Change in a week

For a more in-depth understanding of why, read our 7 Steps to Building an Agile Organization. Otherwise – just dive in and get started.

Sunday: write the compelling reason for change. Why have you even read this article? What prompted you to think, ‘that sounds relevant to our organization’? Remember that you are establishing the burning platform; the problem so severe that even a jump into the unknown is preferable to remaining.

Monday: share the reason with a few others. Incorporate their thoughts, including on who are the people who could block or support changes to the problem. This will form your long-list for potential change team. Ask 3 or 4 people if they’d be willing to help you try out a new idea that might improve things.

Tuesday: as a team decide what one thing you’re going to change this week. Try something simple but directly related to the key problem. Set out who you need to talk to and make sure you can measure any results. You should start speaking to them tonight. For example, if you want to test out how a task board might help visualize workflow for a specific project, you need to speak to the team now.

Wednesday: start implementing the idea. Ask the relevant team for feedback and adapt the plan as necessary. Be nearby all day in case of questions, but make sure you leave them to get on with it. No peering over shoulders!

Thursday: ask for 5 minutes at the start of the day (or as part of a daily stand up) and ask for feedback. In our task board example, look for work that is queued or blocked and see what can be resolved to get it moving.

Friday: same again. At the end of the day gather anecdotal feedback. In the example we gave, you might also see some actual results – tasks moved on that would otherwise have remained stationary. Record these results and check you’ve gathered feedback from everyone in the team. Ask if the team would like to continue with it next week.

Saturday: send off an email to your long-list of decision-makers describing the mini test and include a plan for something else to try next week, while rolling out last week’s idea to a second team and continuing with team 1.

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