What Is Business Agility and How To Improve It
Updated February 3, 2023
Business agility refers to adaptability, which can help companies remain competitive and successful when market conditions change. You can achieve business agility by implementing effective strategies and creating goals that reference the company mission for guidance. Learning the different ways to improve business agility can help you develop a detailed strategy for your organization.
In this article, we define business agility, explain its importance, identify how to measure it and provide tips for improvements.
What is business agility?
Business agility is the ability to adapt to changing business situations involving markets, consumers and production. An agile business may be able to thrive and achieve a competitive advantage in spite of these changes because it's able to evolve with the industry and its customers. Business agility requires organizations to improve operations relating to areas like technology, finances and law. Organizations can also improve procedures, production, marketing, security and customer service.
Why is business agility important?
Business agility is important because this flexibility can keep an organization operational when changes occur. Since the market in most industries can change without warning, it's important to be able to adapt and adjust your business strategy to remain successful in a variable environment. Business agility is also important in providing customer satisfaction. Consumers are more likely to be loyal to a company if its products consistently improve.
How to measure business agility
Here are steps to help measure your organization's business agility:
1. Define company mission
The company mission is a statement that reflects the organization's core values and a vision that you want to accomplish. Having a mission is an important part of creating a business plan because it helps determine how to make decisions and informs the development of operational strategies.
You can define a company mission by identifying what is important to your organization and choosing a long-term goal that you want to accomplish through your company. For example, if you are a tech company, your company mission may be to create innovative products and make it easier to store and access information with technological devices.
2. Create goals
Using your company mission as a guide, you can create goals that help achieve your vision. Your goals also help the organization to become flexible and adapt to changes in the business’s environment. When creating a goal, ensure that you can measure its outcome. You can do this by creating a deadline and identifying relevant metrics to track throughout the implementation process. You can use metrics such as conversion rates, retention, revenue or customer satisfaction to measure your goals. Organizations can use SMART goals to create effective plans.
3. Develop a strategy
A strategy is a series of steps that guide you or a team toward accomplishing a goal. To develop a strategy, determine which tasks the team must complete in order to achieve a certain outcome. Then, define each task so that a team can perform each step in the strategy. Developing a strategy also requires you to determine which employees are a part of accomplishing the goal, which can help delegate tasks. A strategy also provides a timeline and schedule for a project and its tasks.
4. Implement your strategy
The next step in being able to measure the agility of your business is to implement the strategy among your employees. Successful strategies can positively affect the work environment, employees and the products the company produces, which can lead to customer satisfaction. Implementing a strategy requires leaders who can provide guidance and support to employees when they are experiencing a change. It's important to strengthen communication and ensure that employees receive straightforward instructions so that they’re able to complete their tasks.
Related: What Is Strategy Implementation?
5. Use key metrics to assess goals
Once you implement and execute a strategy, you use the metrics you previously identified to gauge its success. If you accomplish the goal, you might use these same metrics when implementing similar strategies in the future. If you don't accomplish your goal, consider revisiting how to best track the changes you want to implement.
Tips on how to improve business agility
Here are tips on how to improve business agility in your organization:
Prioritize the customers
Keeping a successful business relies on having customers and being able to grow your customer base. In addition to providing value to the customer via marketing, production and distribution, optimizing customer service can also help ensure that the company is prioritizing the needs of its customers. You can request feedback from customers with surveys to learn more about their desires and needs. Increasing customer engagement through social media, email campaigns and in-person interactions can also have a positive effect on customer satisfaction.
Invest in new technologies
Technological advancements are one of the primary causes of business change and innovation. Companies may remain competitive by investing in these new technologies and incorporating technology into their business operations. For example, updating operating systems can help processes become more efficient, which can contribute to faster production and distribution of the product to customers. Technology can also help improve customer interactions. For example, social media platforms provide an inexpensive and easily accessible method to connect with consumers.
Develop strong leadership within the company
Skilled leaders can help ease transitions and promote positivity when the company is changing. An effective leader can introduce innovation and develop ways to improve both company processes and employee skills. Some qualities of skilled leaders include effective communication and clarity of ideas.
Strengthen the workforce
Companies that want to be flexible might prioritize hiring agile employees. Improving hiring processes helps find people who can contribute to the company mission and enhance the company culture. Providing extensive training and professional development opportunities is also beneficial to employees and can help them develop skill sets to improve business agility.
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