Steve was stuck. 😤
His team had been struggling to deliver a major feature for 12 months.
The team had been working in an "agile" way. Yet they still couldn't deliver what the customer wanted at the time they needed it.
Steve's team had implemented agile following the advice of a well regarded agile thought leader. They'd spent over $30,000 on training the whole team. Despite this investment, the outcomes hadn't been delivered.
Upon meeting with Steve I asked why they had adopted agile. He didn't say it directly but reading between the lines, it was because "everyone else was doing it."
This tendency to copy and install change is common. Sadly it doesn't always lead to good results.
So what could Steve had done differently? 🤔
When an expert approaches you with a solution, a good question is to ask about their Theory of Change.
It is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why the desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. I've found it to be most commonly used in the not-for-profit sector where prior to grant provision, the organisation needs to clearly articulate their desired outcomes. Here is an example.
By communicating this theory of change it surfaces assumptions. These can then be challenged and tested. Once clarified it enables the change to be clearly communicated to all involved.
What is your theory of change? 🌀
Here are a few principles that guide and influence how I approach change.