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How to support business agility for your organization

Rachel Hakoune 7 min read
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Keeping up with constantly shifting consumer needs helps your business remain competitive in the marketplace. Business agility lets your staff collaborate in ways that make adapting to new needs and rising to new challenges easier.

In this article, you’ll learn what business agility is and how agile practices benefit companies. We’ll also share two templates for use with Work OS you can use when embracing agile processes.

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What is business agility?

Business agility is the ability to make quick, sudden changes when you identify new customer or market needs. That agility must occur at all levels of an organization, including:

  • Culture: The culture of an agile business organization is one of fluidity and movement.
  • Leadership: Leadership supports change in proactive and effective ways.
  • Governance: The policies and procedures that govern processes and teams leave room for agile responses.

Why is business agility important?

Business agility lets you overcome traditional obstacles to organizational change by making it easier for people to collaborate across departments, gain approval from leadership for suggested changes, and implement those improvements quickly.

[block]Businesses that work toward agility can improve customer experience by up to 30%.[/block]

While improving the customer or user experience is the primary motivation for many businesses that implement agile business models, the employee experience also counts. Engaged employees are more productive and invested in your business objectives. Enterprise agility can improve employee engagement by over 20%, resulting in lower turnover and reduced training and onboarding costs.

Improved communication between team members also lets your staff identify concerns quickly while coming up with collaborative solutions or approaches to emerging opportunities.

The best way to understand the benefits of agile operating models is to see them in action. Let’s look at an example of business agility to understand how it works.

What is an example of business agility?

An organization might encounter an emerging trend that results in new customer needs and expectations. The traditional method of implementing change is for one department to generate ideas and hand them off to another for review. As the original idea is handed off, each department that touches it may contribute objections or improvements before forwarding it on through the process. You can see how this process might take time.

An agile business would connect these partners through a digital hub so the original idea reaches everyone involved in the decision-making process. Rather than sending ideas up or through the organization chart, teams discuss ideas and how to implement them in fewer meetings. Because all departments are on the same page during discussions, department managers can better communicate the implementation of new strategies directly to teams.

Understanding business agile principles and how to incorporate them into real-world scenarios like the example above is the first step toward those performance wins.

What are the principles of business agility?

One way to support business agility in an organization is to reduce unnecessary policies and procedures. So it makes sense that prescribed principles don’t exist for business agility. Instead, you can look to some of the principles below as a guide for what business agility requires:

  • Transparency: Agility requires that everyone in an organization can contribute ideas, enact change across appropriate levels, and move with leadership and fellow departments as pivots occur. Transparency and ongoing communication support these capabilities. Consider how daily huddles, intranet portals, and project management software can help create transparency.
  • Speed: In agile business organizations, perfection gives way to speed. A minimum viable product and fast time to market can be primary goals in many situations, and this approach can be especially important in times of crisis. Agile organizations can make fast though not flawless adjustments rapidly to address client, consumer, or community needs in changing environments, getting needed products to market just in time.
  • Flexibility: Agility requires room for movement — literally and figuratively — as a business becomes more results-based and less time-based. For example, do you need your teams to have set working hours or do you need them to produce results? Agile organizations question traditions like set working hours and common policies, creating more flexible operating procedures whenever possible.
  • Empowerment: Proactive response to customer needs or problem-solving opportunities requires empowerment. Team members at every level must have the ability — as well as the knowledge and training — to make decisions and enact change appropriate for their roles and levels.
  • Focus on the customer: Agile organizations respond quickly, but it’s critical to know what you’re responding to. In most cases, the response is to a customer need. Customers may be internal or external, though many agile businesses tend to keep the end customer in mind at all levels of production or processes.

Building these principles into your business requires consistent, effective communication, transparency into efforts at all levels, and an opportunity for employees to take ownership and be responsible for their effective areas. A comprehensive Work OS can help you support these processes.

Get started supports business agility Work OS offers everything your business needs to manage workflows, software development, project management, task management, and operations. Whether you’re transitioning into a more agile approach to business or looking for more efficient ways to streamline collaborative processes, having a single Work OS makes collaboration easier.

Team members from various departments can work seamlessly together, creating and tracking projects, assigning and completing tasks, tracking customer interactions and feedback, and managing human resources functions.

Customizable boards, workflow automations, and other features on help you reach operational objectives. For example, we offer templates designed to help you pursue specific goals, such as business agility.

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Related templates to business agility

Some businesses achieve better agility by implementing Agile processes. Our agile planning template lets you divide projects into several sprints and set clear goals during each sprint for team members. Team members can communicate what they need to work more effectively, and leadership can set expectations, including milestones, for the project.

Our Scrum template lets you manage sprints on, making it a great template to use after the agile planning template. The Scrum Master can see what everyone has accomplished, where team members are struggling, and whether a project requires changes in direction.

Understanding the difference between agility and Agile is important when you’re implementing these principles and philosophies. We’ve addressed a couple of frequently asked questions to help separate the two concepts.

FAQs about business agility

What are business agility values?

Values associated with business agility can vary by organization. Common business agility values might include culture, leadership, strategy, governance, people, and operations. Common values of agile businesses can include empowerment, customer-centric focus, transparency, and prioritizing speed and flexibility over perfection.

What is Agile?

Agile is a software development and project management approach or philosophy. It involves working in small, quick increments that help drive solutions to completion or market faster than with traditional processes.

Is Scrum part of Agile?

Yes, Scrum can be part of Agile. Agile is a philosophy of business or project management. Scrum is a specific method teams can use to engage in agile processes, project management, and the development of products and services.

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Whether you’re just looking into business agility or you’re working to survive and thrive with scaled agile processes, the right Work OS helps you create a foundation for success. offers workflows and other features that let you invest in cross-functional agility for a more stable, responsive organization.

Rachel Hakoune is a Content Marketing Manager at Originally from Atlanta, she is finding the balance between southern charm and Israeli chutzpah.
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