We’re huge fans of doing things in measurable increments to achieve lasting results – especially when it comes to change.
In our Incrementalism series, we’re sharing a client story today. Our client, regional, worth about $10B, had kicked off a waterfall to agile transformation for their IT & Software teams. Being a big, stable, capable company they had made some really smart hiring decisions in selecting their Agile SMEs. Being a big, stable, capable company they were also, inherently, slow to change. With Agile they expected to see big results, quickly.
Their change efforts were floundering for six months when we got the call to jump in. What the struggle came down to was attempting to change everything over to Agile in one fell swoop. Tools, Processes and People, most importantly, in IT and their business clients were dealing with brand new concepts and methods to transaction business between IT service delivery and stakeholders.
Our plan was to change in smaller increments, one cross-functional team, even one feature team if necessary, at a time, with discrete, measurable goals – and then iterate and build on it.
After overcoming understandable resistance born from six months of no progress, we got traction and got things rolling – showing and doing alongside the teams, then doing in parrallel, then expanding the scope, each time with the same incremental, measurable approach. Folks caught on quick we were using Agile to transform the teams SDLC to Agile too.
We taught the teachers, created internal advocates and won over stakeholders. Six months on, momentum showed the org was on a great track to continue on their own – and to this day, they’re happily plugging along with Agile and looking at how they can use the same methods to transform some of their business processes.
Keep shooting for the moon, but get there in increments.
We would love to hear your change transformation stories – good, bad & ugly!