Previously, we’ve explored how organisations can build high-performing teams, and a fit-for-purpose system of work to support these teams. If you’ve missed these insights, you can find them here.
In order to drive improvements in delivery upon their individual objectives, teams must focus on three broad factors: how they are organised, how they operate, and how they behave. We’ve drawn upon our work to demonstrate a few examples of how this might occur in practice.
In our experience, a key barrier to increasing organisational agility is the existence of traditional functional silos and reporting lines.
In order to drive improvements in the flow and calibration of work, organisations need to align their high-performing teams with how work actually gets delivered to serve customer outcomes.
Obsolete structures, capabilities, processes, technology, and cultures should be identified and phased out. Functional silos should also be broken down, in order to create room for outcome-based portfolios which deliver value based on continual prioritisation of the most important customer outcomes.
When uplifting enterprise agility, analysis of an organisation’s operations should aim to drive a shift to a continuous flow of value rather than funding discrete projects and initiatives.
An iterative planning and funding mechanism is a critical factor in enabling agility, at both the team and enterprise level. Outcomes should be planned and prioritised based on the value they bring to customers, and this prioritisation should be reviewed on a regular basis.
Leadership need to be comfortable with allowing decisions to be made at the appropriate level to create a balance between speed and control, so their own capacity does not create a bottleneck in pursuing valuable customer outcomes. This can often be enabled by shifting attitudes to risk from the fear-driven ‘what might go wrong?’ to the confidence-driven ‘what must go right?’.
An adaptable organisation is one that learns from both its successes and its shortcomings. Creating opportunities and spaces to learn is important, but an equally important (and often overlooked) step is creating a culture and mindset of continuous improvement.
Organisations should invest in small, regular changes that enable their people and customers to grow alongside one another. This can look like regular opportunities for customer engagement or team retrospective sessions, so that all parties are able to voice their opinions and concerns.
A culture of seeking feedback is one where leaders seek out issues early, and team members are empowered to speak out as and when they identify opportunities for improvement. These behaviours create a culture of psychological safety, and prevent small problems from evolving into bigger, more structural issues.
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Jane Fitzgerald, Partner, Enterprise Agility Lead
Jane is a Partner in our Operations Transformation portfolio, specialising in operating model transformation. Jane is passionate about helping organisations optimise the way they deliver on their purpose, and has assisted a variety of local clients in transforming their operating models to improve customer experience and foster business growth. Jane views agility, lean, and human-centred design as critical tools to help organisations thrive in new ways of working.
Riley Cahill, Analyst, Enterprise Agility
Riley is an Analyst in the Enterprise Agility and Operations Transformation portfolios, with experience supporting the delivery of agile transformations across a variety of sectors. With a background in finance, Riley specialises in the alignment of funding to adaptable outcomes.