What Is Business Agility & What Does It Entail For Agile Teams?

what-is-business-agility

What can be the ultimate success for an organization? For most entrepreneurs it’s stability. Being consistent in the market and proper planning of future events is incredibly beneficial for companies in order to maximize profit.

Nonetheless, things do not always go as anticipated. The markets are extremely volatile, therefore anything can happen. If the organization’s sustainability is tied to the market, the management should be aware of all the threats and issues associated with attempting to maintain a straight course across the competitive landscape. A successful organization understands when to stretch, turn, and adapt in order to accommodate forces stronger than it. For that purpose, organizations must know the concept of business agility.

It can be used to accommodate changes within enterprises along with market changes. Whilst agile development is utilized for short-term projects, Business agility applies these ideas across the organization enabling every division to succeed. Let’s know more about what business agility is, why it is crucial and how it can be integrated into the corporate culture.

What exactly is business agility?

As per BAI, Business agility is a series of organizational skills, actions, and ways of dealing that allow your company to achieve its goals with freedom, flexibility, and resilience. Irrespective of what the future has in store.

It was not long ago that many players in the market desired agility. However, it has become an important aspect of the transition that most sectors need to endure in order to ensure business results.

Business agility relates to an organization’s adaptability to change. The potential of a business to function in an agile way can be seen as any or all of the following

  • Adjusting rapidly to market shifts, both internally or externally
  • Managing changing client requirements and preferences via an efficient and scalable approach
  • Initiating cost-effective and  productive strategies while retaining the quality of the company’s products and services

Knowing what business agility is and acquiring agile qualities help companies to stay adaptable, innovative, and resilient to face market changes and vulnerabilities. This would not only benefit a company as markets evolve, but it also gives them a competitive advantage over other companies that are slower to adapt.

Agile teams or businesses emphasize value creation possibilities. That means they focus on balancing flexibility and speed along with scalability and stability. Their strong centers provide structural stability and organizational strength letting them adapt quickly to market developments.

Why should teams be agile?

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Switching to an agile approach provides considerable benefits for the company by ensuring improvement across multiple domains. When an organization undergoes an agility transformation, the performance or success is measured through different matrix categories. A few benefits of Business agility are described below.

1. Better Customer service

Most businesses employ enterprise agility to address changing client needs, which leads to improved customer service. This change comes by modifying the interest or objectives. When an organization concentrates on client needs instead of competitors, its sales skyrocket.

Another element that leads to customer satisfaction is agile teams. When customers receive their expected products or services via high-quality practices, it promotes customer satisfaction and retention.

2. Improved Employee Engagement

Another important aspect while discussing business agility is enhanced employee engagement. Organizational agility encourages employees and teams. Agile organizations devolve decision-making in order to foster a cooperative working culture that attracts talent while benefiting existing staff.

Moreover, agility promotes autonomy, purpose, and mastery in employees to boost efficiency and productivity.

3. Enhanced Adaptability

Agile teams in agile organizations are more focused on new objectives. As agile businesses already have the operational infrastructure in place, adjusting to changes is easier. With an agile approach, teams can respond quickly to changing customer demand and deliver what is required, leading to increased sales and organizational performance.

4. Higher operational efficiency

When agility is implemented in a company, it engages all areas to boost functionality. Agility supports organizations in overcoming challenges such as political sensitivities and communication processes. The primary aim of agility is to build the enterprise as a shared system of cross-functional teams that are fully equipped with the skills needed to change and adapt to achieve defined objectives.

5. Maintains sustainability

One of the main reasons why teams should be agile is that agile businesses are resistant to sudden shifts because they can effectively adapt to those. This is due to the agile environment; managers can easily refocus teams and fix issues, enabling them to back into their original way of working.

The agile attitude of teams in agile organizations enables them to respond quickly to market changes or user needs.

 Agile teams that are robust, autonomous, and motivated do not rely on top-down decisions to carry out day-to-day operations. Agile teams have the needed set of skills to respond to changing market needs.

The importance of business agility can be anticipated by the fact that 94 percent of respondents in a 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report, which polled more than 10,000 HR and business professionals from 140 countries, say agility and teamwork are essential to the development of their company.

How to Become Agile?

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After understanding what business agility is and why it is beneficial to firms, the next step is to consider shifting an existing business model to an agile manner.

