Creating Alignment for Agile Change

Creating Alignment for Agile Change

“You know why that team can’t produce anything? Because they’re not doing ‘true agile’” This was the resulting comment from a conversation I had with a QA manager many years ago in response to how one of the Agile teams was making life miserable for her “downstream” QA team. I’m sure you’ve heard something similar or even participated in the “doing Agile” vs “being Agile” debate. Many in the Agile community have moved on from that discussion and have learned that implementing Agile is less about “Agile” and more about creating alignment for why an organization wants to adopt Agile in the first place. The obvious blanket statements in the change management world are things like, “ensure constant, and clear communication”, “communicate the ‘why’ of the change”, “build engagement and create focus” and other phrases that sure sound great, but apparently aren’t helping with making change efforts more successful. The change management world likes to sell the 70% number. That is, 70% of change efforts fail. Or more accurately, 30% of change efforts are successful, but selling that 70% number is more effective because it allows big change management firms to sell their ‘tried and true’ methods. The problem with that is, there is no tried and true method that ensures successful change. No one tool, method, process or approach is going to consistently work because of the constant changing variable that exists in all change programs. People. Everyone has a strongly held belief that their way is the right way. The people who “get” Agile, will argue in favour of embracing uncertainty and ‘being Agile’, while the people...