Monday, 21 February 2011

What is to be done for the single biggest blocker to an agile transition?

I've been interviewing a number of candidates for a role in my team of Agile Coaches these past few months. One of the topics we like to discuss with candidates is that of "serious resistance".

I've reflected on the topic a great deal over the years, as well as read several books and articles, discussed here and there at various conferences, trainings and war story sharings. It is not an easy topic, and its clear that many "new process/practice" people run into it constantly.

Through all this, 2 approaches dominate:
1. Back off, and attempt to influence via the resisters influencers
2. Fire/promote

AKA:
1. Do nothing
2. Do something radical (AKA change your organisation, or change your organisation)

Both sound lose-lose to me.

Today I had a slightly different thought - what if the pressure/focus was turned instead to the resister's line manager? What if the line management was forced to accept the accountability that comes with the management position and actually conduct coaching/mentoring 1-1 sessions with the resister? What if the line manager's job was on the line instead? That seems to me to have far bigger and quicker impact potential...possibly at the actual root cause of the problem!

:O

1 comment:

Rob Brown said...

BTW, this would require the manager's manager to be fully bought into "the new way", or to be fully bought into supporting the people who are bring in "the new way" which the manager does not have time or desire perhaps to understand.