Business Agility: In the past, saying “use an agile approach” in most enterprise environments would trigger two very different reactions: developers would get excited, and everyone else would be lost.
This is because, previously, agile methodologies were exclusively linked to software development projects. And while scrum (and its many applications and expressions) remains alive and well, today, agile is no longer just the preserve of programmers. Instead, it evolved into something much more profound and broader when applied to business.
Business agility is the name given to the application of agile in business processes not related to software development. The benefits of this application are numerous, which is why, recently, we have seen companies of different sectors and sizes investing in business agility.
But what are the principles on which business agility is based? Below, we show the pillars that define “business agility” in the new world of work!
The Importance Of Business Agility In Modern Business
Business agility is a customer-centric organizational method that helps companies adapt quickly to changes in the internal or external environment. All while maximizing potential and profits.
As we said, the concept was initially established for software development, where ever-changing requirements and uncertain outcomes demanded a more flexible approach. However, the template can be used for any organization.
Business agility allows companies to identify cost-effective ways to innovate without compromising product quality or customer service. Agility is the ability to compete and thrive in the digital age, delivering creative, digitally-enabled business solutions.
Rather than traditional frameworks and models, business agility is based on agile principles such as product innovation, delivery agility, organizational adaptability, and effective leadership.
This means that a company will be ready to adapt to internal and external changes, quickly and efficiently address the needs and wants of its customers, and be at the forefront of innovation and adaptation without skyrocketing costs or sacrificing quality.
An agile company will always have an advantage in the market over its competitors as it will respond faster. But not only will it be faster than its competitors, but its actions will also be informed, innovative, and in tune with what customers want.
How To Apply Business Agility: 6 Principles
Many companies think they are agile because their product development teams use agile principles. However, there is a big difference between agile and adopting agile frameworks. True business agility is a much more holistic proposition.
Agile development might mean every product or project is carried out using agile principles. However, being agile in a business means a top-down strategic process and fundamental changes across the enterprise. In this way, business agility is based on six main principles, namely:
Conscious Culture Change
Gartner defines “conscious cultural change” as the first step for companies that want to become more agile. In this shift, the focus must shift from activities to results. It does not matter how many activities your team performs as long as it achieves the expected results. Furthermore, policies, protocols, and processes must be subject to discovery, innovation, and experimentation in the quest for better performance.
Dynamic, progressive, and proven employee engagement is the essence and engine of the agile process. The right tools and technologies are a big piece of the puzzle. But employees ultimately determine whether business agility is superficial or substantial.
Collaboration (both internal and external) must be encouraged for results to be achievable. This means it cannot be blocked by silos, strangled by politics, or suffocated by an excess of communication where the volume of discussion becomes more notable than the quality and relevance.
Business agility is not just about speeding up work processes. It’s not enough to get things done faster; you also need to do it more efficiently. This is accomplished by automating repeatable processes and designing more intelligent workflows.
Agile Resource Management
An agile organization’s managers make decisions based on the most up-to-date data. For that, they need reliable information in real-time. This means that spreadsheets and emails must be eliminated and the instant breakdown of schedules, qualifications, assignments, and availability applied.
Visibility, Visibility, And More Visibility
Business agility is not just about being agile, flexible, and responsive. It’s also about aligning decisions with the company’s business objectives. For this, the visibility of the micro and macro is fundamental. With this, managers can monitor the area’s performance about the company’s goals and make adjustments to follow the best trends.
Also Read: Customer Data Platform (CDP): What Is It