Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Core Strategic Goals of an Agile Organization

Agile is a mindset with emotional maturity and disciplined flexibility to solve problems and manage complexity.

Organizational agility is about to react to environmental changes and to create environmental changes. It is about to take into account any change in the environment and transform the organizational architecture to survive, growth and develop. It is about to answer to emergent events. It is about to transform the whole organization to create a "Lego" like environment that you can change as you need effortlessly. More specifically, what are core strategic goals of an Agile organization?

Agile” is a set of principles to follow for making changes: It is a quality of the organization and its people to be adaptive, responsive, continually learning and evolving, to be agile. Agile does not mean delivering projects/services faster only; Agile does not just mean fewer defects or higher quality; Agile does not just mean higher productivity; Agile means the ability to move with quick easy grace, to be nimble and adaptable.To embrace change and become masters of change -- to compete through adaptability by being able to change faster and cheaper than your competition can.

The key strategic goal of an Agile organization is also the key strategic goal of any organization to improve profitability: It's not enough to simply say you should distribute or decentralize authority to be more "profitable." Which is how you might do it. You must also answer in such a context why the path you're advocating is the better path to achieving "profitability."  In a highly agile organization, people take responsibility for their own work, for the product, for the company as a whole. Agile is a set of tactics which are in direct support of the core strategic goal of moving problem ownership to the front line and empowering that front line to deal with their own problems. If that happened, your product and service quality would improve, the margins would rise, and you could reduce costs and successfully enter new markets. So the goal of an Agile organization is simply put to make a profit while respecting and promoting the integrity and well-being of its members and the community.

The real value of Agile is to build a culture of innovation: When the entire enterprise adopts a new culture of agility that embraces and promotes innovation at all levels of the organization timely, the organization will be energized to reinvent itself and accelerate its growth. In this light, the biggest disadvantage of Waterfall is the time from ideation to implementation. It was often six months to a year or more from the time an innovative product or idea was generated until it was launched. A company with this kind of delay will not be competitive against more agile competition. Innovative ideas tend to build on one another as a synergy of ideas is created. Again, long and heavy processes tend to stifle creativity. The truly agile culture embraces pushing the boundaries and the "fail fast" philosophy across the entire organization to innovate boldly and provide a significant competitive advantage. IT and business partner together to quickly deliver innovative products and services to the marketplace.

Agile is a mindset with emotional maturity and disciplined flexibility to solve problems and manage complexity: In an unpredictable world, the business needs to be resilient to change because you cannot predict what will happen with high accuracy. You cannot rely on a single centralized authority to solve all problems because there isn't sufficient time to consult that authority on every problem. So, authority and control must be decentralized and distributed. Agile organizations are specifically adapted/organized to tackle complex business problems and advocate self-management, interactive communication, iterative delivery and continuous improvement. There are plenty of examples that demonstrate the team of diverse perspectives is needed in finding an "optimal" solution, hence, agile also embraces inclusiveness and critical thinking

Agile is neither a golden hammer or a silver bullet, it is more like a silver mirror, you need to make continuous reflection and improvement. Agile is a state of mind, it is about embracing change, taking risks, thinking out of the box to encourage innovation. And change is not for its own sake, the strategic goal of being agile is to improve profitability, build competency, adapt to changes, engage employees and delight customers.


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