We are all guilty of failing to keep up with our New Year resolutions as soon as the first few weeks pass by. Whether it’s taking up a sport, quitting smoking or anything else, we often find we have too little will to keep on with the changes. Our business transformations are just the same in a lot of ways and after starting with a new and exciting Agile method we need true commitment to actually make it stick for good.
Sounds hard? Well, change is never easy, but it can be made easier if you know how to make sure you and your team accept it.
Proactively form new habits
Starting something new is always fun. The first day of not smoking you feel motivated and eager to prove yourself, however, as the time goes by the excitement fades. And here is where most of us start failing in our new goals. Taking up Agile feels just the same and soon the team will forget the shiny new toy and revert to the old ways if new habits are not reinforced. So instead of starting Agile and letting it go, make sure to proactively form new rituals within your teams for at least a few months or even longer to actually make them stick.
Put in the effort
Just as you can’t expect new habits to form on their own, you cannot hope that the change will just happen. Instead it will require time and effort from both you and your team. You will have to try, fail and repeat this cycle until you find a way that works best for you. This is where the iterations and retrospectives will become your best tool so remember to use them and make according changes every time. Without some effort from yourself, the changes might never come.
Think about what can prevent the change
Just like with your New Year diet, slip ups will happen. However, instead of going to your first reaction and punishing that behavior, you should take some time and realize why did it occur? Does your team prefer working the old way? Is it faster? Why? Do they fail to see the long term benefits of the new method? Get to the bottom of the reasoning and communicate the importance of change to make sure it does not happen again.
With a change of method, there will inevitably be a change in the team’s behavior. Starting from the small stuff as the need for task boards and space for daily standups to restructuring teams and collocating them to get the best result. Whatever your team needs give it to them, thus enabling and not blocking the changes. It will make the transition easier and the risk of reverting back smaller.
Finally, most of us need a little push to achieve greatness and so will you. Get a coach to guide you through the transition, to set up the best practices and to navigate arising issues. It will make it easier on both you and the team and will ensure your investment pays off.
Have your own tips on keeping up with New Year resolutions? Share in the comments!