The Agile Approach to Change Management

Agile software development is designed to thrive within even the most dynamic business and technical environments. In fact, according to an article on the Website of Martin Fowler (, an agile industry leader, the name “agile” was chosen because its creators viewed “adaptiveness and response to change” as the most essential concept of the methodology.

All agile methodologies include integrated practices and processes that manage evolving requirements to efficiently develop a continuous stream of new software capabilities. However, agile does not address changes related to enterprise support of the agile process or tasks that fall outside the scope of the project work. These include how to:
• effectively manage internal personnel so appropriate stakeholders are available throughout the project;
• gather and prioritize the most important features desired by the organization throughout the development cycle;
• adjust the notion of ongoing training in a continuous release environment;
• ensure customer team members are informed by the full breadth of stakeholders needed for enterprise acceptance;
• secure timely approval of new technologies that a team would like to leverage; and
• address stakeholder discomfort with cultural, business, social or other changes related to software implementation.

Each of these challenges is compounded when organizations operate multiple agile projects simultaneously. Such unaddressed issues can cause an IT project to ultimately fail, even if it meets all project acceptance tests and is executed perfectly within the scope of the development team.

Enterprise change management provides a framework to address many missing factors. Here we focus on how organizations can leverage ECM practices in conjunction with their agile development teams to foster IT delivery adoption.