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System of Transformation Defined

Tim Zack Chief Marketing Officer
Reading: System of Transformation Defined

Agile was designed to work in a particular organizational context.

It was designed for a certain kind of team structure.

It was designed for a certain kind of governance.

It was designed for a certain kind of organizational ecosystem.

My fundamental hypothesis is because of a lot of different things, dependencies first amongst them, it’s very difficult to get that context in play. And, so one of the things that we’ve been distinguishing between within our practice is the idea of a System of Delivery versus a System of Transformation.

So, when you guys go to Scrum class and you learn how to do Scrum, you are learning a System of Delivery. When you learn how to do SAFe and you learn all the stuff about SAFe, all the different roles and cadences and things like that, you are learning a System of Delivery.

How you get the organization from its current state into the kind of state where it can actually take advantage of that methodology is what I’m calling a System of Transformation. Okay? How are we going to move from point A to point B so that we can start leveraging the methodology? So, System of Delivery. System of Transformation. Very different.

And, my hypothesis is that the reason why we are all struggling to get Agile done right at scale is because we’re not fully appreciating the amount of work that it takes to actually get the ecosystem right. Okay, and that’s why we’re sitting here 20 years later, still struggling with this.

Next Who's Leading Your Agile Transformation?

Comments (2)

  1. Doug Shelton

    Sounds to me like a pitch for selling your services and not much more. As prescriptive as SAFe is, it most definitely has a “system of agile Transformation” – it is clearly laid out in a Kotter’s Change management-based SAFe Implementation Roadmap. You haven’t made the case in any way as to what you differentiate as an Agile Transformation.

  2. Sushil Bhattachan

    So true. I really like how he termed it as system of transformation. I am true believer of adding more of organizational change management practice also in system of transformation. In large organization we are more struggling with system of transformation rather than system of deliver. Very well articulated.


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