The organisation is embarking on a journey toward agility. You're aware of the benefits and understand that moving toward agility is a significant change. You have hundreds of people, used to their current ways of work; and a thousand in-flight projects that you can't stop mid-flight to make this change. What should you do?

Are you ready?

  • Do you actually want the change? Obvious, yet critical. The emphasis toward agility is one that is built on a fundamentally different assumption about the world. Failure for leadership to be willing to make this change will be an expenditure of effort without delivery of value; putting the organisation at risk of brochure vs. actual.
    • Action: If you do not actually believe in the need for a change; then it is better leadership to make that visible and transparent instead of incurring the cost of a change effort.
  • Do you understand what the change looks like? The growth of agile consultants leads to a lot of material being available to help one understand the landscape. Unfortunately, as with many business trends; this material is often of low quality and aimed at a wide range of audiences. I'm always happy to help  by providing you with tailored, relevant introductory material.
    • Action: As generalist reading material, try starting with the Cynefin framework and understanding the transition from complicated to complex contexts.
  • Do you have the stamina for the change? Moving from the 'domain of experts' to the 'domain of emergence' requires constant and relentless application of empiricism beyond what your organisation will currently be designed for. Maintaining an operating rhythm of improvement and change requires a stamina from the people within the organisation that needs to be considered and prepared for. Experiment with your people; rather than on them.
    • Action: I recommend techniques such as face-to-face retrospectives on a regular basis throughout the change. Select high EQ-members of the team to conduct these on a basis no less frequent than monthly.

Next chapter, we'll talk about what to refrain from and what to focus on, throughout this change.