Business Agility

Business Agility – What it is and What Does it Take?


April 5, 2018 9:45 am - 10:35 am

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Ram Rayakamath

We all have heard it. Business Agility-The ability to walk on water, swim without kicking the water, technology as disruptor and differentiator and how Agile is the messiah that will save us from the extinction. The more we follow discussions, we see the agile community bickering on why one model is better than rest. Which begs the question- What is business Agility? Is this all tech driven? How can we bring in Business Agility and how does this tie into Agile. agility and agile mindset?

Let us start with a real life scenario: You are the sole owner/stakeholder of a large Railway Corporation. Your company transports 8 Billion passengers (yes, Billion with a capital B) a year or approx 22 million passengers every day (That is transporting the entire population of State of NY/Entire population of Florida/ half the population of State of California everyday). Besides these 1.01 Billion tons of Frieght is transported. 8500 railway stations, 14000 Locomotives, chughing a quarter million freight coaches and 100,000 passenger coaches over 79,000 miles of railway tracks ( Enough to wrap earths diameter ten times) and employing over 1.3 million employees with a total annual revenue of 43 Billion USD. Inspite of virtual monopoly, the business is suffering. The trains are invariably late, late not by minutes, but by hours. Despite significant investments, the infrastructure is aging. While some lines are booked months in advance, many lines run with 50% or less seats booked. Improving road connectivity is encouraging people to drive and low cost/discount airways are posing a significant challenge in highly profitable lines. What can the corporation do and how does “Business Agility” make a difference in this context?

The presentation talks about this case study and ponders on…
1. What is the simple 9 word definition of business Agility?
2. Agility focuses on value- What is value?
3. Anatomy of Value-How optimizing value may still not ensure business viability.
4. The holy grail of value and its close connection to Business agility.
5. the technology myth – Technology is *not* the agility nirvana. blackberry and Apple both had mobile technology but how Apple dominated the smartphone segment. It is ‘a’ enabler, but not ‘the’ enabler. Why business agility is far more bigger universe than technology led Agile transformations.
6. Agile mindset and Business agility. The cardinal link.
7. How ‘Agile Mindset’ unleashes business agility and how non-tech companies (as in case of above) leveraged Business agility to quickly pivot and domintaed the market.