Simple Tools for Driving Change in Your Organization

I visited a bunch of companies over the last week and they all ask me the same questions one way or another. How do we change the culture? How do we apply self organizing principles but still have standards in our practices? How do I get more people to collaborate with the tools that I am putting out so that we have a better understanding of what people are doing? What are some ways to get business leaders to participate in our development programs when they have day jobs and little interest in the technology practices? I know agile is about the team making and delivering on commitments, but how do I measure and understand individual productivity and quality?

Here's the thing. All organizations are different. If you are doing a raw startup, you can hire people that best match your values and nurture the culture as the company grows. But other organizations are in constant organizational change management when they want to change the culture. The answers to the questions depend on many factors and there aren't cookie cutter answers.

A Toolkit for Driving Change

There are some building blocks and I will share with you over the next several months. A toolkit that you can apply situationally to drive change. Some will be new concepts, others are existing ones that can be applied in new contexts.

Take agile commitment for example. Getting teams and individuals to commit to their deliverables at the start of a sprint is a core practice in scrum, but it can also be applied in many other contexts. For example, I like managers in non-agile contexts to commit to what they are going to accomplish over the next sprint. I ask system administrators to commit to how many request tickets they think they can complete over the next week. I ask digital marketers how many leads they plan to drive over the next month.

No more discussion over accountability. Ask for a commitment on core deliverables completed over short timeframes.

More next week!

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.