Change Mag

Why agility

By Lukas Bargel, published on 30 November 2022

Why agility makes sense for your business


Have you ever wondered why this form of working is so successful at the moment? Find out here what the advantages of agile working are and whether it is more than just a fad.  

Why agility is just becoming important  

Agility refers to the nimbleness or mobility of organisations and people or in structures and processes. Companies and people react flexibly to unforeseen events and new requirements. This includes, for example, companies not only acting reactively, but also proactively, for example in relation to changes.  
This way of working brings three decisive advantages: 

  1. Higher customer satisfaction
  2. Higher employee satisfaction 
  3. Higher efficiency  

Why agility helps with customer satisfaction  

Today, there are many alternatives for every product. Whether smartphones, clothes or hoovers - the choice offered to customers is huge. That is why it is becoming increasingly important for companies to develop products that exactly fit the customer and his or her wishes.  

Agile working places great value on the early involvement of customers. The future users should already be strongly involved during product development and give their opinion at regular intervals, for example, on the current status, possible difficulties in operation or essential additional functions of the product. The advantage here: Employees do not receive feedback only after the final release, as is often the case in non-agile developments, but can incorporate it directly into their work process.  

This creates a good interaction between customers and employees: Clients often lack the technical understanding of what best suits their needs. The experts for the technical possibilities of a product are on the company side. In an iterative process, customers and experts find out together which product suits the customers best.

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Close cooperation between employees and customers means that products can be designed more quickly and more accurately.

This also has great advantages for the customers: They get products they really want faster because they are involved earlier and more closely in product development.  

Many companies are very successful with this, e.g. Spotify, BMW or the bank ING. Through agile development, Spotify has managed to outpace established competitors such as Apple Music and become the market leader in music streaming. 

Why agility promotes employee satisfaction  

An agile conviction is that customer-centricity and employee-centricity are not contradictory. Employee-centricity, an important agile principle, is essential to make employees happier as well. When members of agile teams are surveyed, they regularly state that they are significantly more satisfied due to more self-determination, responsibility and self-efficacy.

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Employee satisfaction has a positive effect on customer satisfaction

The successful British entrepreneur Richard Branson summarised this agile idea as follows: "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.  

Employee satisfaction is therefore also strongly related to client satisfaction. The best technical solutions for clients can be developed by those who know the technology best. These are usually the employees. You should put them in the right light so that they optimally fulfil the needs of the customers.  

With the following measures you promote a good working environment for your team:

  • Make sure your team gets regular feedback from the client.
  • Make it possible for the team to organise itself. For example, successful agile teams choose when to work on which task in the next sprint.
  • Ensure that your team can work in an atmosphere of psychological safety. This safety is important so that the team members can talk clearly and without fear about difficulties and obstacles in the development and overcome them.

So if employee satisfaction is high, employees are more likely to go the extra mile for customers, which in turn has a positive effect on the company's success.  

Why agility helps you get there faster  

In many organisations, everything that needs to be done is determined before a project even starts. This usually contributes to the project costing more and taking much longer than planned - just think of Berlin Airport.  

Agile working can help to make this better. Not because agile allows you to do the same thing in half the time. Rather, you reduce the scope of the project and only do what is really needed. Everything else you just leave out. In software, for example, most of the features are hardly ever used. Time and costs for the development of these features can be saved.

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Agile working helps to reduce inefficient work steps

How do you find out what is really needed for a product? Agility relies on close customer involvement. Early in the development process, you get customer feedback and adapt your product. 

In competitive markets, speed is a key competitive advantage. Think of the Google+ social network, for example. This product was basically not that bad. However, it didn't really take off because Facebook was already there and people just didn't really need it anymore.  

Why and how you should bring agility into your organisation

So why agility should be interesting for you:  

  1. You can work in a more customer-centred way, respond faster and better to customers' wishes and thus develop a product that meets the customers' wishes.
  2. You can increase your employee satisfaction, create a commitment of the employees to the company and thus improve the cooperation between customers and employees.
  3. You can make processes more flexible and faster by spending less time on long planning and more resources on the product itself.
Topics: Agility

You want support on agility?

We at the Timmermann Group are happy to help you. 

 You want to establish agility sustainably and effectively in your organisation? Then get in touch with our service line Timmermann Partners. We will be happy to help you with a no-obligation initial consultation and together we will determine how we can best support you and your company.

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Lukas Bargel
Project Leader & Agile Coach

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