It’s Global Enterprise Agility Month!

If you’re into European football and are following the Euro 24 tournament, you’ll probably have experienced a few up-and-down moments, as teams give it their all to move forward in the competition. You’ll have seen the players’ commitment on the pitch and how they combine speed with balance, coordination, and skill, as they adjust and react to the ball in that moment. This agility is essential to help them progress with their team in the game.

In today’s business climate, successful companies also need to be agile. Not in quite the same way as a skilled sportsperson, of course, but set to pivot at a moment’s notice. Being prepared and ready helps them respond quickly to conditions such as movement in the global markets, ongoing technology developments, and shifts caused by changes to political and economic conditions, not to mention ever-evolving customer expectations.

Get agile!

The pandemic highlighted which businesses were flexible and organized enough to adapt quickly to the new situation. Those with robust digital transformation strategies and the technology in position to continue to run their operations could ride the wave of unrest so much better than those who were scrambling to get things together as lockdowns hit.

But how do companies ‘get agile’? It all depends on what industry you are in, but it’s worth being aware of some of the pain points documented by other businesses as they implement their agility plans.

Top 3 challenges

  1. Resistance to change. As with any large project, getting leaders and employees on board and invested in it is critical. Resistance stems from uncertainty about the future and the thought of moving away from familiar processes and routines. That’s why leaders must understand this and outline a clear vision, inspire confidence, and demonstrate absolute commitment to the changes to come if they are to get employees to invest in it. It’s not easy and it takes work. However, ensuring that employees have a voice and empowering them to become an active part of the process helps to avoid a ‘them’ and ‘us’ situation and goes a long way to ensuring everyone can move forward together.
  2. Scalability (or lack thereof). At first, it may seem pretty easy to implement agile practices in small teams. Replicating this at scale through disparate departments, however, can be much more challenging as working practices and situations can differ widely according to operational function. This is where leadership planning covering all the company’s divisions comes to the fore – creating detailed, well-thought-out strategies for each area to ensure an integrated and collaborative approach with a defined long-term view.
  3. Momentum. Starting with a blast and tapering off to a whimper on a big project like Agile won’t work. Consistency and regular communication that maintains momentum are essential for everyone to feel that the company is taking the project seriously, things are progressing in line with its vision and there is continued value in what they are doing and the changes they are making.

The future is agile

Of course, there is much more to learn about Agile before embarking on such a major strategy and, as it’s Global Enterprise Agility Month, now is a great time to start!

There are some great articles on the topic written by members of the Forbes Technology Council and websites dedicated to it, such as the Agile Business Consortium.

Do your research and remember to assemble a strong leadership team, create solid plans, get your employees on board and communicate, communicate, communicate!

References

Forbes Technology Council article

Project Management Institute

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