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Step 1: Set your operational goal

One single goal

Traditional management set many goals - like for instance with balanced score cards.
Agile business management focuses on just one single operational goal: the flow of "energy" coming into the business. In accounting terms this is income or contribution margin. (Eli Goldratt emphasized this principle already 1984 in his famous book THE GOAL).


Agile business management fails without such single goal.

No goal > Incorrect business model > Wrong operational plan > Goal missed > Business failure

Step 2: Map your business model/network

What this is

The business model (other terms: eco-system, value chain, business network) is a view of the flow of values provided by each element and the flow of contribution margin back in from customers.

Every element which can contribute or hinder this flow must be positioned in this view. By this definition your business model comprises not only your own elements - but also customers, their customers, channels, partners, regulation agencies etc.

Why needed

The business model is the essential view to correctly develop the causal logic tree for the operational plan. You need to use it to identify and assign accountability of key projects, obstacles and constraints, commitments to resolve these.


Forget agile business management without an agreed upon business model/network view.
Incorrect business model > Wrong plan > Operational goal missed > Business failure.

Step 3: Design your agile-ready operational plan

Based on your business model. Backwards from the goal.

  • Identify critical success factors - the "must achieve to reach the goal" elements,
  • Define necessary conditions - the "must achieve DoDs for key projects,
  • Identify obstacles for each key project - what hinders to deliver the DoD,
  • Define commitments required to overcome these obstacles.


This is hard, focused and brain-tiring work. Don't rush. Forget agile business management without a robust, well developed operational plan.
Wrong plan > Miss operational goal > Business failure.

Step 4: Launch your PEC (Plan-Execute-Check) cycle

Set your key events schedule

Your key events schedule comprises the dates for quick reviews (project progress) and deep reviews (reviewing and adjusting your operational plan). It is the heartbeat of your business model and must be cast in concrete - never to change.


Forget agile business management without a robust, fast PEC cycle.
Weak PEC cycle > Weak agility > Business failure.

Develop competence in business agility

Top level competence required

Top class agile business management depends on top level competence of everyone in focus on the goal, building and using agile-ready operational plans and in spinning PEC cycless.

Leaders must personally lead

Leaders' task is to personally lead that development by:

  • Being a personal showcase of business agility, and
  • Personally leading coaching events


Forget agile business management if you delegate developing competence.
No showcase & no personal coaching > People on doubt > No agility > Business failure