The promise of business agility

The promise of business agility

The promise of business agility

Through my training and coaching experiences, I have come to realize that many people do not know what business agility means and why it matters.  The main focus is on the team-level practices like visual work management, burndown charts, and pair programming.  At the same time, the entire organization focuses on trying to translate the old way of working to the new way of working in terms of methodology, processes, job titles, and measures.

This does not work.

Without a clear vision of where we are trying to get to and why we want to get there, an agile transformation or a team-level implementation quickly falls apart.  We end up just going through the motions and trying to survive.  Ultimately, we don’t achieve substantial benefits for all of our effort and pain.

Agile doesn’t work or not work.  Agile is a state of being.  So let’s first address what it means to be agile.

Agile is a mindset based on a set of values and principles.  Agile is also a movement, a group of people working together to advance these shared values and principles.

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It should be clear up front, and it should continue to be emphasized and evaluated.

How do we know if we are achieving business agility?  I look at three factors in defining business agility, and they are related.

Let’s dive in to each of these factors.

Businesses care about return on investment (ROI).  Any initiative, project, or product we want to fund requires a discussion on the expected ROI.  This is because businesses have to choose where to invest their people and resources, which are usually limited.

By delivering some features and functionality to our users sooner, we are able to earn the value sooner.  Now we can do something with that return.  This leads us into factor two.


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