Sunday, June 19, 2016

“Digital Agility” Book Introduction Chapter 7 Agile Maturity

Agilists are phenomenally disciplined in focusing on value, prioritizing, executing, and collaboration.

Many organizations are transforming from doing Agile to being agile, apply agile philosophy, methodology, and practices to scaling up and building a truly agile organization is an important aspect of digital transformation. But what characteristics determine whether organizations are truly agile or just calling themselves agile? How do you define Agile maturity? And how to build a high-mature Agile organization?

Agility is a function of organizational culture, more than organizational practices: To quantify how much agile the organization is, involves analysis of their attitude and level of adoption about changes and innovation. An organization which can give up command and control to adapt a culture of learning and innovation via flatter structure and removing barriers of communication is on the right track to be an agile organization. That means first organizations need to transform into the collective agile mindset, build an agile culture which leads to agile behaviors and as much as you can measure behavior, then attempts to do so may provide you with some type of metrics that provide insight into the desired outcome when moving to agile. Agile success can improve the entire business competencies because they can do things quicker and better, encourage improvement and innovation.

The key strategic goal of an agile organization is also the key strategic goal of the organization to improve profitability: Agile is not only a set of principles, but also a set of tactics which are in direct support of the core strategic goal of moving problem ownership to the front line and empowering the frontline 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 expand business and improve profitability. It means that in a highly agile organization, people take responsibility for their own work, for the product, and for the company as a whole. The goal of an agile organization is simply put to make a profit while respecting and promoting integrity and well-being of its members and the community in which it resides and does business.    

Agilists are phenomenally disciplined in focusing on value, prioritizing, executing, and collaboration: Agile is too often misused and teams move too fast and they are faced with sacrificing reliable delivery, quality or technical excellence. It is critical to maintaining the core values. Agility means using what works and adapting to make it continue to improve, even it that means removing things that no longer work. What Agile did is to highlight the problem for all to see, so the upper management can rightly know it is their business decisions that got them here. After all, it is a business decision how you run your business and issues outlined are all business problems which caused technical problems. Applying strategic agility practice is also about setting priority right to execute with adaptation. Therefore, a periodic assessment of overall strategic direction should not impede the use of agile, and deciding major moves the organization must make now to be ready for the challenges of the future.

Being agile means anticipating likely change and addressing it deftly, keeping business on course and customer satisfied. To achieve those goals, agility must be built into an organization’s very foundation, design for emergence, innovation, to make change a nature evolution, and achieve high-level business maturity.


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