11 December 2020 - 12:20
Easier, better, faster
How business agility is becoming a core competence for the future
Digitalization is changing the world: because of the exponential growth of computing power and networking connections, we now have ample technology in place to solve almost any problem.
With such a fertile breeding ground for ideas, new business models are created every day. And since technology is no longer a bottleneck, they can be developed and deployed in record speed.
Some of those new business models have made whole lines of business completely irrelevant in just a few years’ time – just think about video rental stores or MP3 players.
In this new reality, if a company is moving slower than its surroundings, it will be the beginning of its end. We call this the ‘VUCA’ world – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.
In order to survive and thrive in such a world, we need to completely re-think the way we develop products and services by introducing business agility.
Business agility means:
- anticipating customer needs (customer centric innovation);
- creating a product or service that addresses these needs;
- getting the product or service out to the customer very fast;
- reacting on customer feedback.
To this aim, agile techniques are developed and used. There is a huge collection of agile frameworks and techniques to choose from, like Scrum, Kanban and Design Thinking, which have one thing in common: a cross-functional team focusing on delivering valuable products through fast customer feedback cycles and the development of innovative solutions to detect and meet customers’ needs, such as regular product reviews.
At Generali, for instance, an Agile team is responsible for a system used by phone operators to handle customer requests; periodically, the Agile team invites phone operators to demonstrations of the latest enhancements and asks for their direct feedback to further improve the existing systems. This way, the Agile team and operators can constantly improve the customers’ phone call experience in a very quick and efficient way.
The fastest way to getting experience is by doing experiments - a central element in Agile. This is also the core belief of the Agile Community of Practice, which has been created to increase business agility through the exchange of experiences and practices within the Generali Group at an international level. Leveraging the Innovation and Digital Transformation pillar of the Generali 2021 strategy, the Agile Community of Practice places itself at the forefront of efforts to develop organizational skills and practices that make our business more agile and help us achieve our Group’s ambition to become Lifetime Partner to our people and customers.