This entry is shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Technology for People” category

ref: 12-018

Practical Agile
supporting a business critical change in project delivery

It’s easy to do Agile, however, it’s a challenge to learn how to be Agile and reap the benefits of collaborative project working. One of Bupa’s key strategic intents is to have a workforce with an Agile and change-ready mindset. But how do you enable people to become Agile? The “Practical Agile” learning solution is Bupa’s Business Technology Training (BTT) team’s innovation enabling people to become Agile resulting in tangible benefits. This is a blended learning solution (e-learning module, social-media groups, two-day workshop) providing the capability required to support a business critical change in project delivery.

To date over 700 colleagues globally have completed the e-learning and over 260 colleagues over multiple locations have attended the two-day practical workshop.
Our approach using internal instead of external resources is 90% cheaper affording significant cost savings. The introductory e-learning modules are open to all and offer an overview of Agile and provide immediate performance support. A structured learning programme delivers consistent messages across the business and offers networking opportunities.
Some indirect benefits include the use of course retrospectives for feedback and learning needs, increased use of our social media site for sharing experiences and support for personal development.

Using a creative mix of technologies such as e-learning and social networking with an immersive games-based face-to-face workshop has proved to be a winning formula. Working together with Bupa’s Agile Transformation Team BTT have initiated changes in behaviour and attitudes and given our colleagues the confidence to challenge the current culture.
Both the production of the learning solution and the training delivery use Agile techniques. As the workshop runs, Agile artefacts are used to demonstrate progression. This provides an opportunity for learners to immediately be involved in an Agile approach.[/one_half_last]

Through the immersive learning experience a tension between current and desired behaviours surfaced. The workshop addresses this by creating a truly collaborative environment where behaviours and attitudes required for Agile working can be safely explored. Only by achieving change in these can people be Agile. Having visible senior management support and a strong business sponsor underpinned the success of Agile adoption.
The current restrictions in our learning technology platform hindered us from having a mobile element as part of the learning solution. Also e-learning accessibility issues for contractors highlighted a business wide issue which is now under review.

Agile techniques can be effectively used for both learning solution development and delivery. For creating true business change a blended learning solution works best especially when it incorporates the appropriate use of technology and practical hands-on application of the subject matter at hand. Using an immersive, gaming-like approach to face-to-face training delivery affords far better results than more traditional approaches. In BTT’s experience connecting to your inner Blue Peter whilst using Agile techniques enables learners to be Agile, not just do Agile. The workshop creates a strong sense of shared purpose and a committed high-performing team.[/one_half_last]

The Speaker

[frame style=”modern” image_path=”” link_to_page=”” target=”” description=”” size=”four_col_large”] Tiina Paju-Pomfret
Tiina’s Business Technology Training (BTT) team at Bupa provide in-house technology focused learning and performance solutions for the Bupa Group. The team specialises in both desktop applications and business critical applications learning solutions using the full spectrum of learning technologies. Tiina’s role also includes collaborating with Bupa’s global L&D community of practice on good practice in blended learning strategies.

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