In these days of digital disruption, most businesses recognise the importance of change when it comes to staying competitive. Staying abreast of developments in technology and new business applications can be a daunting task – and yet, that is exactly what your customers expect. They expect, absolutely, that the services and experiences you offer them will be modern, interactive, responsive to their individual needs, and inline or even exceeding those of your competitors.
There’s a reason why they use the term ‘disruption’ – the rate of technological and parallel societal change has been so rapid and extreme that the traditional methods of carrying out business and other operations have been turned on their head. Mobility, cloud, Big Data, omnipresent and ubiquitous computing – not one, but all of these developments have been revolutionary.
These impacts are difficult to even qualify. This rate of change is significant, meaningful and continuing apace. And this situation certainly isn’t expected to let up. Constant disruption is the new normal and successful businesses will be the ones who not only change – their processes, applications, and technology stack – but plan for the process of change itself.
Now while most businesses understand this, and understand that this is something that must be accomplished if they want to survive in this brave new world, it doesn’t make it any easier. Certainly, urgency can be a great driver of change, but most businesses face significant impediments to change – impediments that can seem overwhelming and ultimately blocking. Common examples for businesses include:
Any one of these issues can seem an insurmountable barrier to change, and this mindset actually contributes to the problem. Changes seem so big and problems so intractable that we tend to think that the only viable solutions need to be enormous as well. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, problems can be big, but the best way to approach them is with smaller, incremental solutions.
Unsurprisingly, the world of technology that is ultimately driving these changes, has some solutions to offer as well. The project methods of the past won’t work in this environment that demands flexibility and responsiveness – in this world, you and your business need to be agile.
The benefits of Agile methodology, which was originally a method for software development, are beginning to be understood and appreciated in other industries as well. Essentially, using an agile approach means planning, developing and delivering business solutions through a process that is collaborative and incremental. It’s an approach that supports rapid change and business flexibility in a dynamic, at times, volatile marketplace.
Key to the ability to take an agile approach is having a team who understands the problems you’re facing and can collaborate with you in way that is responsible and reactive. Open and continuous communication relieves the angst that can arise from changing requirements or circumstances.
Agile can offer your business a way to change – a way to break the big problems down into smaller, iterative developments and steps. A way to deal intelligently and successfully with the daily disruptions of new technology and developments. Reviewing your technology stack and ensuring that its capability is aligned with the goals of the business doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds. Change can be hard, but with the right partners who understand the process of change and the importance of staying flexible and dynamic, it can be good too.