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Agile Enterprise
Reference Model

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Major Concepts: Realsearch ||| Enterprise Model ||| Maturity Model
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Value Propositioning - Perception and Misperception in Decision Making

An Agile Enterprise
Reference Model

with a Case Study of Remmele Engineering

1996 Agility Forum, Report AR96-04

Photo: Rick Dove

Rick Dove

Photo: Sue Hartman

Sue Hartman

Photo: Steve Benson

Steve Benson

Executive Overview
(Download PDF)

Agile processes and strategic objectives for Agile Enterprise have been the subject of a growing number of corporate investigations, research efforts, and government initiatives internationally since 1991; and each year a more vocal demand for an enterprise-wide reference model was raised. The Agility Forum answered that demand in 1996 with the development of this comprehensive Agile Enterprise reference model.

The result serves two principal goals: 1) it provides a reference model structure that effectively captures and displays the state of enterprise-wide competency at both proactive and reactive change; and 2) it validates the structure design with a rich and real example that is an instructive reference case for an entire enterprise. The discussion will cover both goals, and be aimed at business managers and executives concerned with strategic planning, operational management, and reengineering.

The review discusses the 24 critical business practices spanned by the model with a sample of the key issues in each practice; and features examples of successful response to these issues from the case study done on Remmele Engineering: a $100 million, 4-division, 5-plant, Minnesota-based machining company that serves aerospace, defense, electronic, medical, automotive, and electronic industries. Concluding remarks will show the applicability of the reference model to other industries, organizations in the service sector, and institutions.

There are three elements in this reference "model": the first is an enterprise framework provided by the 24 critical business practices, the second offers a list of 200-or-so objectives provided by the change issues, and the third gives examples of how one company, Remmele Engineering, successfully addresses most of these issues.

In addition, there is an assessment of Remmele's change proficiency maturity; which forced a discipline on the analysis and presentation of the reference model, and also verified that Remmele was in fact a role model of change proficiency.

This reference model is a corner-stone starting point. It will help both product and service-based organizations begin the process of introspection and improvement prioritization. It identifies key issues that must be addressed, or at least considered, when an organization sets out to become more change proficient. Importantly, it provides a means for competitive comparison and prioritizing improvement strategies. It also displays one company's approach to addressing many of the issues successfully.

The creation of this model and case study was five years in the making - as metrics, definitions, reference cases, critical practices, and concepts of change proficiency steadily emerged to build a foundation. Finally, in 1996, a team was engaged by the Agility Forum to integrate these building blocks into a comprehensive model that spans 24 critical business practices, identifies over 150 generic change issues, presents consistent response examples from a comprehensive case study, captures the corporate picture in a competency-based Maturity Model, and summarizes the results in a radar-chart snap-shot.

The Agility Forum engaged a team of three recognized leaders in the developing field of change proficiency: Rick Dove from Paradigm Shift International, Sue Hartman from The Hartman Group, and Steve Benson from Paradigm Shift International. All three come with business and operational management backgrounds, and have chaired and guided Executive Development Groups at the Agility Forum. Additionally, Dove co-led the inceptional 1991 Agility study, and established the Forum's initial research agenda as its first Director of Strategic Analysis.

Table of Contents

Section A: An Introduction to the Reference Model
Section B: An Introduction to the Case Study

Section C: Integrated Reference Model and Case Study

Twenty-Four Critical Business Practices (Sample of 4 here)
References and Acknowledgments

Remmele Growth and Event Chart
Remmele Mission
Remmele Strategic Policies
Remmele Internal Business Analysis (Edited Selections)


This document is both a Reference Model and a Case Study. It is intended for the executive, strategic planner, manager, consultant, and business engineer who is looking for a model based on a real example rather than an abstraction.

Though there are discussions on the methodology and tools employed in the construction of the model and the application to Remmele, this document is not intended as a guidebook for applying the tools and reference model structure to additional industries or companies—such will be the subject of subsequent documents.

Several definitions are in order to put the document in proper perspective:

  • Agility – The ability of an organization to adapt proficiently (thrive) in a continuously changing, unpredictable business environment.
  • Change Proficiency – Competency at causing and dealing with change.
  • Agile Enterprise – A broadly change-proficient enterprise; an enterprise that exhibits competency at causing and dealing with change in the important competitive business practices of its business sector.
  • General Reference Model – Issues of change across a representative generic set of critical business practices.
  • Industry Reference Model – General reference model with maturity stages identified for industry-specific critical practices.
  • Case Study – Company-specific responses to the issues of change posed within a reference model, and a synopsis of maturity status.

View Next Part: Section A - Intro to Model

View Executive Overview: Abstract, Preface, Table of Contents

View Section A: Intro to Model | Change Proficiency Maturity Model | 24 Business Practices | Summary

View Section B: Intro to Remmele Case Study

View Section C: Integrated Model & Case Study | C-1.3: Strategic Plan Buy-In | C-2.1: Capital Investment Justification | C-3.1: Business Unit Relationships | C-6.2: Operating Metrics

Download This Report: PDF

Order Hardcopy Bound Report: An Agile Enterprise Reference Model and Case Study of Remmele Engineering

Features: Home | Library | Corp Info
Major Concepts: Realsearch ||| Enterprise Model ||| Maturity Model
                        Knowledge & Agility ||| Agile System Principles
Book: Response Ability - The Language, Structure and Culture of the Agile Enterprise
Book: Value Propositioning - Perception and Misperception in Decision Making

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Last modified: May 30, 2019