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Project Management 2019

Businesses need to get agile in face of uncertainty

iStock / Getty Images Plus / fizkes

David Goulden

Product Director, Clarizen

An ‘agile’ approach was once the preserve of IT projects but not anymore – enterprises today need to foster company-wide business agility as Brexit and other threats loom.

Project management success is driven by the right methodology and tools. These days, an ‘agile’ approach is seen as the forward-thinking way – especially for IT projects.

But, is having only the project managers armed for future success enough, in the face of myriad business uncertainties today?

Businesses taking an ‘agile’ approach may have originated in IT projects, but increasingly it is seen as an essential strategy that can underpin the future success of an entire business.

Maximising business agility across the whole enterprise is critical. Now is a time when organisations need to become more nimble in terms of decision-making and employee empowerment, as they brace for the toughest market challenges yet – disruptive technologies, skill shortages, plus landscape-shifting factors such as unpredictable weather due to climate change, the next global economic downturn and the turmoil of Brexit.

Gaining agility across the enterprise

To be truly business agile, organisations must have real visibility of how work is progressing at the top of the organisation, plus creative thinking and action by teams at every level the business.

Organisations that embrace business agility often find that decision-making processes become more efficient, enabling ‘out of the cubicle’ thinking that may not otherwise have been possible.

This empowers teams to collaborate more effectively, meet their objectives more easily and embrace new opportunities.

Turning theory into reality with stakeholder buy-in

Buy-in and direction from the top, and input from throughout an organisation, are vital to companies achieving business-wide agility.

Deploying technologies that promote more effective communication, collaboration and action across teams, business units and geographies is critical to enabling true business agility in the face of uncertainties and impending changes in markets.

Research conducted by Clarizen[1] in 2018 shows that 73% of executives say that what they need to foster business agility is collaborative software that ties communication to specific tasks — helping teams coordinate workflow, track progress, align goals, allocate budget and meet deadlines.

With Brexit complications, for instance, remote and disjointed working will become more common across Europe, as Britain leaving the EU will force many companies to shut offices and move parts of their workforces.

Steps to going agile

To ensure people and teams are performing to their best potential in today’s fast-changing, technology-driven marketplace, enterprises need to take steps to:

  • Identify the right model for collaboration, work management and oversight across the organisation;
  • Enable visibility at all levels by sharing information across teams – not just on a need to know basis;
  • Align team goals with organisational objectives;
  • Put in place, cloud-based technology that aligns teams and brings clarity to decision-making at all levels of the business – making it possible to meet the above goals, recognise industry changes, understand how the organisation needs to react, and have the flexibility to do so.

The agile future

The number of business leaders, project managers and teams dealing with change management and digital transformation projects is certain to increase exponentially over the next decade, as the skills, values and habits of millennials transform the way we work in terms technologies and flexible working patterns.

The result will be massive change in organisational structures and strategic goals. Learn more about how Clarizen can help your business become more agile at


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