Lean Change Management

The Christmas holiday is for me time to read and reflect. This year was no exception. My Agile endeavor has continued during 2014, but it feels like we have reached a plateau. Agile acceptance and adaptation are high within the IT department, the challenge now is the rest of the organization. That must change during 2015! 

”The only thing constant is change” – Heraclitus

If change is a natural part of life, how come it’s so hard and sometimes painful? To find out, I did my normal routine and started to search for books on the topic. Pretty soon I found ”Lean Change Management” by Jason Little. The subtitle of the book is ”Innovative practices for managing organizational change” and it was released 3 October 2014.


Lean Change Management Cycle

The book introduces something called the Lean Change Management Cycle that consists of:

  • Insights
  • Options
  • Experiments (with the sub-cycle below):
    – Prepare
    – Introduce
    – Review

This non-linear, feedback-driven model for managing change is explained in more detail throughout the book. Insights is the understanding of the current state in the organization. Options have a cost, value and impact. They include one or more hypotheses and expected benefits. Hypotheses are turned into Experiments. Prepare is the planning stage of the experiment. Introduce is where you put the experiment into real action, and Review gathers the outcome.


Without a framework or some sort of mental model, change management can be very hard. The book presents two frameworks.

Kotter’s 8-step Change model

This was introduced by Dr. John Cotter and holds the following steps:

  1. Create Urgency
  2. Form a Powerful Coalition
  3. Create a Vision for the Change
  4. Communicate the Vision
  5. Remove Obstacles
  6. Create Short Term Wins
  7. Build on the Change
  8. Anchor the Change in Corporate Culture
McKinsey 7S Framework

Tom Peters and Bob Waterman created the 7S Framework in the 1980s.

  • Hard factors
    – Strategy
    – Structure
    – Systems
  • Soft factors
    – Shared values
    – Skills
    – Style
    – Staff

Other valuable information in the book

Blast radius is a model for understanding the consequences of a change before it is introduced. Hypothesis creation template is a you can imagine a valuable help when you create your hypotheses. As you might have understood by now I’m a big fan of visualization and this book holds two more good examples of that:

  • One-Page Change Plan
  • Strategic Change Canvas


First I would like to quote the author:

”My goal with this book is to help other change agents find a more people-centric, and feedback-driven approach to change”.

This book gives great ”tools and thinking” for change.  I believe that I now have everything needed to proceed with the necessary changes in 2015. If you want to know more, you can visit the Lean Change Management website. I also found the following short introduction on YouTube.


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