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Bert Spector Blue Cloud Gets Agile

Autor:   •  February 11, 2018  •  Case Study  •  809 Words (4 Pages)  •  220 Views

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Allen Montogmery

Case Study #2

Dr. Nasco

6 Feb 2018

Case Summary

        Shel Skinner was the CEO of Blue Cloud Development, a small software development company located in Moutain View, California.  He was introduced to a product called Agile, in hopes of gaining productivity from employees and hoping that teams would start working better together.

        Skinner loved how the product was introduced to him and he wanted to waste no time in getting Agile involved in his company.  He hired consultants to teach his employees about the process and how it worked.  One emphasis on this product was holding “scrum” meetings to ensure that every member of Blue Cloud Development was bought into the ideal.  However, Shel Skinner went about the implementation of this product all wrong, and after an entire year of implementation his team members were not sure of how or if at all the new product was working.

How does case relate/ apply to the chapter?

The trigger event in the case was Shel Skinner being introduced to the Agile product, and deciding that he wanted to implement change throughout his company.  There were several problems with the implementation process of Shel Skinner, though.  It started with how he presented the change method.  To me it seems that Skinner skipped the unfreezing stage.  He never told his team that he was considering the need for change. Instead, he hired consultants and started implementing change throughout the company.  At this point I am sure that some employees were confused, having not been told what was going on.  He jumped straight into the moving stage without presenting the problem to his team of employees.  The moving stage was not touched on that well, either.  He waited until the change had taken place to get participation from employees.  They then did not know how to react.  In return, the moving stage was almost over before he realized that maybe he should ask about the implementations.  Once he had asked, the employees had mixed emotions and in my opinion, refreezing never occurred because the employees were still confused about how fast everything happened.  

Case Questions

  1. The trigger event was the conference Skinner attended.  That is where he learned about the new program methodology called Agile.  It was a software development that would benefit his company and he said Agile was “saying out loud what I have been thinking for most of my career”
  2. Skinner did not follow Lewin’s model at all.  He skipped unfreezing and moving almost all together.  He had hired outside consultants to start the change process before he even told any of his employees that he was considering change.  As we learned, he should have got everyone together and agreed that the status quo was no longer going to be the norm for Blue Cloud Development.
  3. The employees are now required to release a timeline of their progress about their performance.  The case states that “our new motto around here is ‘Release early, release often!’”
  4. The responses from employees depends on their rank, years’ experience, contribution level, and things like that. These factors play a big role in why different employees had different reactions.
  5.  Skinner did not follow the correct implementation process of Lewin’s model.  He now either needs to downsize to a smaller corporation and start all over, or stay where he is at and try to implement the process the right way.  If the company is too far gone then he has no choice but to close the doors.  

What are the key “take-aways” that can be learned from this case/chapter?

  • When implementing change first evaluate the situation and ask yourself what approach would be best.
  • Once you realize things aren’t going well, backtrack and find a point in which you could restart.
  • Never assume that your own strategy will work. Find a model to base decisions off of and trust the process.

How can you apply the information from the chapter and the case if you found yourself in a similar situation as a manager and/or employee?

        I learned in this case that your way isn’t always the best way.  The models from the books we are reading are very useful and relevant to the business world.  In Skinners case he may not have had the opportunity to learn as we have, but the information we are learning is very valuable.  I would have applied the information from the chapters to the Blue Cloud Development better than Skinner.  The company would not have gotten away from me and would have changed for the better.


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