What does Agile mean in your workspace? Well, let’s start with the Oxford dictionary definition:

Agile, the ability to move quickly and easily.

Pretty straight forward.

But now consider the discussion in most advanced workplaces about an agile workspace and Agile Methodology. Throw in ABW (Activity Based Working) and you start to end up building a complex system or environment.

When we started Collaborative Design just over two years ago our mission was to ensure that the art of face-to-face collaboration wasn’t lost in the digital revolution. At the time this was a strong belief, but over time we began to see the emergence of many key shifts that support the notion that face-to-face is important for dealing with complexity.

agile workspaceFirstly, some of the most advanced technology based companies started to co-locate their designers and engineers to take advantage of the importance of proximity. In fact, just recently IBM abandoned their strategy of allowing people to work where they want in favour of creating co-located campuses.

Secondly, we saw the rise of Agile Project Methodology (APM) which empowers multi-disciplinary teams to solve complex challenges by breaking the challenges down into Scrums and Sprints. This process works best when the teams are co-located and can collaborate in front of their Kanban boards in daily scrum meetings.

Thirdly, we saw an explosion of Design Thinking consultancies and professionals all using techniques with their DNA in product design but now being flexed to formulate strategy, drive change and increase engagement.

In my opinion these shifts have one thing in the center – speed – and this is something that most CEO’s believe is critical to success in today’s hyper competitive market place.

We believe that speed to design, develop, deliver and adapt require the best people, processes and places and when it comes to your agile workspace you need to reflect not only the functional and aesthetic requirements but also the ability to adapt the workspace at speed.

To do this organisations should see workspace projects as a strategic lever to drive organisational change and not simply a workspace project. This would elevate projects to truly understand the intersection of people, process and place and in my opinion, achieve greater results for longer.

If your organisation is considering co-location as part of innovation strategy or adopting Agile Project Methods or Design Thinking to drive collaboration and speed consider the following questions:

  • Do we understand the relevant change and HR strategies being considered or deployed?
  • Have we engaged with the right stakeholders to future proof our design?
  • Is there a balance between technology and face-to-face collaboration?
  • Are the traditional measures for property adequate?
  • Can we adopt a design thinking approach and rapid prototype our design?
  • How quickly and easily can we adapt our design?

For further discussion or queries please contact Vince Asdagi, Director Collaborative Design Space, on 0414 831 894.