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Company Transition Deck,Decks,Large Organisations

January 24, 2011

“Company Change Deck” Series: Card #9

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Establishing a Sense of Urgency / Stakeholders / Stakeholders agree to respond to investment requests in less than a week

This is really to emphasise the fact that at some point during the transition, the organisation will need to invest hard earned cash into making this a success, and because all spending cannot be budgeted upfront, additional financial are bound to arise:

“Will your stakeholders let you know if the request is accepted in less than a week so that you know where you stand?”

Real life exampleReal Life Examples

NegativeAfter a few months of starting a transition and after a couple of quick wins under our belt, we were in a position to move forward and start generating even more wins. However, this required that we ramp up our coaching capability with some external new blood. We put a proposal forward for 3 months of additional coaching for 3 important projects that were about to start. The answer never came or was ambiguous, and we were left with projects that tried to do as the initial quick win project did but without the same help. This had another negative effect as the coaches that were supposed to be with other teams tried to cover all projects and ended up spread too thinly.

PositiveYet, another group of stakeholders gave us a budget to “play” with and didn’t require additional approval. We were only to seek approval for spending that were going to take us above this initial agreed budget. We eventually had to spend more than agreed at the beginning, but at that point the benefits of the transition were so widely felt that getting additional financing wasn’t an issue.

PositiveIn another company, all new budget requests were being discussed at a “Transition Scrum” meeting which happened daily. These were extremely involved stakeholders which had some very specific goals in mind, a strong sense of urgency and were happy to get a daily 15 mns meeting. This doesn’t mean that we got all our requests accepted, but at least we had an answer within 24hrs in most cases.

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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