Organisational Change – The Satir Change Model

Posted on August 19th, 2007 in organisation by siddharta || No Comment

One of the hardest parts of implementing Agile in an organisation is managing the change that is required for the transition to be successful. It is very easy to start out with Agile, then find some resistance to the change and finally everyone going back to old ways of doing things. Another pattern is when the agile process is adapted so much that it is virtually the same as the old way, only under a new name. For these reasons, organisational change management is an important component in adopting an agile process in a company.

Virginia Satir, a noted family therapist developed a model for how change occurs. Although developed in the context of family therapy, the model has been widely adopted to describe organisational change. One of the key components of the model is that things get worse before they get better. Organisations face a period of resistance, followed by chaos, before they start to improve. By understanding the model, organisations will be better prepared to understand that resistance and chaos are part of the change and will proceed with the change rather than reverting back to old ways of doing things.

For a more detailed discussion of the Satir change model, and what can be done at each stage of the change, check out this excellent article by Steven Smith.

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