An organization – be it IT or non-IT, aspiring to move from traditional waterfall or V-Model way of project functioning to agile way of working (WoW) has to go through a organization wide transformation process with significant change management at all levels across length and breadth. In my opinion, following are the five most important drivers that need to be followed without any deviation for a successful transformational change.
Ø Senior management, from all functions of the organization, have to be absolutely convinced about the benefit of this transformation and accordingly back the execution team through initial ups and downs. “Aspiration” has to be changed to “conviction” from where there is no looking back. The transformation planning has to be sponsored top-down for the success to be achieved.
- Ø An effective communication change management plan to be devised and put in place to percolate the vision across all employee levels. This messaging has to reach to the heart and mind of all the employees and they need to be on the brought on the same boat. Resistance to change is a natural human behavior and hence this communication plan has to doubly effective to take away any kind of fear and apprehension from the mind of employees.
- Ø Experienced agile transformation coaches or agilists need to be roped in to help steer the organization through the journey. The coaches will be supported by an internal lead execution team having a buy-in in the thought process. The lead execution time would have already embraced the new practices mentally by this time. The workshops conducted by these experts, involving employees and stakeholders at all levels, will complement the change management plan already communicated. Workshops, being a key execution stepping stone in the overall journey, will define the new WoW in the context of the business practices of the organization. The overall WoW will involve relevant external and internal factors and most importantly the customer base and expectations .
- Ø In addition to workshops, appropriate training programs with the agile theory and principles -suited to different employee groups at different levels, will have to be rolled out by the lead execution team.
- Ø Retrospective review by executive Sponsoring team along with the lead execution team, moderated by the Coach in a timely manner with 2 week sprint mode is a must. While tailoring of the execution plan is expected by the review committee, unflinching support by the senior management – going back to point 1, is a must, beyond any bit of doubt.