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  • Myles Oglive

Business agility pulse check – Q1 2021

Over the course of 3 months starting November 2020, the release date of ‘Sooner Safer Happier, Patterns & Antipatterns for Business Agility’, the authors conducted a pulse check on the state of business agility. At time of writing 230 individuals participated: leaders, practitioners, and lean/agile & enterprise coaches from multiple organisations across Americas, Europe, India and Singapore. These individuals include those committed to continuous learning who regularly invest personal time participating in public Meetups on the topic of Business Agility to share knowledge and learn from each other.

In response to Menti polls relating to the current/recent organisation where individuals are actively seeking to improve ways of working:

  • 47% said that colleagues in these organisations are not engaged on the topic of ‘Why Change‘. Only 25% said colleagues are engaged on the ‘Why’ and 28% were neutral

  • 46% said that in their organisation there is a focus on ‘Doing Agile’ as oppose to exhibiting agility. Only 33% said their organisation seeks to exhibit agility, and 21% were neutral

  • 56% said their organisations are not measuring desired outcomes of new ways of working. Only 23% said their organisation measures these outcomes, and 22% were neutral

  • 42% said that in their organisations leaders are inflicting new ways of working through command and control, as oppose to empowering their organisation. Only 37% said that change was being invited by leadership, and 20% were neutral

In response to the question ‘What is Working Well and What are the Challenges’, from a total of 370 answers provided* the following were the Top 10 themes reported :

*Categorisation was applied

Conclusion These questions focus on leadership. The intent of the pulse check is to provide a level of empiricism about the challenges, which are broadly in line with findings from elsewhere such as the State of DevOps.

Patterns which can be effective at addressing these challenges are documented elsewhere in this blog and in Sooner Safer Happier – Patterns and Antipatterns for Business Agility.

The dataset includes a diversity of organisations across sectors and across regions, where active efforts are being made to improve Ways of Working. Forbes report that companies spend over $2 trillion per year on Digital Transformation, and 70% of companies have a Digital Transformation strategy in progress or planned.

Based on this pulse check the data suggests that those companies applying effective leadership Patterns are in the minority at the current time. Antipatterns remain common and where present are likely to provide a headwind for successful change.

The data supports author and colleague observations from the many organisations with whom we have interacted. Given the impact on lives and economies we believe organisations need to focus on achieving better outcomes through continuous learning, and in so doing create a more humane world of work. More information about Patterns and Antipatterns for Business Agility is contained in other articles in this blog series and in the publication Sooner Safer Happier

Next Pulse Check

If you would like your organisation or meetup group to participate in the next Sooner Safer Happier pulse check, please contact:

by Myles Ogilvie, 11/10/22


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