What does agile mean in your organisation?

    Oct 21, 2021 | Posted by Quentin Orsmond

    As a change management practitioner and consultant, I was invited to attend a meeting by a large financial service organisation. The purpose was to talk to them about change management and agile.  A 1-hour meeting was scheduled, and my expectation was to give them some insight on how to do change management on a project, that is following the Agile development methodology.

    Download: Prosci Change Management and Agile executive summary

    CM and Agile

    Attending the meeting were three stakeholders from the organisation representing the Project Management Office (PMO), Change Management (CM) and Human Resource (HR).

    The meeting kicked off with introductions and they advised that they were looking at agile and wanted to know how this aligns with the application of change management.

    Before I answered their question, I asked them three questions:

    1. Do you want to know how to do change management on a project that is following the Agile development methodology?

    2. Do you want to know how to do change management on the role out of Agile as a development methodology in the organisation?

    3. Do you want to know how to build a change agile organisation?

    That took about the first five minutes of the 1-hour scheduled for the discussion. The next 55 minutes of the meeting revolved around the three of them trying to come to a common understanding about the context of agile in their organisation. I sat back and listened to the discussing with them trying to come to some agreement about what they were actually talking about and what the context of the discussion was and what they were trying to achieve.

    At the end of the meeting, they had some clarity on what they were talking about. The irony was that due to their respective positions in the organisation, they had different views of what agile was and what it meant for them and what the outcomes were.

    It turns out the organisation was actually embarking on all three journeys!!!

    1. They were going to roll out Agile as a development methodology.

    2. They were trying to build an organisation that was more change agile.

    3. They know they needed change management to make it successful.

    With that in mind I mentioned a few thoughts around the change management and what they need to consider from that perspective.

    1. Building organisational agility is a change and needs to be managed like a change. You need to build some change maturity in the organisation, and you will need to do this with structure and intent. You will need a change management plan for the building of organisational agility. From a CMC Partnership and Prosci perspective we call this Enterprise Change Management (ECM)

    2. Rolling out the agile methodology is also a change and needs a change management plan that will support it achieve its objectives. Use the 3-Phase Prosci methodology to achieve this.

    3. Doing change management on a project following the Agile methodology is slightly different. According to Prosci research and the bet practices in change management 11th edition, you need to consider the following:

      1. Adjust the change management approach to be flexible. Look to build knowledge and ability for each of the sprints
      2. Define roles and collaborate
      3. Emphasis communication and training

    At CMC Partnership Global, we work with both individuals and organisations to help them build their change management muscles.

    Achieving organisational change competency, can often start with just one change management practitioner. For details on our Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification, why not download the course brochure?

    If you’re specifically interested in learning how to use the Agile approach for delivering projects in your organisation, you may want to consider attending our Integrating Agile and Change Management workshop.

    To achieve high change maturity, it’s also important that your sponsors and line managers understand their role during change. So if you’d like to explore in more depth how CMC Global can facilitate private workshops for your organisation, get in touch!

    Topics: agile, change management