Growing up, Dick Fosbury was never a great athlete. You could actually say he was pretty average. After failing to make the high school basketball team, he finally settled on the one sport where his modest skills could be put to good use: track and field. Little did he know that he would one day revolutionize the sport forever.
At the age of 21, Fosbury set a world record by clearing a 2.24-meter high jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics, earning him a gold medal. From that glorious moment, his innovative jumping style — known as the “Fosbury flop” — changed the world of the high jump forever. “I adapted an antiquated style and modernized it to something that was efficient,” Fosbury recalled in his biography, The Wizard of Foz: Dick Fosbury’s One-Man High-Jump Revolution.
The key to Fosbury’s success was his drive to do things differently. That’s a drive that we share at Repsol, which is why we’ve named one of our Agile-based programs “Fosbury.” Agile is a way of working that puts people first and emphasizes adaptability, two keys factors for facilitating change and helping your business take a giant leap forward. Agile, in other words, is a catalyst for profound cultural change at an organizational level.
So what exactly is Agile? It’s a work and organizational philosophy designed for projects that require speed and flexibility. Agile essentially works by dividing complex projects into small parts which must be completed in short time spans. This means that companies can deliver value more rapidly and that the final product is adapted to evolving market demands. This ability to adapt quickly to change can provide an important competitive advantage.
According to a global survey by CollabNet, one of the largest software solutions providers in the United States, companies that adopt Agile tend to perform better in three key areas:
1.) Greater capacity to manage changing priorities.
2.) Increased visibility of projects that use Agile.
3.) Closer alignment between IT and other business areas.
These are not all the advantages that Agile presents. Agile teams also represent a new way of working — they are multidisciplinary and self-organized, capable of seeing projects from all angles and able to make independent decisions. Most importantly, Agile teams share a common vision which permits them to collaborate more effectively.
The CollabNet survey also analyzes why organizations decide to embrace this philosophy. While the three benefits listed above certainly play an important, most companies choose to adopt Agile in order to increase productivity and accelerate product delivery.
Success isn’t just about Agile
Agile alone is not enough to truly achieve success — there must also be an environment that encourages and empowers Agile ways of working.
Verónica Pastor, Head of Innovation and New Ways of Working at Repsol, says that “the company’s environment must also be conducive to cultural change. That’s certainly the case in our organization. Don’t change people, change their environment. ”
The key is to know how to prioritize and, like Dick Fosbury, dare to do things a little differently.
Fosbury thought big, without limits and without preconceptions. He took a chance and achieved results that nobody had dreamed of. He revolutionized the world of track and field by doing things differently, creating his own path and following it until he achieved success.
At Repsol, we’ve adopted this innovative mindset that’s at the heart of Agile philosophy. Have you?
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