Relationship Between Complexity & Business Agility

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Agile vs. Iterative Development

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What is Agility?
  • 0:52 Business Complexity
  • 3:03 Agility and Complexity
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Agility allows companies to respond to changes quickly. But how does it relate to organizational complexity? In this lesson, we'll examine factors that contribute to complexity, including how agility and complexity interact.

What Is Agility?

Soo-Lin is the owner of a company that designs apps for people trying to learn new skills. She's noticed that things are always changing. The wants that customers have change from day to day, and the tech industry trends change from day to day, as well. So, the question is: how can Soo-Lin deal with all this change?

Agility is an organization's capacity to respond quickly to changes in industry and/or customer demands. For example, if customers change from wanting a single app that teaches many things to wanting to have many apps that each teach only one thing in depth, Soo-Lin's company is going to have to meet that demand. This is their agility.

To help Soo-Lin understand agility better, let's take a closer look at business complexity and its relationship with agility.

Business Complexity

Making her company agile seems like a good solution to Soo-Lin, but she's a little skeptical about her ability to do it. It seems like a company with only three employees and one or two products would find it easier to be agile than a company like hers, which employs hundreds of people and has hundreds of products.

When Soo-Lin thinks about the number of employees or company products, she's beginning to think about business complexity, which is about how complicated or intricate an organization is. For example, Soo-Lin's company has hundreds of employees and is far more complex than a company with just two or three. More employees leads to more complications and more intricate communication.

There are many things that can make a company complex. They include the following things:

  • The number of employees, products, or services. As we've already seen, Soo-Lin's company has a lot of employees and makes several different apps. The more people, products, and services a company has to juggle, the more complex the organization becomes.
  • The number and type of company locations. If Soo-Lin's company has only one office for everyone, it's easier to manage than if it has half a dozen headquarters locations around the world or if every employee works from home. Thus, the more locations a company has, the more complex it becomes.
  • The interrelationships between team members. If employees within Soo-Lin's company only interact with a few other people, it is simpler than if everyone interacts with dozens of employees every day. You can think of relationships as spider webs: the more strands that connect people to other people, the more complex the organization becomes.
  • The duration and complexity of individual projects. Not only can a company be complex, so can its projects. Let's say Soo-Lin wants to develop a new app. If the app only requires a few people to develop it and will only take a few weeks to finish development, that's a relatively simple project. In contrast, if the new app requires dozens of people and years to develop, it becomes a much more complex project. The more complex and time-consuming projects a company has, the more complex the company becomes.

Agility & Complexity

Thinking about her company's complexity makes Soo-Lin feel overwhelmed. How can they ever be agile with so much complexity?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Free 5-day trial

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create an account
Support