The idea that agile is applicable for innovation but not for day-to-day business is simply short-sighted. Perhaps the reason the authors see agility in this one category is that many organizations are so limited by their own hierarchical systems that they cannot implement the changes needed.
Case in point: the majority of our working day is spent using the largest data source known to any organization: email. These critical elements are locked into an application that further obscures two-dimensional views of hand-keyed data. We perpetuate this because it is easy to ignore its limitations and any team member can source material. We move from one platform to another: copy, paste, repeat. Then, we work furiously to condense the many data sources to create a single document and pray that the reports are accurate, and senior leadership makes good decisions. This is merely hoping; not smart business, and certainly not agile.
Business agility requires people and systems integrated at the onset, regardless of how or where the data, knowledge and tasks are held. The acronym OODA is used among fighter pilots to observe, orient, decide and act. In order to make business agile, we observe that business is hampered by cumbersome systems that no longer serve us. We orient ourselves to apply a repeatable, dynamic neuro-system that incorporates all data sources. We decide on a course of management and act to allow users to task the responsible parties, guide business flow, pivot as our needs change, track and analyze results, and incorporate repeatability.
The other simple and painful truth is that current business systems in place serve their creators better than they serve their users. Our mission at CORAS is to put business agility in the hands of anyone, from the sole entrepreneur to enterprise corporations. It’s a great beginning to engage an agile team, but without arming them with the tools they need, and evolving beyond what is inefficient and labor intensive, you will continue to wallow in two-dimensions without the processes for speed and performance that are the hallmarks of business agility.
Moe Jafari, CEO, CORAS