UBC Sauder's Agile Leadership Program receives national continuing education award

Posted 2019-07-17

The Associate Certificate in Agile Leadership, offered by UBC Sauder Continuing Business Studies — has won an award from the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE), a body that fosters best practices in flexible learning models and honours outstanding contributions to this field.

Awarded in the category of 'non-credit programming over 48 hours' the program ranked high in a number of criteria, including innovation in curriculum, diversity of students and engagement with partner institutions.

"We are delighted to receive this award, and view it as a positive reflection of how the Agile Leadership program helps professionals build and advance their careers in this specific stream, says Graham McIntosh, Executive Director of Continuing Business Studies at UBC Sauder.

“The practice of agile leadership has helped many businesses in the province to be more responsive to change and disruption happening in the industry," he adds.

According to McIntosh, there is an industry-wide shift where not just software development companies, but a wide gamut of industries are increasingly recognizing the benefits of Agile methods. These methods help organizations shift from traditional product development approaches to models that put technology and focused team networks at the forefront of business outcomes.

And this is making UBC Sauder's offering more attractive.


Responsive to industry disruptions

"When we first started the program, it was largely attended by professionals from the software development area. Now it's really moved into agility within the business and business operations," says Raquel Collins, Associate Director of Continuing Business Studies at UBC Sauder.

This is illustrated through Best Buy, an American multinational consumer electronics retailer with a prominent presence in Vancouver. The company first started adopting Agile methods in its IT area, and is now rolling out Agile across the organization. Several of their staff have also taken courses within the Associate Certificate in Agile Leadership program.


Peer-to-peer learning

The part-time certification program launched in 2016.  Today, it comprises four courses — two required courses and two electives — spanning eight classes. It has developed a comprehensive curriculum offering both introductory and advanced courses.

The program is taught by industry practitioners who are experts in Agile, as well as certified trainers in Scrum and Kanban — two of the most recognized and adopted Agile frameworks.

"Our instructors are very engaging and they involve the students in peer-to-peer and experiential learning so they can go back to their office and apply their insights right away," said Collins.

And it's having an impact. In the last three years, students who've completed the Associate Certificate in Agile Leadership have been placed in a range of multinational organizations and industries — including Telus, WorkSafe BC and Electronic Arts.

Find more information about the Associate Certificate in Agile Leadership program here.