11 Aug 2020

Autor: Paloma Dominguez & Retail Academy Team
11 Aug 2020

The retail and fashion sectors, along with so many other industries, are undergoing major changes in recent months. In this new Luxe Talent blog, we will explain what the Agile Retail method can do to transform your company and adapt to these changes. 

Different socio-economic factors have shaped a new paradigm on which we can rebuild our businesses.  Consumer behavior and buying trends have been changing radically in a matter of months. Studies by various strategic consultants such as McKinsey or The Cocktail show this. The first consulting firm highlights that consumer "infidelity" has increased concerning their traditional go-to brands. The Cocktail pointed out in a study that consumers have loosened up their buying criteria: the product itself is more important than the brand or the price. 

With this scenario, how do you prevail over your competitors? How do you keep your customers on your side? And ultimately... How do you survive in the fashion and retail business? At Luxe Talent we are clear about this: everything requires a rapid adaptation to change and great flexibility. To do this, it is necessary to innovate business models and this is where Agile Retail comes into play.

What is Agile Retail all about?

Let's start with this basic question. Simple, but what Agile Retail reveals is a new organizational model for managing business and people. Agile methodologies have been on the rise for a few years now, and the retail and fashion sectors can adapt to them as well. 

Especially in retail, it can be complicated and tedious to establish significant change. It takes an average of five years from the time an idea is generated to the time it is implemented in a store on a large scale. We no longer have this time; we need flexibility and rapid adaptation to change in organizations more than ever. The problem or difficulty lies above all in this factor: How do you recover from the error?

Agile Retail Objectives

This is where Agile Retail comes in. The retail industry can incorporate different tools and agile frameworks with the goal, in the words of our trainer Paloma Dominguez, Retail Director & Coach: “to make our lives easier, more natural, agile, and engaged without overcomplicating.”

To face new problems, we must as organizations give innovative answers that meet the real needs of our customers. To do this, Agile Retail serves as a new methodological framework that really does put the customer at the center and involves less risk in decision-making and therefore can achieve a high level of satisfaction and sales orientation.

Paloma Domínguez insists: "to whether agile "are those of the post-its" the answer is yes, although it is much more since applying a framework does not imply BEING Agile. And this difference is very important since one thing is to do and another is to be. Agile is a mindset, a way of relating to the world, of thinking and acting."

How can Agile Retail help transform your organization?

Agile Retail must be thought of from two perspectives, as it can have both internal (workers) and external (customers) benefits. And, you know that saying that the employee is ultimately our internal customer. That's why we can incorporate different tools and apply a mindset from the inside that can have a positive impact from the outside.

Change starts from Human Resources

In the words of our trainer Paloma Dominguez: "It's a time for HR to step up." After the Agile Manifesto, written in 2011, there is a second one with a human resources approach: the Agile HR Manifesto. The latter consists of the following six principles:

  • Collaborative environments rather than hierarchical structures
  • Transparency instead of "secrecy"
  • Adaptability instead of "following the norm" (resistance to change)
  • Inspiration and commitment instead of "retention"
  • Intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic rewards
  • Ambition instead of an obligation

All are important and concern key aspects within the approach of a business organization. However, we highlight the first one, as it works as an engine of change for the rest. It is essential to encourage collaborative environments so that employees feel involved in decisions and can be aware of what is happening not only in their tasks but also with the collective in mind. This is where flexibility and adaptation to change are the most important. Again, in the words of our trainer, this is how you get "people who are aligned with the project and motivated to change.”

Agile Retail from Practice: 3 Agile Tools to Promote Change on Your Team

How to make your employees feel more involved? How to improve communication? How to save time in decision-making? All of these factors are key when it comes to speeding up work in retail.

It is necessary to have loyal teams, as they generate a greater benefit for the companies. It has been demonstrated that when the team is happy, this is transmitted to the customers, providing them with greater value. - Paloma Dominguez

To achieve all this, Paloma Dominguez suggests incorporating new frameworks in the team through agile tools. It is a matter of celebrating certain ceremonies: daily, weekly, and retrospective.

Daily: it is arranged within the team - it can be both in-store and in the office - a time and place to meet. These are very short meetings, no more than 10/15 minutes, where each team member points out where they are with their work and what the roadmap for the day is. Consistency is essential to accomplish the daily's mission.

Objective: to keep the team involved and with a 360º vision of the tasks that are being executed. It also encourages transparency.

Weekly: it is approximately 15 minutes long. Each person has 3 minutes to ask three questions:

  • What have I done since the last meeting?
  • What will I do until the next meeting?
  • What will I need help with?

Objective: the objective is essentially to understand what work each person is doing and what they might need help with. In general, what this new framework of meetings encourages is to compare times and go to the focus of the work. Action/reaction. Quick problem-solving. Panoramic view of the work.

Retrospective: approximately one meeting per month. It can also be interesting to run it when a certain project is finished, such as the end of the first sales in the shop. The purpose of this meeting is to learn and improve continuously. This meeting can be executed with post-its, where each of them reflects a very specific idea.

To do this, the following points are addressed:

  • What went well? (implies: What should we continue to do?)
  • What should we improve? (or what should we stop doing)
  • What can we do as a consequence of what we have learned (implies: What should we start doing?

Objective: To have perspective and vision about the balance of the situation. To know the areas of improvement, fast failure, and "learning by doing.

Agile Retail is this and much more

There are countless tools and management modes within Agile Retail. The essential thing is to have a message that fits the team, to have a firm conviction that things should not continue to be as they have always been, because "they are like that." 

Also, to combat resistance to change, we must think that change begins with small, everyday actions: remember, it is the habit that makes the monk. Start by trying the three tools we propose with your team, later you will be able to incorporate new dynamics. If you have been left wanting to learn in-depth about techniques and more tools within the Agile Retail framework, don't worry because we have an exclusive ad hoc Spanish course. Our trainer Paloma Domínguez and Retail Academy will announce new dates shortly. For now, if you are interested, you can fill out our registration form, and we will let you know very soon about a new course.

agile retail