1. Create Cause and Purpose
In order to create lasting change in the future, employees need to understand why it is essential to change now. Begin your approach by defining what is causing this change and what the purpose is behind it. This underlying purpose will be a pillar of your agile change management strategy, so it must be something that you sincerely believe in, to then motivate others to work towards this goal at an individual level.
It’s crucial to reach a common understanding between all parties involved in the change process. Agile change should be posed as a necessity, or else your organization may never fully achieve other critical changes in the future. Bridging this gap will help every team member understand that each one of their efforts will help the organization move from the as-is state to the to-be state.
2. Maintain Meaningful Dialogue
Agile Change Management is all about people, and it’s been proven that 70% of communications happen verbally in an average organization. These two facts should have already given you a good idea on why Meaningful Dialogue is so important for a change to be effective. Collecting Insights is the first step of the journey when driving change with an Agile mindset, and what better way to do it than talking. Simple as that; these conversations, brainstorming sessions and interviews will allow you to gather the most valuable information to begin your change process, so identifying the right people to go to is a crucial activity at this early stage. The information you get is just as good as the resources you involve.
3. Promote Experimentation
Experimentation is nothing without a good environment to carry it out. The Agile Mindset provokes change; change that comes from experiments. To realize all the benefits of empiricism, the mindset change needs to be encouraged from the high levels of the hierarchy in the organization. A free thinking, highly creative, hyper collaborative, open way of work needs to enable collaborators to feel safe to try, fail and learn fast, so the continuous improvement promoted by Agile is achieved. So, in a nutshell, think about what your to-be state is, what you think should be the outcome, how long it should take you to get there and how much planning is really necessary. With this in mind, experiment, measure and repeat as many times as you need it.
4. Co-create Always
Creating a sense of ownership on your workforce will facilitate your daily tasks as a change manager. When people relate to what they do and feel the purpose as their own, is much simpler to keep a motivated, efficient, and happy work environment. For this reason, involving key players in the creation of the change challenge is vital toward potential success. This practice also reduces resistance within the organization and allows your leadership teams to speak the same language as their collaborators.
5. Respond to Change
As your agile change management process moves forward, you should measure its performance along the way. Nothing is written in stone. If there is an aspect of your strategy that isn’t working, experiments will make it visible.
This way, if there are proactive adjustments or refinements to be made, you can easily see where they should be implemented. Plus, if you are continuously tracking the progress of your strategy, you can gather your data for monthly or quarterly reporting to share with your team. That will give everyone an opportunity to look at the insights you’ve uncovered and use that as motivation to keep the momentum going. And remember, responding to change rather than managing resistance (when possible), is the way to go.