Agile Champions the new Change Agents!

As promised in my previous post “Does the Change Agent Networks work? In my case the Agile Champions…” I said that I would share some conclusions about this model implementation.

During this time I didn’t said nothing because I needed some time to start seeing the first results. Well, good or bad…

As you know, transforming mentalities doesn’t work from night to day. In reality takes time and in some situations more time than expected.

Having this said, I would like to start by giving some context in case that you are reading this Blog/Post for the first time.

As an Agile Coach I’m responsible for providing guidance and support in agile concepts and principles to multiple teams distributed across 3 locations (Portugal, United Kingdom, and Romania) in the company that I’m currently working.

After working for a period of time with different environments and cultures, I’ve realised that some times it’s really hard to help people to change even when that change is beneficial to them, others and the business.

So, during one of the many conversations that I had, one person in particular asked why shouldn’t we try to motivate and empower people to be change agents? From that moment I started to plant this idea, like a seed, in everyone’s mind.

Now it’s the time to share some conclusions but please keep in mind that this is work in progress. In other words this is on-going work will never be complete.

The first step was do a roadshow by all locations with the objective to share what was an Agile Champions and what was expected from them. The first reaction was not what I was expecting. Meaning that, almost everyone was with the suspicious look. Also, because cause some confusion. They thought that was another role or more responsibilities added to their current role if they accepted.
From this moment, I had to keep working with them. Clarifying any existing doubt what was an Agile Champion “ An Agile Champions is some one that truly believes in Agile and the change. Believes what are the benefits that can come with the change and is ready to take actions to bring more people on board”. I can say that was a motivational and coaching continuous work.

After achieving this first step, some people started to attend the weekly meetings. During this meetings we discussed what could motivate people to become an Agile Champion, to attend the Agile Communities sessions (share and learn) and to have the will to take actions and bring more people on board. Agin, this was another critical moment. Lucky went well since I had people believing in Agile and committed to this, as well, the Leadership Team support. They were the key to keep this proceed to success even in a slow pace.

It’s funny because if I go back in time, the reality was that I only had one or two Agile Champions since the beginning. Was our work together that made more people to believe and have the will to join us.

At this moment in time we had a small group on each location but I still had the need to drive these meeting and communities. Everyone was expecting that even during this time I was saying that would be really great if they wanted to do it.

Luckily or not something happen accidentally. After a few months suddenly I had the need to start traveling more. Meaning that, I was unable to attend all the weekly meetings and community sessions on all locations. The surprise was that in a natural way they were more committed and self-organised than they and me were expecting.
They started to schedule the weekly meetings, discuss what they could do to keep improving, talk about ideas for the Agile Communities on each location, how to involve and bring more people on board.

For me this was a magical moment! The moment that the Agile Champions had become Change Agents! The moment that I truly believed that the viral change was going to work!

Please let me know if you have any question or share your own experience on this subject. I would like to ear your thoughts and opinions too.

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