The three enablers of business agility
The three Enablers of business agility

The Enablers represent the key stakeholders that have a direct impact upon the realisation of The Goal.  When an Enabler adopts The Rules and executes their specific Value Stream practices, they are directly helping to enable the realisation of The Goal.  If they are separated, mis-aligned, or in opposition they may inadvertently disable the realisation of The Goal.

Agile Customers

  • Either external to the provider, or internal, a Customer regulates how fast they need their Agile Team to deliver value.
  • This speed is defined by the urgency through which the Agile Team’s product, or service must satisfy the Customer’s needs.
  • The Customer and Agile Team must work closely together to ensure the product, or service vision can be realised.

Using Customer Representatives instead of Real Customer’s

‘Customer representatives’ refers to internal roles that represent one or more customers.  Examples include, Account Manager, Customer Relationship Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Owner and many others.

Whilst it is normal practice to use representatives in scenarios where the customer-base is large, geographically dispersed, or when access to real customers is difficult.  This practice can increase the risk of not realising the Goal.

The Goal of Business Agility requires that the three enablers work together.  This will be difficult to achieve if a customer representative cannot execute the Agile Customer value streams due to a lack of insight, authority, or control.

I.e. a Non-Agile Customer can disable the realisation of the Goal, irrespective of how much effort and support is given by the customer representative, Agile Team and Agile Leader’s.

For this reason, we recommend obtaining the commitment of all three enablers, before attempting to implement and execute the agile value streams.

Specific responsibilities include working with the Agile Team to:

  1. Define long-term needs, wants and desires which will be formalised in the Product/Service Vision.
  2. Define short-term, value-based priorities which are formalised in a Product/Service Backlog.
  3. Refine Backlog requirements, priorities and measure value realised.
  4. Reduce waste by identifying which Product/Service features are no longer adding value.
  5. Plan, execute and collect data from value-based experiments.
  6. Develop competencies to deepen our understanding of the Product/Service.
  7. Explore new ways to evolve the Product/Service to maximise long-term value.

Agile Teams

  • Agile Team’s represent those who provide direct value to one, or more customers. This includes dedicated cross-functional product/service teams supporting external customers, and functional shared service teams supporting internal customers.
  • To reduce the negative impact of external dependencies, Agile Team’s should be empowered to manage as much of their customer’s journey as possible.
  • This ensures that the team can be agile in responding to rapidly evolving needs, support activities and frequent changes in priority.

Specific responsibilities include working with the Agile Customer’s to:

  1. Formalise the Customer’s long-term needs, wants and desires in an achievable Product/Service Vision.
  2. Formalise the Customer’s short-term, value-based priorities in an actionable Product/Service Backlog.
  3. Deliver value quickly, consistently and sustainably and ensure value is realised.
  4. Minimise Product/Service waste to increase overall value potential.
  5. Plan, execute and analyse collected data from value-based experiments.
  6. Develop competencies to ensure upcoming Backlog tasks can be completed on time.
  7. Conduct frequent retrospectives to enhance the realisation of the Product/Service Vision.

Specific responsibilities include working with the Agile Leader’s to:

  1. Ensure alignment between the Product/Service Vision and the Organisation  Vision.
  2. Analyse and Request the right level of authority to complete Backlog tasks.
  3. Utilise shared service platforms where possible to minimise impediments.
  4. Identify and inform where shared services are no longer adding value.
  5. Report valuable insights and recommendations from value-based experiments.
  6. Utilise domain-based support to ensure alignment with standards.
  7. Explore new ways to evolve the Organisation to maximise long-term value.

Agile Leaders

  • Agile Leaders represent the default decision-making authorities within an organisation.
  • They inspire and enable Agile Team’s to realise their product, or service vision through co-creation, empowerment and a commitment to reduce organisational complexity.
  • Agile Leaders ensure a seamless integration of standards where centralised control must be retained for governance, risk and compliance.

Specific responsibilities include working with the Agile Team’s to:

  1. Formalise the alignment of the Agile Team’s Product/Service Vision’s with the Organisation Vision.
  2. Grant the right level of authority to enable the Agile Team’s to complete their Backlog tasks.
  3. Ensure shared service platforms (digital, physical, manual) minimise the Agile Team’s impediments.
  4. Reduce organisation waste by revising or retiring shared-services that are no longer adding value.
  5. Use shared data and insights to make transparent investment decisions.
  6. Ensure organisation resilience through domain-based competency support.
  7. Commit the necessary time and resources for organisation-wide ideation and innovation.