Agility Starts at the Top

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Agility Starts at the Top

BoardOps: \’bôrd ãps \ A methodology that seeks to address the rapidly changing landscape of modern Corporate Governance and business practices by incorporating Agile processes into the work of the Board of Directors. The term BoardOps combines “Board” (as in Board of Directors) and “Ops” (as in operations).

What is BoardOps?

BoardOps is a methodology that encompasses processes, culture, and mindset. It recognizes that true agility starts at the top of corporations. It starts with the board and the executives who work most closely with the directors. Its purpose: help the board excel at its most important product, sound informed decisions, while carrying out its oversight and fiduciary responsibilities.

BoardOps does that by better integrating everyone associated with corporate board work. Corporate Secretaries, General Counsel, C-Suite executives, CEOs, Lead Directors, and others work together in a single, more automated workflow. Their shared objective: improving board effectiveness and thereby, corporate performance.

BoardOps prioritizes and better informs corporate boards about their most impactful decisions. It extends board meeting planning well beyond routine calendaring and rote repetition by applying advanced technology to the entire board planning and meeting – bringing in relevant regulatory governance requirements and investor policies.

BoardOps benefits the board and everyone involved in the greater board workflow and decisions.

Why Haven’t Corporations Already Adopted BoardOps?

Many corporations embraced the benefits of DevOpsi and Agileii ways of working. But, they stopped short of taking these approaches into the boardroom. Boards have been used to working certain ways and were reluctant to change. With BoardOps, boards now have a roadmap for change and improvement. That improvement is especially important and necessary as boards take more active approaches to their work, evolving from their traditionally more passive approach.

How BoardOps Can Improve Corporations

BoardOps is a way of working that recognizes that true agility starts at the top. It helps the corporate board excel at producing its most important product – quality, informed decisions – as it carries out its significant and ever evolving oversight and fiduciary responsibilities.

  • Agile corporations can respond quickly to rapidly changing competitive landscapes and macro environments, such as COVID-19, and the resultant economic upheaval.
  • Agility must permeate all levels of the corporation, but it is especially beneficial in the boardroom. Why? Because a board is a team of equals.
  • BoardOps bridges the divide between Agile processes implemented within a corporation and the processes that guide decisions-making at that corporation’s highest level. Starting with the board can be the first step to realizing Agile’s benefits for the entire corporation.

What BoardOps Does So Well

BoardOps is a broad term. More specifically, BoardOps encompasses processes, culture, and mindset to use advanced technology to:

  • Make the board’s work more visible, especially its decision-making process, and understandable internally (to management) and externally (to investors, rating agencies, etc.).
  • Communicate transparently and proactively with investors, employees, and stakeholders.
  • Foster continuous improvement in board support and board effectiveness using monitoring and measurement. Analytics are a highly effective tool for improving board effectiveness – assessing how boards set priorities and evaluating board composition.
  • Create a culture of experimentation: acknowledge and address mistakes, then apply learnings to produce continuous improvement.
  • Embrace social and economic change as a catalyst for competitive advantage.
  • Prioritize and focus on the strategic decisions that best position the organization to carry out its purpose and for long-term business sustainability.
  • Reduce the amount of work in progress prior to final board decisions.
  • Articulate and refine board-related workflows that lead to and support board decisions Improve information flow to the Board.
  • Identify and remove bottlenecks in decision–making using advanced technology.

Using advanced technology in these ways can greatly elevate board effectiveness and, consequently, corporate performance.

In sum: Agile board. Agile organization. Agility starts at the top.

Next Time: How BoardOps Benefits Executives, Boards, Corporate Governance Professionals, Investors, and Others

i From What is DevOps? “DevOps is a software development method which focuses on communication, integration, and collaboration among IT professionals to enable rapid deployment of products. DevOps is a culture that promotes collaboration between Development and Operations Team. This allows deploying code to production faster and in an automated way. It helps to increase an organization’s speed to deliver application services. It can be defined as an alignment of development and IT operation.

ii From What is Agile? “Agile Methodology involves continuous iteration of development and testing in the SDLC process. This software development method emphasizes on iterative, incremental, and evolutionary development. Agile development process breaks the product into smaller pieces and integrates them for final testing. It can be implements in many ways, including scrum, kabanm Scrum XP, etc.

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