I have put some of my knowledge and that of others into a little tool that I really believe can help people conduct Agile Transitions out there. The tool stems from issues and successes I have had when conducting Agile Enablements, and recent results in trying the tool in situ.
The premise is that an Agile Transition is indeed a form of change within an organisation – nothing new here – and that we should pay at least as much attention to how we conduct the change as to what the change itself actually is.
What is it?
John Kotter comes with a model of change management which I have found inspiring, and that might inspire others too. He has written a number of books on the subjects, which in essence explain his 8 Step Change model in various formats and depth. When considering the introduction of Agile within an organisation, one might consider using the overall Kotter Change Management framework.
In this model, one first tries to identify the Problem or Opportunity they are trying to tackle and create a Sense of Urgency for it. Agile might presents itself as a solution later, the solution might be something entirely different. Kotter’s model allows to track that – from an organisation change management point if view – the new approach will be introduced with the best chances if success. In order to do this, he proposes the following 8 steps for introducing change within an organisation:
- Establish a sense of urgency
- Create a guiding coalition
- Develop a vision and strategy
- Communicate the change vision
- Empower broad based action
- Generate short term wins
- Consolidate gains and produce more change
- Anchor new approaches in culture
As already mentioned, this model works for any type of change, in our case, we are talking about changes that want to introduce Agile within a company. Introducing Agile in itself will also come with some challenges, and the introduction of certain practices, their monitoring, the effort put on coaching, will also require their own form of planning, execution, tracking and learning.
So what is this tool then? Well, it comes in the form of decks of cards. Each card in these decks represent an Acceptance Criteria for moving one notch closer to the desire behaviour or result. Why do I say decks? Because there are more than one of them, although using them in conjunction is effectively the tool I am proposing.
So far, I have done a deck for the Kotter change model itself and another deck for helping teams introduce Scrum. Someone who would want to see Scrum used within their organisation can use the Kotter deck for managing the change and use the Scrum deck for the introduction of Scrum with the team(s).
Status update: see at the bottom of the page for the latest info!!
On your side
For teams who want to Transition to Scrum
- First, if you want to try the tool yourself, just download the decks, cut them and order the cards in each deck.
- 1/ Download Change Model Deck
The first deck – the one inspired by Kotter’s work – is to be given to and used by whoever is driving or managing the change initiative. The second deck needs to be given to the actual teams who are trying to introduce Scrum. To make it absolutely clear, if you have 1 team trying to do Scrum, print the Scrum deck once and give it to them. If you have say 3 teams, print 3 copies and give one deck to each team for them to use.
- Look at each card as an acceptance criteria, and check if you are passing of failing the particular test it describes. If you do fail a test, the next conversation for the team is to find the best solution to pass the test. It is in some ways a Test Driven approach to change management and Agile Transition. More info on this in the User Guides.
- Then PLEASE! send me some feedback on how the tool works for you, what works wells, doesn’t work so well, what you would do differently, pictures of your information radiators, basically anything that can help me get to the next version of this tool.
On my side
I also have a little backlog of things I need to do around this tool to make it easier to grab and use from day 1.
- User manual | status:
- English version for Kotter Change Model DONE
- French version for Kotter Change Model DONE
- XP deck | status: TO BE DONE
- Scrum / XP hybrid | status: TO BE DONE
- Translate each deck into French | status:
- Scrum: DONE
If there is anything else you think is missing from the above list, please let me know and I can had it to the backlog.
It works for me, I hope it can help you too.
These decks can now be created and used inside www.pickadeck.com, an app I have recently released. It uses a Casino metaphor, where people come to play card games. Each table can host one set of players and one type of game, which allows people to really focus on the game at hand: the SCRUM TRANSITION game is offered by default, other games can be created inside the app.
For more info or to create your own casino and experiment, go to pickadeck, and make change a game 🙂