Is Your Organization Ready for Agile Change?

A couple of years ago I interviewed a colleague who tried a perspective map in her organization. The idea of change readiness assessments have been around forever, but there is a quick way to figure out the answer to whats in it for me?” at different levels in your organization.

As a change agent, I want to know:

  • what’s the difference in perspective between the executives, management, and staff?
    • how seriously does everyone think the whole organization is taking agile?
    • how seriously does management and staff think executives are taking agile?
  • what’s the difference in perspective between business and IT?
    • does the business and/or IT think it’s a good idea?
  • what do people associate the word ‘agile’ with?
  • has the experience for executives, management, and staff been positive so far?

This is input into a conversation, and it needs to be collected in a safe way. Sometimes people don’t feel free to speak up for whatever reason, and most of the time the executives think that everyone has bought into the change. How many times have you jumped into a gig because you were convinced that was true, only to find out not a lot of people really cared?

Here’s an example built in Piktograph, which can be setup to automatically show data from Survey Monkey, Google Sheets and more. Here’s the generated image:


Perspective Mapping a simple exercise to do. With a smaller organization, and when there is safety, you can do this in-person as whole group. The example below shows the perspective of the organization, management, and staff. For example: why is this change important to the organization? To the management team? To the staff?

The idea is to help people understand the perspective of others. Often I find that executives want Agile because they’re tired of dealing with escalations, late projects, and bad quality. Then, at the team level, they feel they always deliver and there is no problem. I suppose the easy solution is to have the executives GO SEE what’s happening, but sometimes that isn’t a reality.

Here’s a diagram you can use to visualize a Perspective Map.

  1. Decide which perspectives (or cohorts if you like that word better) you want to capture (executive, management, staff, business, IT etc)
  2. Decide on the right questions to ask:
    1. What are you trying to learn?
    2. Where do you see mis-alignment, and how will this help as input into a conversation?
    3. What are the hot-spots? (IE: does management think something is working well, but staff thinks it’s not working at all?)
  3. Do this anonymously so it’s safe.
  4. Make sure the data isn’t influencing people, so don’t show the results until you have data for each perspective.
  5. Use the same questions for each cohort!
  6. Make the findings public (which is why it’s important to make the data anonymous!)


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