Agile Change Management Q&A

Publised On: Oct 10, 2020

What is the Agile Change Agent course and what does it entail?

This course is based upon the successful book “Agile Change Management – a practical framework for successful change planning and implementation. The book provides entry level access to the subjects of change management and agile management. It begins with an explanation of Agile concepts, which gives those involved in making change happen in their part of the business a link between their experiences of iterative change and the ideas behind Agile.

The course provides a roadmap or lifecycle model that helps them think through how they will manage the evolving changes that they are on the receiving end of, without having to become an expert in either Change Management or Agile. The course is divided into 4 parts to reflect the chapters in the book:

  • Concepts and roadmap
  • Business need
  • Relationship building
  • Environment

It is a very hands-on course full of opportunities to "see, do, learn". The emphasis is on building capability using preprepared checklists, questionnaires and models that can be tailored to the context and content of whatever change you are involved in.

 

What are the key learning outcomes for the course? (e.g. after attending the course I can now / I am better prepared to…..)

  • Make decisions about how to allocate the available time to deliver greatest value.
  • Understand how to prioritise activities according to their business value
  • Apply techniques to identify the benefits of your change and how each of these benefits are dependent on each other.
  • Define the information you need to manage your change initiative
  • Understand who you need to involve and how to best engage with them through empathy and trust
  • Identify your preferences for how you do your work and how this might impact those you are working with.
  • Develop strategies for building resilience in motivation in yourself and others.

 

What are the key business challenges that the course addresses?

How to create an easy, intuitive plan of activities for implementing change into the business, without assuming that all those involved are experts in change management and Agile approaches. The course provides ideas for discovering the Business Need that underpins the changes being made, and how this rationale drives all prioritization decisions. To create participation in the plan, the relationships and the working environment needed to be successful are explained, with checklists and questionnaires to provide insight into how best to achieve trust and empathy between all those involved.

The purpose of this course is to support the ideas of collaboration, empowerment and self-direction that are core to Agile approaches. These ideas are also at the heart of effective change management because unless people participate in designing, practicing and adopting the change for themselves, the change does not happen and benefits cannot be realized.

 

What’s unique about this course compared to existing Agile/Change guidance and courses?

This course provides a simple approach that is open to all. There is no need to study and memorise lots of roles, theories, models, document names etc to be able to take part in the training.

The whole ethos of the course is self-discovery, with people using the simple concepts to relate back to the challenges they face at work. The trainer facilitates conversations throughout the course about how the attendee would tailor the material to fit their own circumstances.

This is not a methodological course, it is designed for attendees to gain insight into how they can tailor and apply what they are learning to their situation. It is based on the recognition that change is powered by intrinsic motivation, and that involves self-choice, which is not achieved by imposing the same set of processes, activities and roles to every situation.

Throughout delivery of the course, trainers are encouraged to ask attendees why and how: why would the approach they are learning benefit their situation and how would they tailor it and apply to their situation.

 

Which roles are the primary target audience for the course and certification?

This course is designed for those who are in the “business” and who have existing “business as usual” responsibilities but by the nature of their expertise are seen as “subject matter experts” required to support project teams in their development of change. These “SMEs” do not come to the course as experts in either change or Agile approaches. They are looking for practical answers to the difficulties they face in implementing change whilst still being successful in the current ways of working.

This course has also been designed as an entry or a follow up to existing change and Agile courses, because it develops skills in how to behave, so it complements any course that has taught people what they should be doing. So if someone has been on the Change Management Practitioner or the AgilePM or AgileBA courses, they will learn from this course how to create the working environment and the relationships to enable successful use of all the techniques and structure they have learnt on these courses. Equally, this course can be used as a primer, introducing the concepts of Agile and Change Management prior to a more formal course where the theories, models, roles and documentation can be learnt.

 

Are there additional roles which might constitute a secondary target audience?

Another audience are those that are on the periphery of all this change activity but have an interest in its success. For example, those in HR, those in the central change management team, those in the PMO or portfolio management function or those in the strategy office of an organization who are responsible for transformation initiatives.

