Business Agility for the Digital Enterprise

Business Agility is a continuous process by which enterprises adapt to, or drive disruptive changes in their customers and markets.
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Business Agility

What is Business Agility?

Business Agility results when a digital enterprise adapts to a rapidly changing and complex world.  Business Agility is a continuous process by which enterprises adapt to (sense and respond), or drive disruptive changes in their customers and markets. This is done by leveraging digital competencies to create new business models, products, and services while improving operational efficiencies and organizational performance. In its ultimate form, Business Agility envisions an ability to modify dynamically the concepts and structures of the business itself for maintaining relevance in the context of a dramatically changing, complex and uncertain operational environment.

The Five Levels of a Digital Business Ecosystem

The five levels, each with its own set of capabilities that build one on top of another, are: waterfall/traditional, hybrid Agile (a combination of waterfall and Agile), regular delivery, continuous delivery, and continuous exploration. The five DBEs provide insight into which process-building blocks to apply.

Business agility is the goal of nearly every enterprise today, but it is proving an exceedingly difficult one to achieve. The already complex undertaking is made more so by the plethora of choices in the diversity of frameworks and methodologies pushed by pundits, vendors, consultancies, and industry researchers. This complexity emphasizes that we must be able to define business agility before we try to achieve it. Knowing what it is helps provide the destination to which we can attach our point of departure and, ultimately, leads to a roadmap of how we can move from the current state to the desired state.

Five Digital Business Ecosystem Levels on the Road to Business Agility

The good news is that figuring out what choice to make from the potential minefield of complexity becomes easier when you have a standard by which to assess your current level of business agility based on specific indicators.
As shown, there are five Digital Business Ecosystem levels (each with its own set of capabilities that build one on top of another):

  1. Waterfall/traditional (the lowest level of agility)
  2. Hybrid Agile (a combination of waterfall and Agile)
  3. Regular delivery
  4. Continuous delivery
  5. Continuous exploration (the highest level of agility, which hints at that moving goal mentioned earlier)

Using the Five Ecosystems

Your Enterprise Improvement And now to the meat of the matter: how do you use these five ecosystems to help improve business agility? First, you must know that each DBE has seven clusters of capabilities:

  1. Business agility mindset
  2. Collaboration
  3. Flow/lifecycle
  4. Delivery
  5. Adaptation (meaning responsiveness or sense and respond)
  6. Value
  7. Continuous improvement
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