The Agile Effect:  The Benefits and Costs of Moving to an Agile Methodology?
The agile corporate-learning business model has been getting a lot of attention in recent times. Companies are seeing the benefits of a more agile production, design, and even leadership development programs. But an agile model isn’t for everyone. Here are some of the benefits and some of the costs to moving to an agile methodology.
The Benefits of Corporate Agility
Corporate agility is essentially boiled down to the ability to make high-speed changes to processes to better capitalize on feedback. Over the course of a project timeline, teams will go through a series of short yet fast-paced bursts of analysis, planning, design, build, test, and deployment with a particular emphasis on the design-build-test cycle. This gives businesses the opportunity to fine-tune their designs quickly and more effectively based on quick response feedback. It’s a powerful methodology and many companies want to be agile, but only a few are able to pull it off successfully. When they do achieve the level of agility that is needed to make a definitive impact on business functions, companies are able to adapt smartly to better manage the costs of a fast-changing environment and customer behavior. When it comes to corporate learning programs, agility is very relevant to the conversation. The ability to learn quickly and pivot as needed to improve learning and development programs certainly has its appeal. While every individual has different learning abilities, organizations who help their leaders achieve their full potential through agile learning programs will be better positioned to succeed.
The Costs of an Agile Methodology
While there are definite benefits to this model, there are some costs to be taken into consideration as well. Switching methodologies takes focused change management, support of leadership, buy-in from employees and trainees, and a culture committed to the flexibility and collaboration needed to succeed with an agile project management style. Without these elements, there will be real resistance to moving to an agile methodology.  Additional drawbacks to agile methodologies include less predictability, increased time and commitment on behalf of testers and customers, greater demands on developers and clients, a lack of formal documentation, and the risk of projects falling off track quickly and even spiraling out of control. To mitigate these risks, the goal of using agile methodology to deliver projects faster should be replaced with the goal of delivering projects more efficiently. The feedback is critical. Trust and empowerment of your team matters. The ability to change directions quickly is important. But without strong team structure, efficient testing and feedback processes, and the ability to address user resistance, agile methodology – particularly as it relates to corporate learning programs – can result in the creation of an ever-changing, never-effective project.
Are you ready to make the switch to agile but don’t know where to start? Clarity Can Help!
Clarity provides elite consultants with experience in your specific industry who possess advanced skills and an acute awareness of the latest tools, trends, and technologies. The result for our clients is a significant time and costs savings, reduced risk, and project success. Do you want to explore the methodology but need the support of an experienced Learning and Development consultant to help you strategize? Connect with the team at Clarity Consultants today to see what an agile L&D program and consultant can do for your company.

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