Agile transformation lights: when to stop, Get ready, and accelerate.

After over a half decade in Agile transformation journey with SMB and large corporate,  am going to share my traffic light scenario experience and the lesson learnt.

Disclaimer; this is my myopic perception and in no form does it represent an absolute truth or it being a marble stone of commandment in your transformation journey as a Agile couch or change agent.

At the end of this write, you will learn how to avoid the common mistakes assumption we always encounter in transformation journey. The stages metaphorically illustrated by traffic light is a decision making model for you to understand where you are and the strategy necessary to be applied.

hd wallpaper, nature wallpaper, landscape-7837011.jpg

Before I start, let me explain what each traffic light zone represents;

  • Red zone: these stage signifies, Never try, pause and observe, make friends to people that have a say in your transformation, gather information from knowledge workers as much as you can, meet their ‘spoilt child’ customers (top paying customers).
  • Amber zone: Start analysing your data, make correlation with their status quo to where you are want them to be be, substantiate your data with current condition of the organisation, recruit volunteers organically from the backend, dim your light but never bright enough, and get one or two sponsor from top management.
  • Green zone:  Bring your full through the organic volunteers, Let the the top management take full accountability of the transformation, delegate responsibility to knowledge workers and like managers, serve as an integrator but never as an executioner. Be available to intervene on behalf of your volunteers when they face road blocks. be creatively stubborn and use your subtle “No” in a sublime tone. 

My journey as an Agile transformation coach started with an SMB in complex fintech environment, building an innovative products in Payment gateways and Customer relations management product. They are core product oriented and my journey was so smooth. They did not have the mindset of Project, which instituted the culture of quality from the requirement gathering stage. It was a super highway with limitless speed-zone. I spent less time in red and amber zone, and more time green zone. The shortest time was on red zone, because the company was a decade old with about 57 employees when i joined. 

It was one of the fulfilling moments in my career as an agile coach. I thought it was an awesome career until I joined one of the largest tech corporations with 100+ thousands of employees globally and more 50years of existence. Let’s come to that later. In SMB, your agile transformation is always between amber and green because even though, there is resistance, the visibility is quite obvious, and you can arrange a coffee section with the unit or individual that needs more clarification. another successful factor in SMB is that you have free door open policy with the CEO and issues could be clarified without looking for open slot in Outlook calendar. 

To be continued in the next series …….

About the Author

Ejikeme is an servant leader with decades of experience in Software industry. He has worked with SMB and Large companies in Africa, North America, and Europe. Ejikeme holds BSc. in computer science and MSc. in Software project management. He is passionate on growing self manage team and organisational Business agility. 'We/Us' sounds better than 'Me/I.'