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The Times 'Enterprise Agility' and Agile Transformation

The Times published their 'Enterprise Agilty' supplement with Raconteur on the 13th September

Once again The Times, in association with Raconteur, have run their eye over the world of Agile in their 'Enterprise Agility' supplement read by over 1 million Times readers.

The Times Enterprise Agility supplement download

This issue discusses the momentum behind management interest in agility as a concept first raised in the Agile Manifesto with the following topics: 

  • Seizing opportunities from uncertainty with Agile
  • Lessons from supply chain
  • Adopting Agile in professional service
  • Enterprises learning from agile startups
  • Delivering increased sales from customer behaviour and buying patterns
  • Pokemon Go - lessons on stellar agile product launches
  • Satisfying consumer demand in the digital world
  • Turning disaster into opportunity 
  • Challenges faced by modern enterprises and how Radtac's 'Key' can unlock potential

'Enterprise Agility' - Highlights from The Times supplement

Seizing opportunities from uncertainty with Agile 

Jim McClelland gives a fascinating overview of Enterprise Agility megatrends, and how Agile gives businesses the opportunity to size growth from the uncertainty surrounding the businesses environment.

Jim reports how, in 2009, the Economist Intelligence Unit found nearly 90 per cent of executives believed organisational agility critical for business success with 27 per cent fearing threats from competitors through not being agile enough. Agile firms grow revenue 37 per cent faster and 30 per cent generate higher profits than their non-agile competitors identified from research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

So why don't all organisations follow Agile methods? What is holding back the potential for improved performance?

The-Key-Diagram-Review.jpgJim reports that it's not from the lack of examples of how it has been done successfully. Their are plenty of organisations that have cleverly pivoted their approaches, nimble data-driven transformations, or fast paced cloud-based delivery and software delivery in the new breed of agile, tech heavy businesses beating their traditional competition.

Jim quotes Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable business at Marks & Spencer "Agility is even more important for an established business; it's simply got more to change than a startup."



"Culture is Key"

When looking at the obstacles Jim found that the barriers were in the leadership and direction rather than a fear of innovation. He found, from talking to Mike Barry, that organisational culture change was the key to unlocking potential. "Only with clear purpose and common values can you 'let your teams go', innovating in an Agile way without need for constant committee sign off", Mike explained.

Mike explained to Jim that only by institutionalising opportunity mapping as corporate practice in the same way as enterprises view risk analysis can organisations apply the opportunity mindset.

We clearly need to embrace change and uncertainty and moving away form command-and-control team management towards Agile team solutions.

"Enterprise agility is what you don't yet know, but can still learn" Jim concludes.


Lessons from supply chain

Jim McClelland takes a closer look at agility in the supply chain

Tesla is given as an example of the most successful product launch of all time when they launched the Model 3 in April. Pre-orders of 325,000 cars were made valued at $14 billion - incredible! What is even more amazing is that these orders were taken in just 7 days!Radtac_culture_mindset.png

Can Tesla meet this extraordinary demand for their cars? Tesla will have to absorb all the latest Agile thinking to meet this phenomenal demand as the batteries, alone, would require the world's lithium ion battery production.

Jim discussed supply chain agility with Professor Yahaya Yusuf, director of the Institute of Logistics and Operational Management at the University of Central Lancashire. Prof. Yusuf explained that modern supply chains are increasingly agile. Suppliers need to work in collaboration to solve problems and find innovative solutions. "Agility is not just a matter of new technology. We need a new mindset too. We must step away from the very limited command-and-control approach used in the past and adopt a more open, collaborative culture", Prof. Yusuf explained.


Adopting Agile in professional service

Neil Davidson, vice president of enterprise at Deltek explains Agile is the Key to success

Agile has grown from its roots in software development to move into professional services firms of all sizes but notably in advertising, consulting, audit and advisory, IT, and engineering.

Neil flagged that Forrester's 'The Customer Experience' report found that 75 per cent of companies now set customer experience as their top priority. Neil also points out that, according to Gartner's, only 30 per cent of digital transformation succeed.

Those companies that are delivering digital transformation goals have the key foundations to drive the desired outcomes.

A decade from now, the market leading Agile professional services firms will be those that have invested in the right digital systems and agile structures in an integrated global backbone to deliver client experience.

Enterprises learning from agile startups 

Charles Orton-Jones takes a closer look at what big enterprises need to learn from small startups to deliver agility

Startups have no history and no set way of working, freeing them to consider the seemingly impossible. How can that energy and innovative approach be brought into large enterprises to generate rapid expansion? 

Charles gives the example of Tapdaq, an app named Global Mobile Innovator of the Year at the Mobile World Congress. At the age of 17, Ted Nash, the owner of Tapdaq, hit one million downloads on the App Store and runs his business with maximum agility. "We use Slack, Jira and Google Hangouts to communicate internationally", Ted explains. 


The easiest way for large organisations to imitate the creativity of small nimble cousins is to watch what they do and copy. Charles gives the example of Marriott International who set a goal to fill empty hotel rooms when the obvious routes had been exhausted.

Last year, Charles reports, Marriott tried something different. Working on the principle that entrepreneurs and small firms are far better than multinationals at coming up with exciting ideas, it funded startups with room-filling concepts.

