If any part of the overall task slows down through over-complexity or inattention, the moment when you can say ‘job done’ recedes into the future. A key measure of any job’s progress, therefore, is time. When businesses evangelise ‘agile’ or ‘nimble’ ways of working, it’s not just about being able to react to changing circumstances, it’s about removing time as an obstacle.
Agile methodologies are wide-ranging in their scope, but they can be traced to the start of this century and The Agile Manifesto, which was created in 2001 as a tool for software development.
The Manifesto stands as a resetting of the agenda, a recalibration of working practices, and a a reassessment of how projects can be completed speedily and efficiently. What can we take from it today? Plenty.
Agile working means that instead of deliberating over processes and tools, you think about the individuals in your team and the interactions you have with them. It prioritises useful tech tools over lengthy documentation. It underlines the importance of collaboration with customers, rather than lengthy contract negotiation. Finally, it requires the ability to respond to change, more than simply being able to follow a plan.
Is your team aligned with these principles? Could it be? If time isn’t to become an obstacle, it needs to be. As a team leader, ask yourself these questions: