The Business Agility Imperative: Fend off the Disrupters

Whether you’re a technology or business executive, you certainly know that agile development has been practiced in your company’s delivery department for some time. Over the past 15 years, organizations across the globe have made major investments to implement, scale, and expand these practices within delivery. You probably also recognize the importance of extending this agile way of working beyond delivery and into the business to fend off the emergence of digital disruptor competitors: doing so is vital for your company to compete in today’s marketplace. By connecting agile ways of working between delivery and the business, your company can better understand its customers and quickly pivot on its product go-to-market strategy to serve their fast-changing needs.

 A fully agile business can sense market changes and quickly respond with competitive product offerings.

As a result, it will compete more effectively because it can change direction on a dime to morph its product offerings and capitalize on market opportunities or thwart potential threats. The definition of business agility in this context is the ability to sense and respond as a matter of everyday business or, as described in Achieving Business Agility, becoming “pivot ready”.

 With the increasing numbers of digital disruptors, a company’s ability to sense market opportunities and threats and respond quickly with products that customers value is vital.

Sense and respond has been one of the original selling points for delivery to adopting agile ways of working. Yet not everyone in the Agile space thinks it’s lived up to its potential. Are companies that adopt agile ways of working really able to sense and respond and deliver customer value faster than the competition? Regrettably, the answer is almost always no.  Agile ways of working have not yet achieved their fullest potential in organizations. That’s because agile ways of working are trapped inside delivery. Although this helps delivery to deploy products fast, the company is not aligned to support it. So, delivery builds products fast based on guesses of what customers want and, in turn, pushes out products that have no go-to-market plan from the business. Agile, as we know it, is stifled in delivery and falling short from realizing its full, untapped potential to help organizations sense and respond to compete more effectively.

John OrvosComment