Let’s start with the beginning: what is Agile? According to Agile Alliance, “Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.” It is a methodology and a mindset, a way of work and an innovative perspective upon individuals and interactions, customer collaboration and the way of responding to change.
Starting from this concept, a group of software developers came up with the Agile Manifesto and with the 12 Principles behind it, developing the Agile Software Development methodology, which in comparison with other software methodologies, focuses on the way professionals work together and respond to change. The training industry has developed various learning programs to teach this Agile methodology for software developers, but is it just it? Can this methodology and mindset only be implemented in the IT area? The answer is no.
The Agile way of work can positively impact various business field, from human resources to finance, from management to business analysis, implementing its values in a way that matches these areas of work.
“In the traditional world, financial planning most often occurs annually, with budgets allocated in advance and success measured in relation to budgets. In today’s complex business environment, this no longer works and new approaches are needed. While continuing to emphasize wise spending and compliance with regulations, these new approaches also enable adaptation and rapid response to the changing circumstances in the business ecosystem. This means approaching finance, accounting, and procurement with an agile mindset, radically changing the way budgeting and cost allocation is undertaken, reexamining our accounting principles and taking more collaborative and incremental approaches to procurement.” (source)
So, an Agile Finance training should focus on gaining practical tools and evidence-based methods to start applying the Agile mindset and values in the financial field, encouraging professionals in this field to welcome change and adapt to it, reshaping the way in which their department is structured.
The "Agile Model of HR" states that a human resources job is not just to implement controls and standards, and drive execution—but rather to facilitate and improve organizational agility. This changes HR's mission and focus. Driving agility means driving programs that create adaptability, innovation, collaboration, and speed. In order to change from a traditional to an Agile organization, HR has to play a critical role.
The objectives of an Agile HR training program focus on how to manage risk and prioritize the HR portfolio of work with stakeholders and customers and how to be a trusted business partner, able to consult on Agile and digital organizational transformation.
What characterizes an Agile leader? “Agile leaders prioritize creating strong teams over rewarding dominant individuals. They understand the strengths of their team members and know how to facilitate the work to play to those strengths. They know how to nurture high-performance teams to keep them performing at the top of their game.” (source)
So, an Agile Leadership training program is recommended for any professional who wants to lead a team without using micromanagement, to build stronger teams, to understand how to determine lasting change and how to improve performance by creating a culture of continuous improvement, where everyone feels valued and motivated.
To sum it all up, Agile is more than a methodology, it is a mindset, backed up by viable value and principles, which can be applied in almost any area of business, influencing the way people collaborate, adapt to the ever changing business context, respond to requirements, prioritize tasks and funcion at the level of a team.
Some (final) thoughts
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