People Shape the Process: Culture of Change

Examine the characteristics of corporate culture and human nature that resist changes in culture.


Switching to an agile process always implies a big change. For team members to accept the change, their hopes and fears must be respected. Therefore, we must carefully watch the project members when introducing any change. Otherwise, the change may cause us to lose more than we gain. Therefore, the process we are using must constantly adapt to the needs of the people using it. The best way to figure out their needs is by communicating with them intensively and directly and to respect their concerns.

Culture of change: Humans & mackerels

An articlePeer Van der Helm and Dieter Stopper, Von Makrelen und Menschen (About Mackerels and Human Beings). DAV Panorama, Nr. 1, Issue 54 2002. published recently in the German magazine DAV Panorama about human behavior compared the behavior of mackerels with that of humans.

The results were astonishing:

  • Mackerels and human beings normally show a similar reaction if they are in a large group.
  • If mackerels or humans are starving, they react irrationally. For example, if a mackerel is hungry, it is much easier to catch with a fishing rod, while poor people invest in the lottery.
  • Both mackerels and humans are creatures of habit. Mackerels have lots of habits, and they always follow them. People also have lots of habits and experience great difficulty in breaking away from them.

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