Being Agile Applies to More Than Just Application Development

In today’s market, collaboration, flexibility and fast reactions can be the difference between growing or falling behind.

Agile has primarily been associated as a project and application development management methodology. But there’s more to Agile than managing individual development projects. By expanding the core Agile tenants on a much larger scale, business owners and managers alike can take advantage of the huge benefits of adaptive planning, collaboration, and a rapid, flexible response to change.

Don’t think of Agile as a noun; as a process-driven project and application development management methodology, think of it as a verb. On the football field, agility allows a running back to evade tackles, out-maneuver defenders and dive for the end-zone. In the business world, companies need to respond to rapid and sudden changes in the marketplace, adjust to new economic issues, effectively overcome problems and respond to any number of other challenges. Team collaboration and flexibility, and fast company-wide adjustments, are how it’s done. Following Agile’s tenants can help any business get there.

Agile’s not just for software companies. 

At Land O’Frost, a company specializing in lunch meats, they’ve applied agile practices to operations so that they can anticipate and respond in a fast-changing world.

“If you’re not reacting, anticipating that kind of change, you’re not going to be successful,” says Steve Sakats, Senior Vice President for Human Resources.

Using Agile has allowed Land O’Frost to be focused, fast and flexible in their sales and customer development, finance, human resources and operations departments. Being agile has greatly increased their ability to quickly respond to their changing environment.

“When you look at the tenets [of Agile],” says Nathan Slippen, Chief U.S. Technologist for Valtech, “They can be applied at different levels within an enterprise. Such as reducing and eliminating waste and figuring out ways to make processes more transparent.”

Agility returns to business management.

The use of Agile beyond just project and application development management is a noble goal. If done successfully, businesses can apply the same concepts of collaboration and flexibility for business benefits. With changes occurring everyday, both internally and in the marketplace, businesses have to respond and change faster if they’re going to prosper. The name of the game is agility, and leveraging Agile philosophies and principles in every aspect of your business, not just application development, can help you win.

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Ryan Frederick is a Founder and product person at heart. Ryan has had the privilege of being part of starting and growing several software and service companies. He has helped companies grow from inception to viability, through to sustainability. During the evolution of these companies, Ryan has served on company boards and been instrumental in capitalization activities. He has also helped companies to expand to international markets. Ryan combines a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge having originally been a developer who migrated to the business side. He now helps companies build great software products and solve data challenges for competitive advantage as a Principal at the product and data consulting firm, AWH. Ryan is an active angel investor, mentors and advises entrepreneurs and startups, as well as corporate innovation leaders. He launched a non-profit workforce development program to train under-employed adults on digital skills called i.c.stars. Ryan has authored a book on increasing the odds of success in creating products, being a Founder and starting companies by achieving FLOW that is to be released in the next few months. Ryan speaks frequently about the product, Founder, and startup journeys.