Throughout my years as a Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Scrum trainer, there has been a common and persistent theme. It is a theme that I have encountered as a practitioner and tried hard to overcome as a coach and trainer. I have come to believe that it is the single most important aspect of any agile transformation. That theme is strong leadership buy-in to the change. By that, I do not mean supporting it with words. We need way more than spoken support. I mean truly understanding why the organisation is seeking higher agility. I mean truly understanding why the deep organisational change is necessary. And I mean truly understanding why they, as leaders, must actively drive the change.
As a Scrum Master, I was frustrated by the lack of ability of teams to make real progress. Teams who were weighed down by organisational impediments and unable to resolve them. As an Agile coach, I was often unable to get time and attention of leadership to discuss the things they needed to do to support and drive the change. As a Scrum and LeSS trainer, I often hear from students that they wished their manager could attend the class. They are the people who really need the deep learning.
Over many years of helping organisations become more agile, I have come to believe that the most important factors affecting the overall system are cultural and structural. The practices are important, but these are second-order factors for me. Only leaders can make changes to the organisational structure and culture. Leaders must undergo deep learning and drive change. They must focus first on why and then on how. That is why I am so excited about the Certified Agile Leadership® classes from the Scrum Alliance. For the first time, agile training will not be seen as something merely ‘for the team’, but something that must happen at all levels. This is a potential game-changer. In delivering this class, I feel I could hugely increase my impact on the world of work, where I have often been unable to in the past. This is the missing piece of the puzzle, and I am delighted to add this offering to our portfolio.
If you are interested in learning more about this offering, please see the Certified Agile Leadership® (CAL1) training page on our website. For in-house classes or leadership coaching, please contact us for details.