Many agile transitions begin with the adoption of agile practices. That is relatively straight-forward as often the starting point is a sort of command and control culture making learning of new processes easy. However, for a sustainable agile transformation, culture is a key aspect. Unfortunately, culture is difficult to change. It affects everybody in the company: the engineers, the leaders and managers as well as the executives. It can’t be switched from one day to the next and you need to start from where you are.
In this presentation I will share learnings and experiences coming from 4 years of agile transformation of a 2000 people organization within Ericsson. I will talk about what motivates cultural change, what we want to achieve with it, how it can be planned and kicked off, how we can manage the many challenges arising from such a change and what great steps forward can be experienced if things go right.
The challenges comprise things like, for example: how we can lead and manage the very high expectations on leaders (how can leaders lead by example if they are themselves in a transformation?), how we can establish true collaboration between people and teams, crossing organizational borders and handling friction between units that are doing an agile transition and units that don’t (yet). Doing this I will share a number of real-life stories illustrating what can happen and how one we dealt with it.
Based on our experiences, I will suggest general concepts and approaches, that can help your organization progressing on the way through your agile transformation.