Definition: Business Agility (BA) can be defined as a corporate system which promptly adapts and responds to the market dynamism, technological advancement and varying customer requirements. It is considered as the core of keeping ahead in business competition.
A small enterprise can be revolutionized into a technologically upgraded giant with a superior supply chain management, strong social media presence, robust communication system, intellectual workforce and happy clientele.
Content: Business Agility (BA)
Characteristics of an Agile Organization
What makes a company agile? Agility is not an attribute that emerges overnight, it is a transformation of traditional business which nourishes the whole organizational system.
Agility in a company can be identified through the following features a business possess:
Innovation: Every segment of an agile enterprise values creativity, new ideas and employee inputs. The aim is to deliver a superior customer experience each time.
Change Management: Dynamism is an inevitable part of present-day organizations. An agile organization initiates frequent training of employees to analyze and cope up with the changing business environment.
Market Responsiveness: The company’s ability to promptly react towards market change or customers’ varying demands determines its agility. Even business strategies should be dynamic enough to win over market challenges and competition.
Flexible Infrastructure: Infrastructure doesn’t confine to brick and mortar structure. Instead, it includes the company’s ability to fluctuate its resource capacitation, take up extensive projects, scale-up or cut down production, etc.
Effective Business Communication: In an agile company there is an environment of open communication and the employees’ thoughts and views are considered to be an essential input for business decision making.
Origin of Business Agility
The concept of agility was introduced by the US Defense Department at the beginning of the 1960s. It was aimed at fixing the problem of less standardized defence equipment (which were only suitable for US soldiers) that was not apt for supply to the associates.
The idea was to manufacture the latest technology prone equipment ensuring cost-effectiveness such that it can be provided to their allies.
It was later taken up as a prominent solution to ensure scalability or mass production by a 15 members team from 13 dignified organizations gathered for the ‘Agile Manufacturing Enterprise Forum’ organized at Laccoca Institute, Lehigh University.
Primarily, termed as agile manufacturing, this phenomenon was later called as enterprise agility.
Business Agility Framework
The business agility framework is the integration of three core segments, the outer circle denotes the major factors transformed; the middle part shows the impact of this change on the business output; the inner core depicts the customer centricity.
When discussing the shaping of an agile enterprise, we figured out the following five significant areas where agility is implemented:
- Agile People: The company focuses on developing the intellectual side of its human resource by motivating them to come up with innovative business solutions.
- Agile Culture: An agile organization considers quick decision-making, change adaptability and innovation as integral parts of its corporate culture.
- Agile Leadership: The leadership strategy of the company is to encourage the workforce for constant learning, gathering client feedback, active participation in decision-making, etc.
- Agile Strategy: The focus of the management in an agile organization is to setup short-cycle strategies to effectively respond to the dynamic business environment.
- Agile Governance: The overall management of this agile system including the projects, people, client needs, and market dynamism is a crucial process.
The impact of the above factors can be observed through the following output efficiency:
- Agile Projects: Most of the agile projects are tailor-made to meet the client requirements and assure a quality product or service.
- Agile Programmes: Whether it is an employee training programme or software development, agility can be seen everywhere.
- Agile Product Evolution: A product’s quality can be excelled through genuine customer feedback, employee’s ideas and instant decision-making.
- Agile Service Evolution: Even in an agile service enterprise, the customers have a mesmerizing experience which develops their loyalty towards the organization.
The only parameter to determine whether the things are on the right track is through consumer feedback. Thus, all the activities in this framework are centralized upon customer satisfaction.
Why Agile Method?
In this digitized world, technological evolution is an ongoing process. To survive the market challenges, the company need to become agile.
Agility in any business is imperative due to the following reasons:
- Strengthens Communication System: When the employees, managers, teams and clients can share their thoughts, ideas and information freely, the organization develops a robust network.
- Cost-Efficiency: Developing an agile system means streamlining the business process and operations to reduce wastage and optimize resources. This ultimately curtails the production cost.
- Better Product Quality: Agility provides a new dimension to any product, service or process bringing in an unmatched quality to everything that the company caters.
- Increases Employee Morale: In a progressive environment where the employees’ input is valued, they experience gratification and self-motivation to perform exceptionally.
- Project Transparency: The regular updates and client interaction with the execution team on project status and details, helps to retain clarity and trustworthiness.
- Accelerates Time to Market: When the market is evolving rapidly with the need for more consumer-friendly products, an agile organization can serve such requirements competently.
- Higher Revenue: Leading the market competition through the establishment of an agile system increases footfall and thus, boosts the company’s sales and profit.
- Competitive Advantage: Agility is a phenomenal agenda which distinguishes a company from its competitors and keeps ahead of all the others in the market.
- Enhances Customer Satisfaction: With a strong network, happy workforce, superior quality products and quick response to market demand, all lead to contented consumers.
The pandemic Covid-19 in the year 2020, has brought the world on its knees and so the business organizations which were earlier operating in a traditional setup.
Today, even the most rigidly structured organizations are converting into agile enterprises for survival. Digitalization and remote work facility have been an indispensable part of this transformation.
The impact is such that even the corporate giants like Microsoft, Google and Facebook have announced work from home for the majority of its workforce for the whole year. Even their further recruitments would be done keeping in mind the remote working facility.