How to transform performance from good to great
It all began back in 1986, when an article called “The New New Product Development Game” was published in the Harvard Business Review. In it, authors Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka argued that the old, sequential approach to developing new products (“waterfall planning”) was no longer viable. Instead, they cited Japanese companies who were using a faster, more flexible method – “as in rugby, the ball gets passed within the team as it moves as a unit up the field”. This approach, now called “agile”, changes the way people think about business, introducing creative, market-driven ideas into organisations which previously had cumbersome processes that set them up for failure.
Agile principles have since transformed the business world, most notably in the IT sector. Companies like Apple, Google, and Spotify have achieved their astonishing growth in large part by adopting this methodology. Smaller organisations tend to use it right from start-up, because they have no option but to be agile if they want to succeed in today’s constantly changing and fiercely competitive world.
Agile principles can be applied to any business, not just new product development. “Everyone can benefit from these skills, both in business and in their personal lives”, says Steven Briggs, facilitator of the new Executive Education course “Agile Fundamentals”.
With a background of project management in the manufacturing sector, Steve moved into teaching in 2008. He is passionate about improving performance in New Zealand organisations, and recently helped to design the Master of Engineering Project Management degree offered at the University of Auckland.
In this short podcast, Steve explains the fundamental principles of agile, and how they can be applied to dramatically improve both the performance of individuals and teams, and the value of their output, whether that is a product, process or service.