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Success with agile improvement

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flourish leadership and commitment agile improvement efforts Mårten

Agile improvement work provides an important foundation for creating a good work environment, happy staff and strong results. Mårten Andersson, founder and CEO of Flourish, gives some great advice on how to succeed.  

What does agile improvement involve, and why is it important?

– All teams and all workplaces have elements they need to improve. This could be anything: the work environment, reviewing and streamlining processes and methods. We’re living in an increasingly fast-paced world where there’s a growing need to adapt and improve your business quickly. Continuous tiny improvements provide the foundation for an agile approach, and they’re crucial to creating a good work environment staffed by motivated people who are keen to perform.

Can you give us a few examples?

– Organisations that are growing really quickly may experience growing pains. You get bogged down in approaches and methods that worked well for a company with 15 staff, but now you have 115 staff members and need to focus on completely different things. There’s a lot of research showing how agile improvements have a major impact on productivity. Some of the world’s most productive and successful organisations, such as tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, work incredibly hard to constantly identify errors and shortcomings in a positive way and set things straight so as to develop their business.

What part does agile improvement play when it comes to attracting and retaining talented staff?

− It’s incredibly important. If you feel your organisation is stagnating, that you’re not seeing progression or progress, or that you have no potential for development as a person, your motivation will suffer and you’ll start to look for another job. And that’s when productivity is lost as well. If you want to attract and retain the best minds and encourage them to grow, these people need to feel they’re part of the improvement process. And that’s at the very heart of the agile approach. This is also the best way to benefit from their expertise.

What part does the manager play when it comes to agile improvement?

– The manager has a very key part to play. If suggestions on what needs to change come from very high up in an organisation’s hierarchy, staff may find these to be very abstract concepts. Things become harder and harder to understand with each step down the ladder. The manager has an important part to play in identifying team issues that need to be improved, issues that drag the organisation in the right direction – and that makes them relevant to staff as well. It helps them to see that their tiny efforts are important as a way of helping the whole organisation to move forward.   

What part does the manager play when it comes to agile improvement?

– Set aside some time to work. That’s essential. Improvements aren’t going to happen unless you make time for them. Get your staff on board. Define a vague plan, then develop the detailed plan together with your team. This creates a sense of commitment and ownership among staff, whose skills are often vital to success when it comes to improvements. And after that – measure and monitor progress. It’s important to meet up so that staff know their efforts on improvements are paying off. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes. 

How can Flourish help?

– Flourish software is built to support agile improvements. As a manager, Flourish helps you to maintain continuous dialogue with your team so that you can find out which areas you need to work on. Flourish also allows you to define metrics and monitor progress. It helps you managers to deploy the right initiatives at the right time and involve the team in the improvement effort.

Find out more about how Flourish can assist you with agile leadership

flourish ledarskap och engagemang Marten Andersson

Mårten Andersson, VD Flourish

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