General Guidance | Playlist
The adoption of business agility mindsets, structures, and practices are accelerating. Not a day goes by without a press release from a major corporation announcing their transformation. And despite the hype, it’s more than a buzzword. It is a significant, yet nuanced, change in the ways companies operate. In today’s unpredictable economy, the benefits are clear.
If you are just getting started on your personal business agility journey, you’re in the right place. We have curated some of the best stories and introductory concepts to provide you with a baseline understanding of business agility, adaptive leadership, and organisation design.
The Business Agility Report
Released in August 2018, the first Business Agility Report put forward to state of business agility around the world. 394 respondents from 166 companies from around the world took part in the first-ever Business Agility survey. Rating their maturity and sharing their insights, challenges, and successes.
The survey found that most organisations rate their current business agility fluency relatively low but have enthusiasm and hope for the future. Many respondents report that they are struggling with transforming entrenched culture and processes; most commonly developing new funding models and transforming HR, Finance, and other supporting functions.
Despite these challenges, most survey respondents also report that they are experiencing tangible benefits from their investment in business agility; from improved ways of working, increased employee and customer satisfaction, and improved market performance.
Until such time as there is a community-driven Business Agility manifesto, the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto apply across all areas of the organisation with one minor modification.
We are uncovering better ways of delivering value by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- [Value creation] over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
The expression of these values and principles is both complex and nuanced. We recommend the following articles and videos to get you started.
Traditional hierarchical organisational structures are designed to optimise the allocation of work. This model struggles in a business agility context where the focus is to delegate business outcomes to empowered teams. Instead, agile organisations aim to build cross-functional teams and reduce handoffs to the point where a single team can entirely contain a customer value stream.
We structured teams around user-first product thinking rather than platforms or functions
All organisations, from the largest enterprise to the newest startup, face the same challenge: how to solve their users’ problems by bringing a superior product (or service) to market faster than their competitors while reducing effort spent on overhead activities or, worse, building the wrong product
Agile outside IT
While much of business agility focuses on organisation design and leadership, agile outside IT is a key enabler. Here are some simple case studies from organisations applying agile in HR, Finance and Marketing.