Reasons Why Agile Transformations Don't Stick, With Andrea Floyd

In today’s episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast, Dan Neumann is joined by Andrea Floyd, an enterprise agile transformation consultant at AgileThought. Andrea has 25 years of experience in software development and management. She is an innovator who has led multiple organization-wide scaled agile implementations, and she has also architected innovative solution strategies and roadmaps across many frameworks (including Scrum, Kanban and the Scaled Agile Framework).

Dan and Andrea will be taking a look at some of the reasons why agile transformations don’t stick. Sometimes transformations get announced with fanfare…but then die off with whimpers. Tune in so you can learn how to reduce the chance of failure and give your teams the best chance of success.

Key takeaways

  • Top reasons why agile transformations don’t stick:
    • If the organization doesn’t understand why they’re doing a transformation and how it is going to impact them on an individual level, then there will be resistance (which will erode the intention behind the transformation)
    • There is a lack of identifying a team of champions throughout the organization
    • The train goes off the track; i.e. the “rubber-band theory”: if you don’t continually reinforce positive behaviors and have a deep understanding of the “why” behind the changes being made, it often becomes a series of checking off the boxes which leads to a breakdown
    • If someone is not looking for anti-patterns and helping to coach others about the transformation, individuals will go back to their old ways
    • If you don’t put the right investment in your transformation or the change that you’re trying to create, then you’re not going to see the results that you’re looking for
  • How to ensure that your agile transformations stick:
    • You need to have an awareness of why you’re doing a transformation and it needs to be shared enterprise-wide
    • The transformation should be done holistically and in small pockets where you can actually start to demonstrate the value of the transformation
    • You need a perfect marriage between having enterprise-wide support and individuals who are fully on board
    • The message of how the transformation is going to impact individuals in a positive way needs to be reinforced often
    • You want to make sure there is transparency
    • Make sure that the transformation you are trying to achieve and the progress that is being made towards it is visible and known
    • Foster a community of believers who turn into supporters
    • Identify a team of champions throughout the organization, which helps set up the transformation for sustainability (five is usually a good number)
    • Have someone monitor or provide ongoing awareness around the transformation (i.e. a trusted advisor who can provide support to individuals who are wary about the changes)
    • It’s important for the organization to also take responsibility for moving things forward
    • Show the value and improvement of the transformation sooner rather than later
    • Get people excited about the changes by showing other teams’ success
    • Create a sustainable environment with sustainable practices and people that can actually continue after you leave


Mentioned in this Episode