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How do I Improve Business Agility?

Article Details
  • Written By: M. Rosario
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Business agility is becoming more important in the competitive business environment. As the economy becomes more dynamic, it becomes more important to rapidly adapt the the changing environment to survive. In order to improve business agility, the firm must be self-organizing, adaptable, and goal-oriented. Improving business agility is required to maintain a competitive advantage over the competition.

One of the effective ways of improving agility is to create a self-organizing enterprise. This type of organization is focused on a flexible management that can react quickly to changes. Self-organizing enterprises often have a creative management that does not follow a strict bureaucratic system. Roles among self-organized managements can often change, and management clusters are usually given a little autonomy. This allows management decisions to be made and implemented faster.

To illustrate how effective business adaptation works, imagine that the business is a runner on one end of a crowded alley full of obstacles. His goal is to reach the customer at the other end of the alley. In order to win, he must reach the customer before his competitor does.

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One of the ways to improve business agility is to improve the business' response to threats. For example, a competitor may have a better product line than your business. To make your business more agile, you must find ways to cut through the bureaucracy that prevents your business from quickly responding to your competitors. An agile business can move fast to develop a better product line of its own to prevent a competitor from gaining an advantage.

In the previous example, the people in the alley are moving, so they create gaps that frequently open and close. These spaces are business opportunities, such as demand gaps or new niches in the market. The business must learn to exploit these opportunities by discovering them quickly and offering a product that caters to the new markets. The business can then fill the gaps to block its competitor or use them as shortcuts by passing through them.

To improve business agility, you should also focus on seeking out opportunities and potential challenges, rather than waiting for them to arrive. This is proactive management. By being proactive, the management is more likely to be prepared when the challenge or opportunity presents itself, saving time and expenses, and making the business cost effective.

Specialized computer programs are also available to help improve business agility. These programs handle complex business data, such as process flows, and derives patterns from it. The output from such programs can provide managers with information that may enable them to formulate new business strategies and make informed decisions to help achieve business goals.

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