Vol 10 #8: When is It Time for a Change?
ISSN: 2164-1196 Sept 13, 2013
When Is It Time for a Change?
How do you know it’s time for you to make a change? Is your project swimming along–or is it swimming in circles? Is your career humming along? Or is it in low gear? Maybe you’re driving and you encounter a detour. You know it’s time to make a change then.
Okay, the driving example might not be so great. But the other examples hook us all the time.
When was the last time you encouraged change on your project? If you practice kaizen on your project, or use retrospectives, maybe you seek change. But, it can be difficult to make lasting change. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to change. Or, it can be difficult to know when to change.
One of my clients, Susan, along with her team, is considering changing from a three-week iteration to a two-week iteration. They want more feedback from their customers. They want to release more often. They want to be able to handle more change in their projects.
They’ve gathered data, using a kanban board inside their iteration, to show themselves that their work in progress is too large and that they should change the duration of their iteration. (I actually suggested they move to kanban, but you should have seen their faces! Nope. No way, no how.)
Moving from a three-week iteration to a two-week iteration is quite a change for them. It will affect all of their planning, never mind the size of their stories. It will provide them more flexibility as an organization and as a team.
I suggested they try to reduce their story size themselves, without actually changing iteration size, as an experiment. That way, they could see what they could accomplish in a two-week iteration. That one change led to changing story size, which led to changing how they managed testing and planning and releasing.
That experiment worked. They gained the confidence to make the change.
Sometimes, we aren’t sure we have the skills to make a change. Experiments help.
Knowing when it’s time to change is about managing the risks of change. Acknowledging that it is time to change is the first step. Once you’ve done that, you can see and manage risks.
Learn More About Successful Change with Change Artistry 2013
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.
Announcements and Where Johanna is Speaking
If you’re concerned about making a job change, Manage Your Job Search can help. Being anxious about a everything in your search—including leaving your friends at your current job—is normal. Managing your search is the first step. Learn how with this book, now in beta.
I’m speaking here in the next few weeks:
* September 23-27, A Week with the Quartet: Change Artistry 2013
* September 30-Oct 5, Star West, Anaheim, CA
* October 2, Agile Southern CA, Irvine, CA, Agile
* Oct 9, PMI Exchange, Texas A&M, College Station, TX
To see the topics, see my speaking calendar page. Want me to speak at your company? Contact me.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues.
Are you a long-time Pragmatic Manager reader? I decided it was time for a change. I’m experimenting with a new look and the vendor for my emails. Have a comment? Let me know.
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: change, project management, project management tips