Insight
Business Agility by Survey: What recent results say about success, challenges, and trends

>>Business Agility by Survey: What recent results say about success, challenges, and trends

SDLC Partners’ role is helping clients with many of the challenges revealed through these two surveys. If you’d like to discuss how these results relate to your situation, contact us.

Did you know that 73 percent of organizations believe agility is their desired state? And, that 52 percent want to use agile to transform their entire organization – beyond IT?*  

We took a look at two recent surveys* on Enterprise (or Business) Agility to uncover any relevant patterns that might influence how you approach your organization’s own plans to become more agile. 

Spoiler Alert! We are giving you the “good stuff” right up front.

Here are the highlights and patterns but keep reading for a deeper dive: 

  1. There continues to be confusion around what “agility” really means and how organizations should approach it. 
  2. Agility is going beyond IT as more organizations pursue its values and objectives in other areas like finance, human resources, and more. 
  3. Most organizations have been “transforming” using business/enterprise agility for an average of 3-5 years. 
  4. Most organizations view their agility maturity as low. 
  5. Organizational size increases complexity, which makes agility adoption a more significant challenge. 
  6. Leadership adoption and buy-in will influence more substantial cultural change and is key to successful adoption anywhere within the organization.

Before we jump into some of the results from the reviewed surveys, it is helpful to address insight number one listed above. Enterprise (or Business) Agility (EA) is about more than speed-to-market, realizing the product roadmap faster, responding to market changes quicker.  

The truth is that the focus and main purpose of agility is to create a continuous learning organization. One that is highly adaptive and can innovatto survive over the long-term. Through continuous learning, an organization can deliver more valuable outcomes and, at the same time, develop its team and unleash their ability for mastery. 

Through continuous learning, an organization can deliver more valuable outcomes and, at the same time, develop its team and unleash their ability for mastery. 

At its core, agility yields flexibility, collaboration, and strength in the face of chaos. To achieve the productive outcomes borne from agility, an organization needs two capabilities – dynamism and stability. Only through a proper approach to EA, can an organization acquire the ability to move fast and change quickly built upon a stable foundation where some things never change.

As you read key outcomes from the surveys, compare your organization’s experience and maturity. Make a note of where your experience is similar and where it may be radically different, yielding important points for assessing what you should do next in the pursuit of agility.

As you read key outcomes from the surveys, compare your organization’s experience and maturity.

SDLC Partners’ role is helping clients with many of the challenges revealed through these two surveys. If you’d like to discuss how these results relate to your situation, contact us.

Research Highlights

The Business Agility Report surveyed organizations from 29 countries, across 24 industries with the US representing 29 percent of organizations surveyed. The goal of their research was to identify self-reported maturity levels with agile transformations and to highlight the challenges and benefits from their agility experience.  

  • Most organizations rate their current business agility fluency relatively low 
  • But they have enthusiasm and hope for the future 
  • They are struggling with transforming entrenched culture and processes  
  • Other challenges include developing new funding models and transforming HR, Finance, and other supporting functions 
  • As organizations grow beyond 150 people, they install more processes and systems to handle their complexity, creating more significant challenges for agility adoption 
  • Top three reported challenges faced with agility adoption include: 
    – leadership
    – lack of buy-in
    – inappropriate organization design  
  • They are experiencing tangible benefits from their investment in business agilityincluding: 
  • better ways of working 
  • increased employee and customer satisfaction 
  • improved market performance 

Here are the results of how the 394 respondents self-assessed within two areas.

Top 5 business agility competencies – where a percentage of organizations feel they are doing well: 

  • 55% – Customer Channels 
  • 54% – Pride  
  • 53% – Understand the Customer  
  • 53% – Agile Teams 
  • 51% – Agile Organization 

Lowest five business agility competencies – where a percentage of organizations feel they are not doing as well: 

  • 44% – Supporting Function
  • 45% – Supply Chains & Network 
  • 45% – Funding Models  
  • 45% – Relentless Improvement
  • 45% – Market Experimentation

For the organizations who self-assessed at the highest levels of agility maturity, 52 percent of them are transforming their entire organization; beyond IT.   

The State of Business Agility 2018 survey was released in late 2018 and highlights similar and differing findings: 

  • 73view agile as a desired state 
  • 82% said it would give them the ability to respond more quickly to new opportunities 
  • This survey uncovered the most significant challenges faced are related to collaborating and delivering the right products at the right time 
  • 53% believe agility mostly represents the ability to sense and respond to internal and external business conditions quickly 
  • 33% felt it is the method that they use to develop software 
  • 32% believe it means outcomes from any department are created faster – products, projects, programs 
  • 29% believe it is the project and product management process they use 
  • 11% think it’s just a buzzword and isn’t sure it means anything 

What is your reaction to these two, recent surveys? Where are you amongst the respondents?  

We invite you to stay tuned to our future EA Insights pieces as we lay out the principles of agility and what we’ve seen work for all organizations to adopt and scale. 

SDLC Partners’ role is helping clients with many of the challenges revealed through these two surveys. If you’d like to discuss how these results relate to your situation, contact us.

About SDLC Partners

SDLC Partners, L.P. is a Pittsburgh-based consultancy. With over 400 employees, we deliver high-performance digital solutions that create business and technology transformation.  As a high-growth firm, we have garnered awards and attention from the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Inc. 5000, the Pittsburgh 100, and E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

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