The difference between adaptability and agility

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Believe it or not, we’re no longer tied to our desks, hooked up to our workspace via wires and telephone lines. The world of work is transforming, and smart businesses are making sure they’re ahead of the curve. If business is booming, your staff are working tirelessly and phones are ringing off the hook, you might not notice a problem. But, before you know it, your old-fashioned way of working will be overtaken by swift, forward-thinking competitors.

This blog explores how agile working can help your business:

  • Boost output whilst saving time and money
  • Keep one step ahead of competitors
  • Futureproof your organisation
  • Increase staff productivity
  • Support colleague happiness and wellbeing
  • Adapt to a better way of working

 

If 2020 showed us anything, it’s that an ability to adapt is invaluable. The world around us isn’t static – it’s constantly evolving, and businesses must learn to change with the times.

Making organisational changes or implementing new systems shouldn’t be a knee-jerk response. Businesses should take a practical, analytical approach and enlist the help of experts to implement agile operations. Understanding what changes should be made, and why, is simply the first step.

 

What is agility and adaptability?

Agile working connects people to technology that helps to improve effectiveness and productivity. Therefore, agility is defined by the way a business proactively evolves in order to thrive. Adaptability is a business’s ability to respond to these changes. Businesses must recognise the importance of both of these competencies.

Agility allows a business to realise its full potential through implementing new systems. As technology evolves and the way we work inherently changes, businesses can’t just stand still.  Continuing a way of working because “this is how we’ve always done it” will get mediocre results and hinder a business’s progress.

Adaptability is how prepared a business is to change or evolve its practices to overcome challenges or align with environmental changes. Businesses should be able to adapt to new changes in a productive, positive way – with company culture emerging unscathed and business processes improved as a result. Maintaining business effectiveness through times of change will ensure a business can thrive, no matter what life throws at it.

Businesses must be both agile and adaptable in order to weather new storms. Let’s face it, most people will say they don’t like change. Change is time consuming. Getting a positive result requires research, testing and learning. But implementing agile working can transform a business and safeguard its future.

 

The roots of agile working

Agile working is a term traditionally and originally used in software development. The four values and twelve principles of agile software created a better, more efficient way to develop software. At its core, the agile methodology focusses on nurturing a culture where flexibility is welcome, benefitting effective collaboration.

Accommodating change and motivating teams to adapt to this change allows software to be developed productively. There should be no unnecessary delays or barriers to getting the job done quickly – without compromising on the result of the finished product. Continually reflecting on how to improve is also a key principle within agile working methodology.

Whilst “agile working” in a software development sense isn’t wholly aligned with the term used when discussing business, there are some shared principles and key takeaways. Fundamentally, viewing change positively and approaching new processes with flexibility helps businesses adapt. Improving internal processes benefits the business, its staff and ultimately customers as the service provided is more effective.   

 

Nurturing an adaptable culture for successful agile adoption

Businesses need a unified vision and passionate leaders to ensure agile adoption. Problem solving with a positive, productive mindset will ensure successful agile transformation. It’s all about understanding what currently works but being open to exploring what could work better.

Achieving agility and adaptability is a fine balancing act. Constantly striving for change without strategic rationale may cause a business to flounder. You should always aim for the final goal, with a strong end result in mind and a clear idea of how you’re going to get there.

Implementing change within a business can be a challenge. It’s true that leaders can sometimes be too close to their own operational processes to be able to clearly see better ways to work. Partnering with a specialist such as Babble offers a unique advantage.

Our experts will work with you to develop your business strategy and roadmaps, integrate cloud-based technology and implement secure agile operations to give your organisation a competitive edge. Together, we’ll help your business increase efficiency and thus profitability.

Agile adoption is considered a “quick win”, using agile principles to make swift organisational change. Agile transformation is a much lengthier, more complex process as the goal is to instigate company wide improvements. Instead of adjusting the way just one team works, agile transformation can involve an entire overhaul of systems and processes.

Three agile working champions:

The leading motor finance and technology provider Evolution Funding needed a cutting-edge contact centre solution that would increase efficiency, service levels and profitability. Implementing a UCaaS and CCaaS solution allowed all employees to work remotely. Introducing agile working not only helped to enhance workplace wellbeing, but also resulted in a sharp rise in productivity.

