Agile Approaches to Business Planning

Nov 1, 2018Insights

As many of our clients are finalizing 2019 plans, we are hearing more and more about how agile methods and approaches are being built into budgets–company-wide budgets, not just limited to IT departments.


Adapting to Customer Needs

The Harvard Business Review article “Agile at Scale,” from the May-June 2018 edition, highlighted that companies with wide adoption of agile practices in budgeting are typically managed differently.

“They see that customer needs change frequently and that breakthrough insights can occur at any time. In their view, annual cycles constrain innovation and adaptation: Unproductive projects burn resources until their budgets run out, while critical innovations wait in line for the next budget cycle to compete for funding.”

Staying Flexible for New Possibilities

This approach has been compared to how venture capital functions – and the idea that steps are being taken forward toward a big picture goal, but there’s room for new possibilities as needs change. There’s an expectation that space is reserved down the line to include innovation, new ideas, account for changing priorities, and the ability to stay on track and adapt to unexpected outside disruptors. Embracing agile principles in the budget provides structure and a plan for the coming year, but doesn’t require absolute commitment to a project that may become outdated in the 6 months or year it takes to get there.

Loft9 has deep expertise in helping clients assess and then transition to agile methods in areas outside of IT. Looking ahead to 2019, how are you approaching the budgeting process to incorporate agile strategies?