How do Agile and Organisational Change Management work together?

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LONDON, Monday 02 OCtober 2017 — Last week we talked about what was to come in OCtober. Today we start the month off for real.

In this OCtober — Organisational Change month — we will explore a different topic each week, beginning with Agile Methodologies. We hope to start a discussion about each topic and how it impacts the world of Change.

In order to do that we started our OCtober planning back in March. In early July 2017 we launched a survey to business, programme and change professionals. We asked them questions we had about Agile and Organisational Change Management (OCM) and looked for answers to issues that puzzle us.

Those results are in and we have analysed them and will make that report available later in the week.

Today we want to share some headlines with you.

From the data we collected and analysed, our main findings were:

1.Very few Agile projects fail

The number of Agile projects that fail according to our survey data is very low.  Among those who responded to the questions “On balance your Agile projects…” only 3% said that their projects have failed. That number potentially tells an interesting story. So we look at it more closely, because it defies commonly held views of the success rates of business programmes generally.

At the same time, our data showed that only 19% of respondents participated in Agile projects that were a success. That number might reflect the relatively recent and specific use of Agile in scaled, non-IT environments, but it is also a figure that requires further discussion and investigation.

2. Agile is flexible and human, people say

When presented with the key principles from the Agile Manifesto, our respondents singled out Agile’s responsiveness to change and its focus on interactions between people as its key principles.

That finding aligns well with the successful features of Organisational Change Management (OCM). The ‘people-side of change’ is what we often describe as the most important aspect of OCM. Because Agile can help focus programme and project teams on those things, Agile is bound to find favour with  people managing organisational change.

3. Agile is emerging from IT’s shadow

In a webinar earlier this year, Able and How referred to Agile as having “jumped the fence”.  The idea of Agile Methodologies having moved out of the IT department, and not just being used for software or product delivery, has become the headline of this report too. “Moving out of the shadow of software” is a more elegant way of putting it.

Here our research suggests that Agile tools, processes and people are also targeting Organisational Change, as well as Leadership and Management Processes.

We are fascinated by this finding and we want to know more.

Where to from here?

The timing of the release of Agile and OCM : Out of the shadow of software is connected to the start of Able and How’s Annual OCtober events.

We hope to open the discussion on some of these questions and help further the debate. Hopefully you will participate. Or if you are coming to this after the fact, you will find record of the discussion in public forums.

OCtober ‘17 – Organisational Change management month. Here’s how to get involved:
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