Become an Agent for Change in an Agile Environment
Organizations move to “Agile” ways of approaching initiatives to enable them to respond quickly and easily to new opportunities in the marketplace and new customer demands. Consequently, Agile has not only introduced change to the organization in its overall adoption, but it has also quickened the pace of most change initiatives (projects).
Change management can no longer just be a specialist role, but it needs to be a core competency for everyone in the organization. Teams and individuals from across the business, whether actively involved in and/or impacted by change, need to understand the new operating environment and how they can contribute effectively to thrive. A slow or poor adoption will result in the benefits and value not being realized, frustrated employees, and increased resistance to new changes.
So how can we learn to embrace the fast pace of change ourselves, while at the same time helping others adapt successfully to the new changes to ensure the organization and stakeholders get full value from a new solution or initiative?
In response to this question, we are offering a new course called the “Agile Change Agent.” This course has been specifically designed as an addition to existing organizational change management and Agile courses. It fills a skill development gap by integrating skills in organizational change management, which is often lacking in agile courses, and similarly presents an agile approach to change management, which is often not addressed in organizational change management courses.
Based upon the successful book “Agile Change Management – a Practical Framework for Successful Change Planning and Implementation” by Melanie Franklin, this two-day course provides a roadmap to help you think through how you will manage the evolving changes in the organization or on your specific project. You will leave with practical skills to use immediately without having to become an expert in either Change Management or Agile.
The purpose of this course is to support the concepts of collaboration, empowerment, and self-direction that are core to Agile approaches. These principles 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 are not realized.
Although the Agile Change Agent is a certification course, you will find this course to be less focused on theory and concepts and more focused on hands-on learning, packed with exercises and practical tools, tips, and advice. The emphasis is on building personal capability using pre-prepared checklists, questionnaires, and models that can be tailored to whatever change you are involved in. The course also equips you with pioneering tools to ensure change initiatives are embedded, adopted, and deliver benefits throughout your organization.
What will you learn?
- Understand how agile approaches impact the way change is managed and delivered, and the impact on those involved in and affected by change.
- Create an organizational change management plan that is lean, flexible, and realizes benefits often and early in the process.
- Learn how to create a roadmap with the processes, activities, and information needed to manage a change initiative using a more Agile approach.
- Use various techniques to identify and prioritize change activities according to business value.
- Create a supportive environment that motivates people to participate in and accept the change.
- Manage stakeholder relationships, engaging them with empathy and trust.
- Utilize pre-prepared checklists, questionnaires, and models that can be tailored to any change initiative.
- Develop strategies for building stakeholder resilience and motivation, while managing and mitigating resistance to the change.
This qualification widens the change management field by providing an entry into the world of Agile and change management for all those in the business who are impacted by change, but whose day job continues to be a “business as usual” role.
The Agile Change Agent course and certification will benefit:
- Anyone who is involved in planning, managing, and creating change through various projects or programs.
- Project team members and others who come to the course without expertise in either organizational change or Agile approaches but are looking for practical answers to the difficulties they face in implementing change.
- Those who are on the central change management team, work in the PMO or portfolio management area, or those in the strategy office of an organization who are responsible for transformation initiatives.
- People responsible for making the change happen within their own business area.
- Recipients of the change, those who are required to make changes to the way they work.
Individual and Organizational Benefits
You will personally benefit by leaving with simple, intuitive, and easy-to-learn models that you can use on any change initiative. This course also provides you with an opportunity for self-discovery in how you approach change and your work compared to how others approach their work. It will help you realize how you come across to others and how you might tailor your approach to develop stronger, more productive relationships with stakeholders. It will also help you identify the keys to a productive working environment and how to achieve it, which ultimately supports all stakeholders in making the change a reality.
Organizations will benefit from this course by identifying select employees to help make change successful within their organization. Organizations may also offer these individuals a certification, which both increases the individual’s commitment to the training as well as builds their skills and knowledge to support new change initiatives in the organization. This certification comes from a global examination body and is available around the world. It is also backed up by a certificate and digital badge to distinction it in the marketplace.
At the end of your course, you will have the opportunity to complete the supporting, multiple-choice 50 question exam to become a certified Agile Change Agent.
FAQ About the ACA Certification
- What is involved in getting your Agile Change Agent certification?
No experience is needed before taking this course, just an openness to learn and willingness to practice the agile change principles. The process of becoming an ACA is simple:
- Attend a 2-day course from an accredited training organization (ATO) that has been assessed and certified by APMG International, such as Watermark Learning.
- Take a 50-question exam at the end of course. You have 40 minutes to complete the exam and must have a score of 50% or greater to pass the test. Upon successful completion of the course and exam, participants will receive their ACA designation.
- How long is the ACA valid?
The ACA qualification does not expire. Once you pass the test with the appropriate score, you do not need any further professional credit units to keep the certification valid.
- What if I do not pass the exam on the first try?
If you do not pass the exam on the first try, you can take it again, either in-person or virtually for a small extra testing fee.
- How much does it cost to take the exam?
The cost of the exam is included in the cost of the course.
- Can I take the course without taking the test?
Yes, you can take the course and simply opt out of taking the test after the course. However, there is no cost difference so you will have already paid for the exam.
- Who offers the ACA certification?
Only organizations and instructors who are accredited by APMG International can offer the ACA certification course. (APMG International is an accreditation body that accredits training and consulting organizations and instructors and manages certification schemes for knowledge-based workers.) There is a rigorous process for both the organization (Watermark Learning) and the instructor to become accredited.
For more information about ACA, visit our website.
Dr. Susan Heidorn, PMP, CBAP, HSDP, CSM, BRMP is the Director of Business Solutions for Watermark Learning in Minneapolis. Susan is an experienced consultant, facilitator, speaker, and trainer, with over 25 years of business experience. Susan directs programs in business analysis, business relationship management, and leadership, including developing and delivering courses and providing consulting. She has been a speaker at a number of IIBA® and PMI® conferences as well as local and regional organizations, boards, and private clients. She is a lifelong learner whose passion it is to guide people into achieving excellence in their personal and professional lives and works on creating positive impacts to the organization.