We are only now starting to think about Enterprise Agility as a discrete domain. Over the last 20 years, as individual teams became agile, the constraining factor for agility to scale was the other teams within the division. Now, as entire divisions and departments scale to become agile, the constraining factor for agility is the rest of the organisation.
"An organisation can only be as agile as it's least agile division!" - Evan Leybourn
Enterprise Agility emerges when there is an agile way of working across multiple teams and divisions. From a systems perspective, it can help to think of work in your organisation as a flow. We have a pipeline of demand on one side and delivery to our users on the other. Somewhere along this flow is the next limiting constraint to business agility. 20 years ago, that was IT and the software teams. Which is why it was logical for Agile to emerge in that domain. But now there are new constraints that require a wider view. It differs across organisations but I have generally found that the PMO, HR, sales or finance departments are the next teams that need to be agile. In most organisations, we have an 18 month budgeting process limiting a development cycle that can deploy every day.
These are not easy problems to solve. It becomes even harder once you include external organisations (see Agile Contracts) with a completely separate culture. You need to help these divisions internalise an agile mindset and culture as well as providing appropriate Technical Agility practices aligned to their work context. This is key to achieving Enterprise Agility and ultimately true business agility.
Case Studies[edit source]
- Shipping is NOT Success, Let it Sail
- A Story of Leadership Transformation
- Physical-Digital Transformation at a 125 year-old startup
- How Collaborative Play & Games can enable Human Resources to better support Business Agility
- Agile HR – a Game Changer
- Agile Contracting in the Federal Government
- Giving Hope - For Stakeholders, Employees and Clients by Rob Roe
Further Reading[edit source]
- Evan's Theory of Agile Constraints
- Structuring Your Business for Agility
- Human Resources - The Secret to Business Agility
- Agile Contracts
- Build a network of viable teams for business agility
- Certain Uncertainty by Evan Leybourn
- Innovation culture is not a fancy hub by Jaroslav Procházka
- BOSSAnova - Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy by Jutta Eckstein
Books & Book Reviews[edit source]
- The Goal - A Process of Ongoing Improvement
- Reinventing Organisations
- Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy
Join the Business Agility Community[edit | edit source]
If you'd like to continue the conversation with like minded individuals around Business Agility Ways of Working, join the Business Agility slack community. Specifically the #future-of-work channel.
Library Steward[edit | edit source]
This section is currently un-stewarded. If you have a passion for this space and would like to take ownership for the guidance and insights within, please contact Evan Leybourn. The stewards of the Business Agility Library are leaders in their field and we quite literally couldn't create such amazing content without their support. These people & organisations are leaders in the community and, through their actions and insights, continue to expand the horizon of business agility for us all.