Business Agility: Strategy - Part 2
Categories: business agility
Market and competition factors, innovation dynamics and technological journeys are among the agile drivers of organizations
In the previous article I presented an overview of the Business Agility model according to the figure below. Formulating the Business Agility strategy is a crucial first dimension of building agility. The definition of strategy allows the organization to carry out a course of action based on a clear understanding of the performance of the “why” (logic) and the “what” to do.
When formulating the strategy, it is important to consider the agile drivers of the organization, which are: market and competition factors in the industry in which your company operates; innovation dynamics and technology journeys; network and value chain; sociopolitical norms and trends; internal organizational aspects; and change factors. These elements must be considered when directing your Business Agility strategy.
Still on strategy, when efining agile objectives, it is necessary to formulate a strategic response for each one of them, reflecting on how these elements will help in this formulation. The agile objectives are: company priorities and business objectives; requirements and level of agility needed; target scenario to be achieved; critical success factors for each of these agile goals; and action strategy to achieve them.
But the organization also needs to plan for its agile capabilities and gaps. Once identified, it is then necessary to plan and act on each gap. Capabilities can be: culture; leadership performance; active; resources; between others. At this time, the use of the company's internal network is indicated, which can bring good values in the search for these capabilities.
The next text will deal with the implementation of Business Agility.
Becoming flexible and agile to meet the demands of products and services in a globalized and highly competitive environment is a constant challenge for organizations.
In a volatile and uncertain business environment, where customer demands are dynamic, competitiveness, competition and technological innovations ended up creating a scenario that forces companies to consider their ability to respond quickly. And this may be possible with some measures, such as: digitalization of business processes – which provide for the creation of new access channels for customers –; integration with partners; internal efficiency gains and creation of new products or services; or the ability to automate business processes in an integrated, synchronized and continuous way, supporting agility within the organization.
Given the above context, Business Agility becomes a key player in business success. This ability to relate to customers, implement the operation and use the ecosystem of partners to continuously prosper in a dynamic and unpredictable business environment occurs through this concept that is much discussed in the market, Business Agility (BA) .
We can define Business Agility as the ability of an organization to perceive changes in the environment and respond to such changes effectively and efficiently. The organizational implementation of BA must be carried out taking into account three critical dimensions of success, namely: Strategy, Implementation and Performance.
In this article I describe these critical success factors, so that the next articles will bring you in detail each of these dimensions, their main elements and the composition of each of these elements, exemplified in Figure 1.
Formulating the BA Strategy is a crucial first dimension of building agility. Defining strategy allows the organization to undertake a course of action based on a clear understanding of why (logic) and "what" to do.
When formulating the strategy, it is important to consider the organization's agile drivers , such as the market, value chain, regulatory trends and internal organizational aspects, among others. Still on strategy, when defining the Objectives , one must take into account the business objectives, the company's priorities, the scenarios to be pursued and the critical success factors for these scenarios.
However, the organization also needs to plan its Capabilities and organizational resource gaps and thus devise a plan to fill these gaps. In short, your strategy to succeed must be composed of Drivers, Objectives and Capabilities.
With the strategy designed, the next step is its implementation. The implementation of the BA is related to the elements associated with the practical execution of the strategy. In this step, strategic objectives become implementation practices, that is, determine the practices or initiatives needed to achieve capabilities, measure and evaluate agility performance, and make corrections based on the results.
At this stage, the Processes that need to be reviewed, People skills , human resources, technology and Infrastructure .
The last dimension is the verification of the agility performance , which is related to the elements to identify the adequate indicators to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the initiatives for the achievement of the Strategy. Once the BA has been defined and put into action, it's time to measure the results through a dashboard of relevant success metrics such as KPI, Agile Scorecard, Agile Maturity, OKR, etc. This makes it possible to check whether the resulting performance is satisfactory or not and undertake accordingly with appropriate decisions and actions.
Becoming flexible and agile to meet the demands of products and services in a globalized and highly competitive environment is a constant challenge for organizations. To deal with everyday challenges, disruptive technologies and innovation, business agility needs to be anchored in business skills and efficiency. Business Agility covers important aspects of business efficiency and provides an understanding of the effective operation of businesses where information technology plays an accelerating role. Technology, product and project management are some of the elements within this scenario, but these three isolated factors do not guarantee the effectiveness of Business Agility.
In the next articles we will continue to describe the implementation of Business Agility, for that I will post here three more articles where we will detail each of the following topics: Agile Strategy, Implementation and Performance.
The current scenario is VUCA and BANI, customer demands are dynamic, with competitiveness and competition, increased frequency of environmental changes , social and technological innovations create a scenario that forces companies to consider their ability to respond with agility and, as a consequence, the delivery of projects and services .
The ability to relate to your customers, instrument your operation and utilize your partners' ecosystem and continuously thrive in an unpredictable business environment is done through Business Agility .
Business Agility is defined as the ability of an organization to perceive changes in the environment and respond to these changes effectively and efficiently.
But before that we have to think about Organizational Agility, that is, increasing the capacity to respond proactively to unexpected environmental changes
Consider thinking about this cycle to improve or implement Organizational Agility through a virtuous cycle.
