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Make your business agile

A business cannot become agile by adopting elements of its management philosophy here and there. Beth Ashmead Latham looks at the specific chain of activities that makes for a successful adoption of agility.

Much like going global and doing digital, it’s fashionable to say your business is agile. Yet it’s easy to devalue the term and lose sight of what it means. Agile brings together professionals from different functions to design, build and launch solutions together in one space and team with aligned priorities and schedules. Teams focus on a particular problem by iteratively testing and learning in small experiments to find new solutions that are immediately shared (who with depends on the business and its function, but usually customers).

“Organisations that are actually agile are more likely to have clarity on the outcome they want to achieve, to achieve that outcome and be satisfied with the journey,” says John Williams, chief executive of the Agile Business Consortium.

Many companies find tangible value in incrementally shifting to a more agile approach, allowing them to deliver things more quickly while continuously learning. This offers businesses an approach that could help them nimbly respond to change and make clear, evidenced decisions. It also presents them the challenge of deciphering what agile could mean, and learning how to avoid sporadic use of agile tools and principles.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 274, May 2019.

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