Gina Temple on Lean Change Management: Change Experiments
Lean change management is a dynamic approach to process improvement that focuses on continuous flow. It can be applied across different levels of an organization, an individual, a team, or the organization as a whole. In the Discipline Agile (DA) methodology, lean change management is a recommended approach to manage change at the organizational level. A core characteristic of this approach is that it is organic and involves continuous learning and adaptation.
The principles behind lean change management were developed by two thought leaders, Jason Little and Jeff Anderson, who recognized the need for an approach that could better reflect the evolving nature of today’s work processes.
The Lean change management flow is a systematic approach to implementing organizational change. This framework comprises three main activities: insights, options, and experiments.
There are typically four potential states that an experiment can work through – Prepare, Introduce, Learn, and Done. According to Gina Temple, these states allow for a structured and incremental process of testing ideas and concepts before fully implementing them. This approach minimizes the risk of failure and enables organizations to continuously improve their practices through experimentation.
Let’s explore the four states of change experiments.
Prepare. Make sure you have done preparatory work to schedule, negotiate, communicate, and discuss the merits of selected options with the change recipients for each change. The individuals living with the day-to-day result of the change must be actively involved with the design of the change and communicate the appropriate changes to their team. Pushing change into teams significantly reduces the chance that the change will stick, Gina Temple points out.
Change recipients must understand that the change that impacts them is just an experiment. If it doesn’t work (as they may be skeptical), the change can be rolled back, or they can try something different. For each change, write a hypothesis for the potential benefits of the change. This is useful to assess if the change adopted is an improvement and thus should be adopted or if the change must be abandoned, notes Gina Temple.
Introduce. The second step is for the affected teams to experiment with the change. Since they have to use a lean approach to change, each team must keep the work in progress (WIP) to a minimum. Working on too much change simultaneously could result in starting lots of things but getting nothing done. Focus on a small number of changes and keep the flow moving.
Learn. At this point, the effects of the change must be monitored to see if it achieves the expected positive result. This review or “learn state” can be short, just a few days, or may last several months. This is an essential aspect of this change management approach, understanding that we can’t declare success prematurely when a change has been introduced, explains Gina Temple.
Done (adopt/abandon). If the experiment is considered a success or failure and it doesn’t need to be monitored as closely, we can move the experiment/option to the “done” status. At this point, it is no longer considered an experiment, and you may add more work items to your backlog to roll out the change to the rest of the organization with the necessary communications, training, and updates to other organizational assets such as intranets or wikis.
Gina Temple has a strong passion for advocating for people in need. Gina has served in the healthcare community for over 30 years. She has worked in various settings, from unionized to non-unionized facilities, for-profit to not-for-profit organizations, acute care centers, and outpatient clinics. Subscribe to this page. for more insights on process improvement, Lean, and other related topics.