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4As of Agile organizations

This is a simple set of points about working in an Agile organization.

  1. Attention 

  • This means both focusing on customers and key value-adding activity whilst also maintaining a broad peripheral vision, for example keeping a weather eye out for market shifts and competitor activity.

  • It requires systems of measurement, monitoring and scanning that provide pertinent information when it is needed.

  • The key process in Attention is Learning. The outcome is understanding. You have knowledge, not just data.

  1. Agility

  • Means moving fast when reacting (or proacting) as a result of the learning form Attention.

  • It requires a flexible and motivated workforce along with processes and systems that are easily changeable. 

  • The key process in Agility is Change. The outcome is a number of people doing something different and/or other changes such as IT systems, organization structures, etc. 

  1. Alignment

  • Means everyone and all systems set up to a common purpose. When agility causes movement, any non-alignment in the end state is, by definition, waste, which can seriously impact our ability to deliver value to customers.

  • It requires people and the whole system to work together. An aligned system runs from markets and customers through strategies, objectives, processes, systems, people and skills.
  • The key process in Alignment is Process Management. But not a process management that causes document mountains. It is a process management of communication, agility, direction and clarity.

  1. Achievement

  • The other As are useless unless they lead to results. They are all also vital components to achieve results: 

  • It requires the other As to be used with Achievement in mind: setting Attention through objectives, Agility and flexibility in meeting the objectives and Alignment of customers, strategy, objectives, process and people.

  • The key process of Achievement is Management By Objectives.

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