Business agility is a creative and combined approach to keep the business rolling through ever-changing challenges, including uncertain markets, changing nature of customer tastes, investment, business expansion, etc.
Doing so, the business mustn’t get sidetracked from its vision. To the core, business agility is maintaining the momentum of positivity and success even if there are significant changes in the policies, goals, or market.
Modern business is blessed and affected by the speedy changes in the market in terms of methods, tools, and approaches to problem-solving.
Furthermore, technological advancement has had far-fetched changes in business functions. Big Data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, etc., have joined hands to measure market share, offer products & services to customers, make significant business decisions, and so much more.
Hence, business agility should work coherently to foster collaborative work while creatively, timely, and efficiently resolving emergent issues.
Significances of Business Agility
The word ‘agility’ should send you the message clearly why business agility is so significant in business today.
Even if you go as far back as ten to twenty years, the business's biggest challenge for survival was assessing the competition.
Consequently, many giants like Polaroid, Compaq, General Motors, and many others were extinguished from the market.
The reasons why business agility is important for a company are:
To anticipate future changes in the market
To proactively work out plans and measures to fight the challenges due to sudden internal and external changes
To survive the tough competition with ample resources and strategies
To keep your customers and clientele loyal for longer
To keep up with the challenges of the digital age
Is it Tough to Attain Business Agility and Why?
To put it in perspective, business models a century ago were developed for efficiency and reliability rather than growing agility and speed, according to John P. Kotter, a renowned professor at Harvard Business School.
Businesses spawned out of the century-long business models are striving toward achieving desired agility with the changes in the market.
As per modern business leaders, things are hard to change since many companies still follow in their predecessors' footsteps. Those old norms and cultures provided a decent backup while failing to push the new business through the market's randomness and mobility.
What’s the Framework for Business Agility?
Business agility is based on a simple equation; it’s a mix of
Customer Agility: It’s the feasibility at the customers’ end to access required information, make product & service choices, give feedback, etc.
Team Agility: It’s the ability of a particular team to tackle customer demand while responding to their problems and queries timely and resourcefully.
Leadership Agility: The business leaders of an organization must be willing to collaboratively approach customer queries while fulfilling their expectations through creative, cooperative, and effective means.
In other words, the framework for business agility aims at maximizing customer value in a fast-paced, sustainable, and consistent manner.
The business agility framework comprises four dimensions in alignment with the business's three operating or functional domains, the three agility factors we’ve mentioned above.
Those four dimensions are:
One Goal: The goal of an agile business is to maintain a balance between customer centricity and business sustainability.
Three Enabling Roles: The enabling roles identify the primary stakeholders within the organization, including customers, teams, and leaders.
Seven Rules: The seven rules are realizing a shared vision, maximizing autonomy, realizing value, data-driven decisions, waste minimization, continual development, and learning & having fun together.
Seven Agile Value Streams: The seven agile value streams are aligned individually with the three agility, customer, team, and leadership to achieve the agility goals of the business.
These seven streams are:
Funding MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Organizing around value
Delivering MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Learning and adaptation
What are the Core Competencies of Business Agility?
Business agility core competencies are interconnected. However, you’ve got to learn and master each to excel in your business.
Lean-Agile Leadership empowers each team member to drive and sustain organizational changes.
Team & Technical Agility triggers agile attitudes in teams while maintaining the technical practices of agile testing, behavior-driven development, test-driven development, etc.
Agility in Product Delivery uses design thinking and a customer-centric attitude to deliver value-added products and services.
Lean Portfolio Management drives portfolio vision, strategy formulation, lean budgets, portfolio prioritization, road mapping, and so on.
Enterprise Solution functions to develop cutting-edge software programs and apps, networks, cyber security, etc., for a successful and sustainable business.
Organizational Agility applies lean management and systems to strategy and investment, agile portfolio operations, and governance within the organization.
Culture of Continuous Learning ensures a consistent learning culture for increasing knowledge, performance, and competence within the organization.