Project managers are under constant pressure to deliver faster and better business value. If they are looking to deliver better business outcomes, they must shift their mind into a business agility mode. A business agile mindset has nothing to do with technology; it is, rather, just a matter of following six simple principles.
1) Focus on delivering a continuous flow of value
The entire project team should be aligned towards the same goals. Everyone associated with the project should focus on its return on investment to the organization. Here ROI does not mean financially, but the final outcome that has to be valuable to the organization.
2) Engage ‘customers’ in frequent interactions and shared ownership
In an internal project, the ‘customer’ includes all individuals who will eventually use the software or adopt the change. By not consulting customers or not taking their needs into consideration before developing the project, the final outcome is often poor and could be a failure.
3) Expect uncertainty and manage it through iterations, anticipation, and adaptation
Project managers must accept that there cannot be one ‘right’ way to deliver a project, codified and repeated consistently. There has to be a margin for uncertainty. The best way to tackle this is through multiple iterations, anticipation (stemming from intuition and project experience) and adaptation to the changed circumstances.
4) Recognize that individuals are the ultimate source of value
Instead of segregating a project as ‘them and us’, involve all stakeholders. Inculcate a mindset of ‘working with’ rather than ‘working for’. Many organizations inadvertently encourage ‘change resistance’ by telling people what they need to do and telling them how to do it, and penalizing them for noncompliance.
5) Share responsibility for team effectiveness and results
Often, one team has no comprehension of what the other is tasked with, and this leads to no clear idea of how their work contributes to the overall broader picture. Being aware of and involved with each other’s areas creates a shared sense of ownership.
6) Use situation-specific strategies, processes, and practices
The project manager’s office should be provided with the tools and mindset to embrace change rather than fight or fit it into a rigid, pre-decided box, however unsuitable this standardized process may be.