A 2018 Deloitte survey indicated that 90% of more than 10,000 senior executives see “agility and collaboration” as critical to their companies’ success, yet a demonstrably lower percentage of these self-same executives had any confidence in their organization’s current ability to be agile. Agile, when done very well, is quite beguiling – transformation at an organizational level that allows a company to operate as nimbly as small teams. But even with such an attractive end state, the transition is frequently rough – and fraught with many hidden costs.
As agile continues to eat the world, leaders need to ensure, regardless of what agile stage they may be currently operating in, that they are measuring their journey through a network analysis lens.
Network analysis provides critically important metrics to inform a number of agile specific decisions. Network analysis can inform team selection based not only on employee's professional skills, but by providing deep insight into the social capital – the relationships people and teams have that make them the successful at their job – that teams have already developed. Leaders routinely turn to their top performers, or personnel with unique skill sets – not understanding in most cases that they are increasing the collaborative demand on these personnel, often with negative repercussions.
Network analysis provides insights for leaders into collaboration demands placed on employees with current or proposed structures, a map of current state communication patterns ultimately empowering leaders to not only make data-driven decisions around agile transformation, but also giving them a key capability to manage the incoming/outgoing demands purposefully.
Innovation, quicker adoption rates, and employee retention are just a few of the positive outcomes of a network analysis driven agile transformation. To truly be successful, agile teams must be viewed in a network context as well as through a process driven lens.
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