What Is Enterprise Agility and Why Is It Important?

What Is Enterprise Agility and Why Is It Important?

The term “Enterprise Agility” refers to the ability of an organization to rapidly respond to changes in the marketplace. A successful agile transformation can improve customer satisfaction, reduce operating costs, and increase employee engagement. Enterprise agility is characterized by smaller cross-functional teams and shorter, more iterative development cycles. Business metrics are used to guide agile efforts at the enterprise level.


Enterprise agility is often confused with agile software development, which is a specific process that software development teams use to build applications quickly and efficiently. However, enterprise agility goes beyond the software development process; it encompasses the entire organization, from marketing and sales to customer service and support. In order to be truly agile, an organization must have the ability to rapidly adapt to changes in the marketplace and quickly respond to customer needs.


Some agile software platforms that can be modified to support enterprise agility include:

  • Scaled Agile Framework: SAFe is the most popular agile framework for enterprise agility. SAFe supports different levels of agile development, from team-level to program-level to portfolio-level.
  • Large-Scale Scrum: LSS is another popular framework for enterprise agility. It is similar to SAFe in that it supports different levels of agile development, but it uses a “scrum of scrums” approach instead of SAFe’s “release train” approach.
  • Disciplined Agile Delivery: DAD is an agile framework that focuses on delivering value to the customer quickly and efficiently. For example, DAD teams may use continuous delivery to deploy software updates frequently and rapidly respond to customer feedback.

These are just a few of the many frameworks and approaches that organizations can use to achieve enterprise agility. The most important thing is to select the right framework or approach for your organization’s specific needs.


The Benefits of Enterprise Agility


Improved customer satisfaction


Enterprise agility leads to improved customer satisfaction in several ways. First, agile organizations are able to rapidly respond to changes in the marketplace and quickly adapt their products and services to meet customer needs. This flexible approach results in a better customer experience and increased satisfaction.


Second, enterprise agility enables organizations to deliver new features and updates more frequently, which keeps customers engaged and using the latest versions of your products and services.


Finally, enterprise agility leads to more collaboration between different departments within the organization, resulting in a more coordinated approach to meeting customer needs.


Reduced operating costs


An agile organization can save money by reducing waste and improving efficiencies. For example, by using agile methods to develop software, organizations can eliminate the need for costly and time-consuming software rewrites.


In addition, agile teams are typically smaller and more cross-functional than traditional teams, which leads to reduced overhead costs.


Increased employee engagement


Enterprise agility also leads to increased employee engagement. Agile organizations promote employee empowerment and encourage creativity and innovation. As a result, employees are more engaged in their work and more likely to be productive.


In addition, agile organizations typically have shorter development cycles, which means that employees can see the results of their work more quickly and feel a sense of accomplishment.


Improved budgeting and forecasting


Another benefit of enterprise agility is improved budgeting and forecasting. Agile organizations are able to more accurately predict costs and timeline for new product development, which leads to better decision-making around investments.


In addition, agile organizations typically have shorter development cycles, which makes it easier to track progress and identify potential issues early on. As a result, agile organizations are better able to control costs and stay within budget.


Faster time to market


Because agile organizations are able to rapidly respond to changes in the marketplace, they are able to bring new products and services to market faster than their traditional counterparts.


This increased speed to market is a major competitive advantage for agile organizations, as it allows them to quickly capture new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.


Improved quality


Agile organizations are also able to improve the quality of their products and services. This is because agile teams use a continuous testing and feedback loop to identify and fix defects quickly. As a result, agile organizations are able to release higher-quality products and services to the market.


In addition, agile organizations typically have shorter development cycles, which gives them more time to test and refine their products before release.


Improved operational effectiveness


Operational effectiveness is the ability of an organization to produce desired results using minimal resources. Agile teams can use OKRs (objectives and key results) to measure and track operational effectiveness. OKRs are measurable goals that are aligned with the organization’s strategy. For instance, an organization’s OKRs could be to increase revenue by 10% within six months, or to reduce customer churn by 2% within a year.


By tracking OKRs, agile organizations can ensure that they are meeting their goals and making progress towards their objectives. In addition, OKRs can help agile teams identify areas where they need to improve their operational effectiveness.


How To Measure Enterprise Agility


Identifying the appropriate KPIs that complement conventional business objectives while also supporting agile process goals is one of the most difficult aspects of adopting enterprise agility. While there are many different ways to measure enterprise agility, an easy place to start is with the following three KPIs:


  1. Lead time
  2. Cycle time
  3. Cumulative flow diagram

Lead time is the amount of time it takes for a product or service to be delivered from the initial request to the customer’s doorstep. Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to complete one cycle of work, from start to finish. And the cumulative flow diagram is a visual representation of how much work is in progress at any given time. 


These three KPIs will give you a good understanding of how agile your organization is and where there is room for improvement.


How To Transition To An Agile Organization


If you’re interested in transitioning your organization to an agile model, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, it’s important to understand that agile is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one organization might not work for another. As such, it’s important to tailor your agile implementation to the specific needs of your organization.


Second, transitioning to an agile organization takes time and effort. It’s not something that can be done overnight. You need to be patient and have a long-term vision for how you want your organization to operate. Emphasize agile training and coaching to help everyone in your organization understand and buy into the agile way of working.


Finally, it’s important to remember that agile is a journey, not a destination. There is no “end state” that you’re trying to reach. Rather, it’s an ongoing process that you need to continuously work at in order to keep your organization agile and adaptable. Focus on creating a business development  culture that is agile, customer-centric, and data-driven. This will help you continually evolve and improve your organization over time.


If you’re looking to improve your organization’s operational effectiveness and release higher-quality products and services to the market, enterprise agility may be the right path for you. At Agileseventeen, we specialize in helping organizations transition to an agile way of working. We offer a variety of services, including agile training and coaching, to help you on your journey. 

Contact us today at talk@agileseventeen.com to learn more about how we can help you achieve your agile goals.