Once bitten twice shy!! What can you do if your previous Scaling Agility initiative failed?

Siraj Sirajuddin / Aug 1, 2023

This happens all the time! For various reasons and now it's time to renew and restart. FYI, here is a great post from John Kotter #hbr on this topic


Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail



If a previous Scaling Agile initiative failed, it's essential to learn from the experience and take proactive steps to improve future attempts.

Here's what you can do:


  1. Conduct a thorough assessment: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the previous initiative. Identify the root causes of the failure, including any process gaps, communication issues, or cultural challenges that may have contributed to the outcome.

  2. Involve stakeholders in the analysis: Engage with key stakeholders who were involved in the previous initiative to gather their perspectives and insights. This collaborative approach ensures a well-rounded understanding of the challenges faced and potential solutions.

  3. Learn from mistakes: Embrace a culture of learning from failure. Encourage open and honest discussions about what went wrong and why. Use the insights gained from the assessment to identify areas that need improvement and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

  4. Realign with business objectives: Realign the Scaling Agile initiative with the organization's current business objectives and strategic priorities. Ensure that the initiative addresses the most pressing needs and provides tangible value to the organization.

  5. Reframe the vision and messaging: Develop a clear and compelling vision for the renewed Scaling Agile initiative. Reframe the messaging to emphasize how the new approach will overcome previous challenges and deliver positive outcomes aligned with the organization's goals.

  6. Secure executive sponsorship: Gain strong support from executives and leaders within the organization. Having executive sponsorship is crucial for overcoming resistance to change, allocating necessary resources, and sustaining commitment throughout the journey.

  7. Define clear goals and success criteria: Clearly define measurable goals and success criteria for the initiative. Ensure that these objectives align with the organization's strategic direction and that progress can be tracked effectively.

  8. Tailor the approach: Tailor the Scaling Agile approach to fit the organization's unique context, size, and culture. Avoid adopting a one-size-fits-all approach and instead, customize the practices and frameworks to match the organization's specific needs.

  9. Provide comprehensive training and support: Invest in comprehensive training and support for employees at all levels. Ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to embrace the Agile mindset and practices effectively.

  10. Foster a culture of continuous improvement: Create an environment that encourages continuous learning and improvement. Empower teams to experiment, share insights, and adapt their practices based on feedback and experience.

  11. Monitor progress and adapt: Establish regular progress monitoring mechanisms to track the initiative's success. Be prepared to make course corrections and adjustments as needed to ensure alignment with changing circumstances.

  12. Celebrate achievements and milestones: Celebrate achievements and milestones along the way. Recognize and reward teams and individuals for their contributions to the success of the initiative. Positive reinforcement reinforces the value of the transformation efforts.


Remember that failure is an opportunity for growth and learning. By applying lessons from past failures and being willing to adapt, organizations can increase their chances of success in future Scaling Agile initiatives.

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Topics: Agile, transformation, Articles, Business Teams, Compelling Shared Vision, transformational change, temenos vision lab, temenoseffect, Community, Alley, training, Business Agility, Career Services, transformations, transforming

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