Let's Build Agility Into Business

  • October 23, 2020
NTT DATA Services blog 12

2020 has been a year of change. And while my COVID-beard might be long gone, the socio-economic uncertainty remains. We are all looking for ways to adjust. Whether rethinking customer experiences, reducing fixed costs, or embracing a distributed workforce, staying nimble will be critical to ongoing survival. The winners will be the organizations that have taken steps to build this type of agility into every aspect of their business, from product development to supply chain to customer experiences.

In this environment, business and technology leaders need to come together to adopt new ways of doing business that embrace changing market demands and business realities. Now we need to build Agility into business.

A global pandemic forces change, but it is by no means ideal. Modern organizations require a sustainable means for understanding the customer’s needs, prioritizing work, and executing in a way that delivers lasting value across their business. Considered “the operating system for business agility,” the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) from Scaled Agile, Inc. intends to inject Agile concepts into the enterprise and help them compete or better serve their citizens in our digital age.

Building business agility
Just this month, Scaled Agile recognized NTT DATA as only the third organization in the world to achieve the elite Global Transformation Partner (GTP) status — the highest partner level for SAFe® consultancies. By reaching this level, NTT DATA is committed to providing the solutions and expertise that will drive digital transformation while creating enterprise-wide business agility for our clients worldwide.

Business agility is an organization’s ability to compete and thrive by quickly responding to market changes or emerging opportunities with new and innovative business solutions. Often this can involve the use of new technologies, but they are not always required. Business agility is about understanding changing needs and then adjusting, reprioritizing, or even re-thinking our work to address these needs.

Transforming business models through business agility
Here is a recent example: 8 months ago, most retailers were still experimenting with click-and-collect business models that allowed customers to buy online and pick-up in the store. Today, everyone from big-box retail to local restaurants has embraced this channel’s need and have reinvented business processes, mobile apps, and parking lots to facilitate its adoption.

As a consumer, it is clear which retailers invested in building agile concepts into their business models. These businesses quickly pivoted and expanded the customer channel in response to new shopping habits and ensured the safet of both customers and employees. It was also clear which organizations struggled to change because it was reflected in the experiences of their customers, staff, as well as their sales.

Questions to ask yourself
Is your organization an “agile business” ready to adapt to the next change? Consider the following questions:

  • Do your products meet the current and future needs of your customers or citizens?
  • Are innovation and continuous learning built into your operations?
  • Do you understand how the portfolios, programs, and projects across your enterprise are interconnected and dependent on each other?
  • Do you understand the activities you perform to deliver value to your customers or citizens?

Did you answer “No”? Then it is time to build agility into your operations.

Most organizations are familiar with Agile Software Development (read this free HfS report for more information). Many have even launched successful agile teams and have seen a positive impact on software delivery. It is time to replicate this success across the enterprise, and as the latest SAFe® Global Transformation Partner NTT DATA is ready to help build agility to your business.

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Matt Leach

On his first day as an engineer, someone decided that Matt Leach should write requirements. He soon discovered that project success is not just about technology, but a holistic solution that solves the right problem. Since then, he has helped organizations better understand their business and their customers while delivering solutions that delight both. Currently, Mr. Leach is a Vice President in NTT DATA’s Digital, Applications and Information Management Practice where he leads the Business Analysis and Project Management Practices.

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