Foreword from the Chair

As the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, we’re inundated with constant reminders of how much — and how quickly — change can occur across all major human endeavors.

Forces for change and innovation buffet the business world from all corners of the market, with even the world’s oldest and best-known brands daily confronting new challenges from traditional competitors, regulators, policy makers and well-funded, tech-driven upstarts.

When change is this constant — and this meaningful — only the most Agile can thrive.

The companies that are winning in this new era are those that can respond to change with agility — not by resisting it, but by harnessing its forces to rally and augment their own. When the market shifts, they evolve along with it. When competitors emerge, they bring greater innovations to consumers in newer, better ways. They operate like ships that can maneuver around troubled storms, rather than trains that plow straight ahead on a predetermined course that no one – not even the conductor – can change.

For years, certain corporate functions have operated under this paradigm. These “Agile” groupings could be found in the IT department, among software developers and in product teams. As this new way of working began to show immense gains in productivity, there has been a growing awareness that these same ways of working could be adopted and adapted by the larger organization.

This Forbes Insights report provides the first detailed look into the broader “Agile transformations” now taking place within companies in every industry and around the globe. The survey data provides a rich source of information about where and how these transformations are occurring, while the accompanying interviews provide real-world advice and lessons learned from those heading the charge.

A key finding of this report is the importance of C-Suite-level buy-in for any transformation to be successful. For companies already in the midst of their own Agile transformations, this report provides an important look at the breadth and pace of change in other companies. For leaders of companies still standing on the edge of the pool, waiting to see if they should dive in, this report should be an excellent conversation starter.

Most companies realize they need to change, but they may not know how. Here’s where the learning can begin ... or continue.

Eric Engelmann
Board Chair
Scrum Alliance

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