Success with Agile: What They Don’t Tell You


There is now a very long list of “Agile scaling frameworks.”
None of them work particularly well if they are “rolled out” to a dis-engaged, dis-empowered workforce.

But nobody tells you that. Instead we are led to believe that “if we do the framework right,” success will surely follow.

Except that it won’t. Why?

What are all these frameworks missing?

An engagement model.


An Engagement Model.

And what exactly is an engagement model?

Here is the definition:

Any pattern or set of patterns, reducible to practice, which result in more employee engagement, during the implementation of an organizational-change initiative.

Now let’s be really, really clear about this:

As of today, almost none of the Agile scaling frameworks actually address the issue of employee engagement, let alone the use of a specific engagement model such as OpenSpace Agility. (The framework called Enterprise Scrum, from Mike Beedle, is one notable exception.)
OpenSpace Agility is an engagement model.
OpenSpace Agility is designed to reduce the risk of failure and increase the chances of success with your chosen framework. It does this by actually engaging your workforce in the change process.
Unless and until the issue of employee engagement is addressed, your chosen framework has almost no chance of actually sticking.


The Agile frameworks designers, for some reason, have somehow missed something essential, that amounts to a critical success factor: employee engagement in the change process.

Without it, all of your good intentions, all of your good plans, and all of that time, money and effort spent on “transformation” are … up in smoke. Gone. Wasted.


Because employee engagement in the change process is what actually scales, not your “Agile scaling framework.”

In summary: if you are embarking on a digital transformation, if you are embarking on an “Agile transformation,”  if you are getting ready to change your entire organization, getting ready to “transform” it… here is a word to the wise:

If you cannot name your Engagement Model, you don’t have one.

And you are therefore likely to fail, in a rather epic way.

At enormous cost.

This failure is avoidable. To avoid it, you must address the employee engagement problem, as part of your overall transformation plan.

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