Agile Transformation: doing things better by changing company culture

Companies need to adapt to the demands of the market and rethink their work methods

Times have changed and companies are realizing that they need to improve the way they work if they want to survive in the dynamic environment they operate in today.

Markets need to produce new products and services more quickly and efficiently to meet changing customer needs and preferences. Companies have to become adaptable and flexible in order to satisfy demands that change from one day to the next.

Another important element for competitiveness is treating know-how as a source of value. Agile methodologies, which are focused on people, learning and continuous improvement, empower the entire organization.

Proof of the effectiveness of these methods is in the fact that large companies have been incorporating them into their work cultures in recent years, and startups are adopting them from the start. Agile practices are here to stay.

 

Improvements to production systems and a new kind of work culture

Agile methodologies are a working framework based on certain values and principles. Two of the best-known are Lean, which has its origin in the innovations Toyota introduced to its production systems, and Agile, which is based on The Agile Manifesto, signed in 2001 by software development experts looking to improve their work processes.

These practices have evolved or have grown more specialized in certain areas, but they all have in common the importance of a cultural component. Without a change in mentality when it comes to organizing work, they won’t be effective.

According to these approaches, only the customer can define the value of a product or service. Companies need to provide precisely this value in the least possible amount of time.

In summary, here are some of the methods and tools most frequently being adopted:

  • Agile/Scrum: collaborative development models based on frequent incremental and iterative deliverables with empirical feedback.
  • Lean IT: simplification and efficiency focused on the development and delivery of services in the creation of real value for the customer.
  • Lean startup: a method of launching products and services in uncertain environments.
  • Kanban: a tool for managing activity flow for project and operational activities that, using lean methodology, allows companies to optimize workflow and ensure that value is being provided.
  • Kaizen: a process of continuous optimization through collaborative participation in the analysis of root causes, and the consistent and regular improvements at all levels.
  • Design thinking: designing new products and services while taking on new types of problems that come up in new situations that require an innovative approach.
  • DevOps: cultural transformation that facilitates the fast, secure, agile and efficient launching of services through collaboration between development and operations.
  • Continuous delivery: using software engineering for fast and reliable delivery to production in a sustainable way.

 

What are the benefits of Lean methodology and agile thinking?

  • Continuous improvement: each person in the company, at every level, is responsible for identifying problems and inefficiencies in day-to-day activities and are empowered to suggest improvements that can be applied in their area of interest.
  • Stronger teams: by working together to resolve problems, ties are strengthened and teams grow more resistant and prepared to take on new challenges.
  • Greater satisfaction: satisfaction levels increase among the people involved in a project. This has a direct impact on the way they do things, setting off a lasting cycle of motivation.
  • Commitment: members of a team show greater interest in their work and are more committed to company objectives if they see that their proposed changes are heard and valued.
  • Talent retention: when people feel satisfied and motivated, they’re more likely to stay, as they don’t need to look elsewhere to find what they’ve already achieved or would like to achieve.
  • Optimize problem-solving: by approaching processes in a solution-oriented way, teams are empowered to engage in continuous problem-solving.

Today’s challenges to transform, continuously improve and adapt, and to drive our teams to generate know-how are all fundamental to success and based on a single premise: everything can be done differently and better.

 

Natividad Vilela
natividad.vilela@nae.es

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Nae works with telecommunications providers, large corporations, and public entities to improve their business strategy and operating efficiency by anticipating the market's growth and transformation challenges. With offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Bogotá and Ciudad de Mexico, the Nae team is made up of more than 200 professionals.