AgileSHIFT and the age of the customer

Practitioner shaking hands with customer over table in office as third colleague looks on

The ‘age of the customer’ describes how modern organizations need to meet rapidly changing customer expectations and also anticipate their future needs. With technological advancement occurring at an unprecedented rate, increasingly, what distinguishes one organization from another is the customer experience. This requires an understanding of the customer’s entire relationship with the organization. To keep up with the pace of change, organizations need to adapt to new holistic ways of working in order to deliver both strategic objectives and respond to emergent priorities which are closely aligned to customer needs.

Change the organization (CTO)

Changing the organization is not an event but a continual process that helps to narrow the delta, i.e. the gap between the desired target state and the current performance level of an organization. To accomplish this, change or continuous improvement must be an intrinsic part of everyone’s day-to-day work within the organization. Those individuals, teams and organizations who fail to embrace change and evolve accordingly, will remain behind the competitive edge. So, whether it’s changing the focus of a business, adopting new technology and learning new skills, embracing change is critical to ongoing organizational survival and success.

Customer experience

In today’s disruptive environment, organizations and individuals are challenged to adopt more flexible, responsive and customer-focused approaches. Changes in, and the ever-increasing use of, technology are shifting customer behaviours and expectations all the time. Therefore all value-driven ways of working, must focus on early and frequent delivery of value to users, customers and stakeholders. The impact of any delay in the creation of value must not be underestimated since being on time and achieving deadlines contributes towards customer perceptions and engagement. In fact, it is often the case that less than optimal value delivered early may be more attractive than seeking maximum value delivered later. Simply, it’s about delivering a little bit of something the customer really needs sooner rather than a lot of something they don't necessarily still want later.

So, the challenge for any organization in any sector or industry is to continue to respond to the needs of their customers more expeditiously than their competitors. Successful organizations that survive, compete and thrive will be those that fully understand the customer and how they interact and engage with their people, products and services. In the age of the customer, the goal is to challenge everyone within the organization – from senior management, delivery teams through to operational and business support – to think differently about how they approach their work.

How can AgileSHIFT® help?

AgileSHIFT prepares individuals and the broader organization for transformational change by creating a culture of enterprise agility. Enterprise agility refers to the capability of an organization, as an entity, to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the environment. Given that no entity today is immune to disruption, AgileSHIFT encourages all areas of an organization to embrace agile ways of working, wherever appropriate. This may involve iterative delivery of its day-to-day work or it may mean making small and incremental improvements that combine to create value that forms part of the greater transformation the organization envisages. By offering a simple, iterative and tailorable delivery approach that can be adopted across the organization, AgileSHIFT provides a means to respond to the challenge of meeting the shifting needs and requirements of the most important person in any business relationship — the customer.

Current rating: 5 (3 ratings)


26 Aug 2019 Shreya Shinde
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SAFe Agile methodology is playing a vital role in the growth of the organization. However, the SAFe Agile course has its value globally only when you have organic and qualified credentials. I liked the way which you have expressed very clearly. Thanks for sharing.
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