Challenges in Adopting Agile – Part 3, Resistance

In the last installment of the challenges of adopting Agile, we focused on skills, noting that it’s essential to have both competency and training in order to drive alignment and expectations on roles.  Another challenge that needs addressed is resistance to adopting Agile.


Encountering resistance is a big challenge to Lean and Agile adoption.  Successfully overcoming this resistance usually requires an internal champion to firmly decide to bring Lean and Agile into the organization that will help oversee the adoption with project teams, influence decisions at the PMO and Sourcing level, and identify how to leverage best practices across the IT organization.

Much of the resistance is seen at an individual level, with each employee wondering how these new methodologies and practices are going to affect their day-to-day routines.  However, times are changing and the resistance to adopting Agile practices is noticeably lessening.  There is enough tangible evidence in the market nowadays to make Agile real, beneficial, and desirable.

The largest adoption opportunity still exists with large enterprises. Companies across many industry sectors that have historically operated under a waterfall development approach can realize significant results and benefits through the introduction of specific Lean and Agile practices without hugely disrupting their existing environments. That is perhaps the single largest misnomer in our industry – that adoption of these principles and practices is too disruptive to consider.

The reality of the influence that Lean and Agile principles have cannot be ignored or underestimated. The CIO who wants to drive change and continuously improve his or her organization needs to explore ways of adopting Lean and Agile principles in a manner that is controlled and tailored for their organization’s specific needs.  Organizations ultimately need people and Agile is all about making people work better together through more efficient, aligned processes and program management.

To read the first two segments on the challenges of adopting Agile, check out the following posts:

Challenges in Adopting Agile – Part 1, Expectation Setting
Challenges in Adopting Agile – Part 2, Skills

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