Chris Steel, Americas Transformation Lead at PA Consulting, discusses organizational agility and explains how companies can avoid potential pitfalls when implementing.
The article notes that ‘agile’ has earned its place in the business lexicon: it’s no buzzword or passing craze. For almost two decades, it’s been helping companies of all sizes free themselves from the inflexibility of traditional ‘top down’ hierarchies and rigid long-term planning.
You’ll hear talk of ‘squads’, ‘chapters’ and ‘tribes’ and, while there are different flavors of agile, there are also tropes: agile organizations work in short sprints–meaning they can be fluid and responsive to customer demands–and teams are empowered to make decisions. You can imagine the effect on (young) workers clamoring for autonomy.
Agile calls for intense commitment and relies heavily on culture for success. General resistance to change, inadequate management support and culture at odds with agile values are the top three challenges according to the annual State of Agile survey. Here, experts share the pitfalls of becoming agile.
Agile’s big draw is that annual planning is replaced by shorter-term milestones, while success is measured by how responsive teams can be to customer demands or business needs then and there.
Chris says early wins that showcase the benefits of agile transformation should be used to champion its cause. He explains: “Where we have seen organizations struggle is where they approach it in a half-hearted way without the right sponsorship. The change to culture and ways of working required to achieve the best results are too significant without full engagement. Try telling a project manager they won't have any projects to manage any more!”
Did you know the top 10% of financial performers are 30% more agile than the rest?