5 Key Steps To Maturing Enterprise Agility
Today’s enterprises are under pressure as never before. They face disruptive new competitors, nimble start-ups, and relentless shareholder demands for increased profitability and shareholder value. In this rapidly changing business environment, many enterprises are struggling to keep up with the pace of change and remain relevant. To survive and prosper, they must find ways to become more agile and responsive to change.
Agility has traditionally been seen as a key differentiator for small businesses, but it is increasingly important for large enterprises as well. However, achieving enterprise agility is not easy. It requires a fundamental shift in how the enterprise functions and makes decisions. It also requires a new mind-set and culture that is focused on customer needs and market opportunities.
The good news is that there are a number of proven approaches that can help enterprises achieve agility. In this article, we will explore five key steps to maturing enterprise agility:
- Transform the Organizational Culture
- Acknowledge the Need for Hybrid Agile Approaches
- Empower and Enable Employees
- Perform, Assess, and Adapt
- Advocate For Continuous Learning
Transform the Organizational Culture
The first step to achieving enterprise agility is to transform the organizational culture. This requires a shift in mind-set from top down decision making to a more decentralized and collaborative approach. It also means creating an environment where employees are empowered to experiment and take risks.
To effect this cultural transformation, enterprises need to create a shared vision and purpose that is focused on customer needs and market opportunities. This vision should be cascaded down through the organization so that everyone understands and buys into it. The culture should also encourage openness to change, continuous learning, and experimentation.
Successful agile organizations have a culture of trust, transparency, and collaboration. This allows employees to experiment and take risks without fear of reprisal. It also creates an environment where ideas can be freely shared and discussed. By contrast, traditional hierarchical organizations often stifle creativity and innovation. This is because decision making is centralized and employees are not empowered to take initiative.
Acknowledge the Need for Hybrid Agile Approaches
While agility is important for all enterprises, it is particularly challenging for large organizations. This is because they often have legacy systems and processes that are not well suited to a more agile approach. As a result, they may need to adopt a hybrid approach that combines agile and traditional methods. A one-size-fits-all approach is not likely to be successful.
To successfully adopt a hybrid approach, enterprises need to start by identifying the unique needs and requirements of each project. According to a report PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2017 In-Depth Report: Achieving Greater Agility, “Organizations with high agility report more projects successfully meeting original goals and business intent— whether they use predictive (71%), agile (68%), or hybrid (72%) approaches—than those with low agility using the same approaches.” The same report noted that “Around 86% of organizations with high agility expect their project teams to adapt their management approach to the specific needs of their project.” This means that enterprises need to be flexible in how they approach each project and be willing to tailor their methods to fit the situation.
Empower and Enable Employees for Agility
The key to genuine agility is to make sure that everyone at the company can do it. This implies your staff must be agile. You must ingrain agility into your organization’s culture.
To do this, hire project management experts that are both knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of project management techniques. Also make sure to include training on agile skills and project management into your employee development plan.
It’s also critical that you develop more agile leaders within your company. Roles including Agile project manager, product owner, and Scrum Master are critical to the success of agile transformations. By developing agile leaders, your employees will have access to the knowledge and support they need to be successful. For example, Scrum Masters can provide guidance on how to implement agile methods and principles within their team. As an organization, your objective should be to make agility a part of your company’s DNA – and that starts with your employees.
Perform, Assess, and Adapt
Enterprises need to continuously assess their performance and adapt their approaches as necessary. This means setting clear objectives and KPIs for each project and regularly measuring progress against them. It also means being open to feedback from employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Based on this feedback, enterprises should adjust their methods and processes as needed.
An important part of this step is learning from failures. All organizations will experience some degree of failure, but the key is to learn from these experiences and use them to improve future performance. One way to do this is to encourage employees to experiment and take risks. This allows for more innovation and creativity, but it also means that there will be some failures along the way. The key is to learn from these failures and use them to improve future performance.
Advocate For Continuous Learning
In today’s business environment, change is the only constant. This means that enterprises need to continuously learn and adapt in order to keep up with the latest trends. One way to do this is to encourage employees to experiment and take risks. This allows for more innovation and creativity, but it also means that there will be some failures along the way. The key is to learn from these failures and use them to improve future performance.
There are several key benefits of continuous learning, including:
- Improved performance: Continuous learning helps employees stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in their field. This allows them to perform at a higher level and be more productive.
- Decreased turnover: Employees who feel like they are continuously learning and developing are more likely to stay with the company. This decreases turnover and helps businesses save money in the long run.
- Increased innovation: Continuous learning allows employees to develop new skills and knowledge. This can lead to increased innovation and creativity, which can benefit the company as a whole.
In addition, enterprises should make sure to invest in continuous learning opportunities for their employees. This can include anything from formal training programs to more informal learning experiences such as mentorship programs and networking events. By investing in employee development, enterprises can ensure that their employees have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.
The Way Forward
There is no more important time than now for enterprises to embrace agility. The ability to rapidly adapt to change is critical for businesses of all sizes, but it is especially important for large organizations. Large enterprises need to be able to quickly pivot in order to stay ahead of the competition.
The good news is that there are a number of steps that enterprises can take in order to become more agile. These steps include developing agile leaders, setting clear objectives, investing in employee development, and continuously learning and adapting. By taking these steps, enterprises can position themselves for success in the ever-changing business landscape.
At Agileseventeen, we understand the challenges that enterprises face when trying to embrace agility. We have a team of experts who can help your organization develop an agile mindset and implement agile processes. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you mature your enterprise agility: talk@agileseventeen