Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Not just change, but LEAN change!

We've all experienced change in the workplace... some good and some not so good - although it seems like we have more experience with the bad & ugly. What makes change management so difficult? Oh right - there's the people factor. People are unique and will react differently.

Jeff Anderson and Alexis Hui from Deloitte presented their thoughts on 'Lean Change' to the KW Limited WIP Society on September 10th. Their methodology is a combination of Kotter's 8 Steps, Lean Kanban, and Ash Maurya's 'Running Lean' principles.

Lean Canvas

I was introduced to a new concept called a 'Lean Canvas'. It's a one page business model that is produced on a large scale (whiteboard, empty wall) to ensure visibility. It reminded me of an A3, only blown up from its 11x17 piece of paper. In Kanban style, post-it notes are used on the Canvas to capture key points.
The Canvas presented by Jeff and Alexis captured key points on Urgency, Vision, Success Criteria, Target State, Action, Change Recipients, and Wins/Benefits.
At the bottom of the Canvas, Action Post-It Notes were moved Kanban style from a 'to-do' pile, to a 'work-in-progress' pile in the middle, and finally to 'done' once fully completed.


Change Risk

Three types of change were addressed in the presentation:
  1. Change risk: will the business problem be fixed or do we have the wrong change?
  2. Resistance risk: will people adopt the change or is it a bad "fit" (i.e. cultural barriers)?
  3. Sustainability risk: will people continue with the change?

Organisations need the ability to continually transform their people, processes and technology. Lean Change is a relatively new concept. It was interesting to learn a new application for Kanban methods. Having stakeholders involved in building a Canvas and Action Plan using visual Kanban should increase buy-in and enhance chances of a successful change adoption. And if not, the team can work together on another change option (using an iterative approach) to find the best solution to address the problem.

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