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Industry Contributor 25 Aug 2020 - 2 min read

Agile working ain't just for the tech folks - its moving on

By Natalie Frischknecht, Business Operations Director - VMLY&R

We’ve all read the articles and seen the memes – COVID has been the driver of digital transformation in recent times. Can we continue to leverage high-speed adaptation so digital innovation becomes our ‘new normal’?

Key points:

  • Business transformation and ‘Agile’ working methods have traditionally been centred around the IT and digital parts of organisations
  • Embracing digital transformation now needs to go deeper than IT infrastructure and be seeded throughout an entire business
  • COVID has accelerated growth for Australian start-ups providing products for the modern workplace and has the possibility to launch us into a period of sustained innovation

Agile ain’t just for tech, folks. Through the pandemic, I have been amazed at how rapidly we’ve adapted to remote working, while responding to hiccups along the way – undergoing our own real-time digital transformations, big or small. In a few weeks, we completely transformed our working model after years of believing that neither people nor technology could support it.

I’ve been even more excited to see how this ability to innovate and respond to change quickly has been taken up by the Federal Government.

Witness their speed in implementing JobKeeper and the development of the Covid-safe app.

Yes, neither are perfect (and were even less so when launched) but by adopting a ‘done is better than perfect’ approach, long a hallmark of the Agile framework of delivering digital transformation, they were able to respond to the public’s rapidly changing needs.

What can we take from the Agile framework to respond to change during this pandemic? For me, it’s having the courage to try, learn, and try again rather than default to playing it safe because of the fear of failing (with barriers such as aging infrastructure, regulation and organisational structure).

During these times, there may be a tendency for big brands to retreat to their home base and focus on their core business, rather than experiment.

It’s up to us to take Agile principles beyond the usual realm of IT and digital transformation and encourage rapid innovation through all parts of ours and our clients’ businesses in order to respond to what customers’ want and need right now.

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Natalie Frischknecht, Business Operations Director

VMLY&R

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