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Articles : An Agile Approach to Change Management
on 2011/5/3 11:20:00 (6507 reads)


Take for example the implementation of a portion of a typical change management plan.  In conjunction with an upcoming Agile software release, change management requirements might include:
* create a stakeholder list
* create a series of surveys on stakeholder attitudes
* contact these stakeholders, and socialize the survey results


Tasks required for the delivery of iteration can then be broken down into stories, for example:
* make a list of stakeholders in a certain business group
* create a survey covering these specific questions
* create an analysis spreadsheet


Creating ECM stories in the same manner as their development tasks deeply integrates change management into the Agile process. In fact, these stories can be created in a test-driven development manner.  For the above story examples, a test could be written proving that:
* a stakeholder from the business group is included in the stakeholder list
* a survey covers a specific required content item
* the analysis spreadsheet has a correct column


At the start of each iteration, these tests would initially fail and would begin to pass as these change management stories are fulfilled.  


ECM tests and their pass/fail state can be illustrated on the Agile teams’ continuous integration dashboards. Making these dashboards available organization-wide provides all stakeholders maximum insight into teams’ overall progress to heighten project awareness across the enterprise.


By integrating ECM into Agile development, the development team can escape the project stovepipe and extend its vision to the greater enterprise. Every veteran Agile manager has watched hopelessly as a project that met every customer requirement failed due to external factors beyond their control.  Although ECM does not give the project team absolute control over its destiny, it can substantively expand the domain of its influence.

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