The 3As of Business Agility for Agile Decision-Making
Business Agility consists of three continuously running parts: anticipating changing demands from markets and customers, adapting goals and plans and accelerating execution of work. Agile decision-making happens when organizations adapt their plans and goals, but because the 3As of Business Agility are a continuous feedback cycle, successful agile decision-making also requires effective anticipation and acceleration. When you practice these three skills in your organization, you ensure the continuous delivery of business results in a world of change. These skills are universal, and they don’t require additional resources to start practicing. Organizations can leverage the knowledge and people they already possess to make these skills a regular practice.
Anticipate refers to the ability to identify and foresee demands, requirements, opportunities, threats, and changes. This means identifying changes in technology, shifts in consumer (or internal) demands, and fluctuations in markets that could cause a change to your business in the future. When you anticipate, you use data and insights to identify patterns and then turn those observations into action so you can respond early rather than frantically put out fires later.
The ability to adapt is a cornerstone of agile decision-making. Adaptability is the skill to regularly decide when and how to change course and then efficiently implement those changes. An organization that knows how to adapt will be able to quickly and decisively make changes to projects, priorities, resource allocation, and timing to deliver the best possible business outcomes. Making decisions on these types of changes can be challenging for an organization, but when you’ve effectively anticipated them, you’ll be able to clearly see all available options. This allows you to move forward with confidence.
To accelerate is to move more quickly. To achieve greater speed in execution, many companies focus on increasing the efficiency of work delivery. This certainly is a good idea. But in the context of Business Agility, accelerating is the achievement of business outcomes through more focused execution. You can accelerate the delivery of work by moving obstacles out of the way and creating an environment in which your organization can thrive.
Business Agility is a competency for your entire organization. Agile decision-making is the lever managers can pull to not only contribute to overall agility but ensure they can deliver the results expected of them. To make agile decision-making a reality, you’ll need a framework that provides a practical way for you to gather the relevant information so you can make transparent and informed decisions on a recurring basis.