If you think building a successful technology product is hard, try organizational change. Shifting culture involves people, and people are complex creatures (I can say that being one myself, and having helped create a few others), which is why most change efforts fail to deliver on their promises. Traditional upfront planning approaches don’t incorporate enough learning and fail to adapt to what is needed.
Lean Change applies the concepts of Lean Startup to Change programs. Lean Startup is a learning engine, applying principles and scientific methods to uncover faster what works and what doesn’t. Using Lean Startup, we can begin with a Plan A for the organization context (market) and then test it rigorously until we come up with an approach that can stick/grow effectively in a way that creates a sustainable change program.
Jeff Anderson and his Deloitte team are the pioneers of Lean Change, and fortunately for us they write prolifically about it on their blog.
If you attended my session at SDEC, you’ll know that I recommended getting started with Lean Change by creating a Validated Adoption Board, which consists of a MVC (Minimum Viable Change) Canvas, and the planned steps to carry one out, like the one below (click image to enlarge). If you didn’t attend the session, Jeff has a detailed post on these concepts.
Here is my slide deck from the SDEC 2012 session:
Download the Lean Change Handout
What are your thoughts about Lean Change? Are you interested/ready to try some experiments? Do you think Lean Change is just more buzzwords that will sell more consulting gigs? Join the conversation by adding a comment below.