Is Agile Good for People?16 Nov 2016
We know now for sure that Agile is a tested, proven and recommended methodology of organizing work and introducing change to an office environment.
It's first been a success with software development teams, then it spread onto the entire service industry, encompassing media, marketing, law, journalism, finance and others.
The main benefit of Agile that we're aware of is higher efficiency and reduced waste of time and resources, shorter delivery time and more flexibility across the board. But there is also one other aspect that requires recognition. It's the impact, that the ability to shorten and flex the process might have on human interactions within the organization.
Process transparency can remove the seeming omnipotence of the management. While everyone knows what's going on in each part of the system, there is less mystery as to what's coming next and the large picture is much clearer for all teams to grasp.
Full process visibility also brings the team closer together, as each employee becomes more aware of everybody else's responsibilities and scope. This also helps to identify which of the team members provide what kind of value to the process.
Less conflict occurs thanks to the easy tracking of what's been happening within the organization. Most Agile teams use some kind of a visual system to monitor and control the process, making it easy to clear up misunderstandings and much more difficult to create them in the first place.
It's likely, that using Agile will decrease the intimidation of receiving your directives straight from the manager. While most of us need to hear what we're meant to be doing, it's quite a rare skill for a manager to communicate the duties in a clear, direct and civilized manner. This is when having tasks written down and gradually listed as assigned to this or anther team member comes in very handy. Strips the entire job assignment of any difficult interaction.
It also increases clarity of the nature of the job. Since issues are documented and provided to the currently working on them person with full history and background, it's much easier to deal with them in the right way, as all information needed is present throughout the process.
Implementing Agile tends to imply that fewer meetings are required, so more tasks can get done. With the reduction of needed discussion and idea presentation, brought on by having the process mapped out visually and transparent across the workforce, less time needs to be set aside for meetings, opening up more time to be spent productively. This also reduces the stress and time waste that occurs when exceeding numbers of people attend unnecessary meetings.
Finally - Agile makes cooperation of socially withdrawn or anxious people easier, as they can rely on visual communication and tracking more than on in-person data presentation and direct engagement in face-to-face communication. Perhaps it's no wonder then, that Agile methods originated and first succeeded in software development, known for its stereo-typically introvert coders?
If you agree that out-of-proportion bureaucracy is the main cause of delays and slow progress in a company, consider cutting it short by enabling your team to skip the unnecessary interactions and communicate visually - perhaps in Kanban Tool?
Chances are, you will make your employees happier at the same time.