Even before the pandemic began, we were a small team at Chatspace, working closely together on our analytics technology but already starting the transition towards Galvia, an AI-powered project management solution that autonomously safeguards enterprises from project risk and empowers teams to focus on more meaningful work and value creation.
For sure there were challenges along the way but also significant milestones such as scaling up our workforce and product development, becoming a UiPath Technical Alliance Partner, inclusion in the prestigious Microsoft for Startups programme and being proudly listed in ThinkBusiness.ie 50 Irish start-ups to watch in 2021.
Much of our resilience through this unsettling time is due to the fact that long before the pandemic started, way back to our foundation in 2017, we had built agile teams with solid and focused work methodologies.
The goal of agile is autonomy and cooperation. At its essence, it is providing people with the freedom to think for themselves for the good of the whole team.
And we are not the only ones. McKinsey research on how agile organisations fared during the pandemic showed that 93 percent of organisations thought their agile business units had performed “better” or “significantly better” than their non-agile business units in both customer satisfaction and operational performance.
Our challenge was to put a structure in place to enable us to scale, plus embrace these goals in a new remote world. Here are the top three benefits that agile brought:
- Agile provides rhythm to work: The ritual of daily standups and weekly sprints makes sure everyone knows what to do and when to do it, bringing a sense of connectivity and purpose. Our people have
felt part of a team even from their own bedroom or living space. This connectivity, enhanced by Slack and Trello, boosts productivity and mood.
- Agile allows for quick shifts: We use the agile method to ‘deconstruct’ work – break it into small units – to accomplish it one piece at a time. As Desmond Tuti once wisely said “the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”. This means that when situations change – like responding to our customers immediate needs – agile allows for easy shifts because work is planned in smaller portions and over short periods of time.
- Agile is empowering: Strong alignment around purpose, strategy, and priorities means teams can work independently more easily, improving resilience and putting our customer needs first. Our data scientist Girija Shingte explored her passion for cutting-edge technology when she was assigned to build an integration with UiPath’s robotic process automation platform. We are now part of a program that allows us to deliver end-to-end technology solutions for shared customers with UiPath and other vendors.
Agile methodology has given us the confidence to manage the storms and circumvent the roadblocks that the pandemic brought. But agile is a value as much as a system. It too must be flexible to change. From our own experience, we strongly encourage you to embrace this empowering methodology and let’s all look forward to a better and brighter future.