Why Businesses Must Invest in Agile Before (and During) Recessions

Nima has years of experience in coaching teams and championing continuous improvement. He applies double-loop agile to coach teams and help them build up flexible cultures. Nima has worked with a wide range of clients from small start-ups to big corporations. Previously, Nima worked as a Scrum Master and as a Product Owner, and successfully launched a vast array of products from light iPad apps to giant enterprise solutions.

The U.S. economy is doing well, with a low unemployment rate and steady GDP growth. But the last recession was almost a decade ago. Based on that, many economists predict that the next recession (hopefully a mild one) will start in 2020.

With that in mind, should business leaders invest in initiatives such as a waterfall-to-agile transition, lean implementation, continuous improvement, continuous integration and organizational change? Or should they avoid these expenses and save every nickel and dime for potentially rainy days? Businesses must cut corners and reduce their budgets in such instances, right?

Wrong. It may seem counter-intuitive, but every organization will need to be agile to endure a recession. Businesses benefit from agile by improving overall performance—and by increasing employee happiness and customer satisfaction. But they need it even more during recessions. Being equipped with an agile mindset and practices will help businesses endure gloomy days.

Here are five reasons why every organization must invest in agile before—and even during—recessions:

1. Agile helps businesses retain customers by providing more value. Agile helps teams get feedback early from customers, pivot if necessary and re-prioritize to increase value delivery. During a downturn, customers focus more on high value and low cost. Thus, they will likely reach …

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