Sustainable Agile Change

What is Sustainable Agile Change?

Sustainable Agile Change is about achieving consistent and lasting adoption of agile techniques across an entire organisation which includes broad communities of people and practices.  The IJI approach helps introduce and adopt change and then assures that the change “sticks” so organizations can achieve not only rapid self-sufficiency but can also continue to evolve and improve, even as personnel and corporate direction changes.

Defining your Agile Change Initiative

Like all endeavors, an Agile Change Initiative needs to be defined; this ensures direction is provided and improvements are aligned to business goals. This also drives the continual evolution of the Target Operating Model, and ensures that maximum value is derived from the investment in change.

Acting in the role of Change Advisor, IJI will work with your Change Owner (usually a Sponsor for the initiative) and key stakeholders to form a Change Team to understand the Vision and build a set of success measures and Desired Outcomes to track against.  A simple Roadmap is developed to set the direction and the delta between current ways of working and the desired Target Operating Model is used as an inspiration for a backlog of change items for the team to work on. 

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Agile Practice Hub

The Agile Practice Hub is the focus for guidance and learning materials, harvesting new and evolving practices from the communities and sharing these for wider usage. Many organisations struggle with maintaining consistent levels of professional practice, whilst at the same time dealing with many different types of endeavors and enabling teams to innovate and refine their approach to respond to their own unique challenges and opportunities.

A practice-based approach enables the composition of methods or ways of working from an eco-system of practices.  This ensures a consistent approach, while flexibility is achieved by composing the appropriate practices for particular types of work.  Our Essence in Practice TeamSpace™ and WorkBench™ team productivity products bring life to these ideas for organizations.

A practice is a repeatable approach to achieve something specific and does not live in isolation. Supporting information to help achieve fast and consistent adoption often surrounds it, i.e. training materials which include slide packs from presenters, coursework and reference materials.  The organization’s capability increases over the life of the change as teams and individuals become more and more competent (and accredited) with the Practices selected.

Agile Practice Hubs of Expertise

Agile Coaching Hub

The Agile Coaching Hub builds the capabilities of teams (Portfolio, Product, Feature etc.) in those practices provided through the practice hub.  Led and managed by the Coach Master, support is provided with training and agile coaching activities.  A coaching Kanban is used to manage the coaching delivery over time (WIP limits can be set to throttle coaching demand when the number of teams outstrips the capacity of the coaching team).

It is critical that internal coaches are developed to ensure sustainability of the Agile Change Initiative to meet the evolving needs of the business. Furthermore, internal agile coaches help ensure that the business will not become reliant on external consultants long term.

The Agile Coaching Hub helps establish agile capability in the product lines and development teams, which will then seed the building of communities.

Agile Practice Coaching Hub


Communities are groups of people that are utilizing shared practices or playing the same roles across the organization, or simply share a common interest.  For example, a community of Scrum Masters may evolve, or those analysts who have an interest in the Use Case Modelling practice. Different members within the communities will have different levels of skill and experience in the various aspects, with the more skilled being able to support and assist the less skilled.  As people work with practices, receive training / coaching and gain experience, their skill levels can be tracked via accreditation through various levels from a Practitioner to Expert (as described below). 

The communities are set up to nurture, sustain and take ownership of new and evolving ways-of-working. They become increasingly autonomous, self-sufficient, self-organising and self-directing as agile and lean thinking becomes embedded in the organisational culture.

A Community is typically an informal organisation that exists outside of normal organisation management reporting structures; community members still report to a supervisor, but also actively participate in a broader community.


Recognizing and Measuring Achievement

In the same way that Agile Software Development is often described as being all about creating “great software”, workplace accreditation can be thought of as a tool to help create “great people and teams”. An accreditation model provides for structured measurable uplift through an organisation’s initial Change Initiative and into the future. The model defines the skills and expertise levels and identifies the number of people for each level and for each practice.

It is an aspirational certification model suited to individuals who want recognition for their existing skills, individuals who want to increase their skills to meet the demands of their projects and organisation (career advancement), and those individuals who are just starting out.

By offering an accreditation scheme, an organisation is able to measure and monitor the correct levels of competency for each practice level and strengthen the career development opportunities for employees.

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Creating Sustainable Agile Change - ePub Series

Learn more about Sustainable Agile Change in our Creating Sustainable Change ePub Series.  Key sections include:

  • Creating Sustainable Change
  • A Practice Based Approach
  • Communities of Practice
  • Creating a Sustainable Coaching Network
  • Establishing a Measurement Framework
Creating Sustainable Change e-Publication

Trusted by the Industry to Deliver Sustainable Change

IJI believe in ensuring that the change you want sticks and that your investments pay off. For more information on the large scale, sustainable change successes we have enabled, take a look at our case studies.

Trusted by Industry to Deliver Sustainable Agile Change

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