At a party the other night, I got an earful about how much everyone hates Agile. They violently hate it. They quit their jobs because of it. Get me another glass of wine, this party just got real.
“Transformation” is the buzzword of the day. Agile Transformation. Digital Transformation. HR Transformation. But what does “Transformation” really mean?
I recently went along to a Round Table event for Transformation Executives hosted by Annapurna Change. There were about 20 of us discussing the inevitability or otherwise of Transformation Programmes losing momentum.
As the conversation around the table developed, it became apparent that we had very different views of what we meant by ‘Transformational Change’. According to the wiki dictionary a Transformation is ‘a marked change in appearance or character, especially one for the better’. Well, fine, but surely this could describe any large change programme.
One of the big Agile mantras is “Deliver Value Sooner”. They get all excited when I tell them about the client whose Agile discipline was, well, not disciplined at all. But they doubled their financial benefit purely by delivering value sooner. It’s like a before and after diet picture. We love looking at it, but are the results typical? I assert that they can be, but you need to break down the need for big-bang results.
What on earth does having your ducks in a row mean anyway? Does it mean everything is ship shape and Bristol fashion? And what the hell does that mean?
I tend to say I’m a Designer by trade, but a Change Manager by heart. But I also add that it’s all the same, and here’s why.
Of course, it does matter what you design. Whether you’re in Product design, UX-design, Business Design or Organization Design, requires different skills and experiences. However, I do believe that they all require a similar mindset.
Could you introduce yourself and what you do?
Sure, I’m Luke! I’m a change management professional, currently working as a consultant for Agilisys; a public sector consultancy. I help organisations change the way they work and try to ensure everyone’s happy about it!
There are a variety of definitions of change management, but how would you define it?
Agile shines a light on dysfunction. Once the dysfunction is exposed, you have 2 options: 1) fix it or 2) sweep it back under the rug. Which will you choose?
How does Agile shine a light on dysfunction? All Agile practices are designed to unearth sub-optimizations.
In the previous posts I described how we designed cross-functional squads aligned around strategic goals. A key benefit of alignment is that it automatically delivers an increase in speed of delivery by dramatically reducing, or eliminating, the dependencies and bottlenecks which so often slow us down. By aligning people around goals and outcomes you essentially streamline your organisation and expose the bottlenecks in resource.
In the previous post I described our squad principles and roles. In this post I’ll talk about the broader framework in which the squads operated — some of the ceremonies and practices we introduced to provide visibility and coordination between squads.