Articles + Research

  • Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan

Room for Improvement: Enterprise Business Agility Survey Results

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

Economists and Technologists predicted the early stages of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) about five years ago. This 4IR was a melting pot of advanced innovative technologies and biological & physical products working collaboratively to identify challenges much before they became prevalent. The ideological concepts seen in movies like Minority Report are becoming a reality. Technological revolutions like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things reverberate with new solutions like behavioral modification through wearable devices, therapeutic games for seniors and disabled, fraud detection in banking and financial solutions, etc.

Consumers’ accelerated demand for faster releases of new product features can only be met with the attention to progressive elaboration implemented nicely with agile approaches to product delivery and project management. Several organizations in multiple industries have benefited from such adaptive approaches as espoused by reports noted by Gartner, Forrester, and the state of agile surveys. However, the approaches associated with transforming organizations to embrace agility also have seen challenges causing organizations to give up on the benefits of agility compromising value to the consumers.

The Boston University Agile Innovation Lab, a volunteer-led professional association, conducted a qualitative survey drawing on the experiences of over 20 people across multiple industries and organizational size. It addressed the specific challenges in this transformative journey to embrace agile as well as unearth specific minimally viable product opportunities to address in the near term to educate Agilists of all experience levels and foster this community by promoting the right agile project management principles and practices.

The Enterprise Business Agility: Agile Transformation Experience report provides an executive in-depth review of specific challenges noted within each category as well as the opportunities that lay ahead of the Agile Innovation Lab to address. Synthesizing these opportunities, the Agile Innovation Lab is poised to focus its scholar-practitioner research and communities of practice. The journey ahead now is targeted towards embracing agility across the business units, innovate practices for relevance, actively listen to leadership for properly embracing agility within the organizations, ensure consistency in coaching, and explore productive tools for application life cycle management.

BU Enterprise Business Agility Report
Download PD • 992KB

It takes a village to do a great quality work and I always attribute TEAM to stand for "Together Everyone Achieves More." Similarly, this work also could not have been completed without additional people whose support is indispensable. So, I would acknowledge the two research assistants, Garvit  Anand and Nasim Choroum, for their support in the survey data collection and early data analysis. I would also like to acknowledge the support of Dave Silberman for survey review and emerging design. I would like to acknowledge Michelle Legere for her editorial support. Finally, I would like to acknowledge both Dave Silberman and Jim Hannon for offering me the opportunity to delver deeper into the data collection and draw specific insights and opportunities.

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