Build Internal Change Agents

Make It Stick

Overview

Agile practices “stick” and begin to mature by building internal capacity through Agile champions, coaches and experts, developing and sharing their knowledge across the organization.

Internal capacity can be developed by:

  • Creating and supporting an internal community of Agile coaches
  • Getting expert coaching on Agile adoption to work with the internal community of Agile coaches
  • Building a cross-functional Agile champions team that makes sure that the transformation will stick and be supported
  • Engaging and educating executives so that they can support the effort from the leadership and vision level
  • Establishing communities of practice around specific focus areas
  • Establishing enabling teams to support organizational agility by working with existing Stable Teams to develop the knowledge, tools and processes needed for optimal performance
  • Hiring qualified, skilled scrum masters
  • Building an Agile Knowledge Wiki site to share best practices
  • Allowing new agile teams to shadow experienced agile teams

Agile Champions Team

The Agile champions team is a cross-functional team that has a backlog they work from that is based on process improvement for a successful Agile roll-out over time.

Purpose and Activities

  • Articulate the context of Agile
  • Stimulate conversation
  • Provide resources
  • Set appropriate goals
  • Engage everyone
  • Create Agile toolkit, guidelines
  • Anticipate and address people issues
  • Anticipate and remove impediments
  • Consistent process/consistent message

Developing Internal Coaches

Internal coaches play a key role in maintaining momentum and growing the transformation. It is important to invest in people who have the right skills and traits to support the teams and act as change agents. Coaches can be developed through a process of finding people who are a good fit, assessing their current skills and where they need to grow, creating a growth plan, providing training, assigning a mentor to support them and then determining whether they are ready to start acting in their new role as a coach. For more information, see Enabling Internal Agile Coaches

Desired Traits for Internal Coaches

  • Company specific experience
  • Agile experience
  • Servant Leadership style
  • Highly coachable
  • Open to Agile and Lean Mindset
  • Influencer and change agent
  • Maintains objectivity in judgements
  • Persuasive
  • Collaborative
  • Proactive
  • Well respected
  • Growth Mindset
  • Strong Facilitator
  • Flexible and open to change

Growth Mindset

Strong coaches have a growth mindset and help others to develop the same mindset. A growth mindset comes from a belief that learning is a life-long process; challenges are seen as opportunities to grow and there is a willingness to try new things, persistently working toward mastery.

Benefits from Developing Internal Coaches

  • Scales our capacity for coaching teams
  • Supports organizational change
  • Cost Effective
  • Promotes the Agile Mindset
  • Keeps Teams and Programs healthy
  • Offers personal and professional growth

Train the Trainer

An effective method for transitioning from external to internal coaches is to use the train the trainer model, following these steps:

  1. Internal coaches work with External Coaches as they deliver training and provide coaching supports to teams
  2. Watch the experienced coach train, mentor or facilitate, take notes and discuss their thoughts and questions
  3. Co-facilitate, train and mentor with the experienced coach and discuss afterward
  4. Trains, mentors and facilitates on their own while the experienced coach watches & provides feedback afterward

CoPs and Enabling Teams

Creating Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Enabling Teams provides support for team and team members as the organization continues to change and establish new practices.

A Community of Practice or “CoP” is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals. CoPs often focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Ongoing interaction is an important part of this. A community’s specific purpose and goals inform the appropriate activities and technologies that should support it.

Enabling Teams support organizational agility and deliver value to the enterprise by working with existing Stable Teams to develop the knowledge, tools and processes needed for optimal performance.

Communities of Practice

  • Standards and best practices
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Tools
  • Wiki
  • Common framework
  • Education & learning
  • Alignment / Governance
  • Sponsored by managers but facilitated by team members

Enabling Teams

  • Purpose is to enable existing stable teams with key skills such as (DevOps, Agile, CX)
  • Embed with the team to provide coaching/training
  • Provide templates, tools, best practices
  • Success is measured when the team learns the new skills and can apply them