In this issue:
Do you want to make a change that lasts, a change that sustains itself over time? Maybe a change such as transitioning to agile?
Some of you have made agile work for one team, and are wondering how to make it work for larger programs. Some of you might want to extend your agile effort to the rest of the organization.
And, some of you are saying, “Agile doesn’t work. Not At All.”
Agile is about cultural change. Think of cultural change as a campfire.
Cultural change is the kind of change that needs to be started with a little starter and a little kindling, that you feed carefully, tending, so it doesn’t go out. Once you have a little flame, you can add more little bits of wood.
Now that it’s bigger, you invite other people to help. Maybe they see your little flame and they are attracted to it. “Nice fire,” they say. You add a branch, and you show them how to do it. You coach them so they can add a branch without putting out the fire.
By now, several people know how to add branches. Pretty soon many people can add big logs so you have a campfire. They can become stewards of the fire. They can make sure the fire sustains itself. But that first wavering pitiful wispy smoke? That is what you need to tend, to make sure it takes.
Cultural change requires constant attention and nurturing, just like a fire does. Even when you have a campfire going, you need to monitor it, so it stays in the boundary, doesn’t extinguish or burn out of control.
Cultural change is a long-term process. You can’t estimate how long the entire change will take. You can’t create a defined plan–although you can create a plan with checkpoints. You have to adapt your plan to the current reality.
Why? Because you are dealing with people. People react to change individually. You can’t predict their responses; you can only respond to their reactions along the way.
As you transition to agile, or create whatever other long-term sustainable change you desire, consider how you will start it, nurture it, and sustain it.
Then, you will have the long term change you want, change that lasts.
A Change Artist is someone whose presence improves everyone’s chance of making a positive change. Would you like to improve your change artistry skills? You have an opportunity to join Esther Derby, Don Gray, Jerry Weinberg, and me at Change Artistry 2013, September 23-27, 2013 in Albuquerque, NM.
Please join us.
If you’ve been waiting for the print version of Hiring Geeks That Fit, your wait is almost over. The book is at the indexer, so the answer is soon, now. Yes, I know I said that last newsletter, but I had to fix the layout, so the indexer is reindexing. Sigh.
I’ll be at Agile 2013 next week in Nashville. I’m giving talks about the project portfolio, teams, and a pecha kucha about my agile suitcase. If you’ll be there, let me know, and maybe we can meet. I’d love to see you in person.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues here.
See my articles page for my articles. If you see one that interests you and you would like me to speak about it, let me know.
copyright 2013 Johanna Rothman
Tags: agile, change