Five Roadblocks to implementing Business Agility

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Peter Maddison
July 6, 2022
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Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about five specific benefits that Business Agility can bring to your organization. Among them are:

While Business Agility brings many benefits, implementing it effectively is a challenge. When adopting Business Agility, businesses are bound to encounter both internal and external challenges.

These challenges must be addressed if you wish to get the most benefits from implementing business agility into your organization. Below we discuss five of these challenges. We have also discussed these on our Definitely, Maybe Agile podcast. Let us take a look at these obstacles, and how to work through them. 

Lack of Feedback Loops

As we’ve established in a previous article, feedback loops are essential to an effective implementation of Business Agility. These feedback loops inform the organization of what the customers are looking for in a product. Without these feedback loops, creating or improving a product based on what the customer wants will be much more challenging. 

These feedback loops also have to be fast, accurate, and transparent. If a feedback loop is too slow, too much noise, or isn’t visible to the team, then it can produce unreliable data.

Confusing Speed with Focus

Businesses often fall into the trap of confusing speed with focus. This happens when too many tasks are taken on simultaneously.

Your business only generates value when your products are in the hands of customers. Having too much work-in-progress will delay this from happening and will slow your organization down. You need to stop starting and start finishing. This means breaking the work down into smaller pieces so you can focus on continuously delivering incremental value.

You need to shift your company’s priority from getting as many tasks done as possible to focusing on and finishing the right ones.

No Communication with Customers

You need to communicate with your customers if you want to feel the effects of Business Agility. As we’ve mentioned previously, feedback is what allows you to continually improve your product so that your customers will keep buying from your company. You won’t be able to receive feedback if you don’t have an open line of communication with them.

Failing to Develop Trust

Business Agility needs leadership and culture that value the people within the organization. Talented individuals can provide many things to a company, and they’ll be more willing to stay if your organization treats them as a priority.

Showing that you value your team members has to start during the interview process before they’re even hired. Anything done during the initial stages of the hiring process will leave lasting impressions on potential team members. 

Your company’s leadership also has to show that they’re willing to trust their team members, regardless of seniority. This establishes a more welcoming and trusting culture within the company.

Not learning from failure

Resiliency is necessary not only for a company to protect its bottom line, but for its overall survival as well. You have to know how your business generates value, and how to ensure that value is always being generated, even if the system is in a degraded state.

To do this, you have to examine and understand every part of your systems, persevere through system failure, and then rebuild to improve for the future.

Conclusion

We will be taking an even more in-depth look into each of these challenges over the next five weeks, explaining what exactly they mean for your business and how to combat them.

            

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