The 8 Steps for Successful Agile Change

Arthur von Kriegenbergh
Last updated 
September 12, 2019
8 Steps for Successful Agile Change

Today I'm going to reveal my favourite 8-step approach for successful agile change.

In fact:

This is the exact same strategy I've used for getting a start-up to a scalable organisational model in 10 weeks.

Let's dive right in.

Before you start changing ANYTHING, keep this in mind...

Bad news first: This is not a magic formula.

Change is hard. It takes patience and practice.

7 out of 10 people want to quit smoking, but only a few of them actually quit.

People tend to fall back to their default habits when things get difficult.

Only the people with intrinsic motivation to change will be successful.

It's the same with changing the way you work.

The good news: If you have a clear goal and a motivated team your chances of success sky-rocket.

This is what you can do:

1. CREATE a sense of urgency

There needs to be a REAL reason why you want to work agile. You need a spark to light the fire within your team.

Don't mistake poor sales statistics or increased competition for a REAL reason. Have open and honest conversations about what's happening in your market. If many people start talking about working agile, the urgency can build and feed on itself.

Make sure at least 75% of your team is on-board before going to step 2.

Real reasons can be:

  • It takes months (or even years) before we can bring a new product to market
  • We don't know if we're actually helping our customers
  • Our last three projects have failed, because there was no product-market fit

2. BUILD a guiding coalition

Okay, so enough people are convinced something has to change. Now what?

Find the leaders and support in your organisation to make this change a success. You need them to create momentum and keep the sense of urgency.

This will be your guiding coalition. This group of people will guide the change and make sure it will be a success.

Things to keep in mind

  • Make sure these key people are truly committed
  • Invest time and energy to create trust in your coalition
  • Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team

3. FORM a strategic vision and initiatives

It needs to be clear for all people involved why you're doing this, and what the next steps are. You'll probably have many great ideas and solutions floating around. Work with your guiding coalition to make a clear plan out of this.

  • Develop a visual that captures the reason for the change. This should be clear and visible for all people involved.
  • Make sure everyone in the coalition can describe the vision in a minute (practice on this)

4. ENLIST a volunteer army

5. ENABLE action by removing barriers

6. GENERATE short-term wins

7. SUSTAIN acceleration

8. INSTITUTE change


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Even if your content is AMAZING.

In fact, Derek Halpern recommends that you spent 20% of your time creating and 80% of your time promoting.

I don’t necessarily agree with that ratio. But I DO agree with the premise.

And I hope these 7 promotional strategies help you get the word out about your next blog post, video or podcast episode.