For nearly two decades, agile software development has been a recognized approach for maximizing team efficiency and production. Close communication, regular product upgrades, and inherent confidence in employees are all characteristics of agile development that have since been applied to agile business leadership.
While agile leadership has been implemented in organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, they have been under more pressure in the last 18 months than ever before to respond to changes in an agile manner.
In the post-COVID business environment, agile leadership has taken on a whole new meaning. Despite the fact that co-location was formerly a crucial component of agile software development, remote teams have now become the standard. Modern organizations should be able to go with the flow and make rapid modifications to stay ahead of the competition, especially with new self-service technologies and workflows that facilitate business users to maintain their own automation projects.
Here are three of the most recent agile leadership imperatives for CIOs to follow:
Build an environment that fosters change and innovation
What does it mean to have a company culture when everyone works remotely? How can companies foster open communication when the majority of communication is done through video conferencing, messaging applications, and email?
Close contact and open lines of communication have always been important to agile leadership, and today’s business ecosystem necessitates an extra level of planning and effort to ensure that employees know their views are valued. Regardless of the company’s present working environment or communication tools, businesses need to go above and beyond to encourage their employees to share their experiences and thoughts. Employees are the ones on the ground dealing directly with the challenges of the company and no executive has all the answers.
Adopt continuous feedback
Agile development and leadership have always included daily meetings. However, as these techniques advance, businesses are increasingly relying on input to enhance their processes and business outcomes. Many businesses are arranging additional check-ins with smaller sub-teams and essential team leaders in addition to the 15-minute stand-ups at the start of each morning to detect bottlenecks and make faster decisions.
These regular feedback loops can feel unpleasant or overwhelming at first, but as they become part of the company’s routine, they will prove their worth as work becomes more simplified and teams are able to focus on proactive rather than reactive fixes.
Create road maps that are adaptable
One common misunderstanding about agile management is that it abandons all fixed long-term objectives in favor of short-term goals and realignments. While agility encourages teams to make changes to their plans more frequently, it should not be mistaken for lack of planning.
An adaptive roadmap is the best technique for agile leadership: The team can choose individual turns and approaches based on the tools, personnel, and surrounding environment now that the destination and broad direction are known. A strict, unchanging roadmap will result in slower results and a lesser return on investment; an adaptive road map will keep performance on target while allowing for some useful shortcuts.
The overarching ideas of agile leadership are unmistakably here to stay, but organizations can expect the individual components of this practice to evolve in the coming years. A leadership strategy will be effective only if it can adapt to the changing times with new tools and strategies tactics, just as no team can succeed without frequent reflection and change.