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Champion Agile Change Management in 3 Effective Steps

A lot of companies struggle with agile change management. Mainly because they are not sure how to tackle the entire process, let alone agile the methodology. In this article at ThoughtWorks, Dianne Inniss shares 3 steps by which you can champion agile change management effectively.

Agile Change Management: Easier Said Than Done

The top management can simply make the workforce endure agile change management, but what about the resultant resistance? In the waterfall method, a team would follow client requirements and deliver exactly what was planned in the initial stages. For agile change management, the team must undergo various iterations to oblige numerous change requests. For most, the product seems never to be complete. How would you convince team members to work on a change that the client would ask to replace the next day?

The author says that more than the methodology or technology adoption, you should focus on changing the workforce mindset. Human minds are always resistant to changes. Following are the 3 effective WAR steps—‘willing’, ‘able’, and ‘ready’—to champion agile change management:

Willing: In this first step of agile change management, encourage your workforce to want to change their working model. The senior management must come together to communicate and train people. Understand and upgrade processes that would help in implementing changes faster. Answer queries and gain confidence of relevant stakeholders. Make them willing to support and fast-track approvals for those changes.

Able: It is not only about training the workforce in new processes or technologies but it is also about their evolutionary ability. For the traditional method there was an end, for agile change management it is incremental development. The whole blueprint is ready in the previous method, but the new method concentrates on one piece at a time. You need training on the tool only for Waterfall. For agile, you need to understand the new approach as well as the tool.

All target a single deadline in Waterfall. For agile, the targets are numerous based on milestones. You keep a time apart to train people and then start the project in the traditional method. People learn more while on the floor apart from training after agile adoption.

Ready: The team first needs to know what they want to achieve initially. Talking with the stakeholders, you get to know the exact requirements and identify an outline around those expectations. Next, find out the piece of task or MVP that is easy to achieve. This would boost team and stakeholder morale through quick wins.

The team then undergoes training to working on the MVP and ready themselves for the agile change management process. Once delivery is rolled out, team members keep an open mind to expect changes.

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