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What is the best way to introduce change effectively in an organization?

Hello everyone!

I've been working closely with a wider segment of our organization lately and we have found that in the last couple of years the friction with change has been growing. There are plenty of factors that come into play, from culture values, change management processes and the state of affairs when a change is proposed. Not to mention the scale!

In your experience, what is the best way to introduce change effectively in an organization?

All magnitudes and perspectives are welcome 😄

3 answers

1 vote
Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Jan 13, 2020

Hi @Fernando Bordallo ,

Great post and question.  I believe one of the starting points of introducing change to an organization is improving the things that you can personal control.  Leading by example through a transformation can set the path for others to follow.  If you are a manager you can also implement the change within your organization as a proof of concept so adjacent teams and groups can see that success is achievable.  

I also believe setting SMART goals early on will enable the group to experience some successes on the long path to a transformation.

0 votes

Hi Fernando,

This is a complex topic! Depending on the change there may be different effective approaches. I like to start understanding if the change is needed because of a problem with the current status quo, and if so, you need to really understand the problem and the impact. Collect as much data as possible. And prepare a compelling story. Then you need to find people who will support the need for the change to address the problem. Then you can create a committee with diverse people (with diverse ideas and skill sets)  to bounce ideas for the best solution. When the change is coming from the people who have to implement it, it'll work better. Change is inevitable, and we choose how to deal with it. Have patience and always listen!


I fully agree that understanding why change is needed is the first solid step that will lay the foundation for the road ahead. Also, finding the right people to support the transition goes a long way.

Regarding gathering the committee to seek a common ground solution that those who implement it buy into it from the beginning, I understand this can be done when the scope of change is limited enough. However, change at scale often comes top-down or across the organizations.

How would you envision change the change delivery process when those who will ultimately adopt it and define success or failure of change cannot be part of the solution definition process? 🙂

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Well, I'd suggest that the people who will adopt the new delivery process should be involved. As the end user and costumer they can advise what works for them. If they aren't happy using the new. process after the change, chances are that new changes will be introduced anyway. Worst case, when the change is dictated from the top layers of the organization, they should at least communicate the what and the why of these changes. If people can't influence the changes but at least they understand why, there may be more buy-in.

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Early buy-in definitely will decrease future friction 🚀

I've put together an article on the matter, pulling together some personal experience with learnings from a really good read on change management: Might be able to add to this discussion thread :)

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Jason H Atlassian Team Jan 16, 2020

I was waiting for someone to link that article - I'm glad you did!

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I am in the same boat. Looking to further Agile adherence but get a lot of pushback. My mantra has become  “PEOPLE OVER PROCESS”. I would love to know what has worked for your teams. 

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