In Russia, due to a sharp change in social and business behavior patterns associated with the pandemic and the financial crisis that erupted against its background, interest in business consulting began to grow. So far, the main growth falls on megalopolises, but it is possible that soon the regions will be interested in assistance and recommendations for development.
This interest is quite natural, even despite the dominance of dubious info-businessmen and coaches of all stripes who have no real experience of working in crisis conditions. After all, the “flexible” (agile) approach has proven itself well abroad. But learning it is not so easy – it is a way of thinking that requires a change in approach to work, planning and increased independence for employees. This is often difficult, so companies turn to Agile and Agile consultants for help. This is exactly the specialist who teaches us to create new values and helps the company grow.
The most important thing for businessmen looking to transform their business is finding the right consulting agency. For coaches, you can go, for example, to Scrum Trek or Unusual Concepts. Unusual Concepts, for example, worked with such giants as Alfa-Bank, Alfastrakhovanie, Rosneft’s subsidiary UfaNIPIneft. Successful cases with large companies can speak of a high level of trust in the quality of consulting expertise.
According to Oleg Dmitriev, the main task of business transformation is to change the standard model of the enterprise, which will prevent its “extinction”
At the very beginning of the work, you need to ask the question: “Why does the company need transformation?” This will help to identify the problem and from here come to an understanding of what exactly needs to be achieved. The transformation is suitable for any firms: large and small, new and old, because changing the enterprise to any of the methods can increase the productivity of work, help in creating interesting projects.
As Oleg Dmitriev says, small firms manage to transform more easily. An example of this is the story of a small Yekaterinburg cafe. This is quite an unpretentious type of business, but due to its simplicity, the market is very competitive. Realizing the importance of continuous development, the owners of the coffee shop began to regularly engage an external consultant. This person had nothing to do with the company, so he could objectively see the situation from the outside. He began to conduct interviews with regular customers of the outlet, to find out their preferences, opinions and desires.
The data obtained as a result of the interviews allowed the cafe team to understand their pros and cons and correct them. The owners saw exactly where to go and how to develop, and the employees knew for sure that the innovations initiated by the management were not just another “whim of the boss”, but a necessary change – after all, it was dictated by the desire of a specific person who comes every day for a cup of coffee. the end consumer. Thanks to this approach, the company began to grow actively.
Another example of the importance of change is familiar to every entrepreneur who bypasses delegation issues. For the system to work and develop, you need to be able to delegate responsibilities. Many owners do not agree to this. As a result, the market gets a countless number of companies, where the owner works for wear and tear, after a couple of years he loses his leadership positions and the business smoothly dies or falls apart when a businessman unexpectedly falls ill and is forced to leave the operational management of his company.
Almost every small business in Russia has problems with delegation. And only the owner himself can solve it – this story is about the willingness to take risks and reconsider their position through personal transformation.
What are Agile Management Approaches?
As practice shows, often entrepreneurs are not ready for business transformation due to the fact that they are aware of the intricacies of transformation. Therefore, they do not always understand what its meaning is and negatively assess both the process itself and the potential effect.
According to Oleg Dmitriev, a typical transformation is the distribution of the organizational structure into groups, which, in turn, each work on their own product. Before transformation, the organization looks like a vertical, a kind of hierarchical system. The product paradigm is horizontal, which contradicts the usual management structure.
There are many approaches to the management process. Let’s look at some of them.
- Classic project management is an ordered structure, dividing the project into successive stages. The advantage of the classical approach is that clear goals and objectives are set. Disadvantage: such a system is completely non-flexible and does not allow changes to the processes.
- Scrum Is a framework that combines the flexibility of agile and the structuredness of a “waterfall” system. Scrum was created specifically for companies that are fast-paced and ready for change. This approach encourages colleagues to share experiences and fill knowledge gaps. The main risk of the method is the demotivation of employees whose skills were found to be unnecessary.
- Lean system works the same way as Scrum, but here small projects are broken down into clear stages. This method is aimed at combating any losses: excess inventory, interoperational backlogs, downtime, unnecessary movements. The only drawback is the complexity of implementation: you can meet the resistance of personnel accustomed to the old system of work.
- Kanban ideal for a team of up to five people. Employees are always involved in the development process and focus only on priority tasks. But this method is not suitable for long-term planning.
Why businesses resist transformation
While there are reasonable benefits to agile business approaches, there are several challenges in implementing them. First, few people want to give up their power and resources. This is one of the transformational challenges: you turn the hierarchy into a single flat structure, identifying potentially unnecessary workforce, which may even be the head of a department. This is the first pitfall that slows down the transformation process.
The second limitation is historical and technological processes. Most organizations have evolved in a different paradigm and are not technically adapted to have multiple teams working in parallel on the same project.
Therefore, it is much easier to create a company that initially works according to the agile system. In operating companies, it so happened that the transformation begins like this: there is a pilot who is launched in order to find all the blind spots and problems of the company. By solving these problems, the organization understands which system is more effective for them. In fact, a pilot is when they take a certain segment of the business and create the most comfortable conditions within its boundaries. The successful experience is then scaled up to other business segments. For managers of small and even medium-sized businesses, the launch of a pilot can be a good start for further transformation of the entire management system.