Large agile transformation applying Kotter's change leadership strategy


Kotter's change leadership framework was established almost 2 decades back. This paper highlights how the same steps helped a structured, waterfall company to start adopting agility to improve time to market. 

That there is a need for a change was understood when we started. We formed a team that created the sense of urgency.

We established a common vision ... a simple & easily understandable one.

We created a framework which can help people understand what does agility means. The framework was created keeping the existing constraints & process (CMMi-5) in mind.

We worked with an existing team to pilot, proved it works, made a case study and then showcased it to other teams to give an example. This answered the FAQ … does it work for me ? This helped other teams to overcome the fear of uncertainty.

This created the bottom-up curiosity acres the organisation, in almost every team. They all had a different question now … how can I apply this ? This started the actual transformation.

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Outline/structure of the Session

Want to structure the session in the same sequence as Kotters 8 steps for implementing strategy is explanied.

  1. Increase Urgency (Demostrating what agile can bring on the table) ... 
  2. Build the team
  3. Get the vision right
  4. Communicate for buy-in.
  5. Empower people to clear obstacles.
  6. Short term wins.
  7. Don't let-up - Consolidate, keep moving - build on top of the quick wins.
  8. Anchor changes (Make the success in-built in the organisation culture).


Learning Outcome

Approach for agile transformation in a large waterfall company.

Target Audience

Consultants, Project Managers, Program Managers, Sr Managers

schedule Submitted 5 years ago

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  • Vivek Vijayan
    By Vivek Vijayan  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi! Nice concept of applying Kotter's change leadership framweork. Do you have any presentations or videos which can provide a greater insight into the proposal. Thanks! 

    • Kalyanasis Banerjee
      By Kalyanasis Banerjee  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply


      Unfortunately I dont have any presentation as yet. Will prepare one as soon as I get some time :)

      I wanted to talk about

      • Apporach we took for the overall transformation (where Kotter's framework came into the picture).
      • Approach we took for execution in the ground (Identifying values the team want to achieve, analysing suitablility for a project for agile transforation, bringing change agent, gap analysis, setting a goal, establishing a framework that helps the team to achieve the goal).
      • All these keeping the existing process (CMM Level 5) in mind.

      Thanks, hope this answers your question.