The pace of change today is staggering; we don’t need to tell you that.
Back in the 90’s and early 2000s, there was a lot of talk about the difference between “incremental” and “transformational” change. Everyone wanted to say they were doing “transformational” change. Incremental was boring and silly and tired. Transformational was new and exciting and BIG. As a result, more and more projects became inter-related, and projects got bigger and bigger and more and more complex.
After several years of working on a large change, the organization would settle into a new normal. And after about 10 or 5 or even 2 years, they would do it all over again with “The Next Big Thing.”
In today’s world, that pace just won’t do. Today’s leaders want change, and results, now.
The challenge is that most change managers, project managers, and leaders learned how to manage the people side of change when projects and organizational changes were different. In our work with organizations that have been experiencing a crushing pace of change, it has become clear that traditional ways of managing the people side of change are no longer most effective. The good news is that over the last 5 years or so, many people have been testing new change management approaches to help people get ready, willing, and able in the field and have found what works and what doesn’t.
Agile change management is the adaptive and iterative planning and execution of change management practices that encourages flexibility and speed. In agile change environments, changes happen swiftly and repetitively. In these environments, the goals of change management work are largely unchanged. However, there are unique principles and tools that influence how change management is applied to help people be ready, willing, and able to work in new ways.
If organizations want to make effective change, they need to recognize and deal with the principles of how change happens within agile organizations and have the tools to make the work happen. In
Managing Change in an Agile World,
we have identified the principles and practices for managing change in an agile, fast, iterative, environment. If you are leading or managing change in an environment that is agile, check it out and give us your feedback!