3 Moves To Improve Your Business’ Agility Right Now
According to a survey by CA Technologies, over 75 percent of business executives credit business agility in helping businesses stay ahead of their competitors, delivering the right products/services to market, and improving the decision-making process. Yet, most participants also admit that while businesses adopt agile business practices in some form, their adoption is not too ‘broad or deep’. For most, there remains a severe disconnect between their IT practices and the rest of their organization – a key hindrance in achieving true business agility. Around eight in 10 business organizations say they are embracing business agility in their software development arena. However, for organizations to reap the benefits of agility and survive in today’s modern, fast-paced environment, they must embrace the idea of agility in all forms and levels – from their I.T. department to their sales, finance, and all aspects of their market research activities.
Embrace Continuous Reviews Of Outsourcing And Automation
By embracing innovation, you ensure your business is always moving forward. Otherwise, you risk leaving your business vulnerable by having outdated business practices and obsolete protocols. Innovation plays a key role in a business becoming more agile. To embrace innovation in your business, decide on what areas of your business need improving. Another great tip is designating a team for innovation.
You can also invest in expanding your workforce’s knowledge of innovation in the market place. When deciding on what business processes to innovate, consider what process could benefit from increased efficiency, such as delivery, agile supply chain, or product innovation. Certain repetitive processes like payroll, customer service, or automated file transfers may also benefit from an overhaul.
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Promote A Culture Of Autonomy
If you have a chain of command and a workplace culture that requires employees to seek permission from their superior, you are limiting agility in your business. While the establishment of the hierarchy is beneficial for responsibility and a clear decision-making process, it can also hinder innovation, collaboration and initiative from your employees. Encouraging a culture of autonomy is not just beneficial for agility; it is essential for businesses that will be undertaking transformational changes.
To empower employees and introduce autonomy in the workplace, start by having clear communication with your employees. Ensure that every employee is clear on their goals and that individual goals all fit into the bigger picture in the company. Create opportunities to reinforce these common goals throughout the process so that employees are reminded and bonded over a shared purpose. Next, ensure your employees not only have adequate knowledge, but the right tools to do their jobs. If you are worried about the loss of control or budgetary control, work to define clear boundaries about tasks that may need managerial sign-offs. Otherwise, it could be as simple as including updated employee training or access to new software for increased efficiency. To help managers still retain some form of control, consider the use of resource management software or weekly task check-ins so that you can keep an eye on resource allocation, project progress, or budgetary impacts while giving your employees the freedom to work.
Create And Revisit Your Contingency Plans
If you want to improve your agility as a business, you need to be ready to respond to changes as they occur. Almost 60 percent of small and medium-sized businesses do not have an emergency plan. Contingency and business continuity planning helps businesses lay out how they will respond to significant changes. While it may not be needed, taking the time to map out a recovery route for your business now dramatically improves your business’ response time and ability to survive. The longer it takes your business to recover from disasters or shocks, the more money you could be losing. According to Garner, each minute of downtime could be costing your business up to $5,600.
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A great contingency plan always starts with a tailored risk assessment, according to your industry. Each industry will find itself more exposed to certain risks. A risk assessment will help you identify which ones are your top threats including power outages, supply disruption, or cybersecurity attacks. Recently, Agile launched Agility Planner, a business continuity feature that helps businesses streamline and simplify their business continuity process. The new innovation even allows you to create and share summary reports of selected performance metrics with your stakeholders, making the collaborative process easier.
Finally, be sure to revisit your business’ contingency plans regularly. Just as market conditions are changing continuously, so are the risks that your businesses are facing. Your backup plans should always be adjusted to reflect this. Simply put, being agile in business is about how well you can anticipate and react to change. After all, change is the only constant.
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