Not being able to gain and sustain momentum is one of the most common problems related to failed change efforts. Maintaining change momentum is critical because the natural movement toward equilibrium has to be countered.

Working on software projects I have seen how important it is to start gaining momentum. In Agile, we use velocity to measure how much work a team can deliver within a set amount of time.

The key here is to start creating flow. Once work starts to flow and momentum picks up, the work output, or velocity, tends to get faster and easier. It is the leader’s job to help the team create momentum, and protect the team from outside forces. If outside forces are changing, the leader must be ready to help the team adapt so the team can sustain momentum.

Darwinian principles state that living systems will change when they respond to the external environment. “To maintain momentum, then, the change leader must constantly monitor the organization’s external environment, being alert to changing forces that require adaptation to ensure survival” (Burke, 2011).

Burke, W. W. (2011). Organization Change: Theory and Practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

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