At Agilesattva, our belief is that transformation is possible when the whole system seeking change is involved in the process and attention is paid to both technical and social systems. Agile transformations are not just about implementing a set of frameworks or making changes in process of doing work. It also calls for different behaviors and change in mindset of people who are part of this transformation.
In our experience, we see a few missing links in the way Agile implementations are approached today.
A majority of Agile transformations are being driven by frameworks rather than needs of the system. Our endeavour is to help the system discover its needs and aspirations which then become the primary drivers for transformation.
Another missing link, as we see it, is lack of attention to the whole. Change is sought to be brought at individual or team level without looking holistically at the entire system. Organizations are open systems and what happens in one subsystem has an impact on other sub systems. We work with organizations to develop the capacities to see the whole system and not just “my part” – managing the social aspect of change is as important as managing the technical aspect of change. We work to bring in harmony the social and technical systems for successful Agile transformations.
Thinking of Agile transformations as merely process implementation is another missing link. We believe that this is change management process which needs to address all aspects of change to make it effective and sustainable.
Blending our understanding of Agile manifesto, Agile frameworks and Organization Development, we offer a system driven, humanistic approach to Agile transformations. Drawing from different disciplines and frameworks allows us to work at a deeper level within organisations so that transformation becomes a way of life.
Another tenet of our philosophy is “No Framework Agile (NFA)”. This does not mean “no structure / chaos”. The system defines its own framework/working method that is most effective for it. System Driven Transformation (SDT) is based on this philosophy.
Agile Manifesto and Frameworks
We believe that values mentioned in the Agile Manifesto (www.agilemanifesto.org) are critical to “Being Agile”. These values become the base for our work with teams and organization.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
Our philosophy is to follow these values as guidelines and let the system build its own framework for working that can evolve with their experience. Scrum, Kanban and other frameworks available under Agile umbrella can also be applied if they meet the goals of the system.
Organization development (OD) is a process that applies behavioural science knowledge and practice to help organizations build the capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness. (Cummings & Worley, Organization Development and Change, 8th Edition)
OD takes a planned approach to change management.“ Change is the only constant in life” – and while we all may know it, yet we resist change or are caught unaware when change happens. Research shows that transformation efforts that are planned well and pay attention to all aspects of change have a better chance of success.
Understanding of OD helps us deal with issues of roles, authority, leadership, group dynamics, collaboration etc which are operating whenever groups are at work. It helps people be more effective in their roles and contexts and to build effective, high performing teams
We use concepts from Transactional Analysis, Group Relations, Open Systems Theory, Appreciative Inquiry to deepen our own and the client systems understanding of the dynamics at play, so that the processes of change are not obstructed unintentionally