You've become well versed in what it takes to make change toward agility. Understanding the major pitfalls will help you avoid common false-starts. Now you're ready to make a change. What next?

What to do: the first three steps

  • Create a Sense of Urgency What's the message around why this change should happen? Recall the pitfall around change via broadcast. The aim is to connect the change with the burning need at both mid-level management and staff level.
    • Action: As an example only; we've previously used a change message such as ""; "". this connects the major pain-points in the example organisation and provides a 'what's in it for me' for people within the target change domain to be enthused about the change.
  • Build a Guiding Coalition Are the stakeholders in support for the change? Your boss? Your reports? Do you have the relevant experience either of experts or are willing to put in the learning to be the strategic driver of this change.
    • Action: A change at this level contains both Change Management practices as much as it does agility domain expertise. Map out the parties involved in the change, and ensure that you also take them on the journey. I suggest that you want to turn this coalition into a regular 'Scrum of Scrum' or a 'Steering Committee' that itself runs in an agile manner.
  • Strategic Vision and Initiatives Change starts at the top. There are a number of models that you can pick for this; I suggest Martin Fowler's Fluency Model is a good place to start.
    • Action: Start applying change within your own senior circle. Ask your reports to make visible their top initiatives. Put in operating cadences that allow you to inspect the work daily. Engage a third-party scrum master/agile coach to facilitate your conversations. I strongly recommend starting with a kanban style initiative board; adding standups and a retrospective operating rhythm. If you haven't done a planning exercise in a while; it may be useful to conduct an initiative mapping session, a user story mapping workshop, and/or creating an inception deck together.

Next chapter, we'll discuss at a deeper level the tactics of getting started, to compliment the strategic view we've made visible here!