Last Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Panel Event on the topic of Business Agility.  A huge thank you to our panelists, Michaele Gardner, Lead Agile Coach at Target, Travis Klinker, Director, Agile & Engineering Enablement at Target, Laura Powers, Chief Operating Officer at Business Agility Institute, for sharing their knowledge on business agility. Thank you to everyone who joined us as well! 

How would you define “Business Agility” as opposed to Agile? 

The term business agility can be deceiving. The panelists talked about how to think of business agility as enterprise agility. It’s important to look across the whole corporation and see what process fits them best. To a customer, business agility is getting what you want and getting it when you want it. To companies, business agility is constantly working on how your company delivers to their customers. Business is a series of experiences and what data you are trying to prove.  

What are some critical success factors that would help set the stage to enable the entire enterprise? 

Be very patient and persistent to enable the entire enterprise. It’s important to identify if there are problems within the organization that people are currently seeking help for. Once you start with the pain of one thing, something else will also start to pop up. Start with something to solve and work with like-minded people to fix it. One simple tool will not help your company become agile.  

What are some lessons learned in approaching Business Partners? 

15% of teams are successful when using business agility. It’s important to think about how you work with business partners on how you all want to adopt business agility. The first step in business agility is people need to feel pain in order to make a change. Also, don’t overwork your coaching team. Business agility is a team effort 

 Some key notes that the panelists wanted everyone to leave with were: 

  • Take advantage of this virtual world. 
  • Don’t stop the big fight but if you are continuously pushing a boulder uphill, start to look for other opportunities.  
  • Use the network you have around you. 

Other recourses to learn more about business agility: 

  • Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility- Johnathan Smart 
  • Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them- Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini