Do you get stuck at prompt, act or review?

by Bee Heller
May 23, 2017

We’ve worked with lots of organisations going through culture change or transformation programmes. In our experience these programmes usually start with a fantastic amount of energy around determining the strategic direction, articulating a clear story about the journey the business is going on and the changes it needs to make. Business leaders and internal comms teams often invest huge amounts of time in communicating the change message in an effort to prompt people to do things differently.

But time and again we see organisations get stuck at this initial communication and prompting phase. Change doesn’t happen, or at least doesn’t happen quickly, because people struggle to convert these messages into things they can actually do differently.

I’ve recently been exploring the world of scrum. I’m looking to bring The Pioneers’ expertise in people management, behaviour change and organisational culture to rapidly growing tech businesses and companies going through agile transformations.

I’ve noticed organisations going through agile transformations face a different sticking point in the change cycle to that which we’ve traditionally encountered.

Scrum is the most popular agile way of working. It’s success is due in large part to it being such an easy framework to implement. The challenge with this simplicity is that organisations get carried away with following scrum processes (sprint planning events, daily scrums, sprint reviews, product backlog etc.) and don’t spend enough time communicating why they want to go through an agile transformation in the first place.

At The Pioneers we think successful behaviour change requires moving people through a cycle of Prompt, Act, Review.


Where traditional change programmes have started at prompt and often failed to move to action, agile transformations run the risk of getting stuck at action without a clear direction or plan. And most organisations going through change fail to review their actions to build on what’s working or learn from what’s not.

Change can start at any point on this cycle but successful change will only occur in organisations that consider every stage of the cycle and keep moving people round the loop.

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