RESEARCH REPORT – Agile and OCM: Out of the shadow of software

with No Comments

(C) Able and How 2017

LONDON, Friday 04 OCtober 2017

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 you can access the report below.

From the data Able and How collected and analysed, the headline findings were:

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 being used for Organisational Change, Leadership and Management Processes.

Agile drives better human interactions

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

That finding aligns well with the successful features of Organisational Change Management. 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.

Very few Agile projects fail

The number of Agile projects identified failing in the survey data is very low.  Among those who responded to the questions “On balance your Agile projects…” only 3% said their projects that have failed. That very low 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 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.

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 campaign.

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, and keep it going.

Next week we’re switching focus to all things Digital.

In the meantime, follow Able and How via the company’s social media channels, or through the MCA.


If you would like a copy of the report, click the ‘Download as PDF’ button below and fill in your details.

Download PDF

Download PDF

Leave a Reply

13 − 12 =