From Traditional to Agile - An exploratory study of how large companies can achieve Organizational Agility
Background and Purpose: Today’s business environment is exposed to rapid changes, why companies must obtain the ability to be flexible and respond quickly to changing circumstances. Consequently, organizations are increasingly realizing the need of becoming agile. Organizational agility encompasses agility across the whole organization, meaning that the agile transformation process affects all levels of the company. Because of this, the process of achieving organizational agility is highly complex, particularly for large organizations. However, there is yet no model or framework in existing research outlining the transformation process and little research has addressed the key success factors and challenges of organizational agility that are specific for large companies. Accordingly, there is a clear need for further research within the field. The purpose of this thesis is therefore to explore how large companies can achieve agility on an organization-wide level by investigating the main key success factors and challenges of organizational agility, as well as the process of becoming an agile organization. Methodology: The research was conducted through a qualitative, exploratory study. The result is based upon an extensive literature review of the concept of organizational agility and how it can be achieved. The findings were extended by conducting semi-structured interviews with respondents possessing relevant knowledge about organizational agility. The findings from the literature review and the empirical results were thereafter compared and analyzed in order to deepen the understanding of how organizational agility can be achieved by large organizations. Main Findings: The result shows that organizational agility is characterized by five attributes: adaptation, changing environment, flexibility, responsiveness, and speed. Furthermore, there is a large number of key success factors and challenges of organizational agility, where the main ones were identified. The findings also reveal that large organizations go through two main phases of the agile transformation process, referred to in this study as exploring and progressing. Finally, the findings of the study show that organizational agility affects five core organizational areas: strategy, process, structure, people, and technology. Consequently, all five areas must be reconfigured to fit an agile environment, and thus to be able to achieve organizational agility.
Agile Transformation Process
Achieving Organizational Agility
Key Success Factors
Master Degree Project