3 Ways Management Can Benefit from Going Agile

One of the biggest challenges companies face as they move toward an Agile project management framework is obtaining buy-in across the board, from the C-suite to the production floor. It’s pretty common to hear sentiments like,

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • But we’ve always done it this way.
  • This will never work here.
  • … and, This is just another fad that’ll last a few years then we’ll be on to the next one.

Agile Manager Benefits

Managers at all levels bear the brunt of the responsibility to help their employees come around to acceptance and support while implementing upper level initiatives themselves. Managers need to be ready and willing to give 110% to the Agile transformation.

To make that process easier, here are three specific ways managers can expect to benefit from going agile:

1. Financial Kudos

The bottom line matters. As a manager, you’re in a key position to thrive or dive based on the monthly, quarterly, or annual profit expected from your team, division, or project.

While going Agile isn’t a cost-savings measure, it does have a direct impact on profitability. In fact, there is an entire online training workshop dedicated to validating and monitoring performance metrics. Note these interesting stats recently released by VersionOne in the 8th Annual State of Agile report:

  • 85% of respondents listed “reduce cost” as an important motivation behind going agile.
  • After doing so, 87% saw increased productivity in their teams.
  • 86% experienced improved project visibility.
  • 82% saw an increase in product quality.
  • And 83% found agile methods made a faster time to market possible.

All of these factors allow for a lower overall cost per project, or – just as valuable – a higher value result for the same investment. And with project visibility improved at the same time, who’s going to get the credit for being in the black?

You are.

2. Improved Productivity

Keeping your team on task and productive throughout a long-term project can be challenging under the best of circumstances. When personality clashes or conflicting priorities get in the way, it can be an all-consuming chore.

This is really where going agile can bring some relief. Agile shifts the management paradigm from a predictive/plan-driven model to an adaptive/value-driven way of working, leaving managers with more time to lead and less need to direct or control. As complex projects are spread over multiple team members, Agile teams will self-organized and become more productive.

Here are a few more interesting points from the VersionOne survey that may be eye-opening:

  • The single greatest improvement recorded, as noted by 92% of respondents who implemented agile management, was an improved ability to manage changing priorities.
  • As noted above, 87% saw a direct increase in productivity.
  • 82% noticed a better alignment between IT and business objectives (meaning less back and forth and more moving forward.)
  • And 78% labeled the project development process as simpler overall than it was prior to going agile.
  • Of course, improved productivity also makes a financial impact. But just as important to the team members – and to you as a manager – is the peace of mind and reduced stress that comes with being part of a well-oiled machine.

    Maybe it’s the financial benefits, maybe it’s the increased productivity. Maybe it’s just the fact that an agile team is always accomplishing something.

    What we do know is that it feels good to manage a successful team. But, don’t take our word for it. Hear what other managers have to say about boosts in productivity from going agile.

    Which brings us to our third benefit:

    3. Happier Team Members

    Perhaps the most interesting item observed by managers whose teams have undergone an agile transformation is the positive effect the move has on the team’s morale.

    According to the VersionOne survey, a full 86% of respondents noted a boost in morale as one of the actual improvements they experienced from adopting agile methodologies.

    The key to keeping team members happy is to remember that even self-organizing Agile teams need guidance and assistance in achieving goals. While managers aren’t required to make every single decision, they still need to provide direction, assist ScrumMasters to remove impediments, and make sure business needs fit into the iterative cycle.

    Are you ready to reap the benefits of going Agile? Set you and your team up for success by getting started with a ½ day strategy session with one of our Agile Coaching programs. Learn how to jump-start your team, remove barriers to success and become the motivator your team needs.