In this issue:
When you want to make a change, you need other people to work with you. Maybe you want your organization to transition to agile. Maybe it's time to experiment with measuring your work in progress. Maybe you want to move from manual testing to a combination of automated testing plus exploratory testing. Whatever it is, you want to make a change and you want to use a little influence with your colleagues. Where do you start?
Before you can persuade anyone of anything, they have to think you know what you are talking about. You need to prove your competence. How do you do that? You show your results.
You show other people how you have made whatever change you are asking them to consider. Think of this as show-and-tell, except you are no longer in third grade.
When you show others how you have transitioned to agile or measured your work in progress, or how you have changed your testing, you are influential. You are proving your competence, daily. Others see your results.
You don't have to be perfect. As long as others can see you have been successful and that you continue to succeed in some way, that's good enough. In fact, if others can see where you have stumbled and what you have learned, that's useful. You can say, “Here's what I learned when I encountered these problems.”
One way for other people to see your results is to deliver often. If you're part of a project team, make sure your features are small and that you demo releaseable product at the end of each iteration. If you use flow instead, demo those features as soon as you complete one. If you're a manager, follow through on your commitments. Yes, I know this is not easy. And, it's necessary for others to believe in your competence. Why else would people believe in you?
The other person's belief in your competence isn't enough. You still have to build rapport. You still have to build trust. You still have to address the WIIFMs (what's in it for me) for the other person. But helping the other person see how you have succeeded? That's huge. Your experiences make the possibilities real, not pie-in-the-sky.
Would you like to practice becoming an influential agile leader? Gil Broza and I have teamed up to create an event to help you do just that.
If you are a leader in your organization, we invite you to participate in the Influential Agile Leader, and make the promise of agile happen in your organization.
It's experiential, so you'll have a chance to practice with your peers from around the world. Yes, we have people from all over who have either committed, or are planning to do so. The inner-circle registration ends Feb 28, so sign up now. The price goes up and the bonuses expire on March 1.
Join me at AgileIndy for my keynote about agile management, and a tutorial about agile project management, March 7-8, 2013.
I'll be at Let's Test, in Sweden the week of May 20, 2013. I'm looking to combine that trip with other work in Europe. Want some training or other consulting? Let me know.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues here.
I keep my blogs current with my writings: Managing Product Development,
Hiring Technical People, and
Create an Adaptable Life.
copyright 2013 Johanna Rothman
Tags: change, coaching, influence