Agile and Lean Software Development: Mastering the Art of Change


be frustrated and stopped in our tracks.

In order to make change a reality one also needs to understand people are motivated from within. This having been said leaders can set up an environment in which people are able to motivate themselves.

To set up an environment that enables employees to be motivated, leaders need to understand what the motivational needs of individuals and groups are.

Determining the “what's in it for me” for individual employees and workgroups that is consistent with goals and strategies of the organization is the key to improving motivation for individuals and groups of employees.

Frederick Irving Herzberg [5] (1923–2000) was a psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management. He is most famous for introducing job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory.  Herzberg proposed the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, also known as the two factor theory (1959) of job satisfaction. According to his theory, people are influenced by two sets of factors as depicted in Figure 7.0.


Figure 7.0 – Frederick Herzberg’s Motivator-Hygiene Theory

He proposed several key findings as a result of this identification.

    1. People are made dissatisfied by a bad environment, but they are seldom made satisfied by a good environment.
    2. The prevention of dissatisfaction is just as important as encouragement of motivator satisfaction.
    3. Hygiene factors operate independently of motivation factors. An individual can be highly motivated in his work and be dissatisfied with his work environment.
    4. All hygiene factors are equally important, although their frequency of occurrence differs considerably.
    5. Hygiene improvements have short-term effects. Any improvements result in a short-term removal of, or prevention of, dissatisfaction.
    6. Hygiene needs are cyclical in nature and come back to a starting point. This leads to the "What have you done for me lately?" syndrome.
    7. Hygiene needs have an escalating zero point and no final answer.

People who inspect and adapt are able to organize their thoughts in ways that generate appropriate and positive actions. Adaptive abilities are necessary as changes occur in individuals and their circumstances.

If we inspect and we are adaptive, we will react to change in creative or constructive ways. An adaptive individual is able to refocus the mind in new directions and make choices based on his or her desired outcomes.

Unlike Dorothy, clicking our heels will not magically turn us into wizardly agile and lean practitioners. But, like the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion,

" of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought." - Albert Einstein

Delivering early and often, giving ourselves the best opportunity to beat the competition to market, realize revenue and discover insights that we can use to help us improve is accomplished by effectively dealing with the emotional and creative tension of moving from an individual’s, team’s and organization’s current state, to an adaptive and evolutionary "shared" vision of "being" agile and lean.

As Steve Brunkhorst [6] so aptly puts it “it is the set of the sail that matters—not the direction of the wind”. “True motivation comes from within - from the willingness to see a dream fulfilled - from the desire to leave the world better than you found it. Sometimes life will stretch us if we don't stretch ourselves enough. Think of new ways to out-distance yourself.... Set a new benchmark that is all yours. Create visions of hope based on new behaviors rather than regret based on past mistakes.

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