This Is What An Agile Culture Looks Like

by Erin Sevitz on June 24, 2019

Creating an agile culture for your company is critical—or so you’ve heard.

An agile company culture makes it easier to innovate, attract new talent and keep employees engaged. But what does that actually mean in practical terms?

Gartner has defined five principles of an agile culture, adopted from a memo for software developers known as the ‘Agile Manifesto.’

Here’s a closer look at each one and some concrete steps you can take to embrace it.

5 Principles of An Agile Culture

1. People Over Processes

It can be easy to get hung up on rigid processes and procedures, especially for large, well-established organizations. But what works for one project or department may not work so well for everyone. In an agile culture, employees have more freedom to organize projects in the way they see fit, rather than following a set structure.

2. Dynamics Over Documents

Likewise, it’s tempting to refer to a set of manuals that dictate who should be responsible for what tasks and what steps should be followed. That’s fine if you’ve perfected a process and want to achieve the same results time after time.

But it rarely leads to innovation.

3. Collaboration Over Cascading

An agile culture emphasizes sharing at all levels within the organization, rather than passing down responsibilities. All employees should feel comfortable freely communicating their ideas.

4. Adaptive Over Prescription

In an agile culture, there is no one “right” way to do something. Rather than asking “Why can’t it be done?” employees ask, “How can it be done?”

5. Leadership Over Management

In an agile culture, leaders provide vision and direction but don’t micromanage. They give their team members the freedom to solve problems in the way they see fit, rather than dictating how something must be done.

How to Embrace An Agile Culture

Embracing an agile culture requires a lot of trust, but it doesn’t mean management needs to give up control entirely.

Here are a few practical ways to achieve workplace autonomy and agility without sacrificing accountability:

1. Encourage Workplace Flexibility

A traditional 9-5 schedule may not work for everyone. Allowing employees to use flexible scheduling and work remotely when possible can improve their happiness and productivity. Having a written policy for when employees are expected to be available and how quickly they should respond to questions can help clarify expectations.

Workplace flexibility isn’t just about hours. More organizations are moving away from assigned seats in favor of a more agile work environment that allows employees to move around throughout the day. This can improve collaboration between colleagues and strengthen employee engagement.

2. Use Collaborative Tools to Hold Employees Accountable

One of the best ways to hold employees accountable is to increase visibility. Project management software that shows who is responsible for completing various tasks, when they are due and what the next steps are can help.

3. Use Employee-Centric Workplace Technology

If you’re going to give employees greater freedom to do their work as they see fit, you need to give them the tools they need to be productive. They need to be able to find their colleagues, reserve a quiet place to work and access any equipment they need to use.

As more workplace leaders strive to create an agile culture, they are adopting flexible work policies and the technology that makes this possible. In the latest CBRE survey, 52 percent of executives said they planned to implement unassigned seating. And 59 percent said they planned to add a workplace app to help employees navigate their environment and stay connected.

The iOFFICE Hummingbird employee experience app was designed just for that purpose.

With Hummingbird, employees can find people and places, reserve rooms or equipment, request service, receive mail or visitors and more, removing obstacles to productivity.

Take the first step to creating an agile culture. Request a demo today.


Erin Sevitz

Erin Sevitz is the Senior Director of Marketing at iOFFICE + SpaceIQ.

Capterra Ratings: ★★★★★ 4.5/5