It was one of the exciting sessions of the Global SAFe® Summit at the end of last year. The most experienced agile coaches had come together to talk about the future issues. What will occupy the agile community in the coming years? What practical questions will need to be answered in the next few years?
One of the frequently mentioned answers was "Business Agility!"
General agreement spread, everyone had their personal picture in mind of where they had reached their limits with the very IT-centric agilisation recently. We seemed to have hit on one of the central problems. But then Dean Leffingwell asked one of his so simple and revealing questions: "What is it? What problem specifically is there to solve - business agility?" Murmurs went through the rows, everyone tried to explain their picture to their neighbour, it seemed so clear after all...But the neighbour told of a completely different picture. So we formed a team that was supposed to concretise the topics of Business Agility. The 10 best people from all continents were quickly assembled and off we went....and it quickly became tough.
A discussion becomes tough either when no one has anything to say - or when no one really listens - and that was the impression I got in this discussion from all the alpha animals (and animals). "It's about properly involving the departments in the development process!" was one of the early theses. "Exactly! And we have to be careful that the McKinseys of this world don't just put an agile stamp on their strategy consulting and sell it as the new hot strategic shit, although they haven't really understood the agile principles and values at all! We need to build a true agile strategy consultancy - as a leadership component of the Lean Agile Enterprise of the future!" the second took a swing. - "Exactly! Leadership training and coaching is THE critical success factor for agile transformation. We should design a real and comprehensive agile leadership training!"-"Exactly! And then we need to make it clear what the organisational structure of a large agile company looks like!"-"Right! Like in one of my last projects - the agile transformation of an entire bank!" - "But how did you transform the bank's counter service in an agile way!" someone finally asked... "Yes, we prioritised that a bit lower in our overall bank transformation roadmap for now!" - "Have you implemented elements of Sociocracy or Holocracy? You can use them to make the decision-making structures in the company agile. I have read very interesting books on this."
The discussion was similar, many Post Its filled up and at the end of the planned 30 minutes, everyone more or less asked themselves the question: what exactly are we doing now? After that, I personally resolved to use the first months of 2019 to complete the interpretation of business agility and to summarise common approaches on a map of business agility. I will sketch the first version of this map during my presentation at the OOP on 22.01. I am already looking forward to the shouts - what is still missing on the map!