Article: Interventions with an IT-department – How we rallied the Kingdom no one had expected (2020)

Carsten R. Jakobsen & Anne Abell ———— For the past three years, 100 people in an internal IT function have been fighting to transform their organization from being traditional and hierarchical to becoming agile. This is the story of an inviting rather than prescriptive transformation, and of why this approach initially failed due to lack of a trustworthy ‘why’ in a department heavily influenced by an ITIL mindset and an unclear mandate for leader roles. It is a story of sources of resistance and of how to redefine culture and management structure to support the change towards reinventing themselves as ‘a development organization’ that can deliver relevant infrastructure products in the cloud at high speed. The organization has set out on a 10-year journey and has decided radically to eliminate the traditional line manager role and replaced it with Scrum roles (PO and SM) as well as an additional role for ‘handling people’. Most importantly, however, it is a story with an unexpected happy ending, as it is the story of how the organization still has long way to go on to become truly agile but also about how the change prepared the organization for the unforeseeable: Covid-19.

Jakobsen, Carsten & Abell, Anne. (2020). Interventions with an IT-department – How we rallied the Kingdom no one had expected. Proceedings – XP2020 Conference.

See also the video of the presentation here.

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