Moving to more agile ways of working is not another C-level mandated reorganisation, it is a new way of thinking that needs to be introduced, lived and adjusted to by all stakeholders.  It has to be preceded by thorough understanding of the lean approach.  Lean/agile change aims to sustainably anchor the core of lean and agile thinking into the organisation.

Lean involves a management commitment to continuously invest in its people and promote a culture of continuous improvement.

Agile is founded on a manifesto which is supported by 12 principles.  Similar to Lean it is a values based approach to delivering good products to customers by operating in an environment that has at its core, respect for people.

One of the reports into Agile and how it has been adopted in organisations is the State of Agile report which has been collecting data for over 14 years.  They have been asking the question “what are the barriers to further adoption of Agile” since 2008.  

State of Agile report  - 14th Annual report 2020


Four of the top five challenges relate to people rather than processes or technology. The organisational culture and how people lead, communicate and respond to the changes which are brought about when scaling agile throughout the organisation. Change management professionals and leaders play an important role in removing these barriers.

What are the right conditions for scaling agile?

We know there are 40+ practices and methods in the agile toolkit.  In order to scale agile you need to understand how you work in a complex environment, and whether agile is the right approach for your organisation.

The table can help you start this conversation. Lean Change is designed to help you take the best ideas from agile, lean startup and design thinking help you live the agile values and principles while transforming your organization to new ways of working.

Source:  Bain & Company from “Embracing Agile,” May 2016
Source: Bain & Company from “Embracing Agile,” May 2016

Questions to consider

  • How can we integrate agile and change management to transition to agile in an agile way?
  • How can we apply agile practices to complex agile transformation programs?