AgileSHIFT Online Learning
The course is part of this learning path
This module looks at the importance of effective working methods across an organization to enable the threat of market disruptors to be effectively challenged and the advantages of AgileSHIFT to be realized. It defines the terms agile, Agile and agility to provide the basis for introducing the concept of enterprise agility. It then investigates the importance of change being everybody’s responsibility and suggests methods through which individuals can be accountable for value creation. Finally, it looks at why AgileSHIFT is important to an organization, and how it can be introduced in different ways across the business to facilitate multimodal working.
The objectives of this course are to provide you with and understanding of:
- The difference between agile, Agile and agility
- Delivering value – run the organization and change the organization
- The advantages of being agile
- Multimodal working
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 prerequisites 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.
The advantages of Agile…and agile!
I hope by now you’re starting to get a good idea of why organizations need to be agile. We’re going to move this on now by looking at why AgileSHIFT is important.
Organizations often use agile ways of working in their delivery teams. And teams in some business areas – perhaps Finance, HR, Sales or Purchasing – try to be agile, avoid bureaucracy, reduce the level of planning and be more responsive to customer requirements. But it starts getting tough when those teams come into contact with other parts of the organization who expect detailed planning, formally signed-off specifications and a long delivery process. It feels a bit like stepping back in time!
Often, the more forward-looking team goes back to the way they used to work. They lose the advantage of working in an agile way, but they do it because it’s probably the only way they can get anything done.
Individuals and stakeholders need to understand their role in changing the way the organization works and maintaining the competitive advantage it has over disruptors and innovators. Every organization is complex and unique. The people, processes, tools and other elements that make them up need to be appropriate for the different areas delivering the work – they need to work in a multimodal way.
AgileSHIFT encourages an organization to use the best possible ways of working for each team, individual, task, delivery and customer – and these might be different. Teams might use PRINCE2, Scrum or ITIL and this is OK as long as the organization moves as quickly as possible to meet the customer needs, rather than blindly using a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Here’s Ady Dike, Principal Agile Learning Consultant at QA sharing her thoughts on how organizations can benefit from multimodal working.
Multimodal working is about applying the right approach to any given work situation. So, for example, while agile advocates face-to-face communication it recognizes, for instance, that this isn’t practical for all teams. Some organizations work with geographically dispersed teams which means that they have to rely on technology for their teams to collaborate.
The other thing to bear in mind is that there are currently an untold number of agile practices available and there isn’t a specific role that says a one-size-fits-all approach needs to be applied across the organization. So, it’s not necessary to insist that, for example, a company uses Agile Scrum throughout the entire organization. What is more important is that, across the organization, there is a commitment to applying agile values and principles and, over time, the right way of working will emerge for different teams and this may be that different frameworks or practices may be more appropriate in different business areas.
Not all tasks require an agile approach. So, for instance in a company that’s looking to extend its workplace would not expect to apply agile necessarily to that exercise. You would expect them to apply significant upfront planning and a waterfall approach may be more suitable. Contrast that with an IT department that is managing a digital project – in that instance you would expect a more experimental, agile and iterative approach to work best.
So understanding those differences is very important and AgileSHIFT encourages organizations to find the best ways of working for each team.
The AgileSHIFT framework draws on best practice thinking in Agile approaches to create agility – at enterprise level and at team and individual levels. This creates smaller-scale agility which develops through:
A willingness to adopt a multimodal approach at all levels and not follow a single method;
Everybody wanting to be agile in the way they work with, and support, other teams; and
The development of a common transformation terminology across the business.
The AgileSHIFT principles, practices, roles and workflow support the development of this agility.
Before you move on, why not try the Cross-functional and Mixed Teams reflective activity to help you think about multimodal working in your organization.
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.