A group of 17 software experts published the Agile Software Development Manifesto almost 21 years ago. It was widely known as the Agile Manifesto, and it included heavy documentation with linear phases and a flexible approach to creating a dynamic work environment. Although it took time for industries to adapt to this model, they have now understood the benefits of this umbrella term in terms of functions, processes, and tools.
Agile has now changed the way software is being designed. It is possible to see Agile in almost every domain, such as agile customer service, agile project management, agile HR, agile operations, agile sales, and agile C-Suite. Several organizations have already observed the benefits of this new model in terms of quality, speed, long-term growth, and value. But several leaders have ignored the fact that agility relies on psychological safety.
A person with high psychological safety is likely to show enhanced performance with innovation in mind; however, someone with low psychological safety may experience fear at work. When people stop admitting mistakes, asking questions, and exploring new ideas, they may stop being agile. In this scenario, the company’s growth may get hampered by a considerable level.
Companies and managers looking for trusted ways to increase psychological safety to create a thriving agile work environment are advised to go through the below article. Here we have listed some practical ways to achieve your goal:
Consider agile as a cultural implementation
Even after implementing agile, several organizations keep following traditional methods for technical tools and processes because they find it difficult to operationalize things in the current work culture. Experts advise implementing agile transformation with agile culture instead of making some mechanical and technical implementations only. When people adopt it as a culture, it will help avoid fears and psychological barriers in work, and teams will perform well with a peer-based accountability mindset.
Follow a proactive approach for behavior/response pairing.
It is essential to set up a formal discussion with your team members to understand vulnerable behaviors as they will be crucial to success. It is good to motivate them to give feedback, ask questions and register their point of view on various aspects. Try to identify the response patterns for every matter, and do not forget to display behavior/response pairings in the meeting room. Even if you have virtual meetings, the information can be shared with team members for spring retrospectives.
You may fail if you try to drop agile processes and tools into an existing legacy culture where vulnerability management is already challenging. Work environments where vulnerability punishments are very hard to lead to low psychological safety, and you are more likely to lose the talent. When your team is struggling with agile implementation, you should evaluate the entire process and find ways to utilize available resources, tools, and skills more effectively. Being agile relies on the employees’ psychological safety; therefore, managers need to handle this concern on a priority basis.