Application of ‘Theory U’ in agile transitions

Right now I am in the middle of a consulting assignment of transitioning a large team from ‘scrum but’ to right scrum. When I say right scrum, I refer to the scrum guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland which can be downloaded from

This team from a very large multi national product company came with the baggage of ‘I know scrum, and now you teach me scrum’ attitude, because they have been practising some sort of scrum. This attitude is not something new for me, as I have come across similar situations before as well.

Since agile is value based, like religions, a loss in faith is very difficult to be restored. No amount of talking would have convinced them. This is the biggest risk/challenge while dealing with teams with partial knowledge of s rum. At least that  is my judgment, based on my past experiences with teams with partial knowledge of scrum.

As a coincidence, this was the time I came across the theory ‘U’ which was advocating the postponement of the three fears of;

Fear of judgment
Fear of cynicism
Fear of change

for effective change management.

I decided to implement the concept of ‘postponement of these fears’ at every stakeholder level, me being the first one. All the coaching sessions started with the request to postpone these fears till the completion of the first sprint, and the results are very positive. After experiencing the right scrum, most of these fears are automatically addressed. So, make it explicit to postpone the fears of judgment, cynicism and change before implementing will give you a smooth start.


Agile transition, team level, our recommendation

Here is what worked for us in the past to transition a new team  into a confident, self sustaining agile team.

T1 – The process starts with a one or two days (depending on the number of participants) workshop titled ‘Agile project management using Scrum’.

C1 – The coach works along with the team during the 1st sprint planning meeting

C2 – The coach works along with the team during the day#1 of the sprint

C3 – The coach works along with the team during the sprint review and the sprint retrospective

C4 – The coach works along with the team during the sprint planning meeting of the second sprint


The whole process gets over during the course of the sprint (as per the sprint duration)

The coach will be available to the team for any doubt clarification (online) up to three months after the completion date of this assignment.

Let us start a dialogue. Call 0091 9895372115  email: