RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • This report analyzes responses from people around the world on their employer’s business agility maturity.
  • Highlighted benefits include speed to market, customer and employee satisfaction, and faster adaptability to the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 was a forcing function on global companies, which—except for North America—reportedly matured 15% compared to pre-COVID.
  • Key predictive indicators for business agility are relentless improvement, adaptive funding models, and aligning to value streams.


The Business Agility Report is an annual report produced and distributed by the Business Agility Institute in partnership with Accenture | SolutionsIQ and AgilityHealth. TeamForm also partnered with the previous organizations on the 2020 Report.

For the third straight year, the annual Business Agility Report reveals where organizations are in their journey to becoming more Agile businesses. The 2020 Business Agility Report examines data from 359 organizations, spanning 28 industries and 53 countries. What is of particular interest for us is that this year’s survey responses were collected in the time period preceding and through the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving us a unique view into the impact of a global disruption while it was happening.

The survey is designed to gather insights on the challenges and opportunities that organizations face as they strive to improve their adaptability, market viability, customer and employee satisfaction and more. This is what we call business agility.

Key predictive indicators

Compared to last year, more organizations have started their journey to business agility, and respondents report greater progress in their organizations. The three key predictive indicators of business agility success in an organization were relentless and continuous improvement, adaptive funding models, and aligning to value streams rather than a project-focused budgeting and workflow approach.

Relentless improvement

By continuously improving the value provided to customers and how, organizations see benefits of reduced costs, improved efficiency, and more.

Funding models

By funding business outcomes supported with more adaptable governance, organizations can make start-stop-continue investment decisions rapidly.

Value streams

By organizing around value, companies can clearly see what is impeding value flow to customers and can restore flow before costs are prohibitive.

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The effect of COVID-19 on business agility maturity

It is no surprise that COVID-19 factors in this year’s report. What’s most exciting is that respondents said that a focus on overall business agility gave them greater adaptability when the pandemic struck.

Average Maturity Pre/Post COVID-19

Bar chart depicting how the average maturity of business agility has increased post-Covid-19 compared to pre-Covid-19, based on survey results.
The key finding is a significant increase in average maturity post-COVID-19. Increases are thematically concentrated in the areas of customer focus as well as the operation of an organization’s support functions such as Human Resources and Finance.

Challenges to organizational adaptability

Respondents continue to report additional focus is required with leadership vision and sponsorship, and with broader structural issues such as organizational silos, alignment, and funding. Many organizations still are troubled by old mindsets that work against business agility outcomes. Here is a telling response from a survey respondent:

Our transformation is being led bottom up. Although our leadership wants to achieve the benefits of agility; they have not yet taken the step to make the leadership shifts required.

Learn more about the latest trends in business agility on our podcast, Agile Amped – available both on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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