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Supported Change

Below a pattern I am working on. Feedback on how to improve it is more then welcome.

Supported Change

You are helping an matrix organization transition to agile. You are working with different teams coaching them on using agile practices in their organization.

You want agile practices that are introduced in the organization to persist. How can you help the organization to adopt agile practices in such a way that they persist over time?


  • Illusion of control: People that define how to do agile practices in their specific organization themselves tend to support them better.
  • Anchor change: Telling people how to do agile does not work as the people doing the work know their organization best. Therefore you want to facilitate learning and let the people discover themselves how to do agile within their specific organization.
  • Create knowledge: Every time you provide a specific solution to a team you loose an opportunity for self organization. You want the team to be able to fail and learn but also to protect the team from not having a major accident.

Create optimization teams for particular areas such as Agile Product Management, Scrum Masters, Agile Testing and Agile Development. People acting in different projects across the organization get together regularly in an optimization team to share their project experiences and discuss challenges they face and how to tackle them. The optimization team facilitates experiments in projects to create knowledge about how agile works in the organization. The optimization team makes the created knowledge explicit and available in the form of Standards for Improvement.


  • People are encouraged to experiment and question the way things are currently done. People from different projects across the organization learn from each other and spread the knowledge across the organization. A supported standard is established that forms the basis for improvement.
  • People are committed, feel accountable and fully support the change because their opinions have been taken into consideration and they feel the changes are made by themselves.


  • The Optimization team meet-ups can result in endless discussions with no real results.
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