All of these individuals benefit from having a simple way to explain how to organize and how to adopt new ways of working as unless those in the business undertake this work, the transformation of the organization will not occur.

 

How do individuals benefit?

  • Provides simple intuitive and easy to learn lifecycle model that creates an Agile approach to any initiative that they are involved in.
  • Provides opportunities for self-discovery in how they approach their work and how this might be different to how others work.
  • Gives them opportunities to consider how they come across to others and how they might tailor their approach to develop more productive relationships.
  • Identifies the elements of a productive working environment and how to achieve it, which supports the involvement of others in making the change a reality.

 

How do organizations benefit?

This training offers a short course that helps them mobilise all those that they are relying upon to make change happen within their organization. They are able to offer these individuals a certification, which increases their commitment to the training and ensures they do more preparation in advance of attending and pay more attention during the training.

The certification creates a competitive advantage that drives more commitment as no-one wants to fail in front of their colleagues. This is a valuable certificate as it comes from a global examination body and is available around the world. It is also backed up by a certificate and digital badge which gives it a cachet in the market place.

 

How does this course & certification compare to the APMG Change Management program?

This course fills the gaps that are not covered by the APMG Change Management program. It includes a simple, repeatable lifecycle model which acts as the structure of any Change Plan, and it provides questionnaires and checklists to help create the culture for effective change. The APMG Change Management program identifies how important these factors are, and how they contribute to successful change, this course provides ideas for how to achieve them.

 

How does this course & certification compare to AgilePM training & certification?

This course fills the gaps not covered by the AgilePM certification, which provides details on how to structure the delivery and implementation throughout the life of a change initiative. The AgilePM course identifies in detail the information needed to manage the initiative and it sets out the specific responsibilities of those involved. This course builds upon this with a simpler, easier to follow lifecycle that is more suitable for non-Agile specialists. The principles of AgilePM emphasize the importance of establishing the business value of the initiative, this course provides details on how to achieve it.

 

How does this course & certification compare to the APMG Certified Local Change Agent course & certification?

The Change Agent course covers different techniques and ideas, suitable for those who are galvanizing the involvement of their colleagues in creating new ways of working. It does not provide any information on the lifecycle of a change initiative, how to achieve the culture or how to examine how you work and the impact this might have on those you need to build relationships with.

 

I am already AgilePM certified. How will this course/certification benefit me?

This course provides lots of practical guidance on how to carry out what you learnt was important in your AgilePM course. For example, the principle of Focus on the Business Need makes the case for defining the business value to be created by the Agile project, but the course does not cover how to achieve this. Similarly, the course explains the importance of Deployment but does not give any details about how to achieve this.

 

I am already certified for the APMG Change Management program. How will this course/certification benefit me?

This course addresses the lifecycle of change, which is not specified in the APMG Change Management program. This is a frequent demand from those attending the existing program. The theories of Kubler-Ross, Bridges and Lewin all point towards a step by step flow through change from initial idea to implementation, but from an emotional perspective. This new course enables those who have to continue their “business as usual” work alongside the implementation.

 

I am already certified for both AgilePM and Change Management. How will this course/certification benefit me?

This course will provide you with practical ideas for how to achieve the structure and how to fill in the documents that you have learnt on your previous courses. This course is designed to build skills and ability in how to manage change, and how to deliver change in an iterative and incremental way. This course provides practical ideas for creating the collaboration that both courses define as a critical success factor for implementation of change.

 

I am responsible for leading and implementing change, but I am not currently certified. Which of these courses/certifications should I pursue?

This course was designed for those who do not already have other Agile or Change qualifications, and who do not want a longer course. This is a short course, designed to provide those responsible for making change happen within their area of the business with ideas for the lifecycle of the change, and how to create a collaborative environment.

 

I am not responsible for leading and implementing change, but I am an active team member and/or my role is regularly impacted by change. Which of these courses/certifications should I pursue?

This course is designed precisely for this audience. The assumption is that those involved in change are responsible for its successful implementation within their area of the business, and creating and adopting new ways of working. They are impacted by change projects, but do not manage them, they are the recipients of the changes created.

Credit: APMG International