Agile Teams

by Elmer Boutin on October 20, 2009

Many in the IT business know what Agile Software Development is. That’s not what I’m going to refer to here. In this space “agile” is going to refer to speed and flexibility. I touched on this a bit in my previous article “Are You Showing Your True Value?

In today’s business environment we often see where employees are asked to more with less – less money, less people, less other resources. Some would be tempted to do less rather than try to keep going. But, in order to stay alive, your company has to stay ahead of competitors. In a small- or medium-size business how can you keep an edge and do more with less when you have less to start with?

Introducing Agile Teams
It may be impossible to keep up and do more with less in a traditional “corporate” setting. Different departments with different objectives and tasks along with limited resources all trying to operate independently may not work any more. It is very likely you are going to need to perform a task or complete a project where you need extra help or talents which are not available in your department.

If you think about it, Marketing and IT people have been doing this for quite some time now. The Marketing folks get a plan together and work with their IT department to get the web portion of that plan completed.

But, what if we took this one step further and took some people from the Marketing group and some people from the IT group and put them together for a set time to work on the project together. A manager would be assigned and the people in the team would work for that person temporarily. The team might even be temporarily moved to a new area someplace where they can work together and collaborate on the project, and move back to their permanent places when the project is completed.

In this scenario, distractions can be minimized and projects completed in a much shorter time than they otherwise might be. At then end of the project, the project’s manager will provide a written evaluation of the team members’ performances during the project so their regular supervisors can know how they did and have that on hand for regularly scheduled performance reviews.

A Bit Of A Change
Yes, this is a change from the normal routine. It might work better for some organizations than others. But, thinking outside our normal thought processes is what keeps us moving forward and ahead of our competitors.

Have you done something like this in your organization? What do you see as the good and bad points of this type of plan? Please feel free to share in the comments.

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