Why Do Agile Transformations Fail?

A guest post by colleague Tom Meloche

Every large scale Agile transformation we’ve visited flounders and under performs.

Why Do Agile Transformations Fail? Mike Russell


When we examine root causes it is always because 98% of the executives and managers believe they can implement an Agile program without understanding what Agile is.

But Agile is about leadership thinking differently.

Leadership can successfully implement many changes without understanding them—perhaps even most changes. But not changes which require management to THINK DIFFERENTLY.

Large organizations fail to achieve most of the benefit enterprise agility offers because they dramatically underestimate the need to educate, grow, and win over the hearts and minds of front-line managers and executives.

Helping already effective leaders to think differently is perhaps the single most challenging task in the world.

They achieved their success because of how they think. They have learned through experience to trust the way they think, and to resist new ways of thinking.

Any program you implement to change how leaders think must have a profound respect for the leaders’ existing accomplishments and abilities. The program must build on their current accomplishments and grow them, not threaten them.

Agile mindset training must clearly advance the leaders’ careers. It must deliver a positive ROI for the organization independent of executing the Agile projects. The value of the mindset program must stand entirely on its own, with the executives and managers, for the agile transformation to succeed.

This is a significant discovery. Perhaps the most important modern discovery for those seeking a successful agile transformation initiative.

Let me expand on the idea further: the process you use to evolve the skills and thinking of executives and front line managers must ITSELF deliver a positive ROI.

The organization must benefit independently of delivering agile software. In addition, the executives and managers who participate must clearly see how participating enhances their personal success story.

Nothing else will work. There is no short cut.

If you would like to succeed at delivering agile at scale you must capture the hearts and minds of executives and managers.

We’ve developed the positive ROI program to achieve this and more, and proven it works.

Contact us if you are serious about taking agile to a whole new level. It will not be cheap. No, it is better than cheap. It will not be free. It is better than free. Because for the program to work it has to make you money.

It has to have a positive ROI.

Do I have your interest now?


Executive Summary:

Challenge: It is impossible to implement agile without management truly understanding agile and developing an agile mindset.

Solution:  Commit to changing mindset as a key part of transformation.  Use a comprehensive program to create an agile mindset in executives and front line managers.   Preferably – a program that provides a documented positive ROI on the training itself while simultaneously enhancing and advancing the leaders’ careers.


By Tom Meloche


Would you like help with this?  Contact Mike Russell for a complimentary exploration of your situation …