Advantages of Agile Teams
by Elisa Moser
Agility has become a term which is gaining more and more importance these days mostly due to global changes and constant transformation. Companies need to be more flexible and adaptable. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of quick reactions and adaptation. The application of agile teams will not only help you to stand out from your competitors but to stay competitive amongst other benefits.
Agile teams can respond quickly to changes and emerging issues, thus reducing potential damage. This is partly due to shorter decision-making paths and flatter hierarchies. The reason being responsibilities are distributed in different ways in comparison to traditional organizations. Employees work more independently and are able to make decisions themselves. As a result, bureaucratic processes are shortened, waiting for approvals is bypassed and the team can better focus on the real problem. Furthermore, unnecessary activities and repetitions are avoided. Agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban help to make working methods more flexible and effective.
Employees face increasingly complex tasks and processes, which can be solved by teams with diverse expertise. In addition, agile teams ensure that employees’ strengths are better used and taken into consideration. Tasks are then allocated individually by preventing excessive workload on a single employee. Agility also means teams working in a self-directed manner, thus giving employees more freedom. Good communication and agreement on working methods and task distribution are essential. Adaptation amongst team members grows in understanding the way each one works. Also, independence brings about more transparency to the group by reducing external pressure factors. In consequence, not only the teamwork is challenged but satisfaction, motivation and a better work quality are achieved.
More Customer Orientation
Flexibility and fast adaptation in agile teams not only stand for internal advantages but also for positive external effects. The customer’s wishes and needs may be better integrated, and in case changes may arise quick reactions may occur in no time. Customer involvement implies to follow all the steps and processes and this should be up to date at all times. This close relationship with the customer brings both parties about to succeed and increase satisfaction.
Relieve the Management
Implementing agile teams also means that a new management style is needed. As already mentioned, tasks are distributed differently among team members and the focus is on self-organization. This also gives management a completely new role; the task is no longer to control or steer. It is now more important to define goals together and to create a working atmosphere in which agile teams can work effectively. The manager should act as a coach and support the team as good as possible. Regular feedback sessions and team meetings can further increase quality and effectiveness.