Adapting During a Time of Rapid Change

by Howard Sublett

Editor's note: This article is one of a series designed to be At Your Service as we all learn to connect with one another even while we're remote. Because together we are not alone.

We are currently in a time of immense change and uncertainty, one where businesses are struggling to forecast how to emerge through the next few weeks—much less the coming years. None of us know exactly what the new normal will be, but here’s what I do know: Companies firmly built on agile values are adapting more easily, and with far fewer issues.

I recently talked about the power of agility in times like these with Dr. Tracey Brower, contributing writer for Forbes, for her article, “Why Agile Is The Mindset To Get Us Through The COVID Crisis: 4 Lessons From Agile For Today And The New Normal.” (You can read the full article here.)

Dr. Brower did a wonderful job of describing the agile mindset and how valuable it is for the future of business. She gave three reasons why an agile mindset is especially impactful now (Bold font added for emphasis):

  • "Agile provides rhythm and cadence for work. When things are ambiguous and nothing feels certain, agile provides for regular patterns to move work forward. Whether you’re doing a virtual daily stand up with your team or reviewing your work together each week, these rituals are positive for your state of mind and bring a sense of much-needed normalcy. 
  • "Agile allows for quick shifts. When organizations need to make quick adjustments to priorities, approaches or the content of work, agile is especially well-suited. Use the agile method to ‘deconstruct work’—break it into small units—to accomplish it one piece at a time. Completing tasks bit by bit provides the opportunity for more in-course corrections. When situations change—as they do regularly through the coronavirus crisis—agile allows for easy shifts because work has been planned in smaller portions and over shorter time horizons.
  • "Agile is empowering. Another hallmark of agile is teams and team members who make decisions in the moment rather than asking for permission or waiting for managers to weigh in. Within agile, servant leaders provide a shared vision and support team members as they fulfill it. The ability for team members to make the necessary calls as they work through projects helps ensure speed and responsiveness to customer needs. With the COVID-created pressure on many systems to react even more quickly than usual, this kind of approach makes sense." --Quoted from full article.

I couldn’t agree more. In times of rapid change, companies quickly discover how well (or how slowly) they are able to adapt. When they realize that the way they’ve always worked just isn’t working anymore, they look to companies like Scrum Alliance for the community and skills they need to thrive in the new reality.

(Case in point, for the first time ever, you can take a live online training taught by one of our ever-agile Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers!)

That’s why I’m so bullish that what we teach and what we do is key for the future. 

To find more resources to help you through this crisis and when things start to return to a new level of normal, visit At Your Service.

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