ChangeXFlow – our change management approach for agile transformations

Agile transformations in large strategic initiatives, which are intended to align business and IT towards a common goal, take many forms, but they all have one thing in common – they are not a sure-fire success! Many companies that want to improve their collaboration along the value chain, optimise information flows and increase their ability to react to changing market conditions quickly reach a dead end if they give priority to methodology.

The motto is: once we have gained confidence in new roles, once we have learnt to restructure our work in the teams, once we have professionalised our boards and put new routines on the agenda, then scaling will eventually take care of itself.

A fatal fallacy.

Thinking change management and agile empowerment together

The effectiveness of complex transformations increases when change management and agile empowerment are considered together from the outset and throughout the entire organisation.

From a change management perspective, the biggest challenge is to create awareness, particularly at management level, of how profoundly working methods will change. At the beginning, scepticism often prevails as to whether the company is even in a position to completely restructure its work, reassess and prioritise key initiatives and programmes. Scepticism as to whether employees and managers are also prepared to work together across departmental boundaries – for the good of the company as a whole – and to put individual interests aside. And whether there is ultimately a willingness to rethink leadership and decision-making powers and delegate responsibility.

Agile transformation is a corporate task

Of course, agile transformation must not stop at management level. Anyone at C-level who is seriously considering anchoring system designs such as Flight Levels or our Flow Model in the company will first get involved and see agile transformation as a task for the entire company. And this task requires room for manoeuvre that needs to be explored and redefined together with a transformation team.

In view of the diverse dependencies on a structural, process-related, cultural and technological level, a coordinating role is required to maintain an overview of the transformation. A change facilitator who actively manages stakeholders and intervenes when the transformation stalls, sub-projects are blocked or information and relevant pieces of the puzzle for the big picture are simply missing.

Change support builds bridges

Change support starts where the gap between departments, between specialist departments and IT, between management and operational level has become too wide. It is effective where the activities within a (sub)project have become disconnected from a strategic goal and thus from the overarching purpose, namely to create added value for the customer. It aims to achieve broad acceptance and commitment as well as the development of a common language.

Change management in the context of an agile transformation must differ from the management of a classic change project, where the target picture is already clearly defined at an early stage. A certain degree of uncertainty must be tolerated and expectations must be managed at an early stage.

ChangeXFlow creates connections

Our mgm ChangeXFlow approach, which is tailored to agile transformations, encourages a willingness to explore the path together. We work with our clients to establish digital exchange platforms and physical networking formats across the organisation so that each team can learn from the others or – as in the flight level context – the strategy, coordination and operational implementation levels can work together optimally. ChangeXFlow draws its energy from short implementation phases and recurring learning and feedback loops. Our customers also benefit from data-supported progress monitoring to make the impact truly measurable.

Let’s talk about your transformation challenges and find out how we can improve your organisation’s responsiveness.