Will it be Change or Transformation 🤔?

agile, blog

Last week, I read a post on LinkedIn that made me feel agitated. Would this be the start of another theoretical discussion? The Agile Community is great for having conversations that do not add value for anyone. It is important to speak the same language, but sometimes we should focus on the content, not too much on the words we use or the exact definition of a word.

Back to the LinkedIn post.

It was about change vs transformation; it seems that change is so nineties…. (By the way, many things the Agile community is using are totally not new but already exist for decades.)

According to this person, change is trying to improve something broken into something that does work… Sounds good to me. If something doesn’t work or not as expected, why not try to change it?
But nope, change is not the word we should use. Change is wrong. 

The thing we all should do is start a transformation. Doing a transformation is cool and hip (or do the young people nowadays use different words to express that something is cool? I am getting old…). According to this post, doing a transformation is about doing new things, an ongoing journey where change is not doing something new, and also not an ongoing journey.


Seriously… is this the new thing we need to discuss and argue about?

Definition of change: replace (something) with something else, especially something of the same kind that is newer or better; substitute one thing for (another).

Definition of transformation: a marked change in form, nature, or appearance.

These definitions are according to Oxford Languages.

If I read these definitions… I would argue that a transformation is the thing you don’t want… A transformation is just a marked change, a thing you notice.

OMG, I am even starting to get involved in this discussion by sharing my opinion 😭

You know, in the end… I don’t care. When I read the definitions and talk to people, they use both words for doing great things and helping teams create value.

Can we please not make this a topic at any conference or LinkedIn post and focus on helping teams and organizations to improve?

And I really don’t care or will start the discussion with customers that they should use the word transformation or change.

What do you think? Is there a difference? Do I make things too simple? I love to hear your opinion.


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