VKS: The Agile Enterprise and You

By: Ben Baldwin

January 19, 2021

Agile Enterprise

Why is an agile enterprise valuable for IT? If you are looking for software development that is responsive, collaborative, and tailored to your needs, the agile method is a strong choice. It enables companies and people to stay ahead of change as they work and collaborate together.

To understand this a little better, let's look at agility from the perspective of the human body. In this case, agility refers to rapid whole-body movements in response to a change in velocity or direction. It is the ability to quickly and accurately adapt to a moving target or goal.

Likewise, an agile enterprise rapidly responds to unexpected challenges and opportunities. Their agile culture enables them to perform flexible actions that benefit all participants.

It’s a Culture Thing

“Agile” is first and foremost a culture. Just as agility is a full-body movement, corporate agility needs to be adopted fully within the organization to be effective.

With the digital transformation of Industry 4.0, companies and developers need to be agile. As new technologies literally change the landscape of manufacturing, companies need to be ready to see change as an opportunity for faster and smarter methodologies.

agile culture

But agility is not accomplished by innovative technology alone. It first requires an agile mindset from the people within.

We here at VKS are proud to have an agile culture. Our goal is to work closely with our customers, continuously improve, and share the strengths of agility. All the while, meeting our customers’ needs, providing responsive delivery, and maintaining our digital work instruction software’s quality standards.

Why Choose an Agile Enterprise?

There are many reasons why organizations choose to work with agile enterprises. For us, “agile” is about finding opportunities and staying ahead of our clients’ needs.

It means mastering change.

Change occurs in two forms:

  1. Challenges that require flexibility
  2. Opportunities that require innovation

Under the agile method, change is part of the planning process and is not considered a disruptive factor. Whether challenges or opportunities occur, the agile enterprise is equipped to pursue the best end-result.

As the world of production and demand is always in motion, change is inevitable and needs to be accepted with purpose. This is accomplished through agile means such as collaboration, customer focus, iterative development, and more.

To help explain in greater detail what an agile enterprise can do for you, here are four core values that encourage flexibility and help in mastering change.

Core Value #1: Accurate Planning with Iterative Development

A key part of the agile method is iterative development. This means dividing the project into different stages called iterations. The iterations are then planned according to the customer’s needed functionalities and in order of priority.

iterative development

Iterations, or development cycles, are meant to be incremental; not biting off any large part of the project at any one time. The company and client assemble the iterations and this is revised as time progresses.

This way, change is free to occur when it needs to and the process adapts as your needs develop and shift. These iterations are an integral part of the whole project because they allow greater flexibility and opportunities for feedback.

Core Value #2: User Feedback with a Product that Works

A key benefit of the iterative development approach is that customers receive a working product from the beginning. This is the foundation for further growth and expansion.

While development and support continue under the iterative development plan, users can explore and benefit from the features of an already functioning software. As users provide feedback, the agile development plan will adjust and adapt to their needs.

The agile plan is about providing results from beginning to end. This is in contrast to the one-time final delivery method, which fails to align with customer objectives. The customer’s unique perspective is a strong resource as the software is being tailored for their needs.

Having a results-driven product every step of the way is invaluable for modern agile development.

Core Value #3: Inter-Company Collaboration

Instead of being applied to just one person, agile business practices are executed under a culture of collaboration.

Just as agile movements require the whole body, so do agile practices need the full organization. Agility requires corporate action and collaboration. All parts need to work together harmoniously with the same goal.

With our culture of agility, we are constantly collaborating with our clients.

Their goals are our goals.

collaboration

This alignment of objectives allows project planning and risk management to be shared. We each have the same vested interest in the success of the project and product.

The process is transparent as each voice is ready to be heard in every development cycle. Agile enterprises need to incorporate the free flow of ideas with all members of the development team, as well as the client’s team.

As we discussed in the previous point, user feedback is incredibly important. And that cannot happen without a well-founded corporate culture ready to collaborate.

Core Value #4: Goals are Maintained by A Customer-Oriented Approach

The above core values all direct us to our final point: our customers are always at the heart of the process. We aim to provide the best products and services to fulfill the goals of our customers. Despite inevitable changes, new opportunities, and unforeseen challenges, this goal remains constant.

Let's go back to the athletic definition of agility for a second and use a basketball game for reference. At no point in time through the game does the objective change or shift. The goal is the same throughout; get the ball in the net. What shifts through the game is the means of achieving that goal and the direction of the players.

It is the same for agile development. As the ball moves around the court and factors change, agile practices help maintain a strong focus on the right goal.

Likewise, the agile enterprise fosters a strong culture that responds to your unique challenges and opportunities.

At VKS, we have adopted a customer-oriented approach that puts forward working results and increases value for end-users. By incorporating agile practices, we focus on the customer’s needs through collaborative and flexible means.

Agile Strengths are Transferable

By partnering with an agile enterprise, you too gain agility. Your company and work instruction software can best adapt to market changes and your customer demand. This enables you to face challenges and opportunities with strength, flexibility, and innovation.

shared agility

The agile philosophy has led organizations around the world to adopt more innovative and accurate working methods. An agile enterprise is better equipped to face and incorporate change as it is no longer a challenge, it is an opportunity for innovation and growth.

We are proud to be an agile enterprise with a strong and flexible culture. To improve our processes and to be ever more attentive to our environment, VKS is firmly committed to the agile method. We aim to promote and share a culture of efficiency, collaboration, and results.

With contributions from Berenice Mengo.

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