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
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
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.