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13 Agile Principles To Capitalize On

Agile principles were first developed to support the tech industry, and now they have become so much more than that. Used in a variety of industries, these methodologies get people out of their functional silos and boost multidisciplinary teams for greater efficiency, productivity and flexibility.

Helping your teams do their best work and ensuring constant communication are keys to an agile business. Here, professionals from Forbes Business Council share 13 of the best agile principles to implement so your company can see high returns.

1. Decide Quickly

If time is the enemy, procrastination is the death of agility. The only right decision is the one you make. I believe in deciding quickly and acting with conviction. It may not always be the right decision, but it’s far worse to miss an opportunity. – Dominic Dinardo, Strengthen

2. Hire Talented Teams

Hire incredibly talented people and trust their judgment. Some of the most important (and difficult) decisions in business depend on instinct and judgment. No amount of analysis will help. If you’ve hired a team of great people, let them know you trust in their ability to make the right call. And if they still have self-doubts, they can always come to you. – John Tan, Doyobi

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3. Keep Growth In The Forefront

Leaders have to be agile and adaptable not only with their teams but also with their products or services. Developing your product or service with growth in mind is essential so you can pivot as quickly as possible to market conditions, competitors or other disruptions. – Georgianna W. Oliver, Tour24

4. Serve Your Team

Follow agile principle No. 5, which says, “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment of support they need, and trust them to get the job done.” We have to change our mindsets to serve our teams instead of leading them. We have to create a circle of safety where people can be empowered to learn and grow from their mistakes and, thereby, create an environment of inclusion and belonging. – Mohammad Anwar, Softway

5. Continuously Improve

In today’s fast-paced world, which is changing at the speed of light, organizations who want to keep up must keep improving their systems, processes and their people. This is the only way to stay ahead and remain relevant and competitive in this highly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. There should be an urgency to keep reviewing, reflecting and improving. – Kemi Ogunkoya, Rellies Works

6. Launch A New Product, Get Rid Of Two Others

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In today’s fast-changing technology and market environment, organizations must stay agile and constantly review their strategy and competitive positions. One agile principle I offer to organizations is this: When you launch one new product, kill two existing ones. One reason organizations couldn’t stay agile is that they never say no to anything and have way too many product and service lines. – David Qu, Joint Commission International

7. Embrace The Changing Landscape

Create a forward-thinking culture that is continuously embracing change. Be an organization that demonstrates flexibility, becomes versatile and creates a community that is driven by purpose. Channel this through regular training, collaborative meetings and thought starters. Have the right systems in place to scale this through the different departments and divisions. – Judy Sahay, Crowd Media Group

8. Understand How Fast Your Market Changes

Be an agile speed boat or an agile cruise ship, but don’t try to be both. Agility as a speed boat requires a smaller vessel (thus smaller team) that can adapt quickly to demand. Agility as a cruise ship requires a larger vessel (thus a larger team) that cannot adapt quickly to demand. When building agile teams based on size and complexity, it’s critical to understand how fast your market changes. – Oscar Frazier, nDemand Consulting Services

9. Establish Clear Strategic And Operational Goals

Research depicts that organizational change initiatives fail at a rate of 70%. This can translate to millions of dollars in lost revenue, not to mention the impact on morale and system-wide commitment to change. One agile principle that companies should live by is having a clear vision that guides strategic and operational goals and aligns change efforts to meaningful and visible outcomes. – Loubna Noureddin, Mind Market Consultants

10. Trust Your Employees

Trust your employees to work from anywhere and don’t micromanage them. If they’re good enough to be employed by you and good enough to work for you, then they’re good enough to work from anywhere for you. You either trust them or you don’t. – Chris J “Mohawk” Reed, Black Marketing

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11. Communicate Your Organizational Goals

Have a clear vision and strategic goals for the organization. Working in sprints allows you to manage projects and then reflect on performance and decide if something needs to change to meet demand. Keep the stakeholders updated and informed about timelines and results to avoid having all the planning and scheduling done, but no one else in the company knowing that it is or isn’t being completed! – Reid Rubenstein, RefiJet

12. Focus On Achieving Competitive Advantage

Keep agile principle No. 2 top of mind: “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.” In practice, this could mean making changes to the production process of a product or service to adapt to the changing business environment and customer needs. It could also look like taking measures to avoid the possible threat arising in the background. – Caroline Lee, CocoSign

13. Keep Employees Happy

Yes, customers matter, but without employees, you won’t be able to meet the demand. A happy workforce is a productive one, and you can believe satisfied workers are more likely to give the job their best effort and stay loyal. You want to treat the bones of your company well; otherwise, it will collapse. When teams are valued, it has a positive effect on the company overall. – Steve Byrne, EquiSource

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