Switching to a hybrid working approach involves significant adjustment for organizations with established agile concepts and practises. Agile teams can perform similarly to how they did when they were in the office with the right adaption of methods and some changes surrounding technology tools and platforms, organizational structure and culture and functional skills.
Agile is often associated with software development, but it is also about people, as the goal of agile sprints is to include feedback at frequent intervals in order to produce exactly what consumers want. When utilized in conjunction with DevOps, the agile method itself works best with close collaboration between developer and stakeholder groups, bringing together development and IT operations teams. It’s no wonder, then, that there’s a strong link between an organization’s growth and its agile capability.
Face-to-face interaction is a basic component of agile transformation, which went out the window when the pandemic struck. However, throughout the past year, when practically everyone was working remotely, the adoption of agile increased. Conciliating these seemingly opposing shifts is an interesting challenge for businesses. However, it is not an impossible one.
Levers affecting the workforce and workspace
A significant driver of success has been the use of agile virtual workspaces and digital collaboration technologies to facilitate remote but collaborative and cohesive work. According to a 2020 report from Infosys “Managing Tech Services Work in the Next Normal”, when three or more early agile sprints were conducted on-premises with workers going to the office, it cleared the path for asynchronous communication and remote work that followed.
Levers of culture
Autonomous and self-managed teams are better equipped to focus on value delivery, which improves customer satisfaction and ROI. Self-organized agile teams, likewise, boost technology outcomes.
However, a hybrid working approach can make things more complicated. When agile development shifts from on-premises to remote – especially without warning, as it did last year – teams risk losing visibility into project status, business and technical contexts, and even communication channels. Allowing remote teams early, incremental input, however, can help them stay on track or make necessary course corrections on time.
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Levers in the organizational framework
Businesses should question themselves if they have enough digital visualization procedures to enable remote workers catch up with their on-prem peers when it comes to applying agile concepts to individuals in the hybrid work world. They should also consider if they provide remote working teams with frequent, incremental, and early insights from feedback to help them stay in line with the goal of the project.
It’s also vital to know if firms are building virtual safe spaces for teams to learn from their errors and table requests in the absence of spontaneous interactions through iterative agile learning and working cycles.
Outside of the IT department, several companies have used agile processes and methodologies in areas such as business operations, sales, human resources, and even legal. This lays the groundwork for efficient cross-functional collaboration. Even in a remote or hybrid work environment, cross-functional collaboration can be made to work. According to the Infosys study, increasing the proportion of cross-skills in remote teams from 15% to 20% raised productivity to the same level as in the office. The skills don’t have to be available in-house all of the time; businesses can also benefit from the gig economy.