What is Business Agility?

Business Agility = Speed to Adapt

Business agility is the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to environmental changes in productive and cost-effective ways.  Agility improves resilience, enabling an organization to successfully continue operations when similar entities falter. Agility positions an enterprise to quickly sense and act on opportunities, capitalizing on new market dynamics.

Improving agility requires addressing six critical components. Each can either act as an accelerant or a drag on your organization’s speed in sensing, formulating a response and acting on needs for change. Together they provide a set of capabilities that enable rapid adaption to changing conditions.

Leadership System

Leaders must be more than just open to changes in business models fit to the times – they need to seek these out.

Operating Model

Agile operating models support rapid recongifuration of value chains, tapping all the capabilties of an organization’s network.

Ways of Working

Agile principles apply to more than software development.  Every process from strategy through execution has the potential to enable, or encumber change.


Systems and physical plants are either easy to rapdily reconfigure or they are not.  How quickly they can shift is either a barrier or an accelerant to change.


Originating from Lean principles, Agile organizations empower teams at all levels to plan, execute, learn and adjust – rapidly.

Measurement & Analysis

Real-time data and the ability to quickly translate that into insight are key to anticipating and reacting to changing environments.

Measuring Agility

Many measures of Business Agility relate to Organizational Clock Speed, the pace at which the organization operates.  To get a sense how agile your organization is consider these examples.

Examples of Metrics:

Leadership System Time to decide
Operating Model Time to market, time to contract
Design and Development Time to fail, learn and iterate
Ways of Working Time to shift priorities, assignments
Infrastructure Time to reconfigure systems
Culture Time to overcome barriers
Measurement Systems Currency of reporting

Want to learn how your organization can become more agile? We can help.