Into the future with agility

Agile organisations are one of the responses to the challenges of globalisation and the digital revolution. The dynamic and complex nature of today’s markets demand planning, development and production functions that can adapt quickly in order to respond fast to changing conditions, to identify new customer requirements early, to increase the pace of innovation and leverage these competitive advantages to achieve success on the market . And all that means that businesses need to rethink their work culture, their working methods and their workplace designs accordingly. The culture of agile working is built on self-organisation and demands a flexible, inspiring and highly motivating environment.

Following the insights of activity-based working, workspaces and the furniture and fittings in such spaces make a significant contribution to the satisfaction and efficiency of staff. Workers see appropriately furnished spaces as an important signal that their employer values their work, so that acquiring the right furniture and fittings should be seen as a worthwhile long-term investment. We develop furnishing solutions for our customers deliberately designed to satisfy the specific needs of agile working – we make them flexible, multi-functional and independent. We are delighted to provide you with support on your path into an agile future!

Agile working needs self-organisation

Autonomy in decision-making is the most important feature of agile working. To organise work with both reliability and transparency, the widest possible variety of collaborative working methods are used, with each individual business giving the appropriate weighting to each method. Among the most well-known methodologies used by agile working are Design Thinking, Kanban, Scrum and Lean Startup. All these disciplines are often combined with traditional project management methods. Flat hierarchies and decentralised decision-making structures, genuine contact and empathy with customers, improved communication and a culture that treats errors constructively are all essential attributes for independent, agile working.

This new work culture does not fit into the
office architecture of the past; it defines completely new requirements for working spaces and equipment. What is needed these days are inspiring office design ideas such as open, multi-purpose, flexible and co-working spaces with cleverly designed, mobile fittings, especially thought out for the new culture of work.

Kanban is a method used to organize teamwork. Kanban basically pursues the goals to prevent unnecessary work, to focus on as few activities as possible, and through visualization of ongoing tasks, lend these transparency so that potential improvements can be made. The core elements of Kanban are visualizing the workflow, limiting work in progress, constant recording and monitoring of the workflow, distinct rules for process, and tools with which to identify areas for potential improvement.

With Scrum, the team optimizes a product step-by-step in so-called sprints. A sprint lasts no longer than 4 weeks, allowing for regular optimization. The team receives prioritized demands for optimization from the Product Owner through the Product Backlog. Supported by the Scrummaster, the team draws as many demands as experience has shown it can process in one sprint. At the end of each sprint is an optimized, utilizable product. The Product Owner gives the team feedback, adjusting the requirements once again. At the end of the sprint, the team reflects on how the procedure can be improved. Then the next sprint begins.

The Design Thinking method is essentially built on process, team, and space. Process leads the team in iterative loops from understanding to defining problems to creating solutions. As many Ideas and prototypes as possible are discussed with the customer, the best approaches are determined, further developed, re-tested and so forth. The team represents all marketing relevant disciplines and works in flexible spaces.

Lean Startup also pursues the idea of approaching the optimal and final form of a product step-by-step. Hereby, Lean Startup relies on a three-stage cycle of market interaction. Each cycle begins with a hypothetical product idea. From this idea, a so-called Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – a “minimally viable product” is realized with the least possible effort. These MVPs are put on the market and are then, based on feedback received, extended and adjusted piece by piece (i.e. MVP by MVP). True market feedback on which product ideas (hypotheses) are actually purchased are acquired through the results of the MVP market acceptance. This feedback serves to further refine the product ideas in step three. This means that product features which customers don’t buy are removed, features requested by customers are incorporated, and features which are well received in the trial are further expanded. This can go so far that the complete product vision possibly changes, which is called pivot.

Multi Space Menu

Activity-based working involves constant switching between teamwork and individual effort. The working environment is going to need to provide various types of equipment and fittings during the different phases of a project. Multi-space office environments are characterised by the broad range of space options that can be used with maximum flexibility by all staff members. These may include spaces for concentrated work in the form of individual office spaces, think-tank areas and libraries, communication areas for team working and informal encounters, a lounge or café space and a relaxation area.

Studies have proved that employers who provide multi-space environments achieve substantially better approval ratings from their employees. Such environments encourage independent decision-making, boost teamworking and exert a positive influence on creativity, performance and openness to change. When planning, businesses need to ensure that the combination of working patterns is appropriately balanced. This will include the need to fit out particular spaces for concentrated working, for a variety of different forms of teamworking and for informal encounters.