I found a great insight, that doesn’t show up that often, in the following article in my research archives. Robert Holler, the CEO of VersionOne (an Agile vendor) was quoted:
“I think there might have been this anticipation five years ago that agile would take over the world. … I really look at is as a 10, 15, even 20-year process simply because people have to get comfortable with it and you can’t really accelerate that in terms of time.”
I also recall a Hughes Aircraft study from my years in the Air Force, that it was taking them seven years on average to adopt a new technology.
“There are always lags between the introduction of new technologies and productivity gains,” MIT’s Brynjolfsson says. “In my papers, we found that companies that installed big, new enterprise information systems didn’t get the full benefits for five to seven years.” Is a new age of productivity dawning? Bloomberg Businessweek, Sep 23, 2013.
Adoption of a new technique or technology takes time. It also takes time to see the benefits. This is not an excuse for not seeing the benefits as quickly as we want. Instead it is an insight so we know how best to manage a change, and to then get the benefits as quickly as possible. Too many very good efforts fail because we face predictable but unplanned for resistance to change. We see a drop in productivity and what appears to be longer time to make the change then anticipated. If we don’t understand that these things are common occurrences, then we risk not persevering or we drift away from the techniques, thinking another approach should work better.
I do believe we can accelerate adoption of a new approach. And it gets to the heart of the comment, and has to do with recognizing that people need to go through a learning and adaption process. If we are aware of and try and facilitate that process, then we’ll see faster progress than if we don’t pay attention to it.
For more on paying attention see The Ultimate Project Management Tool
What are you doing to help encourage the rapid adoption of changes from your project?