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Agile Pushback 
Change is hard. 
Changing to Agile is harder 
Katy Saulpaugh 
Katy.Saulpaugh@Excella.com
Overview 
 Learn what 
resistance to Agile 
looks like 
 Understand how 
people and 
organizations adapt 
to change 
 A...
Welcome changing requirements, 
even late in development. Agile 
processes harness change for the 
customer's competitive ...
Symptoms of Agile pushback 
What does resistance to Agile look like in 
your organization?
Why is change so hard?
How do we adopt change? 
Adoption 
Time
How do we adopt Agile? 
Adoption 
“Agile is part of everything I do” 
“It makes sense why we are going Agile” 
“I know Agi...
Is organizational change harder? 
There’s no magic pill for organizational change
What is change management? 
Adoption 
Transparency 
Communication 
Acceptance 
Productivity 
Engagement 
Resistance 
Misin...
Excella’s model for Agile change 
Change. 
Coaching 
Commitment 
Culture 
Communications
Culture
Culture 
• Measuring culture 
• Red flags for Agile 
• Toolbox: 
stakeholder 
analysis or 
environmental 
scan
Commitment
Commitment 
• Considerations 
with sponsorship 
• Champion network 
• Toolbox: change 
readiness 
assessment or 
resistanc...
Coaching
Coaching 
• Instruction design 
• Agile 
ambassadorship 
• Toolbox: train the 
trainer, brown 
bags, mentorship
Communications
Communications 
• Messaging on 
business value 
• WIIFM 
• Design: who, what 
and how 
• Toolbox: online, in 
person, feed...
Agile change case studies
Case study #1 
Problem: Customers of an Agile web 
development team at a Federal client 
were confused about who to talk t...
Case study #2 
Problem: Commercial client’s 
development team was putting out 
“buggy” code that wasn’t passing 
QA tests....
Key Takeaways 
 Change is hard… but it is essential for Agile 
 Understand resistors and how people adapt 
to change 
 ...
Final Thought 
Drop me a line: katy.saulpaugh@excella.com or @katysouthpaw
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Agile Pushback

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Agile Pushback - Change is hard. Changing to Agile is harder.

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Agile Pushback

  1. 1. Agile Pushback Change is hard. Changing to Agile is harder Katy Saulpaugh Katy.Saulpaugh@Excella.com
  2. 2. Overview  Learn what resistance to Agile looks like  Understand how people and organizations adapt to change  Apply the “4C”s to encourage Agile in your organization
  3. 3. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage –Agile Manifesto
  4. 4. Symptoms of Agile pushback What does resistance to Agile look like in your organization?
  5. 5. Why is change so hard?
  6. 6. How do we adopt change? Adoption Time
  7. 7. How do we adopt Agile? Adoption “Agile is part of everything I do” “It makes sense why we are going Agile” “I know Agile is coming to our organization” Time “I embrace Agile and will promote it”
  8. 8. Is organizational change harder? There’s no magic pill for organizational change
  9. 9. What is change management? Adoption Transparency Communication Acceptance Productivity Engagement Resistance Misinformation Confusion Errors/Ramp up time Frustration Increased... Decreased...
  10. 10. Excella’s model for Agile change Change. Coaching Commitment Culture Communications
  11. 11. Culture
  12. 12. Culture • Measuring culture • Red flags for Agile • Toolbox: stakeholder analysis or environmental scan
  13. 13. Commitment
  14. 14. Commitment • Considerations with sponsorship • Champion network • Toolbox: change readiness assessment or resistance management plan
  15. 15. Coaching
  16. 16. Coaching • Instruction design • Agile ambassadorship • Toolbox: train the trainer, brown bags, mentorship
  17. 17. Communications
  18. 18. Communications • Messaging on business value • WIIFM • Design: who, what and how • Toolbox: online, in person, feedback loops
  19. 19. Agile change case studies
  20. 20. Case study #1 Problem: Customers of an Agile web development team at a Federal client were confused about who to talk to about getting new features built on the organization’s website. Developers were directly contacted by the customer and agreed upon work without telling other members of the team, including Product Owner and leadership. Occasionally, this interfered with committed work. Change. Culture Commitment Coaching Communications Result: consensus on priority created transparency between client and development team
  21. 21. Case study #2 Problem: Commercial client’s development team was putting out “buggy” code that wasn’t passing QA tests. The client introduced an automated testing tool, but the developers were employing workarounds and not really using the tool. The developers reported that the tool was difficult to use and the sponsor wasn’t directly involved with the implementation. Change. Culture Commitment Coaching Communications Result: improved skills and increased sponsor understanding to improve code quality
  22. 22. Key Takeaways  Change is hard… but it is essential for Agile  Understand resistors and how people adapt to change  Encourage Agile in your organization by using the “4C”s – Culture, Commitment, Coaching and Communications
  23. 23. Final Thought Drop me a line: katy.saulpaugh@excella.com or @katysouthpaw

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