Change Your Organization Diary

"You can ChangeYourOrganization or ChangeYourOrganization." --MartinFowler

I am working at a company that could use some change. I'm an XP coach with agile leanings, but for this contract, I'm JustaProgrammer. I can't help myself, though: I've been running an agile show for three years on various projects, and it's painful to be a peon in the world of WaterFall process and MatrixManagement. I want change. I want us to become more agile, and I want to coach.


In SecretsOfConsulting, GeraldWeinberg says, "If they didn't hire you, don't solve their problem."

I'm running into the problem he alludes to in spades. I wasn't hired to be a process coach. I know: I asked. I was hired to replace a programmer who had very specific duties. When I talk about how I can help, the response is polite interest, but not enthusiasm or authority to change.

In this diary, I'm going to talk about my efforts to ChangeYourOrganization. I won't be discussing the details of the company I work for and I won't be signing my work right away. If you're Wiki-savvy, you won't have a hard time figuring out who I am: all I ask is that you keep it to yourself for now. One point that's relevant is that this organization does outsource project work for other companies.

ChangeYourOrganizationDiaryPartOne: In which the author alternates between resignation and despair. Now with a surprise ending!

ChangeYourOrganizationDiaryPartTwo: In which the author remembers the saying, "Beware what you wish for."

ChangeYourOrganizationTactics: In which the author pretends he knows all the answers.

General comments: (Please add specific comments in the entry they correspond to.)

Could you add an introduction to yourself, and your past experiences with agile development? I was hoping to change my organization fresh out of school, but I think I lacked the experience to know what changes were more important, or even how it would work. The result is some people in my group talk as if we were using an iterative approach, when it is clear that we are not.

Well, at least one WikiZen thinks this is really very interesting and exactly the sort of sharing of knowledge that the Wiki is for. Keep the interesting story going!

Hey, rock on, dude! I'm beginning to put feelers out here (it's a different "here") for an XP approach. Lots of resistance. Heavy investment in specialization.

I'll watch your progress with interest.

Good Stuff, keep going

Thanks for sharing your experience, it's very interesting! - Now with the possibility of reduction in scope established, why don't you offer this solution yourself the next time such a situation comes up, instead of waiting for the PM to do so? -- FalkBruegmann

Very interesting stuff. ThankYou, and congratulations. It looks like the December 1st entry was a personal victory as well as a professional one, in which you stood up for your principles despite strong pressure to do otherwise. The organization will only benefit. -- BrentNewhall

I'm looking to change my org, and this is inspirational. I just introduced my director to the term "agile methodology", and explained the philosophical difference (EmbraceChange, instead of SignTheContract?). Polite interest, and a request for an exec summary. Sent. Waiting a bit for any action on the topic. -- JeremyDunck

Another incipient change-artist for continuation of the diary.

I am reminded of the opening paragraph of TrueProfessionalism: "The problem, clearly, is not in figuring out what to do. Rather, the problem is to find the strength and courage to do what we know to be right." I nominate this page as one of the ReallyValuablePages. -- RandyStafford


CategoryCaseStudy CategoryAdoptingXp

EditText of this page (last edited July 4, 2004) or FindPage with title or text search