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Business Agility - Do you have it in you?

Keeping in mind the current economic situation, global enterprises more than at any point in history need to innovate & drive operational excellence bearing in mind effective time to market constraints.  

The past few years have seen a large number of enterprises embrace 'agile' practices to become more responsive to business needs. Most organizations want to adopt enterprise IT agility for quicker time-to-market owing to frequent releases and shorter feedback cycles, thus resulting in realizing early business value. 

As a matter of fact, even after adopting agile in few projects, enterprises are 
  • Unable to realize / validate the business case quickly 
  • Still not responsive to market changes and customer demands - release cadence has not improved 
  • Still figuring out ways to better utilize the capacity for building new features - More than 70% of the IT capacity is utilized for support, maintenance and defect fixing 
  • Unable to realize business benefits of productivity and quality gains at the team / project level 
Why is this phenomenon prevalent? Why are agile projects unable to deliver the intended benefit at organization level?

In any medium to large enterprises, the software product lines are complex, there are multiple dependent parts, which need to come together to make an effective software release.  Thus, Enterprise Agile is not multiple project executions by multiple agile teams in an organization. Adopting Enterprise Agile is challenging with unchanged Organization structure and processes. 

Most of the organizations are unable to scale agile from team ->program-> enterprise level due to lack of right business alignment among Portfolio, program and projects to work for a common goal.  Each agile team creates a silo organization, and absence of one single organization wide agile process and standards, make the going difficult.  Lack of on ground agile engineering solutions like Continuous delivery, code quality, ALM, Automated testing etc... creates further obstacles for collaboration. 

To bring Business Agility, Enterprises need to break existing silos and implement a strategic roadmap that pervades agile principles into all enterprise functions - business, information technology and support. Bringing Agility and alignment to Portfolio and Programs and Projects using a proper framework, agile systems and process, agile tools and technologies, and an effective change management process is the need of the hour. Change management is probably the most crucial aspect as it steers the impact of agile on various groups and functions and allows organizations to design new processes and adopt better methodologies to evolve true enterprise business agility.


One of the aspects that i feel Agile fails for a large product organization is the current organization structure and also creating a effective product backlog.

Both are varied disciplines and each require a change in thinking from all the stakeholders which is achieved in few projects. Stakeholders here stand for Sales, PLM, Technical Marketing and so on. It is not good only for one part of the organization to develop a Agile model which cannot scale.

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