Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we’ve discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. This week, we explore how the agile philosophy can help organizations manage their operations.

Imagine it’s the beginning of a new week. As we all know, Monday’s can sometimes be difficult, but you drag a half asleep version of yourself to the office—only to see that your team is flooded with tasks that need immediate attention. Your team doesn’t know where to start, how to go about it, or who to turn to for assistance. To put it mildly, it’s a chaotic situation.

This is the perfect time to employ the “agile” way of doing business. It’s a new way of thinking—a more open, creative, and collaborative way to get things done.

This “agile thinking” began with the Agile Manifesto, which was written by a group of developers in an effort to create better software. It’s based on four core values: the importance of individuals and interactions over processes and tools; working software over comprehensive documentation; collaborating with customers as opposed to negotiating contracts; and responding to changes rather than following a set plan.

 By going agile, you can avoid chaotic situations like the aforementioned, hypothetical Monday scenario. Agile thinking helps you identify and prioritize tasks in incrementally short iterations, while improving team efficiency and collaboration by emphasizing communication and coordination in order to deliver the best possible solutions.

 With the marketplace changing in such a fast-paced manner, it’s difficult to deliver high quality projects on time. Going agile is the key to maintaining momentum, be it via bringing new products to market quicker than competitors, or implementing new business strategies.

Agile thinking is more like a change in mindset and company culture than a deployment of a structured process. It breaks down the old bureaucratic forms of operation that most organizations still follow today, facilitating increased productivity, as well as faster delivery speed and time to market. However, going agile is no piece of cake; there are many barriers that hold an organization back. Unsurprisingly, many of these barriers come from the large size of enterprises, and the bureaucratic culture that often comes with such organizations.

 With that said, here are five interesting reads on agile thinking, and how it can transform organizations. 

1. Building Agile Organizations: Adapting Faster  

There are four key elements that must be implemented to build a truly agile organization. Even though organizations vary based on industry, these principles hold true across the board.

2. Six Steps To Building An Agile Business

The six steps for a successful agile business include delegation, aspiration, enrollment, resource allocation, measurement of progress, and rewards. Bring these factors together to increase agility in your teams.

3. What is enterprise agile? Exploring the benefits

This article highlights what differentiates enterprise agile from other agile practices, and the benefits an organization can gain by adopting it. These benefits include increased value creation and improved customer experiences.

4. Transforming IT infrastructure organizations using agile

In traditional IT organizations there is very little interaction between the application developers and the IT operations team. Thus, the developers lack the awareness of operational issues needed to effectively engineer applications. Adoption of agile thinking helps bridge this gap.

5. What is enterprise wide agile transformation and why CIOs should lead it

Many CEOs believe that an agile model can help transform their organization’s processes, culture, and mindset.   And they are increasingly relying on their CIOs who have excelled at delivering results and culture change with agile practices in IT to propel growth and efficiency.

Going agile doesn’t mean throwing out your organization’s rules; it merely asks you to bend the rules to make room for better collaboration. It can be challenging to work toward this mindset; however, ultimately it’s doable. All it takes is a willingness to change and strong support from the entire workforce. A continuous learning environment fueled by around-the-clock customer insights demands that teams, decision-making structures, and funding models exhibit the true meaning of the word agility: resilience, responsiveness, and learning.

That said, do you think your organization is ready to go agile?