An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide: Working With Organizational Culture (Book & Resources)

An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide - SmallThis page provides links to resources such as slides, videos and follow-up posts to my book – An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide: Working with Organizational Culture. Agile change agents will find it valuable in helping companies avoid Agile failure.

What’s it about?

The book helps understand why Agile failure rates are so high and how to avoid them. Please see a Visual Summary of Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide for a quick, visual synopsis.

It’s rated ~4.5 our of 5 on Good Reads – many consider it essential to understanding Agile.

Where can I get the book?

You can get a PDF or ePub version of the book for free on InfoQ. Why free? My primary goal is to change the world of work, and by making it free I can best achieve this goal. Of course, I would be really happy if you bought multiple copies of the print edition to give to your friends and clients to help them succeed as well as support my work. Print copies are available via Lulu and Amazon.


The most recent set of slides is from Agile 2012. They are fully downloadable and usable under Creative Commons Licence (just include attribution to me). If you want to run a workshop, let me know, and I can share my workshop outline.

Agile 2012 – An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide from Michael Sahota


1 Hour Video presentation from Agile New England, Dec. 2011. It is contains the key concepts but is a little behind the book and slides.

About the Book

Struggling with Agile? Frustrated that people don’t really get it? Tired of fighting with organizational bureaucracy? Wondering how you could have been more successful? If so, then this book is for you!

The book provides a set of essential thinking tools for understanding Agile adoption and transformation: how they differ and what you need to know to know to avoid being another statistic in the widespread adoption failure. In particular, you will learn how to use culture to work more effectively with your organization.

It is called a survival guide since so many people have found the concepts to be invaluable in understanding their experiences when working with Agile.

This book includes:

  • Identification of causes of the widespread Agile adoption failure
  • A model for understanding Agile, Kanban, and Software Craftsmanship culture
  • An outline of key adoption and transformation approaches
  • A framework to help guide when to use these these approaches with your organization
  • Real-life case studies of what has worked and what hasn’t
See also Visual Summary.

Follow-up Posts and Articles

Current Thinking

I wish I had a good summary of all my recent blog posts and thinking on the subject of culture, but I don’t. The closest I have to something that ties things together and provides follow-on links is Connecting the Dots on Agile Culture, Personal Growth and Temenos.

Original Posts

Please see Agile Culture Series Reading Guide for listing of original posts on this subject.

What People Say About the Session/Book

  • Honest. Practical. Informative. It’s critical to know what an organization means when they say they want to “go Agile” and whether they are primed for transformation or really just looking for adoption.” – Kelly McKenzie, Change Manger.
  • Insightful. Informative. Enlightening & Discouraging (at the same time). I learned that you need to evaluate if you are adopting or transforming and don’t push to transform. Great exercises around valuable, knowledge-based content.” – Ben Bonyratz, Program Manager.
  • Open. Interactive. Helpful. Valuable insight was to understand the culture and adapt to it. I liked the visuals and interaction.” – Eugene Rogatyzior, VP Engineering.
  • Reinforcing. Learning. Engaging. My thinking for using Kanban around our corporate clients is the exact same thinking. I like the mixed in activities with lecture – great balance on interaction and content. – Karen Greaves, Agile Trainer and Coach.
  • Interactive. Open. Honest. Enlightening in terms of understanding impacts of culture awareness of how Agile needs to compatible with culture.” – Bennet Vallet, Director Software Engineering.
  • Interactive. Engaging. Lively. I gained valuable insights around Transformation vs. Adoption and Being Agile vs. Doing Agile.” – Al Kroska, Process Improvement Leader.

Can you help us?


The first option is a one day workshop around the central concepts in the book and more recent work around high-performance culture. This is based on highly rated sessions and workshops based on the book.

The other option is a consulting engagement where we work with your leadership team to clarify what the current organizational culture is and help shape your plans at tactical, strategic, and cultural levels. The depth can range from a short assessment to a few short workshops.


Book Translations



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