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How Retail CEOs Can Drive Agile to Grow Their Business

Overcoming common barriers to agile adoption

For traditional retailers facing disruption from digital natives such as Amazon, introducing agile approaches to their businesses to speed efforts to innovate and compete is crucial. Retail leaders understand the necessity for digital transformation but often struggle in their attempts to get there.  

An agile approach requires an openness to flat structures and a willingness to relinquish tightly held control. Rapid innovation only occurs when leadership can let go of deep-rooted ways of working.

In our work with multinational retailers, we have identified seven ways to overcome the common barriers to agile adoption:

  • Espouse strong leadership commitment by engaging coaches who can teach business stakeholders the principles of the agile methodology’s more collaborative, inclusive approach
  • Create a transformation blueprint to help leaders understand what the company will look like after agile adoption, how it will operate and what their roles will be
  • Establish communities of practice to drive agile adoption and motivate cultural change by providing governance for the change and measuring the effectiveness of the new products and processes 
  • Replace traditional ways of scoping projects with delegating scoping and budgeting to agile delivery teams 
  • Invest in building capabilities for AI-driven automation of engineering processes to enable faster delivery of customer products and services 
  • Manage organizational change through consistent communications and coaching on the new approach through different channels such as mobile apps
  • Measure the progress, showcase success stories, and discuss lessons learned as the organization moves through the agile transformation journey

To learn more about the best way to introduce agile techniques, download this article.


Pratik Pal

President and Global Head, Retail, CPG, Travel, Transportation & Hospitality, TCS

Rajashree R

Global Head, Retail Solutions Group, TCS