Are users having problems keeping up with your Agile software deployments? Part 2 of 2

Integrating Organizational Change Management into Agile Projects – Part 2 of 2
In my last blog, I discussed how important it is to integrate Organizational Change Management into the Agile software development process. I also discussed how important it is to establish an Organizational Change Management Command Center to coordinate and monitor the Agile software development process and all the change initiatives happening in your organization. In this blog, I will discuss the other aspects of Organizational Change Management that needs to be considered and integrated into the Agile software development process.


 

Executive Sponsorship

According to a 2014 survey sponsored by the Project Management Institute and conducted by Bain Research, Executive Sponsorship is the single biggest factor contributing to project success.  In an Agile environment, it is essential that the software solution being developed has strong, consistent and active executive support.  Without executive support, most users will ignore the small, iterate changes that are introduced in an Agile rollout.  The Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team and OCM resource need to work with their Executive Sponsor to ensure the Sponsor adequately supports the Agile initiative throughout the life of the program.

Communications

Consistent, two-way Communications by the Executive Sponsor, the Agile Development Team (including the embedded OCM Command Center resource), Scrum Master and Product Owner is critical to establishing a sense of urgency for the project, building a coalition of project stakeholders, and obtaining awareness and user buy-in.  Two-way communication is incredibly important.  Users need to be listened to in order for them to feel engaged and committed to the changes that are expected of them.  Without consistent two-way communication, rumors spread and resistance to the project grows.

Establish Training Capability

With changes happening at the end of every Agile Sprint, it is essential that user training is completed at the end of each Sprint.  Without adequate training, Agile projects risk user resistance and increased system errors due to improperly trained or untrained users.

Conclusion

Without taking the people side of Agile software development into consideration, the probability of having a successful Agile project drops dramatically.  To ensure the success of Agile projects, it is essential that organizational change management principles and resources be included into the Agile approach.

Jeff Klabish (jklabish@altavia.com) is the Organizational Change Management Practice Director at Alta Via Consulting LLC.  Jeff is a certified Agile Scrum Master and over his 20-year career has worked with several Fortune 100 clients prepare for uncertain times.

 


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