How I used the Lean Change Cycle to help launch and refine our training course (on Lean Change) Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 3 Part series about how we used the Lean Change Cycle to bring the Agile and Lean Change training course to market. In Part 1 we covered a couple of our initial experiments, and in Part 2 I’ll share our experience moving forward and speaking with our customers.

Why we did what we did

At the end of Part 1 you’ll remember that we’d just made a new set of hypotheses and launched 3 further courses. Success looked like a full room of participants and customer feedback indicating that we were addressing their needs.

  • “We believe there is a market for more regular Agile and Lean Change Management training.”

  • “We believe that by identifying and speaking with our customers to understand their problem statements, we will be able to create a course that better suits their needs, messaging that speaks to their requirements and build a captive audience for future engagement.”

The purpose of speaking with the market was to validate the product/market fit. By further identifying the “why” of the requirement for this training course it enabled us to continuously improve on our customer offering and meet our customers needs.

What it told us

To begin with I mapped out 6 key customer types and spent over an hour individually with around 20 customers. I simply wanted to understand “what is the problem statement that you would be looking to solve by attending this course”. The 6 customer types and their responses are below.

  • People Managers - want to help their team's effectiveness in the business.

  • Change Practitioners - want to understand how change management works in an agile environment.

  • Project and Program Managers - want to remove blockers to help them deliver and have a consistent change approach to engage their teams.

  • Agile Practitioners - want to have a broader influence outside of their team and gather new tools and techniques.

  • HR Professionals and Trainers - want to ensure that Change Management is effective and engages the wider business in a state of change.

  • Business Architects - want to understand the root cause of business issues and how to put the power of change into the hands of the people.

These insights were valuable and helped us shape our messaging and pitch for the next round of courses.

Fast forward through the next 3 courses, and in terms of attendance numbers and engagement, we were successful and we were excited.

Throughout the journey we’d been gathering post course feedback. Always looking to improve, we noticed a consistent insight that made us reflect on a few specific areas.

Our data illustrated that our course was most important to Change Practitioners, as the percentage of Change professionals attending was high. However their feedback told us they felt that with a broad group of customer segments in the room, the content was too broad to fully satisfy their needs.

So what were our options? We could continue with no change knowing people would continue to attend. We could decide that the wider market outside of Change Practitioners were quite happy with the course and tailor it to them. We could talk to the Change Community and understand more deeply what they were looking for.

The experiment we chose was to talk to the Change Community. We identified them as the early adopters who were actively trying to solve the problem we had a course for. We spoke to ten Change practitioners to validate Product/Market fit.

Our insights are summarised here:

  • They wanted to learn about ‘Agile’, and what ‘good agile’ looked like.

  • They wanted to hear about and share stories with other Change Managers to further their understanding of where Change Management is going/ needs to go, and how it fits into Agile Delivery environments.

  • They wanted to understand the linkages between the Lean Change approach and their current Change Management methodology so they are able to work in a more Agile way.

Furthermore, Change Practitioners are seeing changes in their industry, they want discussions about what’s happening and tools and skills to help them improve and remain relevant.

Where we took it

Based on this insight, we made the decision to review and amend our content. Our latest hypotheses says “we believe that by aligning the marketing, content and learning to the Change Practitioners identified requirements we will have a higher satisfaction and sale rate on future courses”.

It’s important to note that our other customer segments will still get value from this course. We’re evolving it to address the problem statements of a Change Practitioner, however the target audience remains Change people, Agile people who understand that Change is an intrinsic part of their role and people tapped on the shoulder to “make change work”.

We’re about to launch our 2017 calendar with 10 courses in Melbourne and Sydney and we’re excited to be better able to align to this key customer segment. We’ll keep you up to date with our new insights as we gather them.

In Part 3 of this series I’ll share the experience of non-change practitioners who have attended our course, and the insights and discussions about their problem statements in greater detail.

If you're interested to hear anymore about our journey email me on Ringo.Thomas@tabar.com.au


Find out more about the Agile and Lean Change Masterclass, including scheduled courses in Melbourne and Sydney.