An agile business is one which can respond, adapt, and change quickly without losing momentum or vision. This may be developing new products for a new market need, or implementing new business strategy at a faster rate to counter growing competitor activity. In the ever growing international business marketplace, adopting agile is key to staying one step ahead of the field and ultimately succeeding in your business objectives.

We’ve seen that in the last two years, the number of companies using agile to create more value at a quicker pace has doubled. However, still only one in three firms are currently using agile techniques according to Forrester.

Agile, a term commonly used in IT departments, has now begun to branch out across entire organisations. HR, marketing and finance departments are now all utilising agile as businesses begin to understand the benefits and value that agile can bring across the board.

How agile can help HR

HR departments using agile techniques do so to not only implement controls and standards, but to facilitate and improve organisational agility. There are many agile HR strategies but ultimately its goal is to train managers to become ‘leaders’ within organisations, and align everyone with clear targets and channels of communication to create a working culture that is more engaged and always learning.

Whilst a lot of large companies still employ well-known methods of getting things done, agile, when implemented, also helps to expand fluidity in job roles. This is a proven way of improving team collaboration and can help speed processes at a faster, higher quality.

How agile can improve your offering

Incorporating business agility into your organisation can be simply done by embracing various techniques to change your organisations ‘culture’. Breaking away from traditional methods can reap benefits for a company’s entire structure. Starting with ‘culture’, look to build a culture of collaboration; persist for constant critical feedback from teams to build stronger, tighter and more collaborative working teams. Break down functional silos and minimise dependencies to open up channels of communication – transparency is key, as is reflection, which can help for teams to progress and grow at higher quality rates.

How agile can help futureproof your business

Above all, agile is about looking to scale and coordinate teams and processes to deliver better value at a faster rate. Improving areas of productivity, quality and responsiveness allows better insight to overcoming obstacles – as with agile, these can then better predicted and evaded. Not only does this build the strength of working teams, but can reap better financial rewards if tricky, costly outcomes can be avoided in the long run. In a world where the pace of change moves at an unprecedented rate, staying agile is fundamental to delivery high quality products to keep business ahead its competitors.

By Karyn Kagiyama, Vice President, EMEA, Rally