGILE NXT?