Markus Bause, VP Product, recently sat down with Raconteur to take part in a special Q&A on ‘Agility in Corporates’. Here is what he had to say about why the current business climate calls for the kind of agility that only an up-to-date skills base can deliver.


Why is the need for business agility so urgent now?

In the past, a company might develop a business case, feed it down to different departments and check whether it had been successful later. Clearly, that approach cannot work in today’s turbulent business climate because it’s based on speculation instead of quantifiable actions. Companies should be resilient to uncertainty and open to change. What’s needed now is continuous adjustment and assessment, a mindset that should be reflected in both leaders and employees.


What are the benefits of the best-practice frameworks PeopleCert offers?

We must remember that there’s a difference between ‘doing agile’ and ‘being agile’. When you want to transform your organisation from static to dynamic, the first step is to bring on the capabilities for that change: the skills, knowledge, frameworks and procedures which can be driven by the kinds of tools we offer. ITIL and PRINCE2, as well as Scrum, are agile methodologies that help IT and project management professionals develop a consistent approach. But this is only the beginning of that transformational journey. Ultimately, it’s about using these tools to establish new principles of work that will help you adapt to change in the long run.


Why do most companies have a poor track record of investing in skills development?

When there’s a tough economic situation, the first budget to be cut is always the one covering people and their education. It may seem like the easy choice, but it is not the right one. One might worry about investing in employees and then having them leave. But there’s also a cost involved in not investing in your staff and having them stay.


Why do you advocate for best practice framework adoption?

In this era of continuous change, we should create networks of value, where professionals meet and exchange knowledge. And for these networks to be feasible, professionals need to speak the same common business language. ITIL, PRINCE2 and Scrum can provide the standard approach that we are looking for, ensuring consistency throughout a business’s operations.


Do best-practice frameworks benefit organisations and professionals to the same extent?

Well, for the organisation, it’s about providing increased efficiency and productivity with reduced costs and time to market. And for individuals who know that continuous upskilling and reskilling is vital, the globally recognised certification we offer can boost their careers, bringing better jobs and higher pay. It means better jobs and higher pay. But it’s also a means of building the confidence to deal with day-to-day challenges.


But these products are not an end in themselves, right?

What’s important is that these are not ‘silver bullet’ solutions. They’re the first step to developing fundamental knowledge within a company, to raising the maturity level so it can be adapted to the environment. There are huge possibilities for productivity gains here, but that’s just one side of the coin. By embracing a mindset of continuous learning as part of your company culture, you can get more engaged customers and more creative and motivated employees who have more fun at work, which is highly important to young people entering employment today. But that’s another story.


(This article originally appeared in the special ‘Enterprise Agility’ issue of the Raconteur, published on 29 November 2022)