Agile Delivery Improvement & Scale

Running an Agile leadership bootcamp can fast track a transformation

Contributions by:
Karen Chan, Senior Consultant, Toronto
Inaya Dsouza, Associate, Los Angeles
Ben Lyon, Senior Consultant, London
Nate Nelson, Managing Director, Los Angeles
Fiona Royall, Project Lead, Melbourne
Rachna Verma, Senior Consultant, Sydney

Men working at computers in bootcamp. Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

ADAPTOVATE recently partnered with a large company to design and run an Agile leadership bootcamp.

There were three intended outcomes from the bootcamp

  1. Build a common language
  2. Align on the collective approach
  3. Upskill capabilities at the leadership level

In this short article we discuss in more detail why it’s beneficial to run an agile bootcamp and what value it delivers to leaders.

When is an Agile bootcamp needed?

When organisations embark on agile transformations, the focus should be on creating a shift in mindsets and behaviours.  Organisations and teams can implement agile tools, techniques and methodologies, but without individuals shifting their mindsets and behaviours, the transformation will fail to deliver results.

Then as an agile transformation scales, it’s increasingly important that your agile leaders are “ready” to LEAD the transformation. 

“We know that for an agile transformation to be successful, leadership buy-in is critical,” says Fiona Royall, a Project Lead in Melbourne.

Providing an agile leadership bootcamp upfront is the opportunity to provide the understanding of the why, unlock the value, concepts and build the momentum for change. “It can also give a place where you can capture potential detractors early and use the opportunity to shift their mindset, and ease concerns,” says Fiona.

Agile leaders can champion this mindset and behavioural shift from their trusted position within the organisation, but need to meet a few criteria before they are able to do so:

  1. Describe why the organisation is shifting to a more agile way of working and what it means for the business, teams and individuals
  2. Understand the tools, techniques and methodologies to enable a transformation to agile ways of working
  3. Build their confidence to lead change during this period of high volatility for the business

An immersive learning experience in the form of a bootcamp can help bring agile leaders together. They will comfortably execute on this criterion and become change leaders within the organisation. While also providing them with a network of like-minded leaders to share transformation challenges and best practices with.

These benefits can help “fast track” your transformation where it matters:

  • a) shifting mindsets and behaviours
  • b) embedding new ways of working into your Organisational DNA
  • c) sustainably operating in a new way

What is an Agile bootcamp exactly?

Bootcamp is a focused time to upskill

Bootcamp is a dedicated time and provides the headspace to focus on the agile transformation principles. A bootcamp may sound indulgent but it really is needed to give participants the space needed to learn and absorb the training material.

It will pay dividends in the long term because participants have spent quality time understanding the principles and toolkit and applying it in a practical case study example.

A bootcamp should live up to its name. It should the take participants on a short, intensive and rigorous journey through some level of basic competence or understanding. When leaders undergo this kind of immersion, they experience first-hand the practices that their teams are going to be living and breathing.

Karen Chan, a senior consultant in Toronto says, “Because a bootcamp is an immersive experience, Agile Leaders have an opportunity to really live agile principles and practices. That makes it easier to fast track a transformation.”

Equips leaders with practical skills

A well thought out training playbook should combine the theoretical with practical examples. The principles are key to teaching participants the why and how to drive an agile transformation.

The practical examples apply the principles learnt so that it comes to life and becomes real for the participant. The best way to learn is by doing.

Provides a community of Agile Leaders

The bootcamp participants form a tight community that have shared the same learning experience and their businesses are about to embark on a transformation journey.

This common bond is strong and provides a safe space to bounce ideas and share their real life experiences.

“Very practically the bootcamp gives leaders an understanding of how their teams are operating day-to-day in this new ‘agile’ format. But the real reward comes as the leaders experience the impact agile has on collaboration, performance and business outcomes for themselves,” explains Ben Lyon, a senior consultant in London.

After a successful Agile leadership bootcamp – the organisation will now have leaders that will support and drive the agile transformation because it’s now become very real for them. This is key.

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