Why Agile is the Way Forward for Organisations

The Business Case for Agile Organisations

Each age or era in business has its own defining method of doing business. If it was the top down bureaucratic model in the Industrial Era, it was the flatter organisational structure in the services age.

Now, as we are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the onset of the Digital Age, we find that many organisations worldwide are embracing agile methodologies as a means of organisational structures and methods of working as well as implementing it in their business strategies.

Indeed, much has been said and written about Agile that one wonders what the hype is all about and whether reality meets such expectations.

Based on the available research, it does seem as though Agile is the way forward for organisations considering its flexible and adaptable nature of doing business, especially when the external landscape is fluid and ever changing.

In other words, when fast changing market trends take over, organisations need to be as nimble and Agile as possible to respond to them and hence, this is where a fluid and self sustaining method such as Agile teams make the difference between success and failure.

The People Case for Agile

Having said that, one must also look at beyond the business reasons why Agile is the Future. While as mentioned in the earlier section, there is a strong strategic reason for embracing Agile, there is another compelling case to be made for it and this is where the “people” side of the equation kicks in.

For instance, Agile methodologies with their compact and modular format empower team members to take decisions on their own without waiting for senior leadership or for that matter, their superiors to give the go ahead.

Apart from the time saved in waiting for such approvals, Agile empowers the team members to take “ownership” of their work and to fix accountability and responsibility where it matters.

Indeed, if not for Agile, teams in the Digital Age would lose out on precious time in responding to fast changing market conditions and consequently, the organisations would not be in a position to take advantage of the market movements.

If decision making is bureaucratic, it takes time and effort and instead, Agile teams by virtue of being self sustaining and self contained units save time and effort as well as enable the members to work at their full potential.

How Agile Organisations Create Value in a Synergistic Manner

On the other hand, there is also a value based case to be made for Agile. When top down hierarchical organisational structures give way to Agile and nimble ones, they create value for all stakeholders.

Customers find that their queries are met with faster responses, investors find themselves updated with the latest information in real time, and senior leaders find that they can at any time, check on the progress of the many teams and modules without having to be bothered by day to day decision making.

What all these aspects of the organisational value chain mean is that at each stage, value is created that adds up to the sum of the total value in a Synergistic manner.

No longer should organisations take time to decide on strategies and instead, they respond to the fluid external landscape in a real time manner.

The reason we are repeating real time decision making is that unlike the Industrial Age, the Digital Age demands responses and decision making in real time and this is where Agile organisations are equipped to deal with such challenges as they come.

Therefore, there is a case to be made for Agile in terms of the value being created for all stakeholders.

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Agile are Made for Each Other

The emergence of Agile can also be looked upon as an Evolutionary Necessity as the Fourth Industrial Revolution dawns on us.

For instance, there are more Freelancers and Remote Workers in the present times and with Agile, organisations can structure their employment relationships and patterns of working to suit such arrangements in a better manner.

In addition, the term Adhocracy is used to describe how ad hoc arrangements are needed in a 24/7 world where global integration and the Death of Geography and the Death of Time means that only Agile can deliver the goods as far as dealing with the necessities of the Digital Age is concerned.

Given the Always On culture that we are in, what the Futurist Alvin Toffler called Adhocracy is coming true as flexible and fluid teams communicate with each other and with the other stakeholders in real time and the responses are in minutes and seconds rather than in days or hours.

Moreover, automation complements Agile and in turn, the latter supplements the former as a means of getting work done. This is because in automated organisations, face to face contact is minimal and it does not matter where the team is located or in which time zone it operates as the business runs in a Round the Clock manner.


Last, Agile is also an ethical necessity as too much concentration of power in the hands of the top decision makers can lead to fraud and other unethical activities.

Agile by decentralising and deregulating decision making ensures that power is dispersed and there are checks and balances at each level that ensure that there is more oversight and control over the decision making centres.

To conclude, as the discussion so far shows, there are compelling reasons to embrace Agile and one can go as far as to say that it is the Future.

❮❮   Previous

Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written and Reviewed by Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.