19 Apr 2023

What is Business Agility?

Business Agility in theory has always been around since the dawn of business, however the acknowledgement more recently has been described as an evolution from the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto for software development. Agile methodologies emphasise collaboration, flexibility, and customer satisfaction that aim to deliver working software quickly and incrementally.

By taking these concepts of agile, and not solely focusing them on software development, we can start to describe Business Agility in the modern context.

The Agile Business Consortium define Business Agility as the following:

“Business Agility is a people-centred, organisation-wide capability that enables a business to deliver value to a world characterised by ever-increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It is achieved by inspiring and harnessing the collaborative, creative ways of working of the people of the organisation in meeting its core purpose.

To achieve Business Agility, organisations need to adopt a mindset shift where collaboration, experimentation, and learning are promoted.

An agile organisation, that adopts Business Agility, can respond quickly and effectively to opportunities and threats found in its internal and external environments (be they commercial, legal, technological, social, moral, or political). Business Agility is achieved through a culture of continuous improvement, where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn and improve.

An agile organisation has the ability to:

  • Adapt quickly to market changes - internally and externally
  • Respond rapidly and flexibly to customer needs
  • Adapt and lead change in a productive and cost-effective way without compromising quality
  • Continuously be at a competitive advantage

So, why agility? The future is unpredictable, and the world and its technology changing ever more rapidly means our needs and requirements are becoming more uncertain. Businesses that embrace agility are able to adapt faster, delivering regularly, testing the environment and remaining customer-focused.