Agility is the ability of the business to adapt or initiate change rapidly and cost efficiently, in response to the dynamic business environment.
Agility is the ability to “pivot” and change direction in response to market pressure or to create market opportunity. Companies crossing the industrial boundaries are at different stages of organizational agility. Doing Agile is only an engineering practice, but being agile is the interdisciplinary challenge from top-down and bottom-up, to build a truly holistic organization.
As a senior leader, assessing your current state of business agility, defining a clear goal is a helpful instrument to guide yourself, your team, your business, your relations along the other dimensions to drive needed changes smoothly. Here are a few pitfalls organizations need to avoid in running an agile organization.
Improper IT motivation for adopting Agile: It is mostly the development team adopting “Agile” to avoid planning and documentation. This leads to lack of standards, which leads to a dissatisfied business. The best way to conquer this is to apply agile principles focusing on incremental improvement.
Many businesses aspire to agility when they are burdened by brittle, tightly coupled systems constrained by rigid roadmaps and deployment schedules due to the underlying technical complicacy, integration dependencies, and testing complexity. It requires distinct patterns of IT capabilities, with specific positioning in the enterprise. IT agility is about how IT will enable business agility, how fast IT will deliver the required effectiveness and efficiency. The more alignment between business and IT, the more level of agility for both will be achieved.
Lack of business buy into agile: Implementing the Agile method is simple but executing the new way of working with the people is a lot harder. Often, agile is pushed into an organization, without pulling the necessary resources and the culture of innovation. Buy-in means giving people a chance to understand why the change is necessary, what’s the best scenario to change, getting them to participate in defining the better process, ensuring they have a voice in improving it.
The business aspiration to agility can often be leveraged to help align business and technology stakeholders around the case for application modernization and rationalization. The voice of professional experience speaks to the on-going need for simplistic, agile plans, increased communication, and information at all levels of the organization. Total buy-in involves top management being able to fully articulate the change, as well as their ability to provide all necessary support where and when it is required,
Business executive management view agile as either just a technique for IT or a secret recipe: Agile needs to evolve and address the needs of executive management, so that they get a reason to believe in Agile. And at the end of the day, it boils down to speaking their language: numbers. But you also have to get management to understand that Agile does not magically make things faster. C-level needs to focus on creating the right organizational culture, where people can take ownership of their processes and believe they will benefit from doing so.
To increase the success rate of large agile transformation programs, the progress to make agility transformation requires more cooperation from varying parts of the organization, giving cross-functional people a good argument for why you are doing agile and what the benefits will be. It helps to orchestrate organizational interrelationship by bridging gaps, sharing information, enforcing cross-boundary communication, building trust, and ultimately leading to greater autonomy and “self-generated” engagement. Agility should not be translated into sacrificing planning, management guidelines or business management discipline. Rather, agility is targeted for enhancing business on-demand and improving the quality of delivery.
With accelerated digital speed, everything is always moving forward promptly. Agility is the ability of the business to adapt or initiate change rapidly and cost efficiently, in response to the dynamic business environment. The higher level of agility the organization can reach; the better performance results the business can achieve.