Business agility is a multidimensional concept that is tackled differently by different organizations. Culture has a significant impact on raising or dampening a firm’s agility, according to the 12 domains of Business agility and 9 agile leadership principles. If you can integrate agile methods into your company’s culture, you will be well on your way to success.

The key point to consider while shifting to an agile culture is that all 12 domains across 4 dimensions of business agility

  • Concentrate on Customer needs.
  • Are equally important and interlinked

Here are 5 suggestions to help you get started

1. Promote Psychological Safety and Employee autonomy

Your corporate policies must support agile processes if it is to prosper. This means that employees must be able to make their own decisions.

Business agility goes hand in hand with a more independent business culture; an organization cannot be agile if every choice requires employee approval.

Teams feel more at ease when they have a sense of psychological safety. This includes the following:

  • Identifying Issues
  • Making recommendations
  • Taking that risk
  • Collaboration with others
  • Testing out new ideas and techniques

When people are empowered in this way, they are far more willing to welcome agility and perform well both individually and as members of a team.

2. Generate an agile Leadership mentality

To be agile, the management team must cultivate an agile mindset in which they evaluate everything the organization conducts. This includes questioning the organization’s leadership model and ethos, as well as whether they promote or hinder agility. Questions you should focus on:

  • Do your leaders encourage or inhibit agility?
  • How well your leadership style aligns with that of an agile business, i.e. how quickly can you think strategically?

3. Focus on your company’s top concerns

Prioritize your business activities strategically if you want to become more agile.

An agile method focuses on reducing priorities to a limited (3-4) list of tasks to be completed. Then, when each priority is accomplished, a new priority is added to the list in response to your company’s objectives, goals, and unexpected events. Things you should consider:

  • How accurate is your market analysis?
  • Which products or services yield the most revenue for the business, and which do not?
  • How lean is your organization?
  • How credible is company data to make any decisions?

4. Prepare yourself for the change

Agile teams realize that change is unavoidable, and they attempt to anticipate industry changes that are needed to innovate swiftly and focus on new market opportunities.

This mainly contains collecting and evaluating relevant data on a daily basis, forming inferences from that data, and responding quickly. As mentioned above this can be attained by employee encouragement and empowerment.

As no one knows what will happen, agile businesses plan for unforeseen circumstances. Integrating flexibility in company budgets, strategies, and assessments. This enhances the organization’s ability to cope with change efficiently and decisively.

5. Encourage Collaboration

Effective technologies that enable employees to break down barriers and communicate across teams and departments are as significant as psychological safety when it comes to meaningful collaboration. Project management solutions, chat apps, cloud-based files, and other tools are prevalent for the purpose.

Making the effort to offer team members tools that simplify their processes and facilitate collaboration is essential to building a more agile organization.

As they say, Words aren’t as powerful as actions. Agile teams rapidly move, understand and double down on what works. Agile organizations never have a “to-be” operating model; alternatively, they have a “now” operating model with a realistic path for continued development.

Some Common Challenges in Business Agility

Since most businesses need certainty, the concept of consciously changing to a more uncertain, dynamic, and faster-paced style of functioning may seem imprudent or upsetting to some.

One specific challenge of implementing business agility is that it might promote a short-termism approach, favoring quick reactions and fast remedies over measured, and protracted initiatives.

Business agility may put a company in a continuous reactive mode, responding to issues and opportunities only as they emerge – this must be carefully monitored.

Broadly speaking, three obstacles in the way of implementing a successful business agility approach any company faces are;

  • Fear of changes
  • Overconfident leadership
  • Egoistic approach and lack of vision

Being rigid and dogmatic as an organization is seldom a guarantee of success these days, and a properly agile corporation has a plethora of benefits and chances at its disposal.

Closing thoughts

In the digital age, companies must grasp what is business agility since it is a powerful factor in determining who succeeds and who loses in the modern economy.

Business agility enables people, teams, and businesses to innovate, meet changing customer preferences, and quickly adapt to market volatility. It is essential to promote a foundation of psychological empowerment for the whole team in order to incorporate agility into your company’s culture. Your team must understand that it is totally safe to test new approaches, take risks, and even fail in the quest for greater creativity.

Let us know what you think about shifting to an agile manner of work in the comments area below.


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