There’s been a lot of attention around a new buzz phrase – how to make your business more agile. But just what is agility, and what does it mean to your business?

Being agile is all about your business responding quickly – and with flexibility – to both internal and external changes. No matter what industry you’re in, the market is always changing. If you don’t want to be left behind, you and your employees need to adopt new tools and ways of thinking that make you more efficient and responsive when it comes to making decisions and working together as a cohesive team. If you don’t have your own IT team, rely on the help of experienced pros such as Computers In The City, who offer IT outsourcing when implementing new agility tools and software.

Here are 4 strategies you can use to make your business more agile, so you can gain an edge over the competition.

1. Have clear goals

Before applying work agility to your business, take some time to define your goals clearly. What vision do you see for the future of your business? If you want your employees to be on board with making your business more agile, they need have a vision of the bigger picture and the objectives you’re trying to accomplish. When coming up with your goals, consider the following:

  • Understand your problems before looking for agility solutions.
  • What are the benefits of becoming more agile, and how do you want to achieve them?
  • What areas of your business will become more agile – finance, marketing, IT?
  • What better value and service will agility provide for your clients and customers?
  • Where’s the best place to start?

2. Change the way your employees work

Changing the mindset of your employees and the way they work is one of the top ways to bring more agility into your business. You want everyone on your team to be quick-thinking and able to get tasks done fast and efficiently. Here are some of the ways that you can improve productivity and streamline the way your employees work, both alone and as a team:

Delegate decisions

If everyone comes to you for decisions, you’ll never get anything else done. Empower your management team and give them the information they need to collaborate with their own team and make decisions. Not everyone in your business can or should be part of every task or project – an agile work environment breaks down the internal structure of your business so that teams become an integral part of the hierarchy.

Define priorities

One of the deterrents to agility is having a long list of things to do – train your employees to create focus by shortlisting their list and coming up with their three top priorities. These are items on the list that absolutely need to be completed. As each item is crossed off as finished, another priority task can be added to the list.

Use an agile approach for job descriptions

You may hire people based on certain skills and abilities, but don’t stop there. Job descriptions often limit your employees by slotting them into specific job tasks without giving them the freedom and confidence to be part of the bigger picture. An agile employee approach encourages team members to be flexible in their job tasks and collaborate as a cohesive whole rather than as separate parts.

3. Automate your collaboration processes

Inefficiencies may be costing your business anywhere from 20 to 30% of your revenue. One of the ways you can prevent this loss is by maximizing your productivity and adopting an agile work methodology that automates the way your employees collaborate. The easier and faster it is for teams to connect and share information and files, the more they’ll be able to accomplish whether they’re working from the office or working remotely. Automated collaboration also gives your employees the tools to provide a quality experience for your clients and customers.

The advantages of automated collaboration include:

Streamline project and team management

HR research shows that 57% of employees feel that they’re not given clear direction – and without this direction your business projects are at risk. Managing projects and teams isn’t always easy – this is where project management software can let your team work with more agility. Businesses of all sizes have numerous projects on the go, and each of these projects requires planning and organization with all your employees.

Project management software lets your team plan, budget, schedule resources, and share files and comments among everyone working on the project. This optimizes the decision-making process so your business can be more flexible and competitive.

Improve communication

You’ve got employees working in different locations and at different times. Automating how they communicate with one another keeps your business on track and agile when you need to make fast decisions among team members. Tools such as Asana, Slack, Flock, and Microsoft Teams are all examples of collaborative software that let teams communicate, work faster and smarter, and be more productive.

Be more efficient

It’s important that all your employees have access to the information and files they need to be able to do their job. Automating with collaboration tools increases the efficiency of everyone by letting them share what they need with other team members.

Keeping your data on a cloud server is another option that can make your business more agile by keeping all your client and customer files in once centralized location. Employees will be able to quickly access all the data they need without any downtime.

4. Hire an agile culture

It’s normal in today’s business world to expect constant change, yet according to a 2018 study, only 18% of companies feel that they’re agile to this change. One of the ways you can ensure your own agility is by hiring a trusting and innovative team of employees. When hiring, look for people who are aligned with your business values and vision so you can build a work culture that succeeds. When recruiting, look for characteristics that support the direction you want to take your business.

You’re looking for these traits that will help people thrive in an agile workplace:

  • Goal-driven – you want a team that loves meeting and exceeding their goals.
  • Creativity – Being able to think creatively gives employees the ability to think outside of the box.
  • Problem solving skills – When given any problem, agile employees are able to work through from start to finish until they reach a mutual solution for your business.
  • Flexibility – An agile business is always ready for the unexpected. Flexibility in your team lets them meet these surprises head on.

Final words

Making your business more agile is easy when you have a game plan and know what an agile business looks like. Use the strategies here so you and your employees can quickly adapt to market changes both internally and externally, giving your business a competitive advantage to grow and succeed.