In all transformation projects, there will come a point where you need to pivot. It is important to balance being agile with having a plan and to constantly be asking ‘What’s next?’
Merging success: Knowing when to adapt
My experience with big change initiatives is along the way, they always look at some point if they're going to go wrong, and it's really important to stick to your guns with at same time, to be prepared to adjust if necessary. That's, I think, how you keep people with you. If you get, if you really get people, your team, telling you that something's not working, you got really carefully work out whether it's something you need to stick to, or whether you need to adjust.
Being flexible and adaptable and go and just go in knowing that you're going to pivot, you're going to have to address things that come up. You know, when I reflect back on a fairly significant transformational project that we undertook a few years ago when I reflected on it afterwards, what I realized is probably half of the project was execution by myself in the team. But the other half was this constant re-evaluation and shifting gears and troubleshooting and just solving the newest problem
at the day.
If you try to go pure waterfall and tell people exactly what to do and they have no other option, then, A. you'll never get started because the plan’s so complicated, but B. you'll probably fail because you're hit things you didn't know about. So you do need a little bit of flexibility in that. But the other extreme being totally agile, don't confuse agile with having no plan. Agile only works if you have a very, very clear definition of what it is you're trying to achieve. But then leave the micro detail to those who are actually doing it on a step by step basis.
You know, just constantly asking yourself almost daily what is working and what's not working and what we need to do next. Always planning for the next 30, 60 days. Thinking ahead. The project team is going to be deep in dealing with what we're dealing with today. And I think a valuable role of leader can players just thinking ahead and helping can navigate this ship forward.