Why Agile Transformation Fails?

Originally published at Xebia Blog

Organizations move into Agile because it sounds cool, team’s wants to transform and deliver more, have collaborative culture and make work fun. Very few actually look into the changes that will be required to bring in to make the transformation successful.

The first resistance initiates with the need to change. Change means new learnings and probably more of un-learmings.  

Most successful projects need a shift in cultural mindset; everyone wants the change but no one wants to work for it. Even in the best of conditions and work environment, very few organizations can bring in the culture of constant learning and improvement and keep everyone motivated.

To know why transformation is not the most popular thing at ground level:

  • Disrupts the comfort factor- change is never comforting because it requires everyone to work for it. Most senior members and managers are more resistant to change than new members. Why try out new thing when he old one works fine.
  • No zeal and capacity- its proven that just being intelligent isn’t enough for achieving higher things  . The zeal and capacity that are required from every team member to make teams successful is very difficult to inculcate unless they are inherently in the person. 
  • The Dunning Kruger Effect- where individuals think they are better than the rest and hence no need to change. In situations like these where the resistant to change increases, transformation is more and more difficult to bring about. 
  • Not praised for the effort during the process of transformation- 50 milliseconds after a mistake (which aren’t uncommon during new learnings), the first reaction called Error related negativity which is an involuntary reaction shows up. It’s been proven that just by praising the effort of an individual, chances of them choosing tougher task hence more learning is achieved. How the mistake is used by an individual whether for learning or withdrawal makes a  difference.
  • The big bang approach- though some cater to this approach of changing things for once and for all, sometimes it might be difficult for an organization to go through this because of the fear of retention of employees. The sudden change can bring in the fear of transformation as to what lies ahead and why none of them are being considered allies and instead being push to do things. It’s opposite to the much formal ad gradual method that Shu-ha-ri or the Dreyfus model talks about.   



So, the transformation is a complicated phenomenon to achieve and a success deserves every bit of the celebration. 

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