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Agile – scaling to survive

In a world in which the average lifespan of an S&P constituent company has declined by two-thirds in the past 60 years, agility – the ability to adapt rapidly to market and environmental changes in a productive and cost-efficient way – is the key to survival. But it’s not enough to merely “do” Agile. To survive these days, you also have to “be” Agile. And yet, although the overwhelming majority (90%) of organisations today practice Agile to some extent, a mere 20% ever achieve maturity.

Follow the frontrunners

To understand why this is the case, for the new report by the Capgemini Research Institute, Agile at Scale, we conducted in-depth interviews with over 45 executives from global organisations in various sectors that have scaled Agile beyond IT or at a program or portfolio level. We found that Agile frontrunners simply do things differently. They:

  • Experiment: Start with customer-focused initiatives; scale gradually
  • Orient: Change culture by changing behaviors and develop T-shaped -skills
  • Govern: Link Agile portfolio planning and operations with business strategy
  • Accelerate: Modernise IT with DevOps and microservices

Easy come, easy go

Scaling Agile can reap significant results, but it isn’t always easy. Culture and mindset constitute the biggest obstacles, but organisations often face technical, business, and even leadership hurdles as well. That’s why it’s so important to embrace the characteristics of Agile frontrunners. Doing so will eventually help create a culture that encourages experimentation, learning, and adaptability to changing conditions.

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