To Make Working Life Better
The above intention underpins everything we do and has been our mission statement from the beginning of our journey. Sometimes it feels like a distant, unachievable goal, and although we have made many mistakes along the way we always come back to this and ask ourselves “are we contributing to our long-term goal?”
Today, we have taken a new step to support our vision by releasing our own material to share with the community and world. This required a number of key learnings which I want to share with you in this article.
One of the ways we help people make working life better is through continuous improvement; by learning and building our competency with practice and community. Attending well researched and developed training courses with effective learning objectives helps develop our mastery and skills too. That’s why we have flown some of our industry’s most respected speakers and trainers from all over the world, to share their insights, research, and teachings here in London. We have done this for the last 3 years and now have firm plans to take Adventures with Agile to NYC and Toronto in 2018.
For the last year, Simon and our consultants have been researching, developing, testing and building a set of training courses encapsulating our vision of making working life better by helping people uncover better ways of transitioning to agile and solving complex problems on a large scale. When we run training or attend training ourselves we hear variations of the following four questions:
How is this relevant to me?
Learning objectives should resonate clearly, and speak volumes about how they will solve my problem or match my career development plans or business goals. Content should be fresh and up to date.
How will we learn?
The delivery method of the course is important – does the format rely on PowerPoint or the latest teaching and facilitation methods?
How much does it cost?
This is usually pre-determined by course length, certification, content, and the above 2 points. The course cost can’t be too high (people can’t afford it) or too low (people dismiss the value!)
Is the course certified? If so for what and why? If not why not?
Certification is usually a deciding factor for many; competency-based certification is the ideal although rare. We have found that certified courses are more popular than uncertified.
Finding a partner was a natural next step for AWA as we started to create our own material. We knew we had to develop a range of training that satisfies the above criteria while staying true to the AWA vision of making working life better. Having worked with Lyssa Adkins and the Agile Coaching Institute for the last two years, we were already familiar with the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile), so seeking their advice felt like the natural next step. We believe in the importance of building personal and organisational competency by providing a clear learning pathway that helps agile practitioners become masters of their craft. ICAgile created a pathway (see below) that helps people go on an agile-learning journey and awards “meaningful certifications that attest to what a certification-holder has done and can do in a given discipline.” This contributes to their overall mission to “advance the state of Agile learning globally.”
Following a meeting between Simon and Shane Hastie, ICAgile’s Director of Agile Learning Programs, in Orlando at the Agile 2017 conference, we got to work on building our new The Enterprise Agile Coach Bootcamp that met ICAgile’s robust set of Learning Objectives and acceptance criteria.
So what is ICAgile?
ICAgile is the largest accreditation and certification body in the Agile industry. Their in-depth learning roadmap encompasses pretty much everything you need to know to progress toward enterprise agility. They currently have 9 learning tracks with more in development.
Each track combines training classes and demonstration of competency through a rigorous review programme. This results in “Agile Experts” who have put their skills and learning to task by demonstrating their expertise in front of ICAgile’s review committee. International thought leaders, including Alistair Cockburn, Evan Leybourn, and Janet Gregory, helped develop each track. For example, the Enterprise Agile Coaching track has been developed by Lyssa Adkins, Michael Spayd, Pete Behrens and Marsha Acker. Then, ICAgile partners, like us, work with ICAgile’s team to accredit new courses against their comprehensive and proven learning objectives to ensure that every ICAgile-accredited course helps people acquire the knowledge they need to build agile competence in a specific discipline.
“Develop a rich understanding of complexity and scope of enterprise agile” – ICAgile.com
We have been working with ICAgile to accredit our courses against one of their most advanced tracks. It’s called “Enterprise Agile Coaching” and was developed for agile coaches who have completed the agile coaching class and wish to take their skills to the enterprise level.
We are currently in the process of accrediting two courses with ICAgile to offer the following certifications. The first of which successfully passed the accreditation process yesterday.
The ICAgile Certified Professional – Agility in the Enterprise (ICP-ENT)
This covers agility at the enterprise level from structural, process, leadership and cultural perspectives. Our course Enterprise Agile Coach Bootcamp is offered for this certification. This is for practitioners with at least 2-3 years experience in working with agility in some way at any level.
ICAgile Certified Professional – Coaching Agile Transitions (ICP-CAT)
This links the core enterprise coaching competencies in a way that empowers coaches to act as agents of change in organisations. Our course Enterprise Agile Coach Bootcamp is offered for this certification. This is for practitioners who have had some level of coaching training such as attending Coaching Agile Teams, or any professional coaching programme.