Agendashift as framework – principles, patterns, and activities

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These pages describe Agendashift – the wholehearted engagement model – as an open framework for continuous, outcome-oriented transformation.

Agendashift is primarily for agents of strategic change, and it’s designed to be used with or without an explicit Lean-Agile agenda. In the Lean-Agile case it is intended neither as a replacement for the likes of Scrum, Kanban, or SAFe, nor as a way to choose between them. We’re not against such frameworks; as pluralists, we celebrate them as demonstrations of what’s possible and as sources of patterns that can be combined in interesting and innovative ways. What we’re against is their imposition – so contradictory as to invite failure.

We want to help you avoid yet another failed or utterly disappointing implementation, and we don’t pretend to be neutral. Outcome-orientation is not a neutral stance. Our commitment to participation and our opposition to imposition aren’t neutral either. If some of Agendashift’s principled approach to strategy and change rubs off in other areas too, we’d be delighted. Perhaps yours can be a wholehearted organisation too!

The framework’s main elements are its principles, patterns, and core activities (below). Running through those, a golden thread: the language of outcomes.

Distilled essence of Agendashift in five principles

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Two key generative patterns

  1. Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes (IdOO)
  2. Right-to-Left Strategy Deployment

Understand those two patterns, how they relate to each other, and how they challenge the status quo, and you’re a long way towards understanding both how Agendashift works and why it exists.

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Core activities

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The Agendashift framework is open source, its definitions and many of its resources released under a CC-BY-SA license. At its github repository you can raise issues, contribute changes, even fork your own derived work. We are glad in turn to honour our sources:

Agendashift models, sources, and inspirations image

Agendashift™ is copyright © 2015-2020 Positive Incline Ltd. All rights reserved. The page Agendashift as framework – principles, patterns, and activities by Mike Burrows of Positive Incline Ltd is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.


Source text maintained at github.com/asplake/agendashift-open/tree/master/framework.md (github.com)

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Agendashift™ is brought to you by Positive Incline Ltd, UK-based specialists in Lean, Agile, strategy, and change. Founder Mike Burrows came to prominence in the Lean-Agile community as the orginator of Kanban’s values model, out of which came his first book, Kanban from the Inside (2014). His more recent books Agendashift (2018) and Right to Left (2019, audiobook 2020) bring a resolutely needs-based and outcome-oriented perspective to change, transformation, and the Lean-Agile landscape as a whole, contributing meanwhile a number of popular tools, games, and other resources. He works as a consultant, facilitator, and trainer, and as a keynote speaker at events public and private around the world.


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