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Continuous Transformation: Frameworks to Assess Organizational Agility in the Retail Industry


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Amidst disruption from nimble startups and traditional opponents, organizational agility is key in providing the frameworks necessary for digital business transformation to succeed. In our work with global clients, SapientNitro uses 3 principle organizational agility frameworks to enable continuous transformation. And while each business is different and requires a unique approach, implementation always starts with an organization’s self-assessment. What is the current state of your organization? Flip through the slides above and then visit for the full report (along with many others).

Published in: Retail
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Continuous Transformation: Frameworks to Assess Organizational Agility in the Retail Industry

  1. 1. As businesses are forced to compete in an increasingly digital landscape – one where disruption and globalization all but forces every organization to rethink its position and competitors in the market – no business’s position in the market is safe. The Need for Change
  2. 2. Organizational Agility in a Digital World
  3. 3. In our work with global clients, we often use three organizational agility frameworks to enable continuous transformation: Embracing Continuous Transformation
  4. 4. Model 1: Built-To-Change Model
  5. 5. When preparing an organization to adopt the Build-to-Change model, we focus on four main areas: Work with executives to establish the “Organizing Idea,” a strategic idea that sets the vision for the change and transformation. Ensure senior leadership is aligned with the vision; adapt and refine the vision if necessary. Identify if the retailer’s culture embraces change through interviews and analyses of various stakeholders within the organization. Focus on people and their fears, establishing key change management processes in order to create change. Building a Change Organization
  6. 6. Built-to-Change is an especially valuable model for retailers who want to establish cohesive teams between digital and brick-and-mortar divisions Macy’s adopted this framework to help improve its M.O.M. strategy, an acronym for the organization’s combined My Macy’s localization, omnichannel integration, and Magic Selling customer engagement strategies The department store reorganized its merchant, planning, and marketing organizations to make them faster, nimbler, and better connected across channels The result? An enhanced shopping experience for customers who can find products and make purchases seamlessly across channels Case Study: Macy’s as a “Change Organization”
  7. 7. A purpose-built method that groups a company’s key functional areas into teams that work together toward common objectives Suitable for organizations that want to align their digital teams to operate in an agile environment, but are not interested in wholesale transformation Goals are incremental, quantifiable, and continually improved based on benchmarks of success Increases agility by way of digital structures built upon small, product teams Does not require a top-down push from leadership and is best implemented in organizations that are ahead in their continuous transformation journeys Model 2: Agility PathTM Framework
  8. 8. A European mass retailer introduced the Agility Path framework into its information technology (IT) department to align all key domains (merchandising, marketing, IT, customer support, etc.) into teams that work nimbly with each other around the shared goal of increasing time to market The team was enabled to analyze results in real time and make adjustments to optimize performance Each incremental release had several key features of implementation that pushed the retailer further along its transformation path The company saw a total increase of 1.25 percent in online conversion across multiple releases, with tens of millions of U.S. dollars in incremental revenue Case Study: Agility PathTM Framework
  9. 9. Suitable for mature, digital companies comfortable with optimizing their way to innovation Measures and accelerates a company’s ability to continuously innovate and deliver its products and services to valuable consumers Founded upon a clear understanding of a retailer’s current product and service offering, and focused on innovating to deliver more value to its customers Designed for continuous organizational improvement with the goal of optimizing the value of an organization’s developed products and systems Based on the Agility PathTM framework Model 3: Evidence-Based Change Framework
  10. 10. A specialty retailer was struggling with a low Net Promoter Score (NPS), a tool used to measure customer loyalty The retailer implemented key value measures (KVM) in the areas of current value, time to market, and ability to innovate to help in improving customer satisfaction and ultimately improve sales Implementing the Evidence-Based Change model, the client used the metrics to quickly target underperforming changes Within months of implementing the framework, the company saw a 47 percent increase in Net Promoter Scores over just nine weeks Case Study: Evidence-Based Change Framework
  11. 11. Retailers must be aware that the simple introduction of a transformation strategy will not necessarily lead to success. Instead, the transformation strategy must utilize a framework that is well-suited to the organization. To perform an assessment of an organization’s capabilities, and to determine the best strategy and roadmap for utilizing an organizational agility framework, we often start by examining the organization in the following four areas: Analyze key end-to-end business processes and existing service design Map out how information and data are managed across the organization Review the organizational structure and determine its current operating model Review its innovation strategy Assessing Organizational Readiness for Change
  12. 12. In assessing your organization, it’s important to remember that continuous transformation is, in many cases, a cultural shift for an organization. Companies, their leadership, and their employees must be willing to adapt, embrace innovative thinking, and react to changing consumer needs and wants by getting products and services to market in increasingly shorter timeframes. Innovation alone cannot accomplish this. To read more about how identifying and applying the right framework can be helpful in guiding your transformation, download our full report on organizational agility. Beginning Your Agile Transformation
  13. 13. About the Authors