What is an Agile Company? - Definition & Example

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  • 0:05 Defining an Agile Company
  • 0:46 Becoming Agile
  • 1:56 Success With Agile
  • 3:08 Example
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jagina McIntyre

Jagina has conducted professional training in communications and analytics for 12 plus years, with a a degree from Kent State University in Journalism and Communications.

Looking to get into an agile company or maybe even start a company that reacts quickly to what customers need? This lesson will help you understand just what being agile means for a business.

Defining an Agile Company

Have you ever wanted to work for an agile company or wondered how to identify exactly what that includes? Have you been tasked with converting a current company culture into an agile mindset?

An agile company is a business that has the ability to quickly adapt to market changes. There are some of the key identifying characteristics of an agile company. The must be fast-moving and flexible, have rapid response to unexpected obstacles, lead change, be in touch with customers, and have continuous competitive advantage, and flat organizational structure for quick communication.

Becoming Agile

The first step in transforming into an agile company is to hire or train employees who can lead that change for the organization. The culture of the company has to be reflected in the leaders of the organization in order to reduce the resistance to a new way of thinking. The entire company should be educated on the agile framework to eliminate misconceptions.

The second major change requires collaboration. Teams cannot operate in silos. There must be cross-communication that builds trust. This allows decisions to be made quickly without creating bottlenecks in the process. Recognition should be based on teamwork, rather than individual performance wherever possible.

The third key step is to make the process very quick and easy to learn. If the new process is time-consuming or has too many regulations and rules, it will fall apart before it even gets started. Employees need to believe this new process will remove roadblocks and increase interactions. A solid transformation will lessen the opportunity for failure.

Success With Agile

Those companies that have seen a successful transition to agility have noted that several processes have worked. No two companies are alike and, therefore, a company should focus on what already works well for them and build from there.

There are a few key items to include in the transformation process. You might have icebreaker or engagement events. These could bring employees together that may not typically interact. Urge employees to socialize or encourage employee interactions that are not just focused around the project. Practice in non-traditional hiring. Do not just look for employees that are in your own backyard. Use telecommuting employees that may bring a different perspective. Offer various connectivity. Understand how and when to connect, work alone, or in teams in order to increase productivity. Ask for help when you need it. Know that you can reach out for assistance. Start small so as to avoid shock when transforming a culture. And, finally, bring in a consultant. Enlist the help of someone who has done this before.

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