I’m sure we’ve all read recently of more and more organisations choosing to ‘go’ agile through ‘shock and awe’; aiming to complete the transition to “better ways of working” in a matter of weeks. In some instances, we’ve even seen the organisation issue new employment contracts and give staff 48 hours to accept them or leave. I’m not kidding. All in the name of ‘agile’. What happened to “individuals and interactions” being the most important value? It makes me want to weep; but instead I’d rather do something about it.

What if there were other ways to introduce such changes to large organisations? What if there didn’t need to be a large formal change management plan? What if it didn’t need to be force-fed at speed? What if we could help those affected by the change co-design the change? What if we could embrace uncertainty and try small incremental changes, gain feedback and insights? You know, what if we could apply lean and agile value and principles to the way we shift to more lean and agile ways of working? It seems kind of obvious, but it’s not that common.

My name is David Morris, and I am a lean change facilitator. Join me as I share my journey from seeing the darkness in my consultancy ways and the dawning realisation that following a plan-driven approach to implementing feedback-driven practices was just plain bonkers. Together we will try out some techniques for applying lean, agile, and systems thinking to large-scale change. You should all come away with some actions you can try out straight away.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

  1. Insights:
    • Why I care: a short story of some of the horrors witnessed (and committed) in the name of helping clients become more agile.
    • Who else cares: a brief touch on research into this space (the good, bad, and ugly).
    • Exercise: Experience compass. Aim, to build a few teams with a range of experience in lean/agile/systems thinking and in change management.
    • Exercise: What's your problem? In each team, silently write out a sticky-note for the challenge you'd like to overcome. Take turns pitching to your team members. Then dot vote on the issue that looks like it will be most productive to work on.
  2. Options:
    • What we can do about it: an overview of some change approaches and introduction to the lean change cycle and it’s agnostic use of techniques.
    • Exercise: What can we do? In each team, silently write some ideas (one per sticky note) for what you each think could be done (the wilder the better). Collaborate on mapping out these options (effort vs value). Then select the option that looks like it will yield benefits in a reasonable time-frame.
  3. Experiments:
    • A brief overview of the types of change (activities, experiments, and culture hacks). An introduction to minimum viable change and safe-to-fail experiments.
    • Exercise: Trying out an option. In each team, co-create a hypothesis statement (defines what you are seeking to change, why, what the outcome should be, and how you will measure it). Using some reference frameworks, consider what might be impacted by the change, and silently write how you could take small steps to address each of those. Rank these in order of dependencies, importance, and urgency. Agree which you would start first.

Each of these three segments will be approximately 25 minutes (including the explanation and exercises). This should leave sufficient time for wrapping up and Q&A.

Learning Outcome

  • Understanding of the lean change cycle
  • Practical experience with some techniques
  • An agreed action to try out straight away

Target Audience

Anyone affected by change, whether leading, influencing, or at the mercy of.

Prerequisites for Attendees

It will help things along if you take a moment to think about what change challenge you have before you right now. It could be large or small, but the more current the better.



schedule Submitted 5 years ago

  • Naresh Jain

    Naresh Jain - Organisational Resilience - Design your Organisation to Flourish NOT merely Survive

    Naresh Jain
    Naresh Jain
    schedule 5 years ago
    Sold Out!
    25 Mins
    Case Study

    A resilient organizational can not only adapt and respond to incremental change but more importantly, can respond to sudden disruptions and also, be the source of disruption in order to prosper and flourish.

    The traditional risk management approach focuses too much on defensive (stopping bad things happen) thinking versus a more progressive (making good things happen) thinking. Being defensive requires consistency across the organization and this is where methodologies like Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) come in. However, PDCA approach does not bake in the required progressive thinking and flexibility required for a fast company organization which operates in a volatile environment.

