Leveraging AGILE methods, SECORA is helping global companies sharpen their competitiveness over slow-footed competitors and prosper in a disruptive global economy. With many organizations reaching a critical turning point in a world defined by disruption and uncertainty, SECORA is helping company management teams address the central challenge facing business today: how to provide instant, seamless value at scale, leveraging AGILE methods, in a volatile operating environment.
“The AGILE mindset is about generating more value with less work, and working smarter, rather than harder,” explains Sean Rast, founder and managing partner of SECORA. “AGILE enables organizations to absorb continuous change and flourish in a world that’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Its aim is to create a flexible organization with the capacity and capability to rapidly adapt, so it can steer itself in new directions and thrive in an evolving environment.”By embedding an AGILE culture across their operations, SECORA is helping global organizations gain the edge over slow-footed competitors and sharpen their competitiveness in a disruptive global economy.
“The end goal is to have larger companies think, act, and react as small companies do, and to give them a platform to be as nimble as small companies.”Take the pharmaceutical sector for instance. The pharma industry is known for slow drug-development timelines, rigorous quality requirements, and rigid silos. Without a direct relationship with patients, the industry also struggles to understand their expectations beyond what clinical data reveals. AGILE ways of working help pharma companies get past those constraints and unlock the full potential of their organizations through speed to market, customer focus, and the power of cross-functional teams. While AGILE was first created to replace the waterfall method of software development, all industries have their own slow, sequential steps that can stifle innovation. Originally conceived for use in the software industry, a key reason for AGILE’s leap to other sectors is its flexibility in delivering value in multiple contexts.
AGILE’S purposeAGILE provides companies with a guiding framework on how to manage teams across organizations, regardless of function, department, industry or product. The main purpose of AGILE is to:
- Embed a mindset of the way its people work, and how they work with each other
- Entrench an understanding that success or failure depends on leadership
- Break silo thinking and encourage co-creation
- Enables the workforce to focus on the result rather than formal processes
- Creates an environment which promotes and encourages teamwork
- Satisfies the customer through early, continuous delivery
- Continuously demonstrates technical excellence
- Addresses specific organization inefficiencies
- Maintains a sustainable pace indefinitely
- Minimizes handovers and bureaucracy
- Spreads knowledge
“The highest priority,” declares the 2001 AGILE Manifesto, “is to satisfy the customer”.Premised on five key pillars – strategy, structure, process, people and technology – AGILE eschews a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model that uses a cookie-cutter approach to solve business problems. Instead, the AGILE mindset is guided by four core values that:
- Prioritizes people (individuals and interactions) over processes and tools
- Focuses on working solutions over excessive paper shuffling
- Responds to change rather than following a plan
- Enables customer collaboration over rigid contracts
AGILE success benchmarksThe hallmarks of an AGILE company include:
- Shorter customer response times with on-time delivery and quick reliable results
- Higher productivity, product quality, reliability and predictability
- Ability to cope with changing environments
- Focuses on “end-to-end” solutions
- Uses current available resources
- Cross-pollination of knowledge
Reinventing business cultureAGILE provides the catalyst that helps companies reinvent their business culture, which is typically shaped by an organization’s leadership, what they value, what they say, and most importantly, what they do. In this context, an AGILE organization embodies the following principles:
- At regular intervals, the team reflects and tunes behavior
- Collaborate with mutual accountability and respect
- Multidisciplinary/cross-functional teaming
- Convey info via face-to-face conversation
- Move from “my job” to “my role”
- Continuous information-sharing
- No one is better than the other
- Job satisfaction / engagement
- Flatter management
AGILE’S core hierarchical characteristicsUnlike that typically found in a bureaucracy, an AGILE organization is a hierarchy of competence, not authority. Performance is measured not on whether you’ve pleased your boss, but rather, on whether you’ve added value to your customer. AGILE has three enabling core characteristics:
- The Law of the Customer
- The Law of the Network
- The Law of Small Teams
The CustomerAGILE practitioners are obsessed with delivering more value to customers. They have a clear line of sight to the end user, enabling them to see how their work is adding value to that customer—or not. In AGILE organizations, there’s not only a customer focus, but customer involvement in decision-making.
The NetworkAGILE practitioners view the organization as a fluid and transparent network of players that are collaborating towards the common goal of delighting customers.
Small TeamsIn AGILE organizations, work is performed in small autonomous cross-functional teams working in short cycles on relatively small tasks while getting continuous feedback from the ultimate customer or end user.
An AGILE organization’s five trademarks
- True North is embodied across the organization, with a shared purpose and vision, actionable strategic guidance, and flexible resource allocation, as it senses and seizes opportunities.
- Network of empowered teams, with a clear, ﬂat structure and accountable roles, hands-on governance, servant leadership, robust communities of practice, and active partnerships.
- Rapid decision-making and learning cycles, with standardized ways of working operating in parallel with robust experimentation.
- Enabling technology that taps actionable data insights from next generation technology architecture, systems, and tools for speedy decision-making across the enterprise.
- Dynamic people model that ignites passion, rewards entrepreneurial drive and drives role mobility.