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Managing Resistance: How the Kanban Method Supports Lasting Change

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“Going Agile” is a big cultural change for most organizations and it’s significance, impact, and effort required for successful implementation can often be underestimated. There are many benefits to be gained by adopting a more Agile approach, including quicker and additional feedback loops, more focus on value, and higher levels of collaboration. However, for Agile to succeed in the long-term it’s essential to set expectations up front and to balance the amount of change with the amount of disruption it will cause. In this session, we will look at how David Anderson intentionally built change management principles into his Kanban Methodology and explore other change management techniques the Agile community can leverage when helping organizations transition to Agile.

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Managing Resistance: How the Kanban Method Supports Lasting Change

  1. 1. excella.com @excellaco Managing Resistance: How the Kanban Method Supports Lasting Change Julie Wyman and Sarah K. Park
  2. 2. excella.com | @excellaco Julie Wyman • Agile Coach with Excella Consulting • Experience coaching teams on a variety of Agile frameworks • Certified Scrum Professional, IC- Agile Certified Agile Coach
  3. 3. excella.com | @excellaco Sarah K. Park • Change Management Lead with Excella Consulting • She helps her clients discover the power of strategic communications, engagement, and the value of implementing repeatable processes in order to help reduce the impact that change has on an organization, its culture, its people, and its ability to fulfill its vision and mission.
  4. 4. excella.com | @excellaco 1. Challenges with Agile Adoptions 2. The Case for Change Management 3. The Kanban Method as an Alternative Approach Agenda
  5. 5. excella.com | @excellaco If Agile’s so great, what’s the issue?
  6. 6. ”We implemented Agile at the team-level…” “We tried Agile – it didn’t work here.” “Oh, we did that for awhile, but we stopped when our CTO left…” ”We’re thinking about a reset – doesn’t feel like we’re getting value right now.”
  7. 7. excella.com | @excellaco Why do Agile adoptions fail so often?
  8. 8. excella.com | @excellaco Company philosophy or culture at odds with core agile values 69% VersionOne, 11th Annual State of Agile Report (2016)
  9. 9. excella.com | @excellaco Lack of experience with agile methods 47% VersionOne, 11th Annual State of Agile Report (2016)
  10. 10. excella.com | @excellaco Lack of management support 45% VersionOne, 11th Annual State of Agile Report (2016)
  11. 11. excella.com | @excellaco General organization resistance to change 43% VersionOne, 11th Annual State of Agile Report (2016)
  12. 12. excella.com | @excellaco Change management initiatives fail long term. 75% New Study Explores Why Change Management Fails - And How To (Perhaps) Succeed (2013)
  13. 13. excella.com | @excellaco A Scrum Example
  14. 14. excella.com | @excellaco Defined roles, artifacts & ceremonies Roles  Product Owner  Scrum Master  Developer Events  The Sprint  Sprint Planning  Daily Scrum  Sprint Review  Sprint Retrospective Artifacts  Product Backlog  Sprint Backlog  Increment If you don’t have all of these, it’s not Scrum!
  15. 15. I tried… A •Awareness D •Desire K •Knowledge A •Action R •Reinforcement ADKAR Change Management Model: https://www.prosci.com/adkar/adkar-model Kotter image: https://www.kotterinternational.com/8-steps-process-for-leading-change/ ADKAR Kotter Change Model Mindset
  16. 16. excella.com | @excellaco • Imposed • Too much change • Slowed down for too long But still… resistanc e
  17. 17. J-Curve Effect Based on image from: David Anderson’s March 2017 Kanban Coaching Professional Masterclass
  18. 18. J-Curve Effect Based on image from: David Anderson’s March 2017 Kanban Coaching Professional Masterclass
  19. 19. J-Curve Effect If pain of change > executive tolerance -> then the change agent gets fired Based on image from: David Anderson’s March 2017 Kanban Coaching Professional Masterclass
  20. 20. excella.com | @excellaco • Individual • Group • Organization Underestimate d the threat to identity
  21. 21. Scrum Alliance, 2016 The State of Scrum Report
  22. 22. excella.com | @excellaco • Use roles, artifacts, & ceremonies as a check list • Adoption stays at the team level • Easy to fall back into old habits Too easy to believe you’re “Done”
