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How to overcome the risks of shifting to agile

Once primarily adopted by the tech industry, agile practices are now being embraced by a whole host of industries. It is a huge global movement. Just as digitalisation has touched almost every business, so too has the need to become more agile.

A snapshot of the benefits

Agile practices allow companies to respond to change in a flexible and adaptive way. With ever evolving customer demands agile principles can help businesses avoid and overcome disruption. By mastering continuous change, you will be able to better serve your customers, and meet changing needs quicker than your competitors.

Agile also enables you to promptly respond and react when laws and regulations impact your business. With streamlined processes and operations in place the doors are open for exploration. Your teams have the flexibility to innovate and exceed expectations when seeking solutions.

The risks when transforming

There are a number of key considerations when committing to transform your business. Re-organising and restructuring entire teams and practices is no easy task. Businesses need to assess the risk of such a bold move in order to transform in a way that works.

Employees

For one, businesses overhauling current practices risk losing otherwise loyal and talented employees. They may be reluctant to change or be fearful that their role will cease to exist with new company methodology. These fears are justified, to an extent, as transforming to agile can often mean letting go of employees who are not the right fit. A changing workforce comes with its own perils, but it is a risk that must be overcome when shooting to achieve a more flexible working environment.

Management

Onboarding your team begins with onboarding management. Never has it been more important to lead by example than when undergoing a transformation. When shifting to agile, there is a risk that managers too may struggle with the changes. They may show resistance if they are accustomed to traditional processes. But it is essential that leaders are able to manage effectively in an agile working environment.

Company

One of the biggest risks for a company making the switch to agile methodologies is loss of business. This generally stems from losing sight of the company’s vision and the bumpiness of the transition process. When adjusting to new working practices a company should always keep the business’ direction and goals in mind. Failure to do so is sure to be noticed by customers and clients.

The solution

With careful planning and a phased approach these risks can be overcome. Be clear when outlining the changes to practices. A vision statement is useful to keep aims in focus. Once management is clear on the approach it can be more successfully communicated to teams without the vision becoming diluted.

An alternative is a more hybrid approach. PRINCE2 agile training is designed for those who use traditional management but recognise the advantages of applying agile methods. A host of companies can benefit from the efficiencies of this tailored approach.

The PRINCE2 agile course provides guidance on crafting a balance that works for you. It covers agile principles that can see your business become more productive and responsive to customer needs; as well as practical tips for effective implementation of both PRINCE2 and agile, whilst reducing conflict.

When making the shift to a new, more agile culture you must overcome risks. PRINCE2 Agile can ensure a smooth transition towards improved methodologies and company architecture. By benefitting from the best of both worlds, you can allow your business to flourish.