Handling business change management on DAD projects

I had a very interesting discussion today with Bob Ouellette about dealing with business change management on agile projects.  In his organization they use the ADKAR model  to manage their change.  Interestingly enough, so did I on my last project.  This was a huge project and we had several people working on communications and change management working directly within our agile teams.  It worked extremely well.  In fact, they were some of the strongest supporters of the agile practices we incorporated.  Unlike Scrum’s backlog, in DAD we call it a work item list.  As such, it can include work items that go beyond requirements/user stories.  The product owner added items to the work item list to represent the work of the communication and change management folks.  We tracked the progress of these work items during the iterations on the task boards just like any other work item.

In DAD, team contributors are called team members.   We don’t use specific roles names, such as business analyst as that would discourage any tendency to contribute in areas outside one’s official role.  In DAD projects, it is common to supplement your team with people beyond typical roles such as developers and testers, with other team members that support the implementation of the entire solution.  For non-trivial projects, people are often required to support the business aspects of the solution, not just technical.  Contrary to some advocates of mainstream agile methods, not everyone on an agile team needs to write code.

One thought on “Handling business change management on DAD projects

  1. bobouellette

    Here are some additional thoughts Mark:

    In our company we have a strategic program to “accelerate the delivery of business benefits”. Our project teams prioritize all potential investments for the business solution in a single integrated list. By leveraging ADKAR and prioritizing its collateral in with our software development features, we can ensure that our solution lands with maximum business benefit. Business change management is critical to create awareness, desire, knowledge and manage resistance. I have seen many projects get suboptimal results and even fail when they ignore these factors. Agile projects have shorter release cycles and they need to pay attention to these factors for sustained business results and continued business support.

    Not all ADKAR deliverables have equal value in all projects and this collateral needs to be challenged like other software development features as to the value vs the cost to produce.


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