Change Management and Agile

Agile is a term used to describe a very different way of managing IT projects. In 2001, a group of 17 IT professionals came together to discuss the need for an alternative to cumbersome software development processes. They were concerned that the traditional approach to managing software development projects was failing far too often and believed there had to be a better way. An outcome of the meeting was the Agile Manifesto, which describes 4 important values that are as relevant today as they were then.

The Agile Manifesto says, “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”

Ever since the development of the Agile Manifesto, the use of software development methods that support these values has become increasingly popular.

Prosci’s latest topical study is Change Management and Agile. The study has two main components, both aimed at uncovering lessons learned and best practices in managing the people side of change related to Agile development processes:

  • Managing the people side of change when moving from a waterfall development process to an Agile development process (sometimes called Agile transformation). The focus of this part of the study is at the organizational level. The study questions explore how to effectively structure and manage this change.
  • Managing the people side of change within an initiative that is using an Agile development process. The focus of this part of the study is at the initiative level. These questions explore how change management practices must be adapted and adjusted to be effective in an effort using an Agile development approach.

If you have experience managing the people side of change in an Agile development process, please consider responding to the survey and also share the survey with anyone else you believe will have meaningful contributions. The overall survey will take between 30-60 minutes to complete depending on which topics the participant chooses to provide insight on. The study is now open and closes on Monday, December 5th. Click here to access the survey.