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Ahmed Sidky - Keystone Habits Leading To Sustainable Enterprise Agility


From my experience of leading Agile Transformations in three Fortune 100 companies (over 2000 people per transformation), the sustainability of agile at an enterprise level is deeply linked to how the organization “transforms” to agile. We know that transforming an organization to become more agile requires more than just process change. Rather, it requires a complete culture shift.

Sustainable, effective agile transformations affect all the elements of culture such as, leadership style, leadership values, work structures, reward systems, processes, and of course the work habits of people. How to affect that culture shift is the key question we will discuss in the session. We will present two different common transformation approaches (organizational-led and process-led) and then describe a hybrid version called culture-led transformation that is designed to change critical organizational and personal keystone habits to improve and sustain organizational agility. Throughout the presentation there will be stories from real companies who have used this approach.


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  • Style rating (0-average presentstion, 5 - my level, 9-I learned something about presenting):

Action / Learning

  • Go to
  • Book scaling up excellence
  • Book rework
  • Book - the power of habit



Head of development at riot games League of legends

Agile delivery leaders - not coaches 60+

Ability to change organizational culture is top issue in version one survey followed by resistance to change

Artifacts a lot of implementation

Organization Eco system

People trying to change culture by change process - doesn't work

Human elements and non-human elements of change

Where are we Less agile - more agile

Not aligned Not moving together

Pressure - habits

Sustainable enterprise agility Needs comprehensive culture transformation

We start process because we have the authority Hope that it will pull the rest

Team led transformation

Organization lead “Let's shift IT”

Book scaling up excellence When big orgs scale well they focus on moving 1000 people 1ft rather than one person 1000ft Takes time, needs time

Quick wins maintain momentum

Book rework

Create org at the same time And create lighthouse teams - this is what it will look like

What are we changing

Personal and organization keystone habits

Book - the power of habit

Uncounsious, just do it The habit loop: Cue - routine - reward - cue

Time leads to hard coded habits

Changing habits Keep the queue Insert the new routine Provide same reward

Keystone habits Chain of habits Eg exercise

Habit 1 - how do we align

Old habit Cue I need to do something that impacts Routine tell manager he will manage it Reward sense of accomplishment - I've done what I am suppose to do, my responsibility

New habit Routine - tell person what i need directly

Responsibility has changed - belief changed

Today - communication Tomorrow - collaborate and actively engage other person

How get there if we are all in competiton

Habit 2 - how approach work

Big thing to deliver Work breakdown structure Reduce anxiety - now I know how to do it

Old habit Build car - wheel, axel, … , car New habit Small slides of value -

Breakdown work into small slices of value each achieving the edited outcomes

Anxiety changes Build the thing right Build the right thing

Habit 3 - how do we get work done

Lots of work to do Resource utilization, work in parallel bring work together at end Get more work done - higher productivity

New habit Throughput optimization swarming, limit wip

Shift meaning of productivity to throughput optimization

Habit 4 - what do we reward

Unknown complex challenge I'll figure it out myself I want to be seen as competent

New habit I want learn and get feedback

Linked to org habit - how evaluate people Reward great heroes

New habit - reward fast learners Not heroes

Why the belief has changed Book says change habit to change belief but it is more two way

Transformational learning and education - coaching and mentoring Why we are doing what we are doing Focus on the leaders and the people - not the strategy, structure and process Being agile (not doing - 22% is in the practices)

Some times you have to slow things down to maintain the alignment And you should - if you see resistance, perhaps they aren't ready

Metrics Innovation Flexibility

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