One idea was Notch - a pop up rooftop bar in Park Lane. With £35,000 of funding, Notch took £500,000 in three months. Marriott is now expanding the project.

Charles then asked 'how can large corporates harness the energy and enthusiasm of SME's'? One key area is to mimic the high risk methodology of startups'.

Nick Taylor, managing director of Accenture Strategy UK observes: "Experimenting and a 'fail fast' attitude are essential to organisations looking to get ahead in the digital era." Creating a 'Skunkworks' to play with risky ideas is one approach suggested by Nick.

In conclusion, Charles says 'When survival depends on creativity, it will soon be clear that enterprises need to move as swift as startups'. The alternative, he points out, is obsolescence.

Turning disaster into opportunity

Charles Orton-Jones takes a look at how some companies turn crisis into springboards
  1. Pescanova - It's never too late to change strategy. Facing oblivion and insolvency, Pescanova managed to formally leave bankruptcy in just 403 days and made a net profit of €1.6 billion in 11 months.
  2. Anheuser-Busch - turned the disaster of Flint, Michigan into a PR master class by donating canned water .
  3. Gigaclear - Bringing high speed broadband to rural communities.

  4. Mondo Bank  - Mondo raised £1 million in just 96 seconds via crowdfunding.
  5. - Donating 1% of Salesforce's resources benefits the business and communities.
  6. Rio Tinto - Combating the spread of HIV/Aids with free antiviral drugs to employees and their partners.
  7. McDonald's - Openly promotes its support for communities faced by disasters.
  8. Serco - Damaged by the ban on bidding for public work, Serco built a new risk model to become a leaner, tighter outfit with a stable share price.
  9. Airbnb - Raised $30,000 with breakfast cereal and is now valued at $30 billion.
  10. Wheat Producers - Brexit resulted in UK wheat exports hitting an 8 year high.

Pokémon Go - lessons on stellar agile product launches

Dan Matthews investigates the stellar debut of Pokémon Go

Over night, Nintendo's market value increased to $7 billion following the Pokemon Go game just over 2 months ago. How did it happen and what lessons can be learnt?

Dan concludes that committing fully to innovation gives a better chance of success, and capitalising on the opportunity is a must.


Satisfying consumer demand in the digital world

Mark Frary examines the on-demand economy

"What do we want? Everything. When do we want it? Now."

The need for Agile delivery of products and services is driven by the instantaneous demand of customers. Companies need to embrace building environments where great ideas are turned into profit as quickly as humanly possible - slow, cumbersome 20th century companies take note or face oblivion.


Challenges faced by modern enterprises. How Radtac's 'Key' can unlock potential

Cath Everett worked with Radtac to summarise the challenges faced by modern business, and the solutions provided using Radtac's uniqe 'Key' approach

The-Key-Diagram-Lock.jpgBeware! On current projections, 375 companies of the S&P 500 will face being out of business by 2027 - enough to focus the minds of any Board room. 

Challenges faced by organisations, mentioned throughout The Times Enterprise Agility supplement, include rapidly meeting customer demand, cutting costs, reducing time to market, improving processes and motivating people. These are met head-on by organisations adopting Agile to transform their operations.


Holy Grail for Agile Transformation

Motivating the people in your business to develop and innovate rapidly and continuously are vital if enterprises are to successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century. Agile teams have proven to produce more, better, quicker in the world of software delivery, and these Agile team methodologies are being rolled out across large organisations.

How can Agile be scaled? How can you ensure your businesses succeed and outcompete the competition?

The Radtac Key

At Radtac, we have developed 'The Key' model over our extensive years of experience with  Agile transformations. 

The-Key-Diagram.jpgPractical and simple to understand, 'The Key' enables businesses to understand where they are now, where they want to be and how they get there. In addition, the Key explains what this means at all levels of the business and ensures cultural adoption across the whole business to succeed.


Step 1: Review

Step 2: Adapt

Step 3: Deliver

Step 4: Track



Scaling Agile with SAFe® - Benefits

  •  Partner_Badge_Gold_220px-1460623988475-1.pngQuality improved by 50 per cent
  • Productivity increased by 20-50%
  • Projects delivered between 30-75% faster

As a SAFe Gold Partner, Radtac is well placed to embed real, lasting, Agile transformation at the enterprise level to help companies realise their ambition to benefit from dramatic business improvements.


Request a consultation 



The theme for the Enterprise Agility supplement is meeting the challenges for modern business today.

Through well written, authoritative articles, the Raconteur journalists give the balanced views, with well researched examples, of how businesses have met challenges head on - Tesla's amazing product launch valued at $14 billion and the pressures this puts on business.

The importance of making the very best of opportunities when they arise exemplified by Pokemon Go or Marriott embracing small startups.

Repeatedly, experts have highlighted culture change within organisations as being paramount - a view we share at Radtac.


Special thanks go out to: -

The Times 

Raconteur - Richard Hasdler, Kellie Jerrard, Cath Everett and all the journalists mentioned in the supplement


Peter Richardson

Peter Richardson

Peter has over 20 year marketing experience from the professional services, publishing and events sectors where he has developed clear marketing strategies into successful tactical plans. Read more