AgileSHIFT Online Learning
The course is part of this learning path
The AgileSHIFT framework defines the smallest possible team structure to support and encourage agility which includes the team members who deliver the product or service, the change sponsor and the coach who mentors the people doing the work. This modules looks at all three of these roles, as well as defining the optimum team size for effective communication and looking at the impact of technology on skills.
The objectives of this course are to provide you with and understanding of:
- Effective AgileSHIFT teams
- The benefits of self-organizing teams
- Team development stages (Tuckman)
- Optimum team size for collaboration and communication
- The AgileSHIFT Coach
- The AgileSHIFT Sponsor
- The impact of technology on skills
The target audience for the AgileSHIFT qualification is any employee of an organization that intends to adopt AgileSHIFT. This includes people who will become champions of the new working practice and employees from any part of the business who will contribute to the incremental improvements that will make up the wider change the organization requires.
There are no specific pre-requisites to study the AgileSHIFT course or for entry to the examination.
We welcome all feedback and suggestions - please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think.
We know that technology is rapidly changing our lives and the way organizations work, and the speed of change is unlikely to slow down in our lifetime. This creates challenges and threats for an organization and the people that work in it because disruptors enter the market and skills are eroded as the way things are done changes.
Let’s take a moment to think about the benefits of technology for the individuals in an organization – how does it affect their skills?
How do changes in technology affect skills?
Perhaps there are some negative aspects – like how technology can erode specialist skills and even cause job losses through processes being automated.
But these are outweighed by the positive things. Technology provides more access to information, products and services than ever before, and can enable skills to be developed and resources to be accessed that were previously beyond reach – or even didn’t exist.
Say you need to find out something new – like changing a light bulb on your car? You don’t know how to do it but you want to learn – after all, it’s cheaper if you fit the bulb yourself. You’ll probably ask a friend or you’ll search online for the answer. Either way, you’re performing a task without any specialist knowledge in that area.
This approach to developing skills illustrates what has become the new ‘norm’.
Traditionally, an individual would settle into a role and build their skills until they get to a level of expertise which can help them progress in their organization or to move somewhere else. We’ve probably all experienced this to some extent.
Now, increased automation and digitalization has forced individuals to move away from specialist skills and shift towards ‘multiple skills’. Instead of recruiting people with specialist skills and experience, organizations are now looking for individuals who will fit in well and have the aptitude to develop expertise quickly as the demands of their role dictate. This is a clear move towards ‘multi-skilled’ individuals who can perform more than one specialist function.
Imagine a product development specialist who learns about marketing and website creation. This enables them to then write the content for a website in a way that enables effective search engine optimization. Before, their job was to build the solution but now their area of knowledge is extended.
Of course, there are some skills that can’t be included in a multi-specialist framework, like a cryptography expert or highly skilled medical roles. But most roles can be accessible to most individuals who can aspire to developing specialist skills throughout their career.
These are important concepts because they reflect the changing environment that people are working in and the demands that are going to be placed on us all over the next five years as artificial intelligence enters our day-to-day working lives. What we’re going to see is individuals who are enabled by technology demonstrating specialist level skills in a much shorter period of time, with less learning and more technology and peer support.
This means we’ll only have to have some knowledge to be considered an expert, with technology filling the knowledge gaps and enabling cross-skilling opportunities across teams.
In the future, career changes will be an accepted part of everybody’s life and it’s likely that an individual will change their role or career several times – all enabled by technology. This means that they’ll progressively be seen as all-rounders or multi-specialists who can contribute to value in many different ways.
This approach has also changed recruitment practices. Some organizations now recruit for the team rather than for a specific qualification and conduct team-based interviews. Others – like Google – employ people for their skills and aptitudes and they’re only placed in a specific role after they’ve started work and completed their induction programme.
Interestingly, the team member of the future – or today in many organizations – is one who fits the team well rather than one who has the specialist knowledge from day one. What technology does is help them to get the specialist knowledge they need quickly. Working in an AgileSHIFT environment enables and encourages individuals to explore opportunities to develop their expertise and specialisms through collaboration and leveraging technology.
Before you move on, take a look at the example of specialist skills in practice in the Making it Real guide.
About the Author
Tony has over 20 years’ experience in Business Development, Business Change, Consulting and Project/Programme Management working with public, private and third sector organisations.
He has helped organisations to design and create process and procedures to align ways of working with corporate strategy. A highly motivated and detailed solution provider utilising 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, Programme 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 Director level advising on best use and practice, as well as tailoring courses to fulfil the exact needs of clients.