When you mention agile methodology, the first thing that usually comes to mind is software development. But the truth is that this kind of approach to program management can find many uses across a multitude of industries – even in your small businesses. Applying agile practices in your small businesses can help you make more profits by getting things done faster.
By definition, agile development refers to methodologies based on iterative development where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. Even in the business landscape, entrepreneurs are adopting the Agile methodology to improve the delivery of services successfully without any complication or hassle.
Benefits of using agile practices in businesses
Below is an overview of how the Agile methodology can help companies and businesses to make profits through continuous iteration:
Quick response to market change
The most unavoidable thing about the traditional methodologies and processes is the lack of flexibility that comes along with them. Agile practices are quite dynamic in nature, giving you enough room for a quick response to change. Agile is more about ensuring fast delivery along with high-quality and sustainable output, as Agile evolves around short iterations, at the end of which you get to see a working model before moving to the next iteration. The time in between these iterations gives you the opportunity to quickly respond to changes.
Oftentimes, ineffective communication and lack of collaboration lead to failed projects and businesses – at least one-third of the time. The Agile framework is designed in such a way that leads to fast feedback while incorporating better collaboration and trust among people working together, unlike traditional management styles. It is found that businesses and development companies implementing Agile practices experience better results in output across the organization, coupled with more structured processes and improved productivity. Remember that when collaboration is done the right way, it leads to increased ownership and accountability among team members.
Makes way for the right processes
The needs of businesses keep changing from time to time. They expect faster results and easily adapt to changing business needs. It’s hard to do this without the right processes in place. Agile methodology leads to a more organized way of taking care of structured business needs. Well, the truth is that there might not be a one-size-fits-all process for all businesses but the Agile practices can help you develop one for your business or organization.
One of the most preferred reasons why businesses and teams choose Agile methodology is its ability to bring changes and flexibility in the business quickly. Sometimes, the change is difficult due to the effort and time required to build new changes, switch to new processes and workflows. That’s why an increasing number of organizations and teams are using Agile processes, which are easily adaptable to new requirements and changes.
Also, If you are a small business owner, you probably rely on the work of contractors, remote workers, and remote teams. Common location doesn’t play a very big role in staffing today, but it demands better communication. Team communication requires setting up a fluid workplace with different kinds of productivity tools, like Asana, Jira, Trello, or Basecamp. These tools assist in accountability, clarity of direction on tasks, and gives general management an easier way to monitor progress. Transparency of your company’s operations equals employees with a clear, common mission who achieve their goals from myriad locations.
High team morale
High morale and healthy work culture are some of the most valuable assets a team can have. If you’re wondering what high team morale has to do with Agile practices, then you’d be surprised to know that teams with high morale tend to collaborate better and deliver high-quality work at the end of the day. The Agile practices focus on empowering individuals by inculcating the highest priorities aligned with the best interests of the customers. If done right, Agile is helpful in creating fun workplaces for employees with high team morale.
Agile acts as an enabler to assure that there is an increased focus on priorities, ensuring that teams center time and energy on high-priority tasks to stay on track.
Visibility is essential to allow people and teams to adapt quickly to changes – in the absence of project visibility, it is difficult to track and measure productivity improvements – teams and leaders of an organization both need to know where they are focusing. In short, customer value can only be achieved by increasing team and leadership visibility by establishing and implementing an Agile approach.
Other common benefits of Agile practices are:
- Early ROI
- Quick feedback from real customers
- Customers are kept well-informed
- Early risk detection
- More productivity and efficiency
Small business owners are starting to recognize the potential of Agile methodology. Agile practices can help with handling larger projects and improving the capacity for what the small business can complete. It is essential for any size business to reach project goals within a given time frame, an accurate budget, and a quality end product. Agile accentuates the interaction and continual improvements. Developing the project is the main focus, so quickly adopting changes is crucial. This all leads to better customer satisfaction and improved communication. With the Agile method, you can work on constant improvements, document them, and present them to customers.
Overall, Agile methodology is an exciting and fascinating approach for small business owners who are eager to have a cutting edge in their fields. When Agile is done well, companies can find ways to increase value to their customers. It also gives more meaning to those who are actively working on a project and creates a better experience for the customer, producing more generous end results for your company’s lifespan. If you found resonance with this methodology, start the process of Agile for your company’s potential.
CITN issues rejoinder to ICAN’s claim over court case
The rebuttal claims that there are some ‘critical misinterpretations’ contained in ICAN’s claims concerning the judgment.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has issued a rebuttal to the “critical misrepresentations” that are supposedly contained in a notice to members sent out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) over a court case, as reported by Nairametrics.
