Management challenge

Agile Change Management, Melanie Franklin

Book review by Andy Cowe Agile Change Management: A Practical Framework for Successful Change Planning and Implementation, Melanie Franklin.  Kogan Page, 2014.

This book lives up to its long title – “A practical framework for successful change planning and implementation” with precision.  It provides a framework – described as a “roadmap” – without going deeply into theories of change management, although useful follow-up references are supplied at the end of the book.

It is aimed at a junior to middle level who has technical knowledge of their functional area and who has some practical experience of managing change.  Reading this book would give that manager some reassurance about running a change project, as it suggests a range of useful formal structures.  It would also stimulate a reader looking to open their mind to approaches they may not have considered before. 

There are four themes in the book:  outlining the “roadmap”; establishing the business need;  building relationships and creating the environment for change.  There is a strong emphasis on the importance of behavioural and cultural matters, especially in the last two sections.  I would like to have seen a final concluding chapter as the book runs out rather suddenly at the end of the chapter on setting the environment.

The chapters are written in a very generic way to apply to a wide range of situations and there are times when some “worked examples” would have been helpful.  While there are short case studies they tend to illustrate the benefits of the techniques rather than the detail of applying the concepts.  The reader who is managing a change project is left to themselves to actually apply the ideas to their own circumstances – but, as the title says, it is a framework!

To the inquisitive manager faced with a change project, the book merits a four star rating.

4 stars:  Strong, strongly recommended for managers and leaders

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