Techniques for Overcoming Barriers to Agile Transformation

schedule Oct 15th 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM place Ballroom B people 41 Interested

Agile transformation can be a daunting yet very rewarding endeavor. Organizations are adopting Agile principles beyond their traditional software teams and looking for benefits in other areas across the value stream. This includes changes not only in engineering and how we build and deliver products but in other organizational areas such as management, procurement, leadership, human resources, or any area of the organization that is part of the delivery pipeline. Organizations are making great strides in their agile journey yet there are challenges and barriers to overcome as an organization’s beliefs, practices, and culture slowly change. Yet change does not happen overnight. Changing how we’ve done business for many decades can create feelings of fear and a sense of uncertainty for people. What can be done to help overcome these barriers of fear, uncertainty, unfamiliarity, and in some cases, inertia? What are some techniques that can be used to develop an agile mindset and make the shift to further adoption? In this talk we will discuss the importance of Agile across the enterprise and provide some examples from those who have gone “full agile” adopting it within their various functional groups and within any environment. Additional resources and references will be provided for those seeking to make a difference within their team, program, or organization.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

Change models to help create a transformation strategy

What are the barriers to adoption experienced in some organizations

For each barrier, what are reasons the barriers might exist and what are some techniques for addresses these barriers

What is an example of how this has been applied

Additional resources/references to support your journey

Learning Outcome

Participants will:

Become familiar with change models that can be aligned and used when planning a transformation strategy

Learn why change can be difficult

Gain a better understanding of barriers to change within an organization

Receive a variety of techniques and actions that can be taken to respond to these barriers

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Coaches, Agile Champions, Managers, Leads, Anyone seeking ideas for dealing with cultural barriers of agile transformation

Prerequisite

It is expected that participants have foundational experience with agile and have encountered challenges in furthering their adoption of agile across teams or organization

schedule Submitted 3 months ago

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  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  3 months ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • Certainly people are looking for ways to overcome barriers to adoption

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • Dr. Suzette Johnson
      By Dr. Suzette Johnson  ~  3 months ago
      reply Reply
      Good evening.
      Thank you for the response. Here is some additional information in response to your questions. Hopefully this provides more clarity. I wasn't sure which section it should go under so I tied it into the Outline.
      • Discuss three change models to help create a transformation strategy. The three models explored are the ADAPT model from Mike Cohn (based on the known ADKAR model), Kotter’s Leading Change model, and the model based on the writings by the Heath brothers. These models each provide specific recommendations that can be leveraged as you develop your transformation strategy.

      • What are the barriers to adoption experienced in some organizations? As the transformation strategy is implemented, the organization encounters many barriers or impediments along their journey. In this discussion four primary barriers are discussed:  Fear, uncertainty, compliance, inertia.

      • Many of us recognize that fear of change is a major barrier to change and the feelings of uncertainty that it creates. People are not sure how they will fit into the new model, there roles and/or responsibilities are shifting. They become concerned whether they will have a place in this new world that is evolving around them. What have organizations learned about helping people overcome the fear of change? There are techniques that can be built into the transformation strategy that help individuals grow and become part of this new environment. Techniques explored include foundational activities such as training, coaching, mentoring, and building from that to include ways of communicating and sharing successes, modeling the new behaviors, creating new mental models, and emphasizing that there are greater fears that fear of change.

      • Dealing with compliance and regulations is another barrier faced by organizations. Within the federal and Dod space there are many activities and discussions happening to overcome this barrier (given that it is maybe not happening as fast as we would like). In addition, there are misconceptions around this barrier. There is guidance and lessons learned in areas such as applying earned value in agile environments along with understanding why this practice is still important in many areas. In addition some organizations have had to work through certification and accreditation challenges that can often serve as barrier but there have been some places that have been able to come up with ways of working through this seemingly barrier.  What about the acquisition process and looking across the entire value chain? Another potential barrier to transformation. Yet, there are some different implementations to these standard milestones (PDR, CDR, TRR…) that have been tried and worked successfully in some areas.

      • A final barrier is centered on inertia and general unwillingness to change. “If I just wait it out long enough it will go away” or maybe there is the thought “Agile is only fad….”  To overcome this barrier we have to look at some numbers. What are the trends showing us?  Then, by understanding that the world around us is changing we can look back to the change models for recommendations on how to continue to move the organization forward along this journey. We tie in cultural elements of transparency, trust, lead by example. Focus on stronger customer engagement and positive relationships by delivering results frequently with open communication and leveraging these results to build more success.  We begin to look to leadership to model and communicate the expected behaviors and begin to reflect on how performance is rewarded. By tying together techniques that address cultural elements, leadership behaviors, and how performance is rewarded we can create a positive shift in the right direction.



      --
      Dr. Suzette Johnson, PMP, SPC
      Certified Enterprise Coach
      Agile Engineering and Leadership
      “Change is the law of life. And, those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ---President John F. Kennedy
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