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Agile Strategy Management

“Agility means that you are faster than your competition. Agile time frames are measured in weeks and months, not years.” (Michael Hugos).

Traditional methods advocate a sequential chain of different activities, from specifications to validation according to a predetermined schedule. They aim to better predict how things “should” happen. Unfortunately, this reassuring vision is far from the reality of the business.

Agile methods advocate the adoption of an iterative and incremental cycle allowing a team to adapt to the context and the changes that do not fail to arise during a project.

Collaboration between people and integration of teams in one space will ensure that all people will focus the energies and expertise on the goal to achieve

Organizational agility is the permanent resilience of the business in response to an environment characterized by complexity, turbulence and uncertainty.

It is the ability to quickly respond to change but also to act and control the latter through major adaptability, innovation and learning.

To be agile, the company must:

–        Listening to its stakeholders

–        Observe the changes in their expectations

–        Identify capability gaps

–        React quickly to anticipate their new behaviors

–        Suggest, prioritize, & optimize use of human resources, budgets, and assets

–       Communicate, communicate, communicate

Agile_Strategy_Management

An agile company is characterized by three main characteristics:

–        Its ability to anticipate the consequences of its actions and decisions by providing, planning and constructing scenarios;

–        Its ability to innovate in order just to improve, make a difference and change only what is necessary;

–        Its ability to cooperate with its ecosystem by aligning with a common sense and encourage the cooperation of individuals who compose it internally.

In fact, to be agile, we must consider that the permanent evolution is “normal case” and not an “anomaly” to be corrected.

Become an agile company in its processes, practices, organization and governance is to adopt a corporate culture that refuses inertia and favors the anticipation and adaptation to the market and its customers.

Agile Strategy Management refers to iterative, incremental method of managing the design and the execution of the strategy in a highly flexible and interactive manner. This flexibility is created by building agility into the initiation, development, implementation, and governance of your strategy management process.

“Making a distinction between strategy and execution can do great damage to a corporation.” (HBR, June 2008)

In today’s competitive world, long-term strategies cannot be taken for granted. With technological advancement, time to market is shrinking which results in continuous validation of strategies through constant customer feedback and new competitor’s innovation. All elements of the strategic lifecycle need to be iterative.

The methodology and tooling used for Agile Strategy Management have to guarantee constant insight in the progress of work at each stage of strategy development and execution.

Successful strategic outcomes are best achieved when those responsible for execution are also part of the planning or formulation process.

Conclusions

Agility is the ability to respond to change, and even encourage it, to better adapt to the environment that is increasingly turbulent: in this age of information, competitive advantage comes from the speed and flexibility.

For a company to realize the benefits of its strategy, it should develop and execute it following an agile approach. It will help to transform the value it produces into a constantly improving business strategy.

By combining this “Agile” approach and strategic planning tools and processes, it will be much easier and faster to identify the real information needs in an organization which may result in a much more efficient, faster and cheaper process to understand, monitor and improve your business.