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HCLs Imogen Lawrence: changing to agile ways of working

HCL's Imogen Lawrence: changing to agile ways of working

 January 16, 2020

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How can an employer's Change Management strategy stay resilient during disruptive times? Through an informative blog post, Imogen Lawrence, Global Lead - Organizational Change Management at HCL Technologies, explains how modern enterprises can prepare for the uncertain future.

Change is changing

"Change is the one true constant and organizational change management is no different. In the march into the digital era, we are left with but a few realities – constantly evolving customer and user demands along with an accelerated time to delivery. As a career change management specialist, I’ve had the opportunity to witness this transformation first hand. I also had the chance to be a part of this change, working in some of the most dynamic companies in the world, in one of the fastest-changing industries – technology," writes Imogen.

"The industry has been encountering not only changes in technology but also the methodologies that support the development and production of software. And over this time various techniques and approaches have emerged to ensure that the deployment of technology makes the lives of users easy and simple...Today it’s Agile – an approach that has transformed the technology industry in a fundamental way – from speed to outcomes to the ways of working."

Imogen explains that the Agile model has had a significant impact on the tech world. This benefit has spilled over into business where the adoption and exploitation of technology is a competitive advantage.

"Technology has always led businesses by enhancing customer experience, innovating and developing new products, disrupting old patterns of operating and introducing them to the market faster than the competition," she continues

An Agile approach that works

According to Imogen, there are several key elements in Agile that resonate strongly with any change practitioner. They include:

  • leadership, the primary contributor to success. Leadership drives Agile ways of working across the organization with consistent and visible support. Leadership also sets an example by being trained in Agile, using Agile coaches in meetings, and creating roles responsible for coaching teams to adopt new ways of working
  • confidence in oneself and one’s ability to succeed in changing conditions builds change momentum. The investment in the training of employees and aligning the organization to a unified philosophy and ways of working is critical - be it SAFe, Spotify, DAD, LeSS, or any of the brands of Agile that are being adopted 
  • building and then sustaining momentum is a challenge in all change programs. Agile is structured based on small teams that share common traits like working together in close proximity, reinforcing good practices on a daily basis, being rewarded for collaboration, and taking incremental steps towards achieving a product or an outcome
  • reinforcing new ways of working – what HCL refers to as ‘embedding change’ – is derived from Agile rituals and ceremonies like standups, retrospectives, and refinement sessions. These ceremonies reward and reinforce changes to the ways of working
  • Agile coaches and scrum masters also serve to reinforce and reward success. They shape behaviors that facilitate common ways of working and the discipline required for teams across the organization to work in an aligned manner

Taking the Agile journey

Every organization will have its own journey with Agile that is unique and specific to its industry and domain, says Imogen. However, there are four key tips she can offer: start small - develop your approach over iterations that build on the lessons of the previous approach and actions; keep learning - accept failure and use the experience to learn and adapt; reinforce behaviors and ceremonies that contribute to embedding new ways of working, and, most importantly, celebrate the success of your ventures with the whole organization.

Read Imogen's full blog post and discover all her top insight into Agile ways of working.

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