Presenters: Dave Nicolette and Lasse Koskela


We hope that participants will gain a deeper understanding of why people resist change - possibly even why they themselves resist change - based on an improved appreciation for different perspectives and different priorities. We also hope participants will be able to return to their own organizations with a toolkit of effective and practical methods to overcome resistance to change.

Intended audience and prerequisites

Anyone who's ever encountered resistance, scepticism and doubt.


The session explores the reasons why people resist change, with a focus on the kinds of change relevant to agile adoption in IT organizations. We present techniques participants can use in their organizations to help others understand and support the organizational changes necessary for successful agile adoption.

Apart from the presenters' personal experiences as agile coaches and practitioners, the session draws on research and experience from a range of sources in the IT industry, the agile movement, the field of psychology, and management science concerning personal and organizational resistance to change. It is designed to engage participants through experiential learning techniques, humor, and direct hands-on exercises to help them understand the reasons why intelligent people resist change, even when the benefits of the change appear self-evident to those who are promoting it. The session includes group exercises to practice techniques designed to overcome resistance to change. While much of the material could apply to any sort of change, our focus is on organizational change toward agile/lean culture and practices.

Format and length:

90 min combination of presentation, discussion and hands-on workshop