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Dear Office. Are you actually agile enough?

Agile working? Of course, we have all heard of it. Yet what is really behind the concept? Do we all have to become more flexible, for example, and complete our work even more quickly? No, don’t worry. It is more about successfully adapting as a company to a permanently changing environment and growing alongside it.

The way in which we work is changing. The complexity of companies and entire sectors is constantly increasing. And due to advancing digitalisation they have reached a level of dynamism that demands a high degree of «manoeuvrability» on all sides. Companies with classic structures can only react to such developments with difficulty. What is really needed to keep up these days is agility. An agile company views change as a constant and grows alongside it. It nimbly and effectively adapts to change. It invigorates hierarchies and rigid framework conditions by enabling flexible processes and structures – making businesses more effective and capable of acting.

How is agility embraced in everyday working life?

So far, so good. Yet how is it possible to get to this point with your own company? Firstly, it requires courage. Courage to embrace change, to turn existing working methods on their head and to break out of rigid management hierarchies. That’s because responsibility is shared across individual teams in agile companies. They take on individual responsibility for their projects, creating a completely new dynamic. They are encouraged by the management to find their own solutions and successfully implement them. Here it is important to have clear guidelines and goals that people can work towards. Continuous feedback loops ensure that the current approaches can be regularly adjusted.

What role is played by the workplace?

The right environment is essential for ensuring that agile working can function as best as possible on an everyday basis. After all, how is the interaction within individual teams supposed to work if each team member is sitting in their own office – or if everyone is in an open-plan office with no areas for people to use as a retreat? Agile office concepts are needed. Shared spaces are a key aspect of this. They promote dialogue between the teams and stimulate creativity. Although classic meeting rooms can be used for this purpose, they are often too static. They are not inspiring or stimulating enough. Instead, the answer lies in intelligent, flexible space concepts that are geared towards interaction, but still provide space for concentrated working when needed. The workspaces must essentially be capable of being easily adapted to the desired purpose – from think tank to coffee lounge and phone room. This is how they become variable working landscapes for experimenting, discussing, switching off, reflecting and planning. In other words, spaces for agile working.

The current top three agile working methods

Scrum

The idea: A project is not planned from A to Z, but instead realised in small work packages. These are continuously adjusted, repeated and improved. People involved in the project think in terms of weeks and days rather than years or months. Once a «package» is complete, feedback is obtained, the project is discussed within the team and plans are made on how to proceed further.

Kanban

The big benefits of the small Post-it note come into play here. The notes are used to visualise an existing process, break it down into small steps and display it in a transparent and understandable manner for all to see on a kanban board. The tasks are arranged in order from «To do» via «In progress» to «Done». Anything that holds up the desired workflow is analysed and continuously improved.

Design Thinking

The aim is to unleash the maximum creative potential among all those involved in the project. In doing so, the future users of the product or service are closely integrated into the process so that the result precisely meets their needs. Besides multidisciplinary teams, storytelling, prototyping and having the courage to try out crazy ideas, a flexible working environment also plays a key role here.

Three tips for supporting agile working within your company

1. Regular communication

A regular chat, however short, is essential. This allows the team to spend roughly 15 minutes a day, for example, on getting an update, finding out what’s on the agenda for the day ahead and establishing who needs what in order to make efficient progress.

2. Visible progress

For greater transparency, a screen can be used, for example, to show who is currently working on certain things, what has been achieved and what is yet to be done. Those with the capacity can immediately see who is doing what and where they may be able to offer their assistance.

3. Feedback loops

A meeting held every few weeks gives the team the opportunity to discuss what has gone well and where there is room for improvement. Specific proposals should be worked out in each case, which are then adopted and implemented over the course of the following two weeks.

Do you want to embrace agile working?

Of course you do. So what are you waiting for? Spoom has everything you need. Fully furnished offices and project spaces ranging in size from 11 to 840 m2. Creative brainstorming spaces and stylish meeting zones for networking and taking relaxed breaks. It provides the ideal infrastructure for everyone, from the start-up to the large-scale enterprise. And best of all, everything comes at an attractive office flat rate and with flexible terms starting at just one month. Easily bookable online. Even today, if you want to. Time to get going! Test it now, take a seat and start working. See you Spoom!

 

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