Insights 23 January 2020

Virtual Agile helps organizations stay afloat amid economic slowdown

Every industry currently faces the endless waves of Digital Disruption. Both traditional and new technologies have been making rapid changes to consumer behaviors and lifestyles. Businesses’ ability to adjust themselves to keep up with or be ahead of this trend would pave the way for them to swim against the currents of Digital Disruption and survive the bleak economic environment. Worldwide organizations are encountering a number of conditions affecting the economies such as the U.S.-China trade war, the political risk factors triggering the U.S.-Iran war, etc.

Those conditions affect the business operations of all industry sectors directly and indirectly, and may inevitably lead to a series of digital disruptions. Innovation has thus become a key driver of the competition and large corporations are expeditiously adjusting themselves by adopting it. Those companies that are not yet ready or unable to adapt themselves may be left behind and collapse eventually. So,the question of “what are things we need to do to adjust ourselves in this digital era?” is still waiting to be answered by many businesses.

“While innovative organizations are growing exponentially to be at the vanguard of modern business, conventional businesses are suffering from their inability to adjust themselves and stay current with the changing behaviors of both customers and competitors in today’s digital world. Therefore, those large firms are trying to apply technology to enhance work processes, resulting in the emergence of innovation, a key contributor towards a long-term business success,” said Mr. Pochara Arayakarnkul, CEO of Bluebik Group Co., Ltd., a leading consultant specializing in strategy development and technology and innovation management.

However, creating an innovative idea is not a piece of cake, and building up innovation is an even more difficult task. Innovation is about creating value for customers and offering new things to solve problems or pain points for the majority of people. Startups saw a huge success in their innovation creation because of their less complicated work processes and organizational structures, rapid decision-making procedures, and team members from younger generations with the mindset of a thinker and doer who is willing to experiment. An exemplary Agile work model demonstrated by these startups can be adopted by old-school businesses so that they can keep up with changes. Nonetheless, over 60% of the businesses failed due to several reasons. These included the business ladder (hierarchy) hindering communications and speedy operations, the centralized decision-making power, and the mixed workforce consisting of people from different generations. Some employees preferred to stick to their routine work or traditional work practices instead of departing from the existing corporate culture that may be hard or slow to change. Those people did not understand the Agile work principle, viewing it as too far to reach to be possible.

Virtual Agile – A shortcut to successful innovation creation

Currently, Virtual Agile has effectively answered the needs of the business sector as they do not need to waste their time which isa costly capital in doing business in the digital era. By implementing this solution, the firm does not have to change its corporate culture, allowing its permanent employees and organization to fully focus on their duties. The word “Virtual” in “Virtual Agile” refers to a virtual simulation. So, Virtual Agile is a team consisting of members from different functions, aimed at promoting person-to-person communications for better understanding, decentralizing the decision-making power, and identifying shorter-term goals (Sprint), instead of a one-time long-term goal, to handle a daily changing business landscape and any potential problem or mistake in a timely manner. The Virtual Agile way of work does not need a newly created system. It can work in parallel with the old work approach. A growing number of traditional businesses have now adopted the Virtual Agile as it not only helps relieve traditional work conflicts but also fills the gaps of knowledge and skills in the new work practices. Essentially, organizations with the traditional work style can achieve the same performance as those with the agile work style. Virtual Agile helps resolve all limitations in applying the Agile solution to old-school businesses.

Virtual Agile is regarded as a shortcut for a big organization to stay strong and survive amid the streams of the digital disruption age.The agile way of work helps complement other aspects of business. Moreover, the Virtual Agile solution helps enhance work performance or products and services to another level. The solution can better cater to customer needs and create new experiences in the market. In terms of teamwork, Virtual Agile promotes a way of work with no barriers between parties. It leads to limitless creativity and brainstorming. Hence, all products and services are subjected to concurrent reviews and revisions by all parties concerned. This solution comes with a systematic way of thinking and an ability to tap into old business strengths to satisfy consumer needs with zero or minimal errors. Most importantly, working together closely and communicating with each other clearly help improve relationships between team members.  
In conclusion, Virtual Agile is a shortcut for an organization to further strengthen its existing strengths and to forge innovation as a shield against the Digital Disruption waves and recurring economic storms.