Why we are adopting an agile mindset

People who work in local government are often driven by the desire to do good for their city and its people. That’s certainly what motivated me to join the council, and for the most part I love it.

Being in delivery though, one of the frustrations can be the time it takes to get things done. And by the time you get something delivered, the need has often changed!

That is why we have started to introduce agile delivery in Birmingham. Agile encourages us to form multi-disciplinary teams to solve problems and delivery value quickly. In this post, I discuss why agile is starting to bring positive changes for us.

An agile mindset encourages increased collaboration and communication, breaking down traditional silos and fostering a collaborative culture. Cross-functional teams work together to deliver value to customers, encouraging better communication between team members, departments, and external stakeholders and users. As a result, we become more aligned with our customers’ goals, and far better able to respond to their changing needs.

Agile delivery emphasises customer value, focusing on prioritising work based on value to make sure we are always working on the right things. This mindset shift enables the council to deliver products and services that meet customer expectations, leading to higher satisfaction and usage. It’s so important to get this right in local government where a well-functioning service can be the catalyst that prevents someone slipping into crisis.

We embrace continuous improvement and adaptability in agile delivery, using change as an opportunity for growth and improvement. We do this through iterative planning, frequent feedback, and regular reflection on processes and outcomes. Embracing change allows us to pivot quickly to new customer needs or legislative changes. In a local government setting with limited budgets and heavy governance, focusing on delivering value quickly and iterating on it is more cost-effective than taking forever striving for perfection.

In agile delivery, people feel more empowered, with autonomy and ownership over their own work. This approach encourages responsibility, accountability, and increased productivity, innovation, and motivation. Empowering employees creates a more engaged and committed workforce, improving overall performance.

We are at the start of our agile journey, but already discovering how agile can offer real benefits in delivering products and services during uncertain times. Come and help us – we’re hiring!

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