Business Agility

Is your existing business model, hierarchical org chart, communications style, and technology infrastructure keeping up with how quickly you need to adapt? If not, then you need business agility: the ability of your entire organization to respond to change with speed and relative ease.

Why Business Agility Matters

Agile product delivery alone isn’t enough. You need business agility.

It’s when the entire organization—business and technology—uses Lean and agile practices to continually deliver innovative business solutions faster than the competition. With business agility, you can capitalize on emerging opportunities and respond to surprises and uncertainty. You can make faster decisions, allocate funds with greater flexibility, and align the right people to do the right work.

How companies are harnessing business agility

“We launched a company-wide initiative to rewire our organization and embrace Agile ways of working—not just in product and R&D, but across every department and team, starting with marketing. … The collaboration between [global marketing] teams has created a significantly stronger connection and alignment, evidenced by both the improvement in campaign quality and our working practices.”

How companies are harnessing business agility

“Having the ability to flex and do the things that we need to do to respond to what the users are telling us is very impactful and very powerful.”

Carmen Farenthold, Director of Sales Technologies at PepsiCo

How companies are harnessing business agility

“We have something like 40 different companies that we have to work with in order to just get someone on a plane. Aligning all of that is really difficult. … Bringing in people from all over the business like finance and HR, bringing all of those together so you’re synchronized I think is going to be massive to reduce the time to market to get products out that customers really want and do it much, much quicker than we would normally.”

Tim Jackson, Principal Agile Coach at British Airways

How companies are harnessing business agility

“… we didn’t have a good business prioritization process as well as kind of a technical delivery model that was nimble enough to adapt to the changing dynamics of the digital world. … The idea is we were able to adapt in a new way and we’re really driving that next step of business agility. I think we’re heading down that path and it’s a real breakthrough for us.”

Deepak Sevak, Vice President, Payments PMO at Discover Financial Services

How to Achieve Business Agility

Business agility begins with a mental shift. Getting your entire organization to adopt this mindset is a major undertaking, but it’s worth it. As a change agent, you can help executive leaders recognize this and equip them to:

  • Align strategy with execution to determine what to fund and why. This helps you develop and maintain a portfolio of products and services that meet the evolving needs of customers and the organization itself.
  • Focus on the customer, using design thinking to build the right products for the right people at the right time.
  • Optimize value streams using cross-functional collaboration between technical and business teams to get those products to market faster.

Learn how to change and get buy-in from leadership. Read the e-book “Making the Case for Business Agility”

“To achieve business agility … you need your C-suite. Their consent or their approval is not enough. You need their participation.”

—Cheryl Crupi, Founder & Principal, SPCT and SAFe Fellow

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