Flexible methodologies, agile-methods, business flexibility… The principles adopted by software developers around the world, penetrate into business management as well. But how to make a business truly flexible? What is business flexibility in general? Another fashionable phrase or something important? Read on to find out.
Manifesto of flexible software development
It all started in 2001 in a ski resort. Several software developers in love with their work, free thinkers and supporters of so-called extreme programming techniques met on the Wasatch Ridge, Utah.
The guys were going to have a rest, go skiing and discuss their ideas. As a result, an Agile software development manifesto was developed, describing the following four main values of flexible development methodology:
- People and interaction are more important than processes and tools.
- A working product is more important than comprehensive documentation.
- Cooperation with the customer is more important than agreeing on the terms of the contract.
- Readiness for changes is more important than following the initial plan.
The purpose of the authors of the manifesto was to allow software developers to be more creative, more prepared for ever-changing conditions and to create software that really works and empowers users.
Since then, the flexible development methodology has been extended with concepts such as Scrum, lean startup and Storitalling. All these concepts have been adopted and used by many IT departments around the world.
It should be noted that the success of the flexible development methodology lies partly in the paradigmatic switching to the user and real conditions. Such a shift is possible due to the close and constant interaction of cultures and disciplines.
Instead of documenting and following an abstract concept no matter what the circumstances, developers are in constant dialogue about what is needed and what works, discussing problems and finding new solutions. This strategy and your business can make you more viable and successful.
What is business flexibility?
According to the official document of the Agile Business Consortium, business flexibility is designed:
Business flexibility is certainly not another fashionable phrase in the field of management. This is what allows overcoming the challenges of the ever-changing business environment in the modern world.
To ensure business flexibility, a deep cultural shift is needed, focusing on the people who create your product, manage its development and use it. A group of developers cannot implement agile-methods in one night, just starting to use a kanban board.
Similarly, business cannot be made truly flexible in the blink of an eye: you need a comprehensive change in the DNA of the business. As scientific research shows, this is how nature works: human DNA adapts to changes in the environment. And you can make sure that your business DNA also adapts to the new environment.
Ensure the flexibility of your small business
To be flexible means to react quickly to changes. Let’s say you are taking on a new marketing project today.
By the time you finish it, the communication conditions may have changed dramatically. It makes no sense to make an exhaustive concept now and work on its implementation for several months in a row.
To provide real flexibility, you need a system that allows you to set small goals, constantly monitor and adapt to changes in the environment. But how do you do that?
How to provide real flexibility
First of all, you need a strong team of motivated people who are not afraid to take risks and propose new ideas. Your team should feel that its work is important and valuable. As a business owner and leader, you must put your employees first, support them, not just give orders.
Trust and transparency are among the key success factors for a flexible business. Trust your team members and assign responsibilities. Allow employees to work at their own pace, use flexible working hours and you will gain the trust of your team.
Create a culture of communication in which new ideas are welcomed and everyone can express their thoughts, even if they contradict your deepest beliefs.
Do not retreat from your goals, but break projects into small tasks. Do not strive to get the perfect result at once, but improve your product as it develops. Cooperate, not give orders. And always be aware of what’s going on with your team!
We can help!
Does it seem like it’s incredibly difficult to provide business flexibility? But that’s not true! Intelligently designed software, such as zistemo, can help you to cope with any difficulties.
Use the time tracker to track your team’s working time, so everyone knows who’s working on what, when and where.
Our project management tools allow you to combine tasks into projects and create subtasks.
With the intelligent integration of messaging systems, all members of your team will always be able to communicate in real time – from anywhere and using any device, be it a laptop, tablet or phone.
All you have to do is get down to work and create something of real value for humanity. We are sure of your success and therefore thank you in advance for your work!