Achieving Business Buy-in for Agile

This is the slides and materials from my hands-on workshop at Agile Cambridge 2015 on 2nd October 2015 on Achieving Business Buy-in for Agile: Overcoming Objections, Obstacles and Opposition.

Agile within an IT team only takes us so far, especially if the wider organisation uses waterfall processes for product/project management, traditional budgeting and siloed manager-heavy hierarchies.

During this hands-on session we’ll collaboratively explore 12 common objections and obstacles to growing Agile beyond IT teams.  Using the power of the group, we’ll uncover a range of practical ways to win hearts and minds, overcome opposition, transform non-technical understandings of Agile and get broad-based buy-in for change.



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Video: AgileMK – The Agile Organisation and People

This is a talk and interactive session that I ran with Dan Rough at Agile:MK on 1st September 2014.

We speak about The Agile Organisation and its effects – the effects on people, how work is managed and on organisational culture.

We follow up with a practical exercise in small groups – asking participants to list the people and organisational challenges that they have with Agile in their organisations and then to work together to design a time-boxed experiment that they can run to start solving the problem.



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Video: Cultivating Culture Change with Tom Sedge

In this video, we take an example-led practical tour of Cultivating Culture Change within organisations using the metaphor of gardening. This draws on my experience to include a range of techniques and tools that you can use in your organisation. We explore what a workplace can look like when it has undergone a cultural transformation and where to get started.

Traditionally people approach culture change as an engineering problem or by telling their people what to be. But it just doesn’t work like that. Culture is different: it’s an emergent property and that requires a different approach.



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Delivering Great Services: Merge the best of people and technology (Part I)

In the last few decades of service design we’ve gone from one extreme (people serving people without computers – *engaged tone*), through an intermediate stage (people serving people with computers – “Sorry, the system’s down at the moment”) to another extreme (computers serving people without people – “Error. Invalid service request.” or the exasperated frustration of millions in front of their computer screens).

This is often hailed as progress – yet services today are just as frustrating to deal with and customer satisfaction is poor. Everyone has their own computerised service nightmare story.

Why is this? It’s because in our haste to believe that technology would solve all our problems, we’ve misunderstood how services work and jumped straight to the wrong solution.



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A key person in my team is resisting change, what do I do?

This is a really common problem – all of us at some stage have struggled with someone in our teams who resists change and yet is crucial to the current operation. We need them to change but we also need them to stay and be part of the change.

Fortunately there are a few simple strategies you can take to overcome this kind of problem and which will quickly lead to clear result – either they’ll change or it will become clear they never will, in which case you can move on.


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What is Transparent Accountability?

In this Transformation Dialogues video, Ann Blythman interviews me to understand what Transparent Accountability is and how it works.

I discuss how transparency and accountability go hand-in-hand and how one can drive the other in a healthy way. How ownership then follows and how this works to bring quiet contributors into the change process.

I hope you enjoy this video and more that follow soon in the Transformation Dialogues series.


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How do you Deal with People Reluctant to Change?

In this Transformation Dialogues video, Ann Blythman interviews me to learn how to deal with people who are reluctant to embrace change and who can be obstacle to progress.

I discuss the importance of understanding why people oppose change and practical techniques to illuminate objections, move past them and deal with stubborn naysayers.

We discuss the importance of organisations embracing failure as a learning mechanism and how this can transform culture and where to put focus for best productivity. I highlight the huge hidden costs that organisations can face when they don’t understand or know how to handle this and the role this plays in creating firefighting cultures where change becomes impossible because no-one has time.

I hope you enjoy this video and more that follow soon in the Transformation Dialogues series.


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How do you Build Trust and get Executive Sponsorship?

In this Transformation Dialogues video, Ann Blythman interviews me to understand how to build trust when implementing change and how to get executive sponsorship for bigger changes.

I discuss how trust can be built through a series of small successful steps and how significant changes can be implemented without jeopardising existing targets and performance standards.

Through the example of a new Customer Service System, we explore how to find out early what customers need and whether expensive new solutions will provide them. We finish up discussing how managers can get executive sponsorship for changes that they want to implement.

I hope you enjoy this video and more that follow soon in the Transformation Dialogues series.


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