For us, to define agile working (or activity based working, as it’s known in some parts of the world) is about working with people and organisations to explore how exciting new choices about when, where and how people work. These workplace changes can bring major value and transformation in the context of business priorities.
Establishing the ‘why’ is the first base for us. We run a detailed study that touches everyone to develop the ‘Case for Change’. The ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘when’, which brings together all the pro’s and con’s and rationale for transition to agile working backed by solid data. Studies include vision workshops, workplace utilisation studies, structured interviews, on-line surveys, infrastructure reviews.
Then it’s about supporting or managing project teams in delivering an agile workplace infrastructure that creates a frictionless user experience and helps people do their best work every day. This we do through extensive workplace management or active participation in the Project team.
Getting the right workplace is important, but getting real and sustainable behavioural transition is more important.
So, the next stage for us is about designing and delivering behaviour change programmes that are sympathetic to our client’s culture.
Through the programmes we work with leader and their teams to support them in ‘debunking’ the subject, supporting them in understanding the opportunities and getting them comfortable with the transition to the agile workplace and agile working.
And over the last 10 years this is what we’ve done in some of the world’s best known organisations involving well, over 50,000 people….. changing their world of work. It’s our passion and our team love each fresh challenge.
The Skills and Experience
Success requires change specialists with a deep experience of implementing strategic agile working programmes and an up to the minute understanding of agile working technologies, agile workplace design, behavioural change techniques, legislation and research.
Specialists that are as comfortable working at board level to help leaders understand the concepts and opportunities as they are with middle managers or operational workers. Specialists who understand how agile working and agile workplaces can improve knowledge worker productivity and understand the latest scientific research on the topic. This is our team.
At AWA we have some of the most experienced and talented technologists, workplace strategists, behavioural change experts, workplace management specialists and change managers anywhere in the World to cover every aspect of agile working change.
The Agile Workplace and Agile Office
The agile workplace has to be carefully designed to give people their best day at work every day armed with new understandings and models of working. The agile workplace is designed by using all the data from the initial studies to create the right number, styles, size and locations for different spaces.
Amongst other types, we need to consider:
- social spaces
- meeting spaces
- storage spaces
- eating spaces
- exercise stations
Agile Working Technologies
Agile technologies are a fundamental to the success of agile working and needs to be designed to provide a user centered friction-less experience with reliable bandwidth, easy connectivity, quick response times, sophisticated collaboration tools and applications anywhere they choose to work, inside or outside the office. And user adoption programmes are key to get people confident to use the tools and understand which tools to use for the job.
Agile Workplace Management Technologies
Increasingly technologies are also being used to manage the workplace using sensors to provide real time information to building users and Real Estate and FM professionals. Too often the management of the agile workplace is an afterthought, but should be considered up front.
Practices, Protocols and Etiquette
To make the agile workplace work we need new agile working understandings. New practices, protocols and etiquette need to be worked out with the communities to make agile working and the agile workplace work.
Along with the agile workplace come new more sociable and intelligent behaviours getting people comfortable with consuming space as they need it and giving it back for the use of others when they are not using it and encouraging them to use the new flexibility in the office to build new relationships.
Agile Management Skills
To manage an agile team or community requires new understandings and practices for the leaders and their people to work in a harmonious handshake.
When people are not all together all the time new agreements and practices need to be adopted to maintain relationships, manage performance and maintain trust. Our latest research from our ‘Managing the agile organisation’ programme and our own experience of running an agile organisation for 25 years gives us insights into how to ‘manage agile’ which we use in our training programmes with our clients to upskill leaders and teams.
Read more on agile from around the site:
Karen Plum, Director of Research leads our Agile Working Bootcamp
From Graham Jervis, Director at AWA Agile Working? The Agile Workplace? What do we really mean?