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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Mar 27, 2020

Joining Dan Neumann today is Andrea Floyd, an Enterprise Agile Transformation Consultant within AgileThought! Andrea has 25 years of experience in software development and project management. She’s been an innovator that has a ton of experience leading multiple organization-wide Scaled Agile implementations as well as architecting innovative solutions, strategies, and roadmaps across many frameworks (including Scrum, Kanban, and Scaled Agile Framework).


Today, 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 that you can 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 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, 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 what the transformation is trying to achieve and the progress that is being made towards that visible and known

Foster a community of believers who turn into supporters

Identifying a team of champions throughout the organization, which helps set up the transformation for sustainability (five is usually a good number)

Having someone to 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:

Andrea Floyd

Real-World Kanban: Do Less, Accomplish More with Lean Thinking, by Mattias Skarin

Training from the Back of the Room!, by Sharon L. Bowman


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