Change. Chapter 5. The AWA playbook

Do we need a playbook and is this another Agile framework?

What is the playbook?

The AWA playbook for organisational agility

What can you expect if you follow the playbook?

  • cultural (behavioural) changes,
  • strategic (effectiveness) changes,
  • and tactical (efficiency) changes
  • business risk — you will be more likely to sell it
  • technical risk — it is more likely to work
  • social risk — staff are more likely to be able to collaborate and work together on it
  • schedule risk — you are less likely to run out of money before it works
  • short iterations — faster time to market
  • smaller pieces of work — less risk if it goes wrong and faster value to customers
  • faster return of capital
  • better data to make decisions and faster decision making
  • ability to change direction with new information at a lower cost
  • better quality of products and services
  • more skilful relationships — leveraging everyone’s ideas with higher ownership of results
  • less dependencies between teams results in less complexity in delivery

When is this playbook useful?

  • needs to thrive through innovation and pro-activity
  • no longer meeting the demands of the marketplace
  • stuck in a cost reduction death cycle
  • not meeting the expectations of its staff, customers, or stakeholders
  • needs a solid step by step approach that is not installing an agile framework but results in agility
  • pressure on leadership is high
  • leaders and managers will engage with their own self-development as part of the change
  • the need for change is obvious
  • teams of people up to 150 (we explore larger numbers later)
  • groups of people who need to solve complex adaptive problems
  • you do not have the influence to change the way people are grouped and report to each other
  • you are not able to change the way people operate with each other and their work
  • the only stance you are able to show is the consulting or the expert stance. You or your coaches must be able to use professional coaching and advanced facilitation skills in the meetings
  • You fundamentally disagree with the 3 agile mindset beliefs as described earlier in this book.

Pre-requisite skills needed

A walk-through of the playbook

Step 1: Entry

Entry — maximise your chance of success
Urgency is required

Step 2: Improvement

Step 3: Exit

Left loop: Leadership, Structure, Culture Cycle

  • leadership
  • structure (teams, reporting lines, and processes, etc.)
  • culture

Right Loop: Experiment cycle

  • start with now
  • define experiment
  • action research
  • test


  1. Start with now



  • Respect
  • Inclusion
  • Diversity
  • Equal voice
  • Willingness to emotionally self-manage

High trust culture




CEO and Founder of the community of practice, training, and coaching company: Adventures with Agile.

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Simon Powers

Simon Powers

CEO and Founder of the community of practice, training, and coaching company: Adventures with Agile.

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