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>200 people trained globally | High marks achieved

Coaching and training for global transformation

To support its ambitious Agile transformation programme, our client sought to rapidly upskill its workforce in Agile principles and techniques via an accredited course and recognised certification. We tailored the course and our coaching to their needs, training over 200 people across the globe.

COMPANY BACKGROUND

A multi-national agribusiness that employs tens of thousands of people in 90 countries worldwide.

Our client – a multi-national agribusiness that employs tens of thousands of people in 90 countries worldwide – embarked on an ambitious transformation programme to transition from heavily outsourced, Waterfall development practices to an Agile delivery model with more development work being performed in-house.

Seeking support from an industry-leading Agile consultancy to support and de-risk this transformation programme, the client engaged IndigoBlue.

The challenge

The transformation strategy correctly identified that its success was contingent not only on the re-skilling of the workforce with knowledge of Agile principles and practices, but also a fundamental change in people’s mindsets and ways of working.

As such, it was clear from the early discussions with the client onwards that IndigoBlue’s approach would need to encompass both training in Agile practices and on-going coaching support to Agile projects to embed the new approach.

Our approach

Fundamental to every IndigoBlue engagement is that we establish a clear understanding of the client’s context and objectives. With this understanding, we tailor our consultancy to meet the client’s needs.

In the client’s corporate culture, training courses were particularly valued where they allowed its people to work towards externally recognised certifications – not only because certification provides an indicator of staff’s professional development, but also because it helps motivate staff and focus their minds on the training.

For this reason, we selected APMG’s AgilePM® course in discussion with the client. AgilePM® provides a complete lifecycle and a rich set of roles, products and practices that would be suited to the client’s culture at this stage in its transformation. Most critically in this context, AgilePM® would provide a bridge between the client’s existing in-house practices and the Agile approach.

Invariably, we tailor our training courses to meet our clients’ needs. In discussion with the client, we adapted the course content to cover specific areas of concern; for example, we introduced some additional content to explain how a free-format timebox would work in a Scrum setting. We also revised the standard case study and roles to reflect a typical Agile project that the client might run. This helped to facilitate learning and promote understanding by making the training more relevant to the day job.

We also introduced a new post-exam step to build on and consolidate the training, working with the client to devise content to develop story-writing skills and a workshop to explore how the Feasibility and Foundation phases could be conducted.

One of the reasons we particularly like delivering AgilePM® training is that although the course is styled for Agile Project Management, it is suitable for anyone who will be contributing to an Agile project. A typical training group also comprises personnel with a mixture of experience – some who are entirely new to Agile, some with a bit of Agile knowledge requiring refinement, and some with strong Agile expertise. The mix always proves fruitful, as those with no or limited Agile experience can hear insights and success stories from colleagues.

Through each course, Project Managers gain an understanding of what they need to do and approach differently, while others – BAs, Engineers and Architects – gain a rich understanding of how an Agile project works and how it is different from a Waterfall project. Accordingly, by training staff from a wide range of disciplines, we have sown the seeds of new understanding in the client’s PMO and beyond.

The outcomes

The client is driving forward its Agile transformation strategy vigorously and in a short space of time, our trainers (all expert Agile consultants and practitioners) delivered training and coaching across four continents. We trained over 200 personnel, all of whom achieved high pass marks in the AgilePM® exam.

As the next stage in the transformation strategy, the client embarked on pilot Agile projects run by the core team of trained and certified personnel. The training course established a common knowledge base and set of terms which our consultants consolidated by being embedded as coaches within the project teams.

In this way, our combination of tailored coaching and training supported the client in de-risking and delivering its global Agile transformation.

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