Why Do We Need Business Agility?

Aug 1, 2019

…Because the world is moving too fast not to be Agile!

At the XP 2002 Conference, The Standish Group showcased their study of how often features were used in a typical system. According to the results, features were used “often” or “always” only 20% of the time. 15 years later in 2017, after the software development world had largely embraced incremental delivery methods, the Standish Group conducted the same study again. The result? Still only 20% of features were used “often.” There was little to no significant change.

Standish Feature Studies 2002 & 2017

So why didn’t the percentage increase? What inhibited the growth of using features in a system, despite the increase in Agile delivery methods?

The culprit: The Business.

Today, after almost 20 years of demonstrated success using Agile practices and principles, Business is still not a part of most Agile Transformations. Why? Because businesspeople tend to view Agile as an “IT thing” that does not affect them, and so they continue to come up with unproven ideas, still waiting for that “big-bang go-live.” They do not know how to adapt and pivot as soon as something else becomes more valuable.

With technology enabling disruption at breathtaking speeds (that are not slowing down), Business Agility has become mandatory for survival. To stay relevant, the Business needs to realize the importance of learning and adopting Agile behaviors, with executives trailblazing the way.

On, July 16, 2019, ICON Transformation Coach Susan Strain presented this topic as a featured speaker at the Cincy Deliver Conference in Cincinnati, OH. During the presentation, Susan examined disrupted companies and their disruptors, shared how some of the largest enterprises approach Business Agility today, and offered frameworks to help with Business Agility transformations. We are sharing Susan’s slide show presentation with you here, hoping that you can benefit from the value that it has to offer and discover why we all need Business Agility.

Want to download these slides, plus the speaker notes from Susan’s presentation at the 2019 Cincy Deliver Conference? Click below to access detailed background information, relevant links, and more interesting statistics.

Written by Susan K. Strain


Susan is an Agile Transformation Coach who works with clients implementing Agile practices that span the enterprise. She coaches and trains Agile principles and methodologies, including Enterprise Business Agility Strategy, Scrum, Kanban, and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). She has experience with clients in a wide variety of industries including banking, financial, government, hospitality, insurance, investments, manufacturing, military, publishing, and retail.