Agile Transformation and Organizational Change Management

The Agile Community and Change Management communities have similar reasons for why change fails. Is there a relation between them? What can Agile learn from Change Management and vice versa?
April 22, 2014
Jason is the author of Lean Change Management and founder of the Lean Change Management Association and Spark the Change Toronto
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The latest Version One survey cited these 3 main reasons for why organizations fail to further adopt Agile practices:

  1. Inability to change the organization’s culture
  2. General resistance to change
  3. Trying to fit “non-Agile” elements into an Agile framework

To me, those are all symptoms, not causes. Agile transformation is a trigger for an organizational change, not a destination. Many Agile practitioners would agree with that, yet most of the information coming from the Agile community is still skewed towards “being Agile” and “changing your mindset”. Sometimes that is the right message for the organization you’re trying to change, and sometimes it isn’t.

That said, can “Agile transformation succeed” without organizational change management?

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1 Comment

  1. Niels Pflaeging

    Good point you make here.
    When I read the three points listed, I didnĀ“t think of them as symptoms, though. But as misunderstandings. All three points are somewhat messed up. Which may indicate that we still understand preciously little about change. Just as 18- or 20-year olds (and older) usually went to school but know nothing about learning and education.

    So I agree with you Jason that, Agilists, interestingly, sppear to ride the horse upside-down…


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