10 ways adopting Agile can improve business performance

Agile practices have uses beyond projects and can help improve business performance overall. Read about the 10 operational benefits of Agile.

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Agile serves not only as a tool to produce quality products and services on time through project management practices, but also to develop an Agile mindset throughout a business as a whole. Businesses should always look for ways to improve operational performance. Agile practices can help with agility, performance, product or service quality, and more. The following improvements can be achieved when adopting Agile methods.

SEE: How to build a successful project manager career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

1. Productivity and customer service 

Companies require an ongoing and consistent approach to achieve better customer service and business outcomes. The Agile approach helps teams become highly productive through more effective communication, increased collaboration, and increased focus on customer needs.

2. Prioritization capabilities

Agile acts as an enabler to assure that there is an increased focus on priorities, ensuring that teams center time and energy on high-priority tasks to stay on track. 

3. Work quality

In an Agile environment, quality assurance experts across the business tend to coordinate more closely. This helps to improve analysis, working methods, and product quality to increase customer value.

4. Performance

Agile requires company-wide teams to develop and deliver products or services more quickly to customers through quick release cycles. The Agile approach also helps to improve employee performance and ensures that deliverables are more inline with customer expectations. 

SEE: 6 traits of highly effective agile software and product teams (ZDNet)

5. Predictability 

Customers are generally concerned about predictability, and they expect their vendors and contractors to keep their promises. With an Agile approach, teams can plan, coordinate, and deliver services with greater predictability and an increased level of commitment.

6. Strategic alignment 

Companies need to improve strategic alignment to maximize business value. Rapidly changing business environments require innovation and agility. Taking an Agile approach to all areas of business ensures there is sufficient alignment with company-wide objectives.

7. Employee morale 

The very nature of the Agile approach is designed to keep the team excited about the challenges ahead and becomes instrumental in establishing greater coordination between team members, which ultimately boosts business performance. 

8. Risk reduction 

The Agile approach helps to reduce risk. Sprints include Agile methods and techniques such as sprint review and the sprint retrospective. These techniques provide regular feedback to prevent deviations between the expected and the completed deliverables and allow for fast lesson identification and learning.

SEE: Quick glossary: Project management (TechRepublic Premium)

9. Technical skills 

The Agile approach, when adopted and implemented correctly, allows team members to invest professionally and develop quality work rather than just completing the tasks. When an organization adopts Agile techniques with the objective of delivering a top quality product or service, it also serves to hone sound technical skills.

10. Project visibility 

Visibility is essential to allow people and teams to adapt quickly to changes--in the absence of project visibility, it is difficult to track and measure productivity improvements--teams and leaders of an organization both need to know where they are focusing. In short, customer value can only be achieved by increasing team and leadership visibility by establishing and implementing an Agile approach. 

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