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The concept of agility, once confined to the world of software development, is making its way into the broader world of project management. As more organizations begin to see the improvements in efficiency and communication that agile methodology can deliver, business agile is transforming industries from manufacturing to marketing. If your organization is interested in learning more about the concept of agile project management, this overview can help you understand what it is, and why it is gaining popularity so quickly.

What is Business Agile?

As you may already know, the concept of agility first emerged in the software industry about 15 years ago. Agile development was an alternative to the traditional waterfall approach to managing projects, which many developers found to be restrictive and inefficient when applied to their rapidly-evolving projects. By organizing projects into shorter segments, engaging team members in the decision-making process and allowing for swift responses to changing situations, agile developers were able to bring their products to market much more quickly and efficiently.

Business agile is a strategy that aims to deliver these same benefits—flexibility, speed and open communication—in all areas of an organization’s operations. Agile project management does not necessarily mimic every aspect of agile software development, nor does it require that organizations apply a single methodology to every project. Two of its primary goals are to enable the business to move faster and to keep employees fully engaged in their work—essential needs for any company looking to maintain a competitive edge in today’s environment.

How Does It Work?

While accelerated decision-making and communication are key elements, business agile involves more than just speed itself. Rapid movement, plus economy of motion, is what makes the business agile approach so effective. When an organization views time as a critical resource that needs to be managed as carefully as possible, it gains new insight into how it can manage its employees and transform its business processes.

Companies that adopt the business agile approach often build their strategies around a few core concepts:

  • Finding new ways to engage with customers and ensure a steady flow of feedback in order to maintain market awareness and facilitate rapid decision-making.
  • Developing a centralized approach for tracking, reporting and managing data across the entire organization.
  • Facilitating company-wide communication and collaboration in order to keep employees engaged in their work.

When an organization moves toward agile business process management, it may still have projects that follow the waterfall approach or other methodologies that differ from standard agile methods. Business agile is not a single set of strict guidelines, but rather is a commitment to doing whatever will make the organization as fast and efficient as possible.

Want to learn more about how agile business process management can benefit your organization? Find out how Clarizen’s agile project management software can help you improve efficiency, increase employee engagement and deliver higher quality services today.

Viken Eldermir
VIken Eldermir, GM Americas