Business agility – the ability of an organization to adjust and adapt to shifting environments and priorities, is becoming better understoodBusiness leaders are recognizing that they need to be willing to adapt and adjust their plans regularly to ensure that their prioritized investments remain aligned with the strategic prioritiesAnd they are embracing the idea that those priorities will themselves evolve and shift with evolving operating conditions. 

You can’t deliver business agility alone

But leaders can’t deliver business agility.  Or at least, they can’t do it alone. Harvard Business Review recently published five reasons why strategy execution fails. Key among those is “lack of organizational support”.  That is, the various stakeholders in the execution of your – work teams, project managers, and so on, don’t support the strategyAnd if your stakeholders don’t support strategy on day one, they certainly aren’t going to be contributors to your business agility as that strategy shifts and adjusts.

Why is this such a problemIn most cases, it’s nothing to do with a disconnect between what your leaders believe should be done, and what your employees think should be the priorityRather it comes down to communication, or more accurately, the lack of it across the various elements of your organization. 

 

How to achieve business agility? 

For business agility to be successful, you must be able to consistently and clearly communicate: 

  • The adjustments and changes that you are making to your priorities, goals, investments, and work. 
  • Why you are making those adjustments. 

Too often, you will likely find that only the first of those elements is communicated.  That’s not because you are deliberately withholding information, or managing work in an inappropriate manner.  It’s simply a lack of clarity within your strategic planning and delivery process.  Simply put, you can’t communicate what you don’t have clarity over. 

This makes it very difficult for your teams and project managers to incorporate the changes in an effective and efficient way.  You have told them what must happen, but they don’t have any context as to how their work is going to benefit the business.  As a result, it becomes much harder for you to validate that the desired outcomes are occurring, and much harder for your individuals and teams to embrace the disruption that changes create. 

As a result, your changes take longer to implement, your teams don’t always make the best decisions, and your business agility is damaged.  This not only impacts the overall return on your portfolio investment, it also risks damaging the relationship between your leaders and delivery teams.  That can have a long-lasting effect. 

To prevent this from happening, you need to leverage software solutions that not only enable more effective communication, but that also help you to provide context to all stakeholders.  You also need to standardize messaging across all departments and functions, ensuring that everyone gets the same information and context at the same time, in the same manner.  That’s where project portfolio management (PPM) tools like Sciforma’s come in. 

 

The best solutions for business agility 

Our world class PPM solution allows you to directly connect the work that is being done with the strategic priorities that work supports.  This allows you to create the alignment that drives understanding and engagement among your work teams.  It also helps you to ensure that all areas of your business have the same understanding, breaking down silos between different departments and avoiding confusion and disagreement across your enterprise. 

Because both your work and your priorities are directly connected, when you need to make a change, it is much easier to understand the implications of that change, your options for implementing it, and the potential challenges and risks that you may encounter.  This allows your work teams to feel more connected to what is happening – being a part of the change rather than having change done to them. 

This level of connection and communication is essential if business agility is going to be achieved and maintained.  To learn how Sciforms can help you on your agility journey, contact us now. 

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Andy Jordan

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras based management consulting firm with a strong emphasis on organizational transformation, portfolio management, and PMOs. Andy is an in-demand keynote speaker and author who delivers thought provoking content in an engaging and entertaining style. He is also an instructor in project management-related disciplines, including PMO and portfolio management courses on LinkedIn Learning.