Agile is the word on the street—well, in the corporate press, at least—but what does it really mean? As a simple definition, to be agile is to be able to move quickly and easily. As a set of management practices, Agile has extended beyond its origins in software development and has become a global movement. Every industry is now seeking to become more agile in some way, and it’s easy to understand why. The purpose of being agile is the increased ability to respond to consumer demands as and when they change. And change is constant. It requires an experimental mindset and the capacity to act on fast feedback. For a business in the food industry, that means testing new formulations, processes, packaging and marketing without needing to completely overhaul food processing and handling equipment or other major supply chain elements.
Many food producers and manufacturers are hesitant to change what isn’t broken, but the inability to compete with more dynamic brands is what broken looks like. It’s declining sales, year on year. You can’t just become agile overnight, though. There’s a smart way to go about it. You have to plan to be agile. You have to know what an acceptable minimum viable product (MVP) should be, so you can increase your speed to market and improve with feedback. You have to know where to push the boundaries and where to stay true to your vision, so you don’t lose focus and waste resources. Otherwise, all you end up with is a whole lot of guesswork and whiplash.
Becoming agile begins with understanding the skills and capacity of your workforce. Knowing where those gaps are avoids spinning your wheels along the way and helps to identify the best partners to team up with. It’s not just about what you don’t have, it’s also about what you do have. The strengths of your team are often a forgotten asset that gets buried beneath the routine processes of normal operations. You could have a secret weapon without even realising it! When you know who you have and need, you need to where to go and why. Where are the opportunities? What are your competitors doing? You need to look at your options and your existing portfolio, so you can know why you’ll choose one way over another. Because it’s not enough to simply know your strategy, you have to tell it to the market, and share it with your team.
Our 8P Model™ takes you through an agile project management process to streamline your business and define new product development opportunities that make sense to who you are and what you believe in, and teaches you how to innovate for profit. The defined strategic approach addresses productivity issues in terms of People, Portfolio or Productivity, Problem, Project, Product, Packaging, Process and Profit, and has been embedded into program management platforms Emvisage and Progaim
Stop spinning your wheels and contact us about our training workshops and consulting services today.