    Professor David Denyer of Cranfield University has recently published a very interesting research report on Organizational Resilience. He has identified the following four quadrants across to help us think about organizational resilience:

    • preventative control (defensive consistency)
    • mindful action (defensive flexibility)
    • performance optimization (progressive consistency)
    • adaptive innovation (progressive flexibility)

    In this talk, I'll share my personal experience of using this thinking to help an organization to scale their product to Millions of users. I've dive deep into how we structured our organization for Structural Agility and how we set-up a very lightweight governance model using OKRs to drive the necessary flexible and progressive thinking.

  • Mia Horrigan

    Mia Horrigan / Matthew Hodgson - Take the Red Pill and the Blue Pill - delivering policy with Agility ________________________________________

    25 Mins

    How do you deliver a big policy outcome that normally take 6 months when you only have weeks?

    An early election was called and we faced having to develop two sets of a comprehensive policy documents -- the red book (left-wing) and the blue book (right-wing) -- to brief an incoming government in 8 weeks. We were caught by surprise, the normal lead time were gone, and news about policy commitments came faster from TV and social media than traditional internal sources. This was a non ICT business team who hadn't done Agile before however we felt given the time frames, it was the best way to approach for such a high profile project.

    Come and learn about and application of Lean Kanban and how we delivered the outcome through:

    • engagement with the executive to share drafts of chapters, then gather and incorporate feedback in short iterative cycles to improve transparency and alignment.
    • team design in non-software environment
    • limiting waste and duplication
    • visualising flow
    • coordination of “Scrum of Scrums” key daily meetings to promote collaboration, visibility and transparency
    • supporting team leads to coordinate the collaborative, dynamic planning process, prioritising work that needs to be done against the capacity and capability of the team
    • providing visibility and transparency of work in progress and flow and share this with other teams and stakeholders.

    Mia will discuss how she addressed business agility through working with a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) to assist the Incoming Government Brief (IGB) task force to work iteratively and apply agile practices to draft and deliver policy documentation to articulate the details and costing of policy initiatives from each of the major political parties in the lead up to the Federal election. This involved working with Executives and Business stakeholders within the policy domain during a hectic period where policy could change or be adjusted and costed daily as policies were revealed by each side during the campaign. The policy team need to improve the enterprises business agility to respond to rapid change and this involved working with the leadership across 12 branches to align iterations of draft policy documentation over an intensive period. (the taskforce was pulled together to deliver the IGB over 8 weeks). Specifically, Kanban and Lean were chosen as the method for delivery.

    This approach resulted in executives having earlier visibility of the approach and content of the IGB and improved quality of IGB by reducing the risk that significant changes being identified late in the delivery. The Teams were focused to delivery higher value work more efficiently, while being transparent about delays to lower value activities. The success of this initiative in a non-ICT environment has promoted the PMO to look at other business areas to implement Agile to develop an Agile mindset across the Agency.

  • Mia Horrigan

    Mia Horrigan - Evidence Based Management - Measuring value to enable improvement and agility

    25 Mins

    Evidence-Based Management (EBM) is a framework to help measure, manage, and increase the value derived from product delivery. EBM focuses on improving outcomes, reducing risks, and optimising investments and is an important tool to help leaders put the right measures in place to invest in the right places, make smarter decisions and reduce risk using an iterative and incremental approach. This empirical method alongside the agile principles and values of Scrum enables successful steps of change for the organisation.

    Organisations invest in agile processes, tools, training, and coaching, but how much are they getting back? Has product delivery improved? How much happier are users and the business customers? Are employees empowered and enabled? Traditional metrics might give you insight into improvements of operational efficiency but the real conversation is about the value created for your organisation by the improved processes. Without measuring value, the success of any agile initiative is based on nothing more than intuition and assumption.

    Mia will discuss Evidence based management and how this empirical process can help agile transformations measure and manage the value derived from the transformation initiative. Mia will focus on the 4 Key Value Areas: Current Value, Ability to Innovate, Unrealised Value and time to market and how these contribute to an organisation’s ability to deliver business value.