Organizations today have to be on their toes to adapt to new technologies and customer behavior to stay relevant in the market. In other words, you have to be agile, flexible, and embrace the super fast changes in technology, customer needs, internal processes, and operations.
In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of business agility and how business agility helps businesses to positively respond to market changes.
Business agility refers to how quickly an organization is able to:
More often than not, businesses have to work in an unpredictable environment. A user's behavior may change multiple times, a carefully crafted product/service might go obsolete because of a better one, or there may be no takers for a business idea. An agile organization quickly pivots to recover from unpredictable situations and focuses on generating value for customers.
Some common examples of business agility methodologies are Scrum, DevOps, Business Intelligence (BI), and Kanban.
The aim of the business agility framework is to help organizations learn, innovate, evolve, and thrive. It gives direction to businesses, especially during complex, uncertain situations and is built on three main keywords: leadership, lean thinking, and re-evaluation.
These three keywords are applicable for both internal and external environments and help organizations achieve more success in less time.
Business agility framework helps businesses to innovate and maximize value for customers through agile practices.
By definition, business agility helps businesses to survive and thrive in today’s competitive world. To make your business successful, both internal and external processes have to be aligned and adjustable.
For example, MongoDB enabled extreme agility for Gap, a popular fashion brand, by enhancing developer productivity and providing a steady database to store different shapes of data.
Suppose a bus company wants to add a new functionality to its app where users can immediately book alternate routes, if a bus gets canceled due to any reason. This change needs agile processes—like Scrum, where the development team can quickly implement, test, and put the changes into production—in contrast to the waterfall model, where the team has to wait for a new cycle to begin. The agile approach is more customer-centric, but also needs flexible platforms like MongoDB, that allow for quick changes without any significant downtime to the existing app.
Agile culture is a part of business agility. Adopting agile practices means conforming to agile values and principles and developing the agile mindset. The transformation to an agile mindset is not easy and requires effort at each level—individual, teams, and organization. Implementing an agile culture also needs continuous governance of its effectiveness.
An organization is successful as long as they are able to provide value to their customers. The value stream starts from an individual effort, to team effort, and then the whole organization.
You can look at business agility from three dimensions: individual, leadership (team), and operations (organization)—each having customer value as their primary goal.
Business agility follows customer-centric approach at individual, team and organizational level.
Agile values and principles help organizations develop an agile culture.
The four core agile values are:
|Processes and tools||Individuals and interactions|
|Comprehensive documentation||Working software|
|Following a plan||Quickly responding to change|
|Contract negotiations||Customer collaborations|
The core agile principles are based on the agile values:
Once the organization adopts an agile framework, they should also oversee, monitor, and guide their agile projects. This is called agile governance. Agile governance includes being supportive, trusting team members, and giving ownership to them, so that they have a sense of responsibility and control. The principles of agile governance include:
To be an agile organization, businesses have to adapt to changes quickly and adhere to agile values and principles. However, this is easier said than done. Organizations face a lot of challenges, particularly because human brains are hardwired to do things in a certain way—even if we have the best intentions to change, it’s not easy.
A common problem is to get everyone on the same page. Strategies, goals, and core concepts are often understood by different people in different ways, leading to confusion.
Having a shared language to communicate the objectives, conducting regular scrum meetings to make sure everyone understands common goals and objectives.
Organizations fail to capture business opportunities and data available from multiple sources, leading to silos, wastage of money and resources, and lower productivity.
Clearly defining the value—what the customers want—and discarding everything else—what the customers don’t need from a product or service.
If teams are fully loaded, there will never be any room for a small change or extra room.
MongoDB helps organizations achieve business agility through their in-house innovation accelerator and innovation solution kits. This ensures developers don’t have to worry about infrastructure management, and can focus on building apps quickly and scaling them easily. MongoDB Atlas is a good example of a data platform that aims at increasing developer productivity to provide you with a competitive advantage. With the Atlas application data platform, your developer team can focus on apps, and not ops.
To improve team agility, it’s important to: