Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mitigate Agile Transformation Risk Through Traversing The Transformation Canvas

The assumptions contained within a Transformation Canvas can be validated by traversing different sections of the canvas. The order of this traversal depends on the risk that you want to mitigate. The big risks to any organizational transformation are really our change risks that we have discussed before.
The risk that the transformation will fail due to resistance.
The risk that the transformation will result in changes that are incorrect, and wrong for the organization.
The risk that the transformation will be unsustainable, and that the organization reverts back to previous ways of working.
Traversing the Canvas According to Risk
Each section of the Transformation Canvas contains assumptions that when validated, serve to mitigate one of these risks. A good practice is to traverse the canvas section by section, highlight any assumptions and key risks and execute activities necessary to validating those risks.
We have suggested one particular order a set of change agents could traverse the transformation canvas. Of course the exact order of traversing a canvas will depend on the actual transformation, risks and their severity will vary from transformation of transformation.
Resistance to Change

1) Identify which change recipient segment will be the least adversely impacted by one of the changes suggested within the transformation canvas
2) search for a set of change champions that want to become a guiding team for your change
3) implement your change, working in collaboration with your guiding team
4) communicate both benefits and learnings both your change recipient's and to the rest of the organization

Correctness of Change
1) connect change recipients with one or more urgencies, and work with them to establish a shared understanding of why the organization needs to change
2) extract elements from your target state into the smallest possible change that will result in demonstrable benefits to your change recipient
3) validate the target state, demonstrating your vision
4) verify that your transformation is sustainable by validating achievement of success criteria necessary to making sure change sticks

Sustainability of Change

1) verify that these change recipient's have the time, effort, and funding required to enable the change
2) validate you have the correct benefits by testing what your change recipient say
3) then validate benefits by testing how you change recipient's change in methods habits and behavior
4) finally validate benefits by testing organizational performance is actually improving
Traversing the Canvas Across Multiple Risks
In reality, change agents are unlikely to mitigate all risks of one type by traversing by one category of risk, and then move on to the next type of risk. It is much more likely that risks will be mitigated by jumping across the different categories of risk. Shown below is a canvas traversal map that shows how a change agent could execute change activity, mitigating specific change risks. Navigate this map by going through all the change activities in row 1, then going through row 2, then through three and finally four. All of these activities are identical to the ones shown above with the same images.
Again it is important to point out that this canvas risk traversal method is really a thinking tool to help change agents identify and validate any assumptions within the transformation that could pose a risk to successful change.
This approach could be used in conjunction with minimum viable changes, or some other change management methodology. In keeping with our philosophy around making sure that the majority of the Lean Change components are stand-alone, we want to provide a method of traversing the canvas that could be useful without necessarily having to use the minimum viable change canvas or even a validated change lifecycle.

Of course all these techniques, complement each other and have been developed to be used in an integrated way.

Read More Lean Change - Chapter 5: Using a Transformation Canvas for Enterprise Change
  1. Understanding Why We Need an Organizational Transformation Canvas
  2. Applying the Change Canvas to Transformations
  3. Mitigating Change Risk through Traversing the Canvas
  4. Prioritizing Different Minimum Viable Changes Based on Risks on the Organizational Transformation Canvas

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