In this mega-episode on change, we have Jeff Campbell (long time contributor to the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast) and Scott Rosenblatt (engineering lead at Meltwater) share their experience with agile adoption in a large organization.
Jeff is also the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook).
Why does Management resist Agile change?
This is the first question of the episode and one that Scott and Jeff have worked together on for years. Scott shares how his past as a developer has helped him understand the role of management in an Agile organization.
We also talk about how to understand the reaction of managers when employees come to them with gripes, or ideas for changes to implement. We tend to think that when managers don’t do what we ask, they haven’t listened to us. Is that really so?
Anger management, not change management
Scott and Jeff share with us an anecdote about how sometimes employees come to management in a state of anger. What happens next, shapes their view of whether management heard their ideas or not. But is that the right way to have a conversation about change?
When ideas for change are presented, they usually lack the reasoning of the “why”, and the benefits that might come from that change. We discuss in this segment how to phrase ideas and present change proposals in a way that highlights the benefits from multiple perspectives. After all, there are always multiple stakeholders to consider, and that’s the role of management: take into account other managers, or leaders, or even other teams.
Co-creating change with management
When it comes to change, we’ve learned from Lean Change Management by Jason Little that co-created change has a much better chance of succeeding in the organization. In this segment, we talk about the role of the employee in helping co-create change with management, instead of pushing change responsibility towards management.
We discuss the concept of small experiments to test change ideas and use the example of MobProgramming (a radical idea for Agile teams popularized by the work of Woody Zuill and others), as a radical change that followed this idea of small-steps, big-wins.
In this segment, we refer to a previous episode with Jeff and Amer where we talk about other aspects of change management in large organizations.
In the end, change (with or without management) requires that we learn, and constantly improve our communication and collaboration skills!
Read more about Scott’s and Jeff’s work at the Meltwater Tech blog.
About Scott Rosenblatt and Jeff Campbell
Scott is a seasoned business leader who is passionate about communication, collaboration, and transparency in organizations. He sits on the senior management team at Meltwater where Jeff has been consulting for 6 years.
Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility.
He is the author of actionable agile tools, which you can get on Amazon and directly from the author at bit.ly/aatbook
As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.
You can also learn more about Jeff Campbell’s work at his company’s website.