Untangling Adoption and Transformation

This post is from leadingagile.com by Mike Cottmeyer.

A few weeks ago I agreed to help Brandon Carlson as a reviewer on his Adoption & Transformation stage. Last night I went through about 20 proposals and learned that I think about adoption and transformation significantly different from many of the aspiring speakers. The problem, like many things we talk about, is that these words are overloaded. It seems there is almost a tendency to use adoption and transformation interchangeably… somehow as if adopting agile practices necessarily results in transformation. The insight I had, getting out of bed this morning, is that our use of these words might actually be THE problem. We seem to have equated adoption and transformation when they are really two very different constructs.

Some of the proposals I read last night were about transforming yourself to be more agile. The sessions were about leadership and understanding yourself, letting go and empowering your team members. The supposition was that personal transformation was a necessary precursor to agile software development. Some of the talks were about transforming what we do in our jobs. One proposal was about helping the people doing business analysis learn how to do business analysis on an agile team. My session proposal reflects the perspective that transformation is focused on the larger organization. We need to align our business objectives, management structures, and practices to support agility.

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