Businesses all around the globe are racing towards transformations to help them achieve a level of enterprise agility with a marked difference on the bottom line. Being agile enables organizations to better respond to customer needs, increase operating efficiency, and build employee engagement.
Recent global events, including the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change regulations, have challenged traditional business models where size was often thought of as an advantage. The challenges faced and overcome during the pandemic have brought about an evolution in the hierarchical business unit model, replacing it with agile models for rapid responsiveness.
Agile Teams vs. Enterprise Agility
Traditional agile approaches focused on IT-specific roles – agile teams comprising developers, QA, project management etc. Enterprise agility extends the agile approach across more diverse teams ranging across the entire organization.
Team structure is cross functional and self-reliant for effective collaboration and maximized productivity. In other words, utilizing fewer resources to achieve better results. The resultant change in business processes is reflected in iterative cycles with improvement in products derived from user feedback. This maximizes product value for the consumer.
Adopting Agility Across the Organization
Successful transformations to enterprise agility are focused on increasing customer value and improving employee engagement. Mckinsey identifies 5 dimensions across which companies can implement changes for increased agility:
- Strategy: Shared purpose and vision across internal and external stakeholders.
- Structure: Empowered teams with cross functional capabilities.
- Process: Rapid decision cycles and knowledge sharing.
- People: Individuals with growth mindsets and the drive to learn.
- Technology: Rapid adoption of applicable technological trends.
Business Growth via Value Delivery
Adopting enterprise agility in response to rapidly changing consumer needs enables organizations to significantly uplift the customer journey. Agile transformations place the customer at the centre of every process, decision and outcome resulting in products/services that deliver more value.
As is the case with the design thinking model of product delivery, enterprise agility relies on continuous feedback loops to increment customer value and this also forms the basis of measurement of the transformations. Broadly categorized, benefits gained from enterprise agility fall into customer satisfaction, employee engagement and operating efficiency.
Enterprise agility has moved from a trending buzz-word to a must-have. Businesses prioritizing agile transformations are in a better position to gain sustainable competitive advantage. The journey will be unique to every organization as will the metrics used to define the success or failure of the transformation phases.