Agile Business Change Management Bringing Agile to Teams & Products

The requirements that modern companies have to meet evolve with great speed and therefore the way teams and departments work need to be constantly re-evaluated. A currently set and tested way of doing things may very likely be a thing of the past next year. It's vital for business managers to identify the requirement of change as quickly as possible, to enable business growth and avoid wasting resources on no longer effective actions.

Agile Business Change Management

Here is where the concept of Agile Business comes in. An Agile approach means staying flexible in the way things are being done, leaving policies open and ready for change. Often times there is an outside force within an organization, aiming to perform or help out in the transition from traditional to Agile.
With an objective take on the goals that are meant to be met and a dedicated set of skills to facilitate the change - one person – the “Change Manager” can indeed manage to bring a change of company policy, team mindset and even Standard Operating Procedures to meet the Agile requirements.

How to make a change?

There are three distinct stages of a change process:

  • Preparing a change: naming the requirements, thinking out the strategies, models and best approach
  • Enrolling the change
  • Gathering feedback and comparing results with the plan - plus - either reinforcing the changes made or making adjustments.

Out of the 3, the task of making sure the change sticks is likely the hardest and most important. Short-lasted adjustments are easy, the trick is in making them permanent.

How to ensure that the change will last?

  • People - without exception - in all organizations - they are the most valuable asset, and require special care. Most people do not welcome change and ways need to be found to coarse them into acceptance. So, a Change Manager's role is in keeping the team reassured that their needs and rights are still being respected, and it's only the way they do what they do that will change. And for the better.
  • Culture - in a changing environment, there will be an office / corporate culture in place. This needs to be left alone, at least for the initial part. A large portion of change management is adjusting the culture that goes with the work that the team does. It cannot be sudden though, not with a large group of people. Gradual changes and adjustment are the way to go.
  • Organization - no need to point out, that the company management has got to be fully backing up the Change Agent. But what would make even more sense is if the Agent was reinforced and represented by lower level managers as well. This way making the modifications will go easier and to a better outcome.

Teams as well as products

There is one more important aspect of this. Making the team and organizational policies Agile is - unfortunately - not enough. The product / service that the organization delivers needs to be just as responsive to frequent changes as the team. Teams need to keep in mind that the Agile way, in which they run the processes need to go in line with the technical way the product is made.

So not only does your process require to be flexible, but the software architecture or product built also have to have adjustable and responsive components. So that when a change comes round, you will be ready to embrace it, both in the teamwork approach and in the techs-specs available. Your product will have to be easily changeable.

An interesting research has been conduced on this very subject - Best Practices For Agile-Plus-Architecture - Enterprises Need Sustainable Business Agility, Not Just Agile Development, proving the value of he approach and examining the very details of making it work.

How to keep score of the progress?

An approach that invites keeping score of all the changes to both the team policy and the product / service development is easily managed on a visual board. The main advantage of utilizing it for Change Management is the ability to share the progress, findings and new assignments with an entire team as they happen. Commenting and collaborating on the ongoing tasks and changes is just as easy. Try now for free.

Improve your team performance like Kanban Tool happy customers did:

Kanban Tool customers