Agile Change Management

17
Jun

The Subtle Difference Between ‘Doing’ and ‘Being’ Agile

jon_01

I recently caught up with an old friend for a quick drink. A quick drink turned into a quick few more — then a quick few more, more! But who’s counting?

I digress — back to the story.

After a couple of drinks my friend started opening up about some personal stuff happening in his life. He was unhappy at work because he felt underpaid and overworked. And on top of that, things weren’t going too well in his marriage; in fact, they were rapidly going from bad to worser (his word, not mine).

After spending some time off-loading the things that were making him unhappy, with some strategically placed questions, I finally got him to start focusing on potential solutions to some of the perceived problems he was facing.

(That’s not to say his problems weren’t real – they were; at least from his perspective. But I’m a firm believer that what we focus on expands; and problems are only problems when we perceive them as such. Hence why Einstein said:

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”)

As far as my friend was concerned, the solutions were simple; if his wife was less argumentative, his boss wasn’t such a jerk and his company paid him more, everything would be fine; and he’d be much happier.

Listening to him talk, reminded me of the opening chapter of Steven Covey’s international best seller ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ where Steven draws the reader’s attention to two concepts he calls the ‘Circle of Concern’ and the ‘Circle of Influence’.

According to Steven, when operating from the Circle of Concern, we tend to think and speak in terms of achieving an end goal as a direct result of something else (usually outside our control) happening first. For example: Read more

19
Aug

What was he thinking?

What Was He Thinking?

agile doghouseJust as I was opening a bottle of wine, the phone rang.

“Hello” I answered.

“Hey Ade,” a voice responded at the other end, “How’s it going?” It was my friend Geoff.

“Not bad thanks Geoff” I replied, grabbing two wine glasses. “The boys are in bed, and I’m about to enjoy a well deserved glass of wine and film with my wife. What are you up to?”

“Not much…” Geoff responded.

“Really — I thought you and Angela were going on a ‘date night’ tonight?” I asked as I passed a glass of wine to my beautiful wife.

“We were…” Geoff replied. He didn’t sound his usual bubbly self.

“Is everything ok?” I asked, flicking through the movies channel to see when the next showing of “Dallas Buyers Club” was scheduled to start.

“Not really…” Geoff said hesitantly.

He had my full attention now. “What’s wrong?” I asked with concern, putting the cable remote down.

“Well…you know how Angela’s always telling me to be more open and honest with her?” Geoff said.

“Yeah…” I replied uneasily Read more

6
Aug

Is Your Corporate Culture a Good Fit for Agile?

We must be informed and Agile during this time. Know who your customers are, know what they need, and be prepared to delight! ~ Steve Denning

In the book ‘Diffusion of Innovations‘ Everett Rogers provides a perspective of how, why and at what rate new ideas spread in society. According to Rogers, in order for new ideas to become self-sustainable, they must be widely adopted.rogers-bell-curve

Plotted over time, the rate at which new ideas are adopted typically follows a ‘bell curve’ pattern, showing the order in which different groups adopt new ideas. These adopter groups are as follows;

Innovators >> Early Adopters >> Early Majority >> Late Majority >> Laggers

Looking at the widespread use of Agile in software development today — and the rate at which companies from different industries have taken to it over the last few years — I think it’s safe to say that Agile uptake is currently somewhere between the Early and Late Majority stage.

The speed at which new companies are taking to Agile is a good thing – especially when you consider the fact that only a few years ago many organisations still viewed Agile as a ‘fad’ that would come and go as quickly as the British summer! Read more