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Company Transition Deck,Decks,Large Organisations

January 11, 2011

“Company Change Deck” Series: Card #7

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Establishing a Sense of Urgency / Stakeholders / Stakeholders agree to Sponsor the Resolution of the Problem

This card is focused on getting you to get the stakeholders to commit to helping the change initiative whenever it is needed. Implementing this card means you have some form of “contract” between you and the people who can potentially change the world of constraints around you:

“Are our stakeholders ready to invest some of their time and energy in this initiative? Will they put their name on the line?

Real life exampleReal Life Examples

NegativeDuring a particular contract, I found it extremely hard – well, impossible – to get anybody from the a group of sponsors to actually spend some time working on the issue we were going to resolve by implementing agile: instead, they delegated the tasks and responsibility to some of their teams, thus diluting the message that it was important for them. When we hit some issues later on during the transition, the layer of delegation they implemented created both friction and lethargy to the change process.

PositiveA tandem of CXOs accepted to pair up and play this role on one of my engagement. We made this engagement visible to the entire company, and I quickly started to exercise this muscle whenever blockers came in the way. Getting them to play this role (not just agree to play the role) was essential in my opinion: it created both value in the context of the change but also value for them as they got some really positive feedback from other people in the company for doing so.

Other Resources and LinksAdditional Links and Resources

The complete deck (in English or French) + user guide can be downloaded on the “Card Decks for Agile Transitions” page.

How to use the cardHow to use the card

The card represents a positive acceptance criteria we want to pass. That is, when looking at the card as a positive statement, is your answer YES or NO in the context of the change you are undertaking?

PassIf the answer is YES, great! Make sure to periodically revisiting the card and checking that you can still answer YES to the question.

FailIf the answer is NO, the card acts as a goal to achieve. It then becomes a token for conversation between the people involved in leading that change. The conversations around this card need to cover the following:

  • HOW are we going to pass this “test” (i.e. respond with a YES to the question on the card)?
  • WHAT tasks do we need to undertake?
  • WHO is going to do these tasks?
  • WHEN is this going to be done?

Passing an acceptance criteria requires some form of planning and tracking. I recommend that the person or people working on passing these acceptance criteria use Agile planning, tracking and continuous improvement techniques.

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