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Working with HR to Drive Culture

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The Scrum Master as a Change Agent
The Change Model

The course is part of this learning path

Working with HR to Drive Culture

Course Description 

This module reflects on the need to change within a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment and explains how Kotter’s Change Model can be used to successfully implement change. Within this it references the importance of the language we use and avoiding semantics. Then it highlights the important role of HR in the change process and how the Scrum Master can work with them to facilitate change.   

Learning Objectives 

The objectives of this course are to provide you with and understanding of: 

  • The change model. 
  • The Scrum Master’s role in using the change model as an agent for change. 
  • Ensuring communication is clear and understood to avoid semantics. 
  • The role HR play in driving culture change. 

Intended Audience 

The course is aimed at the Agile Scrum Master. However, it’s equally relevant to the Product Owner’s role in the team. 

Prerequisites of the Certifications 

There are no specific pre-requisites to study this course 


We welcome all feedback and suggestions - please contact us at qa.elearningadmin@qa.com to let us know what you think. 


The HR Role in Change 

It’s accepted that individuals who care about the work they do and have meaningful interactions with their colleagues perform to a higher level than those who don’t. HR, therefore, has a key role in championing cultural change and therefore are an important part of the chain which delivers value to the customer.  


The skills, knowledge and abilities required of people in agile organizations are very different to those in more traditional organizations.  The way they’re recruited, onboarded, developed, rewarded and recognized need to reflect the organization’s commitment to a change-driven, agile environment and the type of skills, qualities and interactions needed to be competitive in the market place.   


In your role, youre well placed to interact with HR to facilitate cross functional collaboration and apply the agile principles. 


The Manifesto for HR Development 

You might have heard of the ‘Manifesto for Agile Software Development’ which formed the cornerstone for a new approach to software development. 


But, have you ever heard of the ‘Manifesto for HR Development’ or the ‘Agile HR Manifesto’? 


Well, this came about 16 years after the software manifesto in 2017 and translated it for HR. 


It talks about developing an engaging workplace culture and helping others to sustain it through collaboration, transparency, engagement and motivation. 


What does this mean to me? 

When we talk about change, it’s important to know where we’re starting from. Whilst the items on the right have value, the items on the left are more valuable in an environment of change. 


When you look at these lists, what do you see for your organization. Do you recognize the items on the left or the ones on the right?  


Regardless of your starting point, you should try and ensure that the principles behind this manifesto are put into practice in any change process you’re involved in. That’s how you’ll drive culture change and means: 

  • Supporting people to engage, grow and be happy at work; 

  • Encouraging people to welcome change and adapt when needed; 

  • Helping to build and support networks of empowered, self-organizing and collaborative teams; 

  • Nourishing and supporting the people’s and team’s motivation and capabilities, helping them build the environment they need, and trusting them to get the job done; and 

  • Facilitating and nurturing personal growth, to harness the different strengths and talents in the organization. 


Hiring for attitude, training for skills 

Today, organizations need people who’ll continually look for new ways to add value to the customer. This means people who are committed to taking personal responsibility for delivering value and are willing to think and act like stakeholders. 


Historically, organizations have hired technically experienced people on the basis they can influence their attitude in-situ. As more disruptors enter our markets and customers become more educated, the future will be brighter for organizations that hire people who are already predisposed to owning the value they deliver and have the right attitude from the start. 


In today’s VUCA world, it more important to hire for attitude. That’s what will make the difference. 


Of course, technical skills are also important and can’t necessarily be overlooked. But, consider this example from Southwest Airlines – recently rated as the best place to work in America! 


For them, even in the most technical jobs – like a Boeing 737 pilot – skills are only half the package. They require every pilot to be fully qualified to be a captain of a Boeing 737 before they’re hired. This means that all first officers are qualified to fly as captains, even though it will take about six years to achieve captain status – they assume this qualification 


But they also insist on the right attitudes. They know what happens when a pilot has a lousy attitude – it spills onto the flight crew who can pass it onto the customers. If your point of differentiation is sensational service, this doesn’t sound great. So, on a Southwest Airlines flight, the captain is the CEO; their attitude sets the tone for the entire trip and the customer’s overall service experience. 


There’s a great video by David Marquet called ‘Greatness’ which summarizes his inspirational approach to driving culture change. You’ll find the link in the Change Agent Resources. 



About the Author
Learning Paths

Tony has over 20 years’ experience in Business Development, Business Change, Consulting, and Project/Program Management working with public, private, and third sector organizations.

He has helped organizations to design and create processes and procedures to align ways of working with corporate strategy. A highly motivated and detailed solution provider, utilizing a wide range of methods and frameworks to provide structure whilst promoting creativity and innovation.

As a confident and self-motivated professional with excellent communication skills, Tony is able to bring people together and get them working as a team quickly.

Tony is an Agile and Scrum trainer with a vast knowledge spanning IT Systems, Business Change, Program and Project Management. With excellent presentation skills and a solid background, he ensures that all clients gain maximum benefit from his training. He has successfully guided those new to the industry through their initial training, helped experienced staff as they progress in their careers, and worked at the director level advising on best use and practice, as well as tailoring courses to fulfil the exact needs of clients.