Agile & Lean Change Management: Attendee Interview - Ty Newton

Previously, we wrote about how we built the Agile and Lean Change Masterclass by following the principles taught in the course. Here's Part 1, as well as Part 2.

For Part 3 of this series, we talk to Ty Newton - Manager, Planning and Service Development from the Department of Health and Human Services, who cam along to a recent Agile and Lean Change Masterclass.

It was interesting for us to work closely with someone from within Government, who is bound more tightly by regulation and policy than your everyday corporate. It was exciting to learn how ready Ty was to look at changing the way he was working, and add to his tool belt, by using the methods and principles from Jason Little's Lean Change Management.

Have a read of our interview with Ty from about a week after completing the course, benefit from his experience and learnings so far by applying the tools techniques in his current work environment.

If you want to hear more about this course or get in touch with any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at

we were able to turn around a decision within days which just doesn’t normally happen.
— Ty Newton

So, before anything else, what's your current role?

My role is as the Manager of Planning and Service Development at the DHHS. In simplistic terms, this is about leading change, putting together quality assurance mechanisms and developing insights and metrics that inform the work that we do. I’m working with people both internal and external to the DHHS.

What was the problem you were looking to solve by coming along to the training course?

Given the accelerating pace of change that we face, we want to be able to respond more flexibly and effectively. It's important to be able to bring products and services online quicker, but they also need to be well informed and aligned to policy.

For me, it's all about having a suite of different tools you can use to approach different problems and opportunities. By developing different approaches to managing small and large change, it allows you to be prepared for new circumstances as they come along.

Do you feel like this gave you the knowledge to look at how you approach this problem?

"Yes" is the short answer. The test for me will be actually applying the tools, techniques and approaches. There's no one way to approach anything, but given the content that we traversed I was able to shift my thinking and I’ve already applied the learning.

 I like to be challenged; I’m constantly seeking ways to grow as an individual and broaden my awareness and understanding of new and better ways to deliver outcomes.

Ok, that's good that you've applied the learning already. Can you tell me more?

I had a workshop where I was looking to gather some key insights with a group.

Traditionally, I'd use a business excellence model, but I decided I'd use the sail boat exercise because I thought it would be a good way to help people feel the value of getting their points of view across.

People loved it! It was a design piece for one of the builds to do with our capital portfolio, by using the sail boat we were able to turn around a decision within days which just doesn't normally happen.

Last question, were there any concepts or ideas you felt were particularly powerful?

For me personally, the overall approach around starting with Insights, exploring Options and how it’s set out, what’s the impact and what’s the value, then moving onto Experiments, it nests everything really well. 

I also liked the blast radius, to be able to think from a stakeholder point of view, and then another layer in terms of analysis is really powerful, it's just another tool on the toolbelt that you can pull out when you need it. Importantly, it’s these types of tools and processes that remind me to be people focused rather than plan focused.