HomeBlogBusiness ProcessHow Agile and Change Management fit together

How Agile and Change Management fit together

In these difficult times, many businesses have seen more disruption than they’ve ever known. This has highlighted an urgency for change in many ways. Across the business world, initiatives are being put in place, and for many these cannot come soon enough. Lots of businesses are holding on by a thread in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many knuckling down and holding on tight for an unpredictable amount of time. Some are using this as an opportunity to make change. By change, we don’t mean minor adjustments, but real and tangible restructures to the way they do business.

Traditional Change Management methods usually come with lengthy timelines, heavy processes, and a lot of capital. So whilst businesses might have the time to begin an Agile or Change Management scheme at the moment, that doesn’t mean they’ll have the money, or that the changes won’t extend to way beyond the end of lockdown and a return to normal life.

So, for many, Change Management in Agile is the solution. The Agile approach is hugely popular at the moment, and as long as businesses know how these two methods align, it can be profitable to combine them.

So what is Change Management in Agile, and how do we do it?


What do we mean by Agile?

You may never have heard the word agile in a business context, but it essentially means the same thing as it does when we are not discussing business. Here, it refers to faster implementation of change, in order to beat the competition and bring ideas to market before they can. The Agile way of working promotes an optimal way of thinking and behaving. It’s strategically important if competitiveness is important to your business because it means encouraging fluidity in your organisation when it’s necessary and beneficial.

Working to an Agile framework means quickly adapting your organisational and staff processes if something you do has a more productive outcome.


The Agile method of Change Management

The Agile method of Change Management is concerned with delivering a return to your organisation early in the life cycle of wider change, and creating a return on investment as soon as possible. This early ROI assists with funding further deliveries, which become more frequent as the change initiative progresses. The Agile approach sees change more frequently, and each small change impacts business as usual until the Change Management scheme is complete. Still, multiple waves of change must be closely managed, in the same way they would be if you were implementing a non-Agile Change Management scheme.

The Agile Change Management methodology should be driven by the following:

  • Customer centricity
    • The business must withhold a passionate mindset when creating instant and personal value throughout. Customers hold the key.
  • Culture
    • The business must maintain its ideology, build on it, and support it. If you don’t have a positive workplace culture, you must focus first on building one. This is the only kind of culture that will fully support the Agile Change Management method.
  • Innovation
    • Agile Change Management can help innovation. You should be continually checking value, activities, and collective leadership to drive your company forward.
  • Creativity
    • Creativity comes with Agile Change Management, as people offer their ideas and specialities to drive Change Management forward quickly, for the personal and economical benefit of others.
  • Performance focus
    • Agile Change Management drives closely monitored measurement, which pushes forward performance, so that businesses can change their focus, and use their agility to optimise results.

Agile and Change Management interaction

You can use Agile on its own as a method of improving your performance, or you can pair it with Change Management as a natural extension of Agile development methods.

Agile breaks projects into short sprints, in which circumstances change as the project develops. Project managers deliver business changes to a set of targets, including time, cost, and quality. This can be temporarily disruptive, and if you’re also implementing Change Management, it can have implications, including:

  • lack of time, which means Change Management templates are less useful at best, redundant at worst,
  • less opportunity to lay plans formally for adaptation
  • a higher level of immediate disruption, which undoubtedly causes resistance, which must be planned and accounted for,
  • a need for capable and adaptable change practitioners,
  • impacts for core staff members, like IT teams, sponsors and project managers.

Final thoughts

There are people who suggest Change Management can happen overnight, but we think this is technically untrue. However, there are ways and means of speeding up the change in these uncertain and unprecedented times, including combining it with Agile. Large organisations figure this out early, and it keeps them moving forward. If you want to be competitive, you need to adapt, too, but you might not have the capital and disposable income to risk things going wrong, especially if you are investing a lot of money and staff time in making this work in the first place.

For many, adopting Agile methods alongside Change Management may not be ideal, but you may not have a choice but to give it your best shot. Luckily, there are organisations like Yorkshire Change, who are here to help. If you’re looking to deploy Agile across your organisation, or incorporate it into your Change Management scheme, Yorkshire Change can help.

Your organisation must convince everyone in your organisation to get involved to implement Agile at all levels, and you need to work out whether Agile or Change Management in Agile is best for your organisation, and this is not easy.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you

We’re all about working closely with our clients from day one and matching them to our best consultants. If you would like to find out how we can help you, or if you just want to find out a bit more about our approach or our current projects and clients, please contact us for a no obligations discussion. 

Get in Touch

Give us a Call or drop us an Email, we endeavour to answer all enquiries within 24 hours.