The integration of Agility and People Advisory to truly create and enable Business Agility

July 29th, 2022
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As I sit writing this article, I reflect on how my life and career changed in January of 2011. After the Euphoria of the 2010 FIFA™ World Cup and completing a large Programme at a big bank as a traditional Project Manager, I had the challenge of changing the IQbusiness way of work in our Technology Enablement business. Little did I know, as we brought on a small Agile consulting team to help us, that my life would change forever. 

What I found in Agile was a perfect marriage between my passion for collaboration and the ability to create high-performing teams, combined with my desire to focus on delivery and truly add value to the customers. As we successfully implemented Scrum in our internal delivery teams, our clients wanted us to do the same… Starting from scratch our focus shifted from an internal perspective to consulting, coaching, and training our clients, for them to reap the same benefits as we had. Little did I know that we would grow from 1 person to 35 Agile consultants over the next 10 years, to the largest consulting business in Africa. 

Whilst our initial focus was on Agile delivery within the Technology space and enabling high performing teams adopting Scrum and Kanban, in 2015 we realised that we needed to look at scaling and our partnership with Scaled Agile Inc. was timed perfectly, as organisations started adopting Agile at scale.

Fast-forward a few years and we realised that Agile at Scale was not only a technology problem to solve, but an entire business problem to solve and Business Agility became our focus.

So, what is Business Agility? Most people understand that Business Agility is more than just the frameworks and methods, but how do we embrace agility (with a small a) within the organisation’s culture, practices, processes, and general way of being (the doing vs being agile). 

From our team, our strengths have always been Agile Frameworks, Lean Portfolio Management and Agile Product Delivery but we needed a model and an approach that would enable us from a Business Agility perspective. In 2021, we therefore, partnered with AgilityHealth as we believed the combination of their Enterprise Business Agility model, that covers the 7 core pillars of Business Agility, and their AgilityHealth radars provided an immediate opportunity to add to our customer value proposition.  These pillars include:

  1. Customer Seat at the Table
  2. Lean Portfolio Management
  3. Organisation Structure and Design
  4. Agile Frameworks and Mindsets
  5. Make it stick / Sustain the change
  6. Leadership and Culture
  7. Technology Agility

We also realised that from a Business Agility perspective, whilst we have experienced Agile coaches that act as change agents, we are not specialists in Organisational Development (which includes Change Management and Organisational Design)

After a long pre-amble (I do apologise, I hope you are still reading ) we are proud to announce the integration of our IQbusiness People Advisory team and our Agility team to truly allow us to deliver and enable Business Agility transformations with our clients. We are now a team of more than 60 Business Agility consultants, specialising in transformation organisations to adopt new ways of working and supporting their digital transformations. 

If you follow our newsletter, you will be comfortable with what we do, but it is important to know a little more of what OD is, in the context of Business Agility.

We recognise that at the heart of driving Business Agility, are people. Our Organisational Development offering is centered around ensuring that people are adequately enabled for value-adding agile performance. This requires us to look specifically at how we manage the Change through our Change Management Process (so we Make it Stick) and how we design the work through our Organisational Design process, (so we Make it Effective). 

Here at IQbusiness we are perfectly positioned to deliver all 7 pillars of the EBA model, to truly achieve the promise of Business Agility for the next 10 years and beyond.

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