Many of you may have heard about Lean which through organizational culture and sort of tools helps organizations in everyday life to identify waste and continually improve their process, but this you may already know ... But what does Kamishibai have to do with it? Or rather what is Kamishibai? This tool came up at Toyota and its main objective is to encourage company managers (and directors..) to be present on the factory floor, together with other employees to check at first hand if everything is going as it should be. This technique is historically referenced to paper theater (originated in the 12th century in Japan and it was used to educate children from figures drawn on colored papers, aiming at the simple teaching of some history) This tool makes internal auditing so simple and intuitive that anyone, educated or not in business practices is able to analyze whether or not everything is going well; as well as in Japanese paper theater, which aimed to educate children and older people on relevant topics in the culture and politics of the region. Despite the complicated name, the tool is very simple, and it is just a visual board (it is not a Kanban) , where it is possible to perform management through audit activity cards within the manufacturing area. Among the benefits I can name a few: - Communication - Many managers do not like to leave their rooms to walk on the factory floor (are often too busy) . In this way, they stop talking directly to those who know most about the strengths and weaknesses of the processes, the employees. Using kamishibai, each manager will have a day, when they should take a quick tour of the production environment and ask some simple questions for employees, allowing them to see for themselves what needs to be done in each sector. - Facilitates auditing - Simplifies and improves the audit process so that it is better taken into account and actually improves the required points of production. - Inserts values into employees - It is not intended to identify employees who are making mistakes, in some companies there is still a culture of “who is to blame”, the main objective is to train employees to visualize problems and how to solve them. It also requires zero tolerance to wasteful problems in an environment where it is not 'who is responsible' but 'what is the problem'. where the goal is not to hide but to have a systematic identification and resolution, because problems are considered opportunities for gain.
They no longer see factory managers as
strangers and have them as colleagues
who have a common goal, to improve
work processes and techniques.
This post is aimed to provide you a preview about the cultural change behavior we have to execute to provide your Customer Success team a customer success mindset.
I started to worry about this theme about 3 years ago, and what motivated me were some factors like:
On top of that I would like to eliminate comments very common in our team such as:
Our deliveries were never bad. After all, they were in use: best project management practices, ITIL® and an excellent technical team. But something was missing...
For a period of eight months I started to visit about three clients a week and asking these company directors from the aftermarket point of view:
It was a profound and fundamental experience that changed my view of provision of after-sales services and customer expectations management needing to align with the after-sales-team with sales staff & after-sales service assuming a leading role in the sales process.
I ended up "discovering" this topic in conversations with three colleagues who already practiced it. I wanted to share this experience with you, but before moving on I did a quick internet search on the definition for Customer Success:
Customer Success is is a professional or department actively focused on thinking of solutions that improve the life of the client next to the services offered by the company - Tomás Duarte - Blog Tracksale - 2016
Customer Success is the job of proactively orchestrating the consumer journey toward the solutions he pursues - and that are always evolving - Lincoln Murphy - Endeavor.org - 2017
Customer Success is strategizing thinking about the success of the consumer and working to ensure that they have the best possible experience in your company - Isadora Lopes - Outbond Marketing
Customer Success ensures the best possible experience for your customers through value creation. - Lilian Oliveira - Sambatech
Customer Success is when your customers achieve the desired result through interactions with your company - Talita Batista - Rock Content
and strong comments as :
I also came across a market indicator that I could not confirm the source of the information where it is 7 times more expensive, between conquering a new customer and retaining an old, according to Gallup customer retention raising rates by only 5% can increase profits by 25-95%, and Gallup says B2B customers with high customer engagement scores achieve 50% more sales revenue and 34% more profitability than other companies.
Customers are in control and if this does not happen in your industry, it will soon be a reality, so get ready!
How can after sales professionals help this journey to customer success?
Change of Mentality
You need to understand what strategy teams have been thinking about customer success, and work to ensure that it is the best possible experience for your business. There's no point in having a highly qualified Customer Success team if the after-sales team does not respond well when a customer calls!
Leaders should ask the team questions like:
This change of attitude is fundamental because we need to deliver customer experience and quality during the whole customer life cycle in the company, and it is expected that this will be a longe one.
Customer Activation - This is the time when we are starting to deliver a project or support. This process is often called activation, and it is critical how you engage the customer at this stage. That is, deliver 100% of what was promised or you can lose the customer forever.
Pay close attention here the first signs of customer loss occur during activation. For example, projects that exaggerate promises of marketing. But also After-Sales can contribute to the loss of the client due to a poorly executed transition of the project team. Or problems can occur when the support team rotates the client to a generic email, such as "support" or "contact."
It may even be that the seller simply disappears after receiving your money.
The client's experience at this stage is fundamental. Design a structured service kick-off with elements such as:
Remember to use the best service practices that meet the customer needs, not yours.
Many companies still understand that this phase will continually break and need adjustment. The company should move to be proactive as quick as possible in this segment.
In my research I found some very interesting tools that will help you in this work (https://www.gainsight.com/ https://www.armatic.com and https://www.neoassist.com/) that ooerationalize the customer's life cycle
Happy customers, buy more, pay more, recommend the company to friends, volunteer for case studies, and help you promote new features. A satisfied customer is the best advertisement.