“Marko, you are the transition” – well known statement in our leadership team when we were starting with agile. Our agile leader and coach was putting a lot of energy to drive our agile transformation and therefore he well deserved such an epithet.
However, the statement above reflects outsourcing or shift the burden mindset suggesting that someone else is driving and responsible for the change.What about the rest of us!? – Do we just continue to do the “work”?
So, thinking (or not thinking) about the transformation always reflects back to us as how do we make changes – how do we change ourselves, not just others and things around us.
Even though transformation may look similar to transition, to my view, it would be great to consciously make a difference. We usually use agile transition as a rubber to erase a particular terminology and to change some practices to the new ways of doing things. When we are done, we declare peace. Transition, as I would describe it, is a process that does not even need to be mentioned. It is a continuous effort. Transformation is on the other hand an effect of the transition and represents a vision where we would like to be and how closer to such a vision we are.At the end, it is just the terminology. The most important part is to go that road!
A while ago we had a small celebration – one of our managers was going to retirement (I hope I will be so vital during my retirement celebration party!). He has given a small speech looking back to his career and said:
“I had two really big changes in my professional career – one was when we changed the technology from mechanical to electronic switching network nodes. We needed to learn everything from scratch.
The other, even bigger was transformation to agile”.
We actually never talked about it this way, but his career retro speech emphasized a magnitude of the biggest change in his 40 years of work. Even riding on the agile transition train for a few years, it was a moment to realize that our responsibility as leaders and our influence is tremendous. Why not use that chance!
While our transition is (or should be) a never ending journey in adopting and changing the way how business is done, transformation to agile mindset and how to become agile is rather a matter of setting it as a strategic organizational (and personal) goal. Please note, transformation of the organization to the agile one is a learning process, NOT an installation process.