Recall that ICAN had informed its members that Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State ruled in their favour by striking out “Suit No. LD/3288GCM/19 – CITN VS ICAN” which was filed by CITN. In the suit, CITN had, among other things, prayed the court to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) unless they have a CITN license.
CITN’s position: Now, in its rebuttal to ICAN’s claims concerning the court case, a copy of which was sent to Nairametrics, CITN clarified the following points:
- The Ruling of the Hon. Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the 2/7/2020 in LD/3288GCM/19 did not invalidate the MOU and TOS because it did NOT address the issues in the substantive suit, itself. However, since ICAN has resiled from the MoU and ToS it freely entered with CITN, the CITN will not stop ICAN from walking away.
- The Judge only struck out the suit based on the Preliminary Objection of ICAN to the effect that the suit was an abuse of court process because the issues in it were the same as the issues in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 – ICAN VS FIRS & 1 OTHER which was earlier decided in favour of CITN. However, the issues in the two suits are completely different and distinct as has now been explicitly admitted by ICAN in its Notice under reference when it said: “The earlier ruling at the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.”ICAN having admitted that the judgment in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make any pronouncement on the MOU and TOS (and this is a fact), how then could issues in that suit be the same as those in LD/3288GCM/2019 (decided by Justice Onigbanjo) which only asked for judicial pronouncement on the MOU and TOS?
- Regulation 5 of the Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations, 2011, was categorically annulled by the Hon. Justice Liman in the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 on 21/11/2019. None of the lawyers to the parties (including ICAN) can deny hearing the annulment of Regulation 5 during delivery of the judgment. It is unfortunate that ICAN is jumping the gun in a case with a pending post-judgment application.
- In the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/1480/2018 – CHIEF IGBAROOLA & OTHERS VS FIRS & OTHERS on 21/5/2019, the Hon. Justice A. O. Faji, declared: “CITN Act is thus superior to ICAN Act on the issue of tax practice. The Self-Assessment Regulations being in conflict with the CITN Act is null and void. The Plaintiffs cannot practice as tax agents without first being members of the 2nd Defendant.”
- In the Court of Appeal judgement of 2013 between ICAN v. CITN, it was held that the power to regulate and control the tax profession, to the exclusion of any other body, in Nigeria lies with CITN.
- It is, therefore, now firmly settled from all the relevant judgements at the Lagos High Court, Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, which have all upheld the primacy of the CITN Charter, that no member of ICAN can practice taxation without first being a member of CITN.
- For the avoidance of doubt, no ICAN member, who is not registered with CITN, has been permitted by any law or court decision to practice taxation. The law has made it clear about the professional body that can regulate tax profession in Nigeria and CITN reserves the right to invoke the relevant provisions against any person that violates the provisions of its charter.
The backstory: The disagreement between ICAN and CITN dates back to 2015 following a misinterpretation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Due to the disagreement, CITN took legal actions in a bid to basically make the MoU and ToS binding on ICAN members.
UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns
The suit, which was filed some years ago by CITN, was basically struck out for lacking merit.
Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State has ruled that members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) do not need to be licensed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) before they can file tax returns.
The ruling on July 2nd followed a suit filed by CITN trying to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns for their clients unless they have a practicing CITN license.
A notice to ICAN members regarding this development, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that Justice Onigbanjo struck out the suit after describing it as “an abuse of court process and an embarrassment to the judiciary.”
The backstory: Nairametrics understands that the disagreement between ICAN and CITN stemmed from the misinterpretation of a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Consequently, CITN had filed a suit before the High Court of Lagos State, seeking the following:
- A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Service both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on the CITN and ICAN.
- An injunction restraining ICAN whether by its agents, privies, assigns, or whosoever called, from repudiating, resiling from or acting in any manner or doing anything that is inconsistent with, contrary to or is a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Terms of Settlement dated February 12, 2015, between the CITN and ICAN.
- Determine whether the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Settlement both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on CITN and the ICAN.
However, last week’s ruling by Justice S. A. Onigbanjo which, by the way, was delivered virtually due to COVID-19, has made it impossible for the CITN to implement the terms of the 2015 MoU and ToS. The ruling also aligned with ICAN’s earlier objection to the MoU and ToS.
The status quo: In view of this development, ICAN has informed its members that they do not need to obtain any license from the CITN before they can file tax returns for their clients with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.
ICAN members were also informed that an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court on the case does not affect the status quo. This is because “the earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.” More so, regulation 5 of the FIRS Act was not reflected in the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court.
China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors
Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.
A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.
The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.
After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.
The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.
The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.
China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.
The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.