Agile practices that make software delivery successful are informing enterprise-wide operating models. Increased product focus and rapid feedback cycles can give organisations a real business edge, so it’s unsurprising enterprises are turning to agility. In spite of this, a lack of understanding amongst senior finance leaders means funding the wider adoption of agile techniques can be an uphill struggle. This can leave agility confined to technology and perhaps one or two adjacent business units. Where this happens, organisations do not develop a widespread culture of innovation and market responsiveness. Such companies fail to benefit from the improved business performance associated with agility and risk falling behind their more agile competitors. As well as facing issues of funding, organisations can also run up against resistance to new ways of working among teams at other levels. Nevertheless, the way transformational investments are funded and managed presents the biggest impediment to wider enterprise agility.
At a time when disruptive technologies emerge all the time and the digitisation of information is accelerating, adapting quickly is the key to survival. For many organisations, embracing agility is a sensible strategy. Data show that those embracing agile have a 70% chance of being in the top quartile of organisational health21 which itself is a predictor of long-term performance. In times like these, can you afford not to fund agility?
This paper explores why paying for agility can be difficult and suggests ways to overcome the challenges.