business agility (BA)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: All about Agile and ALM
Contributor(s): Rachel Lebeaux

Business agility (BA) is a concept whereby organizations seek to approach their operations and resources in a flexible, responsive manner. 

Business agility allows organizations to adjust rapidly to changing market conditions, capitalize on emergent business opportunities, adopt new distribution channels or supply chains and reduce costs or increase revenue streams in the process.

Business agility draws on the theories pioneered in agile project management, in which project managers and their teams assess their priorities and progress frequently throughout the project lifecycle and make adjustments midstream in an iterative manner, rather than at the end of a project. A systemic approach to change management provides business owners with a framework for how to respond to change, taking the needs of the entire organization into consideration.

A number of emerging technologies are useful in promoting business agility. Cloud computing allows scalability and adjustable per-user costs; mobile devices enable employees to work more easily away from traditional office environments; collaboration software encourages internal communication, brainstorming and problem solving among staff; and social media permits real-time interactions with customers, creating a constant feedback loop to drive business agility efforts.

See also: Kaizen

This was last updated in July 2013

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