The new buzz word in organizations stem from a project management methodology – agile.
What does it mean to be agile as an organization? Typically, the word conjures images of sports teams, fitness training or intense competitions or for the warm and fuzzy, dogs panting through jungle gyms. Although most people confuse agility with speed, they are two very different concepts.
Agility means being nimble – moving quickly and being able to change course easily.
It is not an easy task for a large, complex organization to achieve agility. Think of an obstacle course with hoops, cross bars, tunnels and planks. The maneuvers, twists and turns in order to compete and deliver on strategy could bog down even the leanest, most well-run among us. If done well, it could pave the way for strength, nimbleness, skilled and controlled movements.
We need to be able to respond to our highly competitive environment and adapt appropriately. This is the essence of agility. Working in an agile environment, you do not need to wait for perfection before you make a much needed decision or wait until the project is finished before you evaluate. Isn’t it great if you can course correct with minimal impact instead of realizing at the end of the project that you’ve missed the mark with huge consequences? Agility fosters continuous learning, openness in communication, collaboration and sharing.
As employees, we play a role in contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization, improving processes and managing risk. Continuing to assess and reflect on performance and goals will not only keep you flexible but also affect the nimbleness of the organization in leveraging the right talent for the right roles. Agility is also applicable on our career paths. We must keep learning and developing to be able to move quickly and effectively. After all, an organization is only as good as its people.