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Achieving Agility across the enterprise

For the past couple of years, the digitization journey has been expeditious. However, as a response to the ever-evolving customer demands across industries and suitable operating environments that seem to be moving faster, organizational capacities must change, and so must IT capabilities. 

In the unceasing evolution of information technology, speed, performance, engagement, and recurrence are major key players in efficiently responding to the market.

An increasingly common suggestion for businesses to achieve this efficiency is IT Agility. 

So what is IT Agility at a glance?

IT Agility is how quickly an enterprise can respond to opportunities. It is time for an organization to recognize and act on a potential business opportunity and work on it. One technique to close the time gap is achieving proper IT-business alignment. Unfortunately, the concept of aligning IT and business has a lot of fallacies over bridging knowledge gaps between the two. Bringing together and quantifying what each department offers, for the best of the enterprise, when IT works alone or together with the business department, is one step closer to alignment. Achieving this alignment in the organization will lead to moving and adapting flexibly to all necessary internal changes. Changes could include strategy, practices, technology, or organizational structure, and even changes to relationships with partners and suppliers.

How do you create an agile organization?

A public misconception about agile organizations is that speed can sometimes come at the expense of quality and completion. However, genuinely agile environments combine strong structural and cultural stability and dynamic capabilities to respond to fast-changing conditions while maintaining quality and customer satisfaction.

Creating an agile organization can be done simply by implementing operating model changes across these five dimensions:

1- Strategy: A shared vision and purpose embodied across the organization

2- Structure: A network of empowered teams 

3- Process: Rapid decision and learning cycles

4- People: Dynamic people model that ignites passion

5- Technology: Next generation enabling technology

In conclusion, and as per McKinsey and company, and after analyzing twenty-two organizations in six different sectors, the results showed three significant outcomes of agile transformations:

1- Improved customer satisfaction

2- Employee engagement

3- Operational performance

According to the analysis, these three outcomes make up the “agile impact engine.” In addition, all three benefits mutually reinforce and produce a fourth outcome: improved financial performance.

1 comment

Depending on where you look in the organization, you see different need in order to create agility and maintaining that agility.

On the technical level, you must have proper architecture and code that is built for flexibility. These are often the biggest bottlenecks, as systems are compromised with short-sighted development that does not scale or require extensive refactoring to accommodate change.

On financial and vendor level, it is often difficult to pivot because contracts are written in fixed projects with named resources to save money. It can be very difficult and very expensive to cancel projects to focus on something else because of this. The onboarding and off boarding processes at HR level are also something that takes time and cost money.

On the marketing level, campaigns are sometimes bought months in advance, and they can cost a lot of money to cancel due to change.

So to maintain agility at scale you need processes and methodologies that allow flexibility, a good communication strategy with high focus on making sure requirements are managed quickly to provide the right information, so development can happen quickly. Teams must be able to staff up and down rapidly by having proper documentation and onboarding processes that are fast and easy.

Most of all everyone must communicate and collaborate.

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