Are you really agile? How to measure your business agility

Are you really agile? How to measure your business agility

Are you doing agile – without even knowing it? 

You probably are if you’re reading this. Most companies today are actually on the agile business roadmap, somewhere. But what’s the destination?

If you’ve read our post on setting SMART goals, you’ll know that it takes a goal to make a plan, and that measurement is a huge part of the journey to success. Becoming an agile organisation is no different, and measuring your progress towards your final destination is a key factor.

Let’s show you how to measure business agility, and how to find out where you are right now on the agility scale based on the traits of other agile companies. To put it simply if:

  • You have a mission
  • You focus on outcomes, not output
  • You invest in next-gen tools
  • You lead by example
  • Your team is ready to fail
  • You hire people who believe in your mission

Then you’re definitely on the agile roadmap – even if only a couple of these are true. Let’s look closer at each point.

You have a mission

Your mission is what you do that gives customers value. In fact, as an agile business, you should only exist for, and because of, your customers.

Once you become customer-centric, everything you do is guided by what your user needs; not by vanity metrics. Missions sound wishy-washy and airy, but they are quite the opposite. They are the simplest embodiment – the purest distillation – of your business. If you cannot explain why your business exists in a sentence, then think hard about the value you provide, at the very core of your customers’ decision to use you.

Creating a mission statement gives you and everyone else in your company a singular vision and focus – and that focus should always be your customer.

You focus on outcomes, not output

Agile teams are measured on outcomes, not output. Or input, for that matter.

Working task-to-task is myopic – but most companies let their teams work this way. There’s no overall goal, or growth mindset; it’s simple churning and grinding. It’s not very motivating or engaging, and the only beneficiaries in this scenario are leadership and stakeholders (not customers, and certainly not teams).

That short-sightedness leads to attrition, stagnation, miserable working practices, massive staff turnover rates, stunted growth, bad reputations… the list goes on. 

It shouldn’t matter who works on what – as long as they’re right for it. It shouldn’t matter if a task takes an hour or a week – as long as the business goal is achieved.

The ticking of boxes only matters if the last box gets ticked. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Success should be measured on the value delivered – not the hours it took, or the number of clicks it got, or the volume of work produced. Value, at the heart, is what people come to your business for. Focus on that, not the tasks along the way.

You invest in next-gen tools

Your company is a proud Beta-tester, and early adopter, always diving into new product features – and as a result, is always ahead of the game. Cloud-based app solutions, for example, like Jira Cloud and Confluence Cloud, are making your business more efficient and more collaborative.

Your team can work from anywhere, and you’ve already established that working remotely keeps everyone happy and engaged. You’re embracing the future of work, and the results are already paying off.

You can be assured that this is an agile approach. Agile companies are first in line for new ways of working and new technology to help them do it. If this sounds like you, then welcome to the agile club.

You lead by example

Agile is a mindset that runs from the CEO to the contractors you hire. At least – that’s the ideal.

The reality is that this might be the last bastion of traditional teams. Leadership is usually reluctant to adopt agile – fearful, even. In most cases, agile methodologies come from the bottom of the company and filter upwards, usually hitting roadblocks along the way.

If you’re a leader reading this, then please – give it a try. Because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain: happier teams, better engagement, better results – it’s all there with agile methodologies.

If you need proof that agile isn’t a new-age fad, look at the VW Golf GTI. No, really – that after hours project was spearheaded by an agile team. They single handedly created the hot hatch, and cornered a market because of it.

The moral here is: trust your team to deliver the goods, give them the time and the tools – and they’ll surpass your expectations. You might not make cars, but passing on agile could be stopping you from having your own Golf GTI moment. 

Your team is ready to fail

Failure is NOT A BAD WORD. It’s essential, it’s vital – it’s how we learn. If you’re not failing, you’re not doing anything new.

We’ve heard this all hundreds of times by now, but it’s so true. It’s not “bravery”, it’s business. If you want to be the market leader, the innovator that all others look to, then you have to be ready to look a bit silly, too – and not care about it.

You have to be ready to see a project through to failure if you ever hope to see it succeed.

You hire people who believe in your mission

ClearHub is a specialist in sourcing agile contractors, to join any team. We work to find the best fit, with the right skills to complement your team.

We’ll find the agile contractors who believe in your mission – the ones who want to work with you to make your vision a reality. In turn, they’ll give your highest performing teams the additional knowledge and skills they need.

Talk to ClearHub to hire agile contractors that align with your values and goals. Get in touch with the ClearHub team today byby cainglling +44 (0) 2381 157811 or send your message to

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