What is agile business management?

Acceleration. Business agility management. Benefits. Unlike agile project management. Seven principles.

Acceleration: The ignored lurking threat

Today, we still struggle to acknowledge the lurking threat of acceleration for  business. 

First: What is this threat?

Everything goes faster, so the number of changes increases: few changes means low acceleration, many changes means high acceleration.

Examples? Faster product cycles (fashion, technology, software, car industry, …), Supply chain (faster production, faster delivery, shorter order cycles), customers (faster change of requirements), faster and new competitors, faster legal changes, .. all increases in speed result in number of changes per month. 

Second: Kotter´s warning: HBR Article "Accelerate!"

As early as 2012, J.P.Kotter, renowned expert in change management, warned: in this faster-moving world the hierarchical structures and organizational processes we have used for decades to run and improve our enterprises are no longer up to the task of winning iIn fact, they can actually thwart attempts to compete in a marketplace where discontinuities are more frequent and innovators must always be ready to face new problems.

Third: Just wait and see? - Not the answer for business survival

"The companies that get there first, because they act now, will see immediate and long-term success—for shareholders, customers, employees, and themselves. Those that lag will suffer greatly, if they survive at all." (John P. Kotter)

Agile business management: Second, complementary management system to cope with acceleration.

Traditional business management

  • Manages business "as is"
  • Too slow to cope with change.
  • Not nimble enough to adjust.

Agile business management

  • Leads continuous transformation to take advantage of acceleration
  • Drives enterprise flexibility
  • Outpaces the competition

Benefits of agile business management

Business agility management offers several significant benefits for business leaders:

•Success: Business leaders achieve sustainable results (their business goals) despite accelerated change. Without managing agility business leaders cannot cope with such acceleration.

•Flexibility: Short operational sprints drive continuous adaptation and transformation.

•Accountability: Rather than leading business agility with a “program” it clarifies accountability of unit line managers.

•Focus: Agility initiatives focus on the vital few initiatives to be taken.

•Winning: Enterprises with higher agility win over slower adapting competitors.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Us

Agile business management is unlike agile project management

Agile project management

  • Project manager leads team to project goal.

Agile business management

  • Top management leads the entire business to continuous success - despite accelerated change

Business agility management:
Seven principles

1. Recognize business as ecosystem.
2. Focus on one single goal.
3. Give priority to revenue generating units.
4. Select only initiatives resolving constraints.
5. Drive short operational sprints.
6. Respond to change after each sprint.
7. Lead the change.