agile working

A guide to agile working

Agile working – Agile is a methodology and mind set that has evolved from the tech sector to deliver quality products, products that deliver value in markets and environments that are subject to rapid and extreme change.

Agile, at its core, is a method for navigating and managing extreme change and uncertainty.

Agile provides a problem solving tool kit, a practical method it gives visibility and creates metrics to improve and gain perspective.  As a tool it works to manage and improve all aspects of the business including work in progress, systems, processes, people, projects, products and value delivered.

Agile is an umbrella term for a variety of methods and tools that work collectively across the business creating channels for communication and breaking down barriers caused by hierarchy.

While agile working provides a valuable tool set for managing and improving performance, agility requires the adoption of an agile mind set to help establish an agile culture as well as an agile way of working.

Agility requires the adoption of an a way of thinking, as well as working that helps us to accept and embrace change as part of the process

Being agile means adopting an approach of continuous learning, growth and improvement.

Agile working : Change Management

Agile builds in change, it accepts changes will happen, plans are implemented flexibly to respond to change and allow for continuous improvement.

An agile mind set embraces change as opportunity and potential for learning and growth.

There is chaos under the heavens and the situation is excellent – Chinese proverb

Agile working : Test Driven Development  

Agile works to validate and test solutions early, to measure impact and value as the solution is delivered.

Releasing early solutions for feedback provides vital information to help evolve and develop an idea into a solution that is fit for purpose.

Agile works to ensure the right thing is built, and the thing is built right.

Agile working : Gain Clarity and Visibility  

Agile literally puts the writing on the wall providing a real time snapshot and practical communication channel for the business.

Agile tools help to visualise, clarify and share information.

Information dashboards provide real-time, tactile communication channels for collaborating and maintaining a shared understanding throughout the business.

Agile breaks down silos and encourages cross team working.

Agile working : Empower teams

Use agile to foster a healthy and positive working environment that supports and empower teams.

Agile works to empower individuals and teams, providing a structure and tool set for self-organisation and management.

The method encourages teams to work collaboratively and improve their performance collectively through metrics and a culture of continuous improvement.

Agile leaders are empowered to provide their teams with the environment, tools and skills to deliver value and achieve optimum performance levels.

Agile working : Identify blocks and limitations

Agile is a method to support, analyse, manage and improve existing practices within the business.

Agile helps to review current approaches and identify the blocks, bottlenecks and issues that limit the business.

Agile helps teams to optimise and improve their working practices through learning and reflection.

Agile working : Harness talent and potential

Use agile as a tool to improve team performance and individual job satisfaction

Agile allows teams to play to their strengths and identify opportunities for development and improvement.

Agile businesses leverage their talent and create teams that perform at their best enabling their businesses to thrive.

Agile working : Maintain Balance

It is vital to balance both running the business and changing the business in order for it to be able to continue to sustain growth and deliver value. As a business grows and develops it can struggle with capacity, less time is available for innovation and improvement.

Agile ensures that a balance is maintained between running the day to day activities of the business and making time for continuous improvement and development throughout the business, consistently improving its products, people, systems and processes.

Agile values people, collaboration, working solutions and change.

An agile team values being agile over being perfect, they look to release their work early and gain feedback to enable them to continuously improve and refine the value they deliver and be responsive as markets and customers change and evolve.

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being agile in businessRead more about agile and how you can use this approach in your business

Being Agile in Business by Belinda Waldock

Being Agile in Business provides simple, jargon-free advice that is designed to be read in an agile way – in short bursts that can then be put into action in the real world.

The book walks the reader through agile, explaining how the strategies and tools can enable organisations and individuals to work faster and smarter and navigate the uncertainty that all businesses face every day.

As well as tactics, tools, templates and other practical guides, Being Agile in Business provides real life case studies to illustrate just how agile can enable leaders to find their own way to thrive in any situation.


Belinda Waldock is an Agile Business Coach, professionally qualified ILM Coach and Mentor in Business Management, author of Being Agile in Business, and a Computer Science graduate.

Belinda works with businesses supporting growth and improvement specialising in agile business management. Her ‘Being Agile’ approach has been adopted by a broad range of high growth businesses across many business sectors to adopt agile practices to leverage their growth aspirations.

Belinda is part of the organising committee for one of the World’s leading agile conferences, Agile on the Beach, helping to develop and grow the conference over the past 4 years to be self-sustaining. She is a regular speaker at events sharing her experiences of adopting agile within and beyond the software sector.

Last year Belinda co-founded Software Cornwall, a small high growth cluster network of businesses, education and support organisations dedicated to connecting, promoting and supporting the growing software community in Cornwall.