Pioneering face-to-face engagement for remote workers

The modern world is dominated by digital technologies, which have been used to disrupt many traditional consumer services and, for some, this has taken many of the valued human-to-human interactions out of service delivery, according to experts at business transformation consultancy Agility in Mind.

For supplier and consumer, however, this has reduced the cost of provision and speed of supply for many services and products.

The irony, which may not be obvious to all, is that behind the scenes, people creating digital products have to work together collaboratively in order to achieve the best outcomes possible.

This need for person-to-person collaboration was discovered over 20 years ago, when the technology industry knew it had to change the way it worked, because there was a growing record of ever-increasing software disasters.

The result of this was a way of working defined by something called the Agile Manifesto, which set out principles that placed people at the centre of what we do, and practices that encouraged interactions.

Over the past two decades, emphasis on face-to-face communications has evolved to mean meeting in the same room, and it’s true to say that some dogma has emerged in the industry in this regard.

Agility in Mind works with creators of digital products across the globe and for one software manufacturing giant, had, around five years ago, been providing onsite training in these agile methods.

With a workforce distributed across all time zones, the client did the calculation that, to develop the skills of its staff across the globe with onsite training was going to bear a considerable burden in terms of travel time, carbon emissions and costs. Therefore, they made a decision to move all training to a live virtual classroom, in which people were still engaged, face-to-face, with a real trainer to interact with, but using digital technologies to make the connections.

Agility in Mind was happy to pioneer this way of training delivery, for the good of the client, their staff and the benefit of the environment.

The community of agile practitioners was not quite with us, as they saw this development as a move away from face-to-face communications.

However, we persevered, battled with one of the certifying bodies, and invested in making the training an outstanding learning experience.

As we began to deliver this live virtual classroom training across the client’s European region, we measured the impact and the results, and began to demonstrate to the client that this was, indeed, a very effect approach.

The consequence for Agility in Mind is that we have one of the world’s largest software manufacturers as a highly-satisfied client. We have increased our course titles with the client from one to five, expanded into the North American and Asia Pacific regions, and trained many thousands of delegates.

In light of the global pandemic we are able to support many organisations, large and small, as they are forced to move to virtual working for their teams, helping them to get through this period in the best way they can.