Not So Naive Change Model

Agile methodology is not visible. I do not know what my team is doing. These are complaints often heard from project manager. Ops, I of course mean persons that understand that they are project Managers. Managing is translated into command and control. When saying "not visible" they mean "I can not command", "I can not control", or "I do not understand prototypes, show me paper".

What is described above is the impact of change, and it follows the satir change model. After a smooth start of agile pilot enabling more effective team work, all new kinds of problems start to emerge. Team learns about the actual effort needed in disciplined incremental development versus hacking, but also people who have evaluated their status by how much power they have to command and control (project Managers) may fear loosing their status. All of a sudden product gets developed without screaming, hair pulling and jumping up and down like a freaked out kangaroo. There is no room for the blame game, what is going on here? What is my role in this? A paradigm shift from command and control into trusting and facilitating causes fear among this dying specie of command and control type knowledge-work managers.

One needs to be very carefull not to interpret this new state of chaos as failure in agile intervention. This is excatly what was expected, but fear is a powerfull emotion and when in panic we do irrational things. I on my part fear what happens to a project Manager who in panic starts to act even more irrationaly (compared to my understanding of rational). As we remember from the theory of complex adaptive systems this emerging behavior is of course totally unpredictable...

...fingers crossed everyone, stop-think-act, maybe she gets agile.

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