AgileChange ManagementProject Management

Change Management Within The Agile Framework

By March 25, 2019 No Comments

One of the most exciting developments in the past decade has been the rise of Change Management (CM) and Agile. The Agile revolution is spreading across not just the IT sector but also the wider economy, with organizations like National Public Radio implementing Agile to create new programming, John Deere using Agile to develop new tools and machines, and Saab employing Agile to create new fighter jets. Across the world, companies like Microsoft and AT&T to The Department of Justice are now recognizing how important it is to have a robust people process in the form of change management frameworks and dynamic collaborative project management frameworks like Agile. In combination, CM and Agile are powerful tools that all companies can use to solve even the most difficult management problems. Finally, the solutions are here.

As the Harvard Business Review says, “The spread of agile raises intriguing possibilities. What if a company could achieve positive returns with 50% more of its new-product introductions? What if marketing programs could generate 40% more customer inquiries? What if human resources could recruit 60% more of its highest-priority targets? What if twice as many workers were emotionally engaged in their jobs?”

But Agile alone will not bring those kinds of results. Many companies who implement Agile overlook and undervalue Change Management and the benefits it brings to Agile team management. CM is one of the most important people management systems available and it dove tails perfectly with Agile. Any company that implements Agile will need to consider CM as well in order to get the most out of the switch to the Agile framework.

What is Agile and how does it intersect with change management?

Agile project management, or APM, is growing in popularity among organizations who are seeking to optimize the speed with which they bring products to market while also minimizing the risk of producing those same services and products. An outgrowth of management practices in the tech industry, specifically the software development industry, Agile has proven extremely useful for implementing change management in organizations both small and large.

The Agile Manifesto is itself deeply influenced by change management experts. There is a strong emphasis on collaboration and flexibility over hierarchy and set workflows.  Agile effectively integrates the human side of doing business with the growing need for fast turnaround times and constant innovation. Understanding how the Agile framework can boost trust across stakeholders while allowing for transparency and rapid development is crucial to properly operationalizing change management best practices within your team.

Why do teams need a scrum master who understands change management?

In the Agile framework, the scrum master takes on the team lead role. The scrum master is responsible for ensuring that the team adheres to the principles of the Agile framework and follows the processes and practices that the team has collectively agreed to. The responsibilities of the scrum master include but are not limited to the following:

  • Establishing and maintaining an effective working environment
  • Managing interpersonal team dynamics
  • Guaranteeing a good relationship between all stakeholders
  • Guiding the team and the project around pitfalls both inside and outside of the organization

Every organization who wishes to implement change management within the agile framework will need an effective scrum Master to properly carry out the mission. Agile is being deployed at several major organizations such as IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, AT&T, and the Department of Defense , but such organizations often struggle with transitioning from a traditional waterfall framework to the Agile framework because they lack the type of scrum master who knows both frameworks well.

Precise Process Consulting specializes in offering an integrated approach that addresses both the people and process aspects of change. PPC has achieved this synergy by being a fully Certified Scrum Master firm (CSM) with over a decade of change management expertise and our customized methodology. Complex transitions require someone who can assist with the deep impacts that fundamental organizational change inevitably has on teams and systems. Some of the priorities that a scrum master can help with include guiding an organizations’ internal culture, organizational re-structuring, and training/education at both the staff and management levels. All of this requires a resource who is an expert in both traditional waterfall frameworks and the Agile framework in order to help the organization make the transition as smoothly and efficiently as possible. To learn more about how PPC can assist your company with your Agile / Change Management Transformation visit : www.preciseconsultingfirm.com

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