How much agility does agile working require?

Agile working helps companies to adapt to the challenges and changes of the market. In practice, however, there are some fundamental aspects to consider that can make the difference between success and failure. IT service provider Avision shows that greater agility does not always make sense.

Many managers have already recognized that traditional corporate structures and decision-making processes no longer meet the requirements of the modern market and the demands of customers. The now outdated top-down approaches and inflexible hierarchies have become a problem at the latest with the onset of digitalization. One possible solution is the concept of agile working. Here, employees increasingly make decisions in self-organized teams, define important goals and focus on the customer’s wishes. What sounds tempting can often lead to problems when it comes to implementation. Avision shows which factors make for a successful project, which stumbling blocks should be avoided from the outset and that not every agile project has to be completely agile.

Self-organized teams

Not all employees are the same. Some don’t want to take on management tasks, others don’t want to organize themselves into teams or are resistant to new working methods. Still others need more time to get used to agile working methods. Therefore, not every employee is equally suited to working in an agile project. Companies should also bear in mind that the transition to new concepts requires both time and support. If the collaboration does not work, self-organized teams must have the option of transferring employees to another project. The following applies here: if staffing levels require it, less agility is sometimes even better.

Product Owner and Scrum Master

Product owners are essential for the technical or customer perspective in an agile project. They make decisions and contribute trend-setting ideas to the team work. In turn, the Scrum Master ensures self-organized and structured work, creates the optimal framework conditions and, if necessary, escalates problems to the management level.

The budget

Agile projects are by definition flexible in terms of scope and timeframe, requirements can change and there is no fixed cost process. The budget is therefore difficult to plan. This circumstance is even more significant for customer projects than for internal ones – but there are proven approaches here too: In a time-and-materials approach, the customer provides the necessary budget until the project is completed. This contrasts with a fixed price model. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages that need to be evaluated in the specific application.

Failed projects

Agility also means accepting failure. In the event that a project is no longer expedient or economically viable, those involved can terminate it early enough. When working through the process, companies should analyze whether the agile approach was really the right one or whether a different concept would have been more successful.

“Agile working is no longer a trend, but has established itself as a concept,” explains Nadine Riederer, CEO of Avision. “However, companies should definitely ask themselves how agile a project really needs to be. Because even if the concept has many advantages, it is not always easy to implement in practice. For this reason, many agile projects are not 100 percent agile, but only to the extent that makes sense for the company and provides employees with the best possible framework conditions.”

This press release is also available at

Press contact

Avision GmbH
Christina Karl
Bajuwarenring 14
D-82041 Oberhaching
Tel. +49-89-623037-967     

Melissa Gemmrich
Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 6
D-80336 München
Tel. +49-89-59997-759

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