By: Rob Hoehn
Organizations everywhere are working to form agile cultures. What does it mean to be agile?
Agile is borrowed from the concept of agile software development, which is an approach by which a team can organize and collaborate on a large project by breaking it up into several steps and inviting in a constant stream of collaboration from others (stakeholders, experts, customers, even) so that continuous improvement is possible at every stage. This means that leaders who want to build an agile culture want to create more collaboration, parcel out large tasks into smaller tasks to create a trackable system of milestones, and share a responsibility for continuous improvement with everyone who works at an organization.
But how are agile and innovation related? Well, with so many innovation projects requiring the cooperation of large groups of people and the execution on highly complex future-forward concepts, agile can truly help innovative organizations better deliver on the promise of innovation. Imagine if everyone in an organization could help make every new idea better continually and that learning was shared across a company as projects succeeded or failed? If coordinating groups of people at a company can be powerful, how powerful could it be to coordinate huge populations of people who are globally distributed?
However, as impactful as it sounds to combine innovation activities with agile methodology, there are actually several steps towards becoming an organization that can use agile to transform. It includes changes attitudes, then behaviors, adopting new tools, and experimenting in order to generate short and long term results.
The first step – that of shifting attitudes and expectations means that organizations begin to anticipate a continuous delivery cycle, measure and report on an ongoing basis, and get long-standing organizations to close the gap between delivery and new iteration.
For those who feel intimidated by some of those changes, practitioners take comfort that when it comes to agile project delivery, 28 percent of agile projects are more successful than those completed using traditional methods. Though risk is present, you can address it by ensuring the right controls are in place by getting everyone at an organization familiar with agile frameworks and has been included in your innovation process.
About the Author
Rob Hoehn is the co-founder and CEO of IdeaScale: the largest open innovation software platform in the world. Hoehn launched crowdsourcing software as part of the open government initiative and IdeaScale’s robust portfolio now includes many other industry notables, such as EA Sports, NBC, NASA, Xerox and many others. Prior to IdeaScale, Hoehn was Vice President of Client Services at Survey Analytics.
Featured image via Unsplash.