Business agility is your ability to pivot quickly in the face of unpredictable or unexpected change. An agile business can respond quickly and effectively to both internal and external opportunities/threats.
Here are four ways your business can become more agile:
- Build an agile culture
- Boost clarity and visibility
- Improve internal operations
- Invest in the right solutions
1. Build an agile culture
While an agile culture will obviously help your business pivot on demand, moving to such a business model might unsettle some of your team who are more accustomed to traditional methods of working. That’s why before you implement change, you need to do the following:
- Gain buy-in from the top down – you need someone at the top of your business to take ownership and show support for the project, so answer the “what’s in it for me?” question to executives. But your work doesn’t stop here – executives may change their minds or leave the company, so constantly promote your change vision and ensure stakeholders remain engaged
- Explain to your team how the new technology will make their daily lives easier – if your team have new tech imposed on them with no support, you’ll be actively harming your progress towards an agile culture. So, if it’s a manual process that’s going digital, get your team onboard by showing them how new technology can make their day-to-day jobs easier
By leading from the front and getting your employees on board by proposing value to them, you’ll be on your way to creating a culture that embraces change. You can read more on the importance of having effective change management strategy by clicking here.
2. Boost clarity and visibility
To make intelligent decisions quickly, you need reliable data. So, when data is scattered across multiple systems, the chances of errors happening increases. Erroneous data is even more likely if it needs to be manually pulled from system, standardised, and then uploaded into another system on a regular basis.
With professional services automation (PSA) tools, you can centralise all your data from multiple sources into one location, making it easier for employees to find what they need. This also gives you a single source of data truth, meaning everyone in your organisation can share and collaborate on the same version of documents.
It’s also vital your data is easily available in real-time. This helps you make critical business decisions quickly, such as whether to reassign personnel to a different project or not.
With advanced reporting tools in PSA software, you can create customised dashboards and generate regular reports. This gives you a more complete view of your organisation and allows you to make changes with greater confidence.
3. Improve internal operations
The amount of data created, captured, copied and consumed continues to grow, which means we need more space to keep it safe. While investing in a new on-premises server will hold all your data and employees work today – what about in a year’s time? You’ll be upgrading it sooner rather than later which will be costly.
On the other hand, if all your data was on the cloud and you’d run out of space after 12 months, it’s easy to scale your cloud storage. You can simply upgrade your account and the vendor – who will be hosting your data – will make the changes live within minutes.
As well as setting up your system, they’ll handle all the maintenance costs and effort (including functional and technical updates), keep track of updates and release patches when necessary. This means your company will always be on the latest system version, giving you a competitive edge.
Other benefits include:
- Access to data even when on-the-go – recent events have shown how important this is if your office has had to close and your staff have had to work from home. Reducing your reliance on on-premise systems makes it easier to maintain business continuity
- Data stored in the cloud can be automatically backed up – this makes it easier to recover data in the event of data loss compared to an on-premise system, which can be time-consuming
- Ability for cross-team collaboration – the cloud also makes cross-team collaboration possible as all departments can access and work off the same data. Location doesn’t have to hold you back anymore (like it would if you were using an on-prem system)
You can read more into the benefits of cloud computing here.
With the right solution in place, you’ll become a more agile business that can react quickly to improve its internal processes.
4. Invest in the right solutions
Business agility gives you the opportunity to see where improvements can be made to your service. One way you can do this is by using big data and analytics to help aid your decision making.
PSA tools can help you collect better quality data by:
- Consolidating data sources so they feed through to a single location
- Gaining key insights so you can quickly understand how projects are progressing
- Easily identifying problem areas within your business
- Anticipating resourcing needs and prepare in advance
This gives you an advantage over those businesses who are basing their decisions off a gut feeling and are effectively throwing darts with their eyes closed. Analytics also allow you to spot trends in customer feedback. This means you can use these findings to directly address their concerns rather than you having to guess what they want.
Business agility demands consistency
Being agile is all about expecting, managing and embracing change. Businesses need to be agile now more than ever to respond to changing market demands. But agility isn’t a one-time project. It’s a never ending cycle. In our checklist, we cover the five key stages to achieving business agility in the professional services industry.
Download it below.