In an ever-evolving world, organizations have to deal with multiple factors that affect their business. For a long time, companies have used the traditional management framework in ensuring that the organization is run like a well-oiled machine. Although this framework has its advantages, many companies are exploring other ways of management.
What is an agile organization?
An “agile organization” is defined as an organization that uses a non-hierarchical management model. An organization is agile as it can adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace and business trends. By using a set of tactics and strategies, agile organizations can adjust and thrive even with changes in the business environment and other circumstances brought about by technological advancement.
How does an agile organization framework differ from a traditional organization?
Generally, traditional management has a hierarchical framework where power and decision-making flow vertically, in an upward manner. In this type of management, those in higher-level positions make decisions which are passed on to lower-level positions to carry out. The manager identifies what needs to be done, comes up with a plan, and passes along the information to the lower-level employee or subordinate.
The manager gives employees detailed instructions on what needs to be done and how to do it. In turn, the employee’s job is to execute the instructions given and asks for the manager’s permission for any changes to the original plan. Since decisions are made by upper-level managers, employees at the lower level have limited autonomy and independence. Communication needs to be passed on vertically and thus is limited in terms of speed and adaptability. Traditional organizations are faced with challenges in keeping up with a changing marketplace, technological advancements, and changing circumstances.
On the other hand, an agile organization is non-hierarchical. It does not focus on vertical lines. Instead, they have a network of different teams with end-to-end accountability. While traditional organizations rely on the manager or boss for instructions, agile organizations allow more independence for employees to make empowered decisions. They do not have to wait for upper-level managers to tell them what to do and how to do it.
A decentralized management structure that puts a high value on independence, communication, and trust. In an agile organization, for example, a creative team will have different output and results from that of a product development team. Both teams may be supervised by a dedicated project manager. They can collaborate and align to help each team produce substantial output. Because they have more autonomy in making decisions,
communication is faster and implementation of plans is achieved at a quicker pace.
How does an agile organization work with technology?
Agile organizations use technology as an ally in achieving their goals. They embrace the new ways that technology can aid with communication and analysis. By using centralized data locations and other methods of communication including video conferencing, chat, and other means, agile organizations have easier access to relevant information.
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