  23. 23. excella.com | @excellaco So, how might we better align the pace of change to the appetite for it?
  24. 24. excella.com | @excellaco The Case for Change Management
  25. 25. Build and Promote Buy-in Clear and Consistent Communication: Communicating the WWWH Why is the change happening? What is the value and importance of each individuals’ contributions and how will they lead to a greater opportunity for successful implementation? When will the change initiative begin and what is the projected timeline? How will the change impact the organization and stakeholders (including employees)? Creating a Flexible and Resilient Organizational Culture Promoting and Maintaining Trust
  26. 26. excella.com | @excellaco Kanban Method as an Alternate Path to Agility
  27. 27. excella.com | @excellaco Kanban Method Visual approach to work that emphasizes flow, collaboration, and continual improvement
  28. 28. excella.com | @excellaco 1. Visualize 2. Limit work-in-progress 3. Manage flow 4. Make policies explicit 5. Implement feedback loops 6. Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally General Practices (similar)
  29. 29. …”how could I successfully scale adoption of an Agile approach across an enterprise and overcome the inevitable resistance to change?” Anderson, David J. Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change in Your Technology Business. Sequim, WA: Blue Hole, 2010.
  30. 30. excella.com | @excellaco • Start with what you do now • Understand current processes, as actually practiced • Respect existing roles, responsibilities, and job titles • Gain agreement to pursue improvement through evolutionary change • Encourage acts of leadership at all levels Change Management Principles (different)
  31. 31. excella.com | @excellaco • Start with what you do now • Understand current processes, as actually practiced • Respect existing roles, responsibilities, and job titles (Identify the value of individual contributions) • Gain agreement to pursue improvement through evolutionary change (Communicating early and often and engaging stakeholders throughout the process) • Encourage acts of leadership at all levels (Create a safe space where individuals can communicate questions, concerns, and ideas) Change Management Principles
  32. 32. excella.com | @excellaco • Easier to get started • More role safety • Limit the disruption • Increase ownership • Evolving solution Potential Benefits
  33. 33. Easier to get started Start with what you do now Understand current processes, as actually practiced • Visualize current process • Less up-front pre-requisites • Feels more doable
  34. 34. More role safety Respect existing roles, responsibilities, and job titles Gain agreement to pursue improvement through evolutionary change • Current identities (individual and group) less threatened
  35. 35. Limit the disruption Gain agreement to pursue improvement through evolutionary change Based on image from: David Anderson’s March 2017 Kanban Coaching Professional Masterclass
  36. 36. Increase ownership Encourage acts of leadership at all levels • Part of creating the solution – less imposed • Harder to direct blame if not working as expected • Change becomes more embedded & longer lasting
  37. 37. Evolving solution Gain agreement to pursue improvement through evolutionary change • Don’t pretend to know exactly what’s needed up front • Solution will emerge over time • Understand that system may change as needs change
  38. 38. excella.com | @excellaco • Less defined – less direction provided • More responsibility to drive the needed change • Never feel “Done” – constantly evolving Challenges still exist
  39. 39. VersionOne, 11th Annual State of Agile Report (2016)
  40. 40. While change initiatives can create uncertainty within an organization, the implementation of the four outlined practices of preparing for and managing resistance will better position your organization for success. Success in the implementation of change will result in a more dynamic organization better equipped for an ever changing environment.
  41. 41. excella.com | @excellaco 1. Regardless of Agile framework, appreciate the amount of change an Agile adoption brings 2. Consider Kanban as an alternate path to agility 3. Build a change management plan into whatever approach you take Takeaways
  42. 42. excella.com | @excellaco Discussion

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