by Jannik Wahl

customer centricity through agile methods – just a fairytale? 

Agile methods positively impact turnover because product development is shaped by customer input. Also agile leadership and agile mindset have become buzzwords used increasingly by many different companies. But is this just a fairytale for traditional companies with historically grown structures? We identified five main challenges for companies to really achieve customer centricity through agile methods in times of digital transformation.

key takeaways

  • Agile methods like SCRUM help large companies drive digitalization and reep the benefits of a customer-centric business model


  • But applying agile methods in a superficial way doesn’t work. Customer centricity has to come from a firm belief in the values and principles of agile methods and effective application of them


  • Irrespective of a company’s size, a prerequisite for achieving customer centricity is the ability to change historically grown structures and mindsets

five main challenges for customer centricity

#1: political interest

Hierarchical structures in large companies are characterized by a system of reporting to mid-level management and executives.  During the decision-making process, management interests can over-shadow customer interests. 

#2: behaviour in success

In the past, success for a company heavily relied on product centricity. This approach is risky now, because customers are much more engaged with brands and business.

#3: willigness to change

Transforming a corporate culture takes a significant number of people to lead this change. A holistic approach that includes all relevant stakeholders and internal influencers is needed, though this can be difficult to establish.

#4 silos and dependencies

Agile methods like working in SCRUM teams require cross-functional teams. Dependencies in historically grown IT structures counteract the need for flexibility and fast delivery. 

#5 zero failure tolerance

According to agile methods, products are rolled out quickly and then customers decide whether they really meet their needs. Many companies, especially those in Germany, are afraid of this approach because of their premium and product-centric approach.

The complete article is published on LinkedIn.

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Michael Erz is partner at rpc – The Retail Performance Company and heads the consulting division.
Michael Erz
Leading rpc’s consulting division, Michael Erz has been integral to establishing and growing our consulting and business technology services since 2013. His broad skillset ranges from sales strategy support to design and optimization of business models
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