The Tough Decision: Agility or Compliance?

For many organizations, the choice to go agile is an easy one. Create a lean organization that’s better equipped to respond to customer inquiries and market shifts, and increase employee engagement and production time? Yes, please!


Despite the business world’s enthusiasm for agile, there are a few enterprises caught between a rock and a hard place. Or more accurately, agile adoption and compliance regulations. Organizations in fields such as pharmaceuticals and chemicals must obey strict compliance regulations that, on the surface, appear to hinder agile adoption efforts seriously. Feeling they can either stay in compliance or go agile, many reject the methodology, believing it can never work for them.


That’s where they’ve got it wrong.


Agile doesn’t require throwing crucial regulations out the window. You can implement agility strategies and remain compliant with your industry’s regulations. How? Make small, influential changes towards a more agile organization.


With the stringent government and industry regulations, creating adopting agile may be more difficult, but not impossible. Instead of launching into a large-scale shift that may take up too much time, money and resources (and risk potential non-compliance), examine your organization’s processes to identify bottlenecks.


For example, must the decision to issue a refund go through three layers of management for approval, forcing an already upset client to wait longer for a response? Are there other extra procedures that can be eliminated to increase response time?


Creating methods to resolve these blockages while staying in compliance is the first small, but impactful step towards agility. Empowering your employees to make decisions increases their engagement and helps serve customers faster.


Don’t believe the hype: Any business, regardless of compliance regulations, can adopt agile to help retain customers, engage employees, and increase their response time, product or otherwise. Instead of thinking of it as agile versus compliance, change your perspective to agile in compliance. Then, the tough decision becomes easy.

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