In a recent LinkedIn poll, the failure to change organizational culture was voted as the prime cause of preventing an agile transformation. This brings to my mind Jurgen Appelo who wrote in his book How to Change the World that change management challenges are boiled down to the question, "How do I change other people’s behaviors?" Changing people's behavior through motivation is the underlying structure in which you can introduce an agile mindset.
For example, people who used to perform specific assignments need a change in their behavior in order to learn how to self-organize and become comfortable in establishing delivery cadence.
Amy Jo King, the president of Shuffle Brain, has lectured on the seven core conceptsfor creating compelling experiences to engage users through gamified loops that evolve as their experience increases.
In order to motivate people to assume desired behavior, the transformation should have fun designed into it. According to the philosopher Mary Poppins, "In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find fun and snap! The job is a game."
Nicole Lazzaro, the president of XEO Design, Inc., described what she calls the four kinds of fun. She writes, "The ability for games to offer very lightweight structure to facilitate social interaction is indispensable."
Fun can be achieved by design and should be part of gamifying agile transformation. Marc Leblanc has written on eight kinds of fun and discusses them in detail in this video. Understanding Leblanc's ideas of fun should help leaders create activities that engage employees to make the agile transisition.
A top-to-bottom transformation approach requires executives support. In this post, Bing Gordon says, “Every startup CEO should understand what gamification is.” People who were born after 1971 tend to see life similar to a game. He added that the principles underlying gamification can make organizations effective to customers and employees.
In her TED talk, Jane McGonigal mentioned that we spend 3 billion hours a week playing games. We spent that time because we are motivated and engaged. Why shouldn't we learn to extend this positive engagement to the workplace? The idea is to align game activities to organization's business objectives to make the agile transformation.
Sameh Zeid currently implements agile and lean in IT and software development. He believes that projects can be more successful if they employ the ideas of agile, lean, and gamification. For more than twenty-five years, Sameh has participated in different roles in myriad projects for various industries around the world. He's learned that software practitioners are passionate to innovate, and it's up to management to not demotivate them. Sameh blogs at koo-doy.com.