SumUp is a card payment solutions brand, offering a mobile point of sale system that covers the entire payment process. Where Sum Up builds a better way to get paid, Babble creates a better way of working. With 14 global sites and over 2,000 employees, facilitating a transition to remote working was a challenge. Our agile solutions, which included troubleshooting tools and new guidelines, helped SumUp to thrive, and not just survive, in a new world.

The UK’s leading leisure and mooring supplier needed to implement a scalable cloud technology solution that would align to its rapid growth. To enable employees to operate efficiently and remotely, we deployed a fibre grade connection and a hosted telephony platform. These solutions facilitated agile working, reduced operational downtime, boosted productivity and ultimately enhanced customer experience.

Join these forward-thinking businesses in adapting to a better way of working.

Creating an agile work environment

An agile work environment utilises technological improvements to allow colleagues to work effectively and flexibly.  Creating an agile working environment requires proactivity and the ability to see what organisational changes are needed to ensure success. Learn from the past and have a vision for the future.

Flexible, scalable solutions ensure that a business can adapt to new challenges or changes in circumstance. As we’ve seen from the COVID-19 pandemic, there’ll be times when businesses must adapt to new ways of working almost overnight. Think ahead by utilising an optimised network and deploying cloud-based communication tools to allow your business to work in an agile way. This results in maximum efficiency, maximum benefit to your customers and maximum business productivity.

Of course, having technology in place that no one knows how to use effectively is just a waste of resource. Onboarding staff and encouraging business leaders to advocate for change helps organisations adopt new solutions.

Cyber security is also a key part of successful agile working. Resilient businesses have comprehensive cyber security in place to prevent attacks. Cyber criminals are getting clever. Attacks are becoming increasing innovative. The risks to businesses are getting higher. Putting security measures in place allows you to predict, detect and prevent cyber threats, thus ensuring business continuity and security.

 

Adopting an agile mindset

Being agile requires business leaders to identify change and understand how it could impact the business. Strong businesses respond to this change by implementing agile solutions and processes. Seeking new opportunities and deploying the resources needed to secure these opportunities futureproofs a business and helps it succeed.

It’s worth noting that there’s no set formula for agile working. Businesses can’t follow a ‘how to’ guide for agility. Every business has its own way of working; its own processes. Identifying where there’s need for change is unique across each business.

 

The benefits of agile working for contact centres

On-premise contact centre software can be clunky and expensive. Agile technology for contact centres offers a seamless, efficient solution. Instead of a physical telephone system, contact centres should consider cloud telephony. Not only is this technology more resilient, it allows contact centres to work in a much more agile way.

Cloud-based solutions allows contact centre colleagues to log in from anywhere. Putting trust in agents and allowing them to do their best work whenever, wherever, offers a sense of empowerment which is proven to boost workplace happiness and productivity.

Previously any issues with a telephone system would need to be physically attended to. With cloud telephony, specialists are able to work with contact centre agents directly to fix any problems. Again, this agile way of working offers a quick, effective solution – getting content centres back up and running with minimal waiting times.

Agile working also benefits customers. These days, people communicate in several different ways. We’re no longer limited to a customer service telephone number. Customers want to reach out using web, live chat, email, video, phone, text or even social media, but your business needs the technology that’s able to handle this. Agile solutions include technology that allows your agents to handle contacts from multiple channels from one intelligent desktop interface.  

From rerouting calls to the correct agent, distributing the quantity of calls and recording communications right through to real-time and historical reporting, agile technology helps your contact centre to perform more efficiently and productively than ever.

Businesses will still have visibility of their staff’s output. With the solutions mentioned above, business leaders are able to monitor the volume and quality of calls plus a range of other metrics. Enhancing the work-life balance for contact centre staff, plus improving business resilience through cloud solutions, is a winning combination.

 

Agile working can benefit most businesses

Flexible technology solutions enhance productivity and efficiency. A system that is easier to use, allows for remote working and responds quickly, helping staff to do their jobs more effectively.

Agile working also boosts business resilience. Cloud migration allows organisations to fully maximise flexible technology solutions, thus reducing downtime and ensuring scalability.

Ultimately, businesses that don’t adopt agile working will stagnate as proactive, forward-thinking competitors take the lead. Don’t just wait for new ways of working to become a necessity – take the initiative now.

We understand not all businesses will have a team of in-house technology experts. That’s why it’s more important than ever to partner with organisations who will support agile transformation. Partnering with a cloud specialist will ensure your business benefits from new technology. Babble’s experts will help you identify what services your business really needs, and how to make the most of new innovations.

Matt Parker

Matt Parker

Chief Executive