Don’t get Discouraged – Get Agile

The bigger a ship, the longer it takes to turn around. This old adage certainly applies to today’s businesses, and if you’re fighting to spin the steering wheel of a large vessel (by trying to change the work habits of hundreds of employees), you’re in for a long battle. But don’t let yourself get discouraged, because this is one instance where persistence literally pays off.

Start small but think big

You’ve worked for weeks on presenting a radical restructuring of your company’s organization. Besides re-organizing team structures, you’re also introducing ITIL policies to your operations department. You’re convinced that these changes will allow the company to massively scale its customer base while increasing its operational prowess. Finally, the big day comes and your “Help me change the world” speech is applauded as divine inspiration. Yet weeks and then months slip by with no progress on any of your suggested initiatives. It seems your presentation was silently ignored and you’re wondering how to get through to these people.

Agile to the rescue

Don’t give up! Instead, radically scale back your plans – just change one server. This is what agile is all about – small, steady changes that eventually add up to something both meaningful and compelling. Expand your circle of friends at work, move your desk and just start working more closely with those who have the power to make your “one maintainable server” dream a reality.

Define metrics for success

Now that you’ve gotten back in touch with reality, let’s keep driving. How will you know when that server truly becomes maintainable? By clearly defining the measures for success: 0 unauthorized changes, availability greater than 99.9%, maximum 1 critical incident per month, etc. Fastidiously document everything your team does to achieve this because you’ll need it as a blueprint to roll it out to the entire company later!

Celebrate your achievement

A few more weeks pass by and you suddenly realize you’ve done it. That server has 100% uptime and 0 unauthorized changes for an entire month. Once you achieve this, celebrate with everyone who made it possible and especially those who doubted you. Bask in the glory for a week or two before offering to help the naysayers implement your ideas as a solution to your company’s common problems.

Refocusing on what you know you can achieve is a great way to rid yourself of the “I can’t” blues while at the same time introducing some fresh, new ideas into your workplace.

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