Have you heard it? People chatting about it at the proverbial watercooler? Maybe you scrolled past it on your LinkedIn feed? Agile this, agile that… “I want to be agile!” “The digital team is agile, should we be?” “Our finance department is agile,” … “Wait, what? Agile finance?”
If your organization is like some of our large enterprise clients exploring new models for operational efficiencies and better ways to identify and deliver more value, then you likely have. Agile is growing. The seed often germinates within software development and eventually sprouts up across various departments of the organization. Sometimes as part of a top-down leadership initiative, other times as a mid-level pilot experiment, and even as a bottoms-up grassroots campaign fueled by a community of agile evangelists.
Leaders across industries have the opportunity to knit together existing disparate agile efforts within their organization to accelerate shared learnings and value creation for a more robust customer-driven ecosystem.
Two questions often overlooked, buried by buzzwords of the month are; “Is being agile the right move for my department?” If yes, “What is the right flavor of agile to maximize growth?”
How do we answer these questions? A critical first step is understanding where you are today. Primarily focusing on where your department stands in its capacity to deliver, the permission your organization grants, the mindset of the people, and what you want to build towards. This is achieved through an organizational capability assessment and leadership visioning session (more on that another time). With the assumption the benefits of empowered, flexible, and customer-driven teams are desired by you and your organization, the second step is to identify the right flavor of agile.
Becoming agile is not a one size fits all process, but an evolution of mindset and methodology following a journey through opportunities specific to your team. Knitting together learnings from existing agile efforts, industry insights, and a clear understanding of your team, provides a starting point and initial hypothesis “flavor” to begin your journey in becoming agile. Where you begin this journey depends on specific goals. How to best enable this depends on an effective Agile Mission Central.
Establishing an Agile Mission Central (Figure 1) that serves as the clearinghouse of agile guidance, resources, and exploration for constituencies across the organization increases alignment, focus, and scalability in an organization’s journey to becoming agile.
By leveraging existing agile communities, team learnings, and past wins, organizations can continue to lift the tide of empowered and customer-driven teams across the organization.
In our experience, the marketing function is an ideal champion to knit together an organization’s agile ecosystem. The cross-functional nature and existing imperative to shift the perception of marketing as a cost center, to marketing as a trusted business partner creates an opportunity for the Agile Mission Central to be a catalyst for growth. Back to the basics, know what you know, identify what you need to know, and be open to exploring what you don’t yet know. Thank you and good luck on your journey to becoming agile.
To learn more about how activating an Agile Mission Central and how CMG Partners has enabled clients to realize their potential to become more customer-driven connect with us.
Originally posted by CMG Manager Seth LaPierre on LinkedIn.