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7 Reasons You Should Add Agile To Your Management Toolbox

1596 words - 7 pages

7 Reasons You Should Add Agile to Your Management Toolbox

Whether you are a Vice President with $500 million in revenue responsibility, a Director in charge of multiple teams and deadlines, or a fledgling manager with a tiny budget and no direct reports, it is no longer possible to ignore the power of Agile. Many of you are probably aware that when it comes to product development, Agile offers benefits like increased collaboration, immediate feedback, shorter project timelines and increased management visibility. But did you know that Agile principles and practices can also improve your effectiveness as a day-to-day manger, and the performance of your departments as a whole?

The fact is, Agile is not an IT methodology. It is a time-tested management tool that—quite surprisingly—replicates the way many managers already think, work, and intuitively manage people and projects. If you are considering adopting Agile practices at your organization, or just looking to incorporate a little Agile into your day-to-day management style, below are seven reasons why adding Agile to your management toolbox could be a very smart idea.

Reason #1: Initiatives and Projects Can Be Started Almost Immediately

It is well-documented within the traditional, five-step process of Initiate-Plan-Execute-Control-Close that up to 40% of any initiative’s allotted time is spent PRIOR to execution. Agile’s focus on delivering smaller pieces of value in shorter periods of time means planning is both iterative and significantly shorter on the front end. And with a continuous delivery of value in a shorter period of time, people quickly see real results from their work—meaning organizations can begin working on initiatives in a matter of weeks, as opposed to months after they are deemed necessary and all momentum and enthusiasm are lost.

Reason #2: Shorter, more effective meetings

Anyone who works in an office five days per week has seen first-hand how the culture of meetings has placed a virtual death grip on corporate America. Among my close-knit group of colleagues, many will admit that meetings fill all but 30 minutes of each work day. And worse, most agree their organizational value is directly tied to the number of meetings they are invited to. Not surprisingly, these same colleagues complain about their organizations being slow to move, slow to react and short on resources for new initiatives. Agile has figured out a solution to the culture of meetings by narrowing both the type and frequency of meetings, and time-boxing daily status meetings to a maximum of just 15 minutes. Agile also encourages short, ad hoc events like hallway meetings and problem-solving sessions involving two or three people and no management presence. After all, why involve 15 semi-invested people in developing a solution when three experienced specialists will suffice?

Reason #3: Personnel Issues Can Sometimes Resolve Themselves

When it comes to Agile, one of the first terminology...

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