All posts by kathy

Opportunity Assessment Workshop

This workshop provides participants with a practical “hands-on” product and UX design thinking experience within the “Opportunity Assessment Phase” of the Enterprise Business Agility framework. Because we have integrated best practices and thought leadership from lean startups to Fortune 50 organizations we are able to bring you the latest tools, techniques and thinking in product design.

Students will form Product Discovery teams and select a potential idea to develop throughout the workshop. As part of the Journey, teams will explore market demand, customer problem/solution identification techniques and develop compelling user personas, journey and story maps and a lean canvas to communicate their idea to leadership. The Discovery teams will also learn how to build strong product backlogs and user stories and explore the “dual track scrum” process to feed continuous product innovation, delivery and product optimization.

Workshop Goals:

    • Overview of the Opportunity Assessment phase of the Enterprise Business Agility Framework
    • Explore product design thinking and how it relates to the customer experience
    • Expand your tool box with hands on experience with the following tools:
        • Customer Personas
        • Journey and User Story maps

      • Lean Canvas
      • Product validation and optimization testing techniques
      • Product Metrics
    • Review why early validated learning, not “Product Arrogance”, is essential to determine what not to build and why
    • Create and test hypothesis
    • Explore testing techniques to ensure we are building the “Right things” and measure their impact with metrics and tools
    • Learn how the “dual-scrum” method can be utilized for product delivery fed by product discovery
    • Review how Prototypes, Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) and Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) are leveraged from continuous test and learn techniques

Be prepared to learn a fun and innovative process framework that immerses you and your team in a fast paced collaborative and innovative environment. Be prepared to challenge your traditional thought process and get ready to work!

Pre-Requisites:

Students who have a basic understanding of Lean / Agile methods that are looking to discover new products or just optimize existing products.

Attendees:

This course is open to anyone interested in learning about product design and the customer experience, however the focus will be on Product Managers and Product Owners.

Duration:

2 days


Opportunity Assessment Outline


Day 1

On the first day of the workshop, students are immersed into product design and customer experience thinking within the Enterprise Business Agility Framework. Students form discovery teams and quickly go to work on visioning, product design and develop a user persona and journey map through a series of hands on collaborative exercises.

Learning Objectives

  • Create a Product Vision and Design
  • Create a User Persona
  • Create a Customer Journey Map

Day 2

The team continues work on their product design and leverages the customer centric work developed in Day 1 to solidify their ideas to create a lean canvas, an actionable “entrepreneur-focused” light business plan focused on problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages. Discovery teams will develop a Story Map (or visual backlog) to help understand the key functionality of the product and will create hypothesizes to test a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and explore a Minimal Marketable Product (MMP) to deliver customer value to end users.

Learning Objectives

  • Create a Lean Canvas
  • Create a Story Map
  • Develop Product Tests and Metrics
  • Review continual product validation and optimization techniques

Discovery Sprint Workshop

This advanced “hands-on” Discovery Sprint Workshop will take you through an intensive 5-day journey to get practical answers and direction on your critical business challenges. The Discovery Sprint will help you get validated customer learning and feedback in record time, bypassing the costly build and launch process. “Inspired by Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, & Braden Kowitz”.

Workshop Goals:

  • Solve big problems and test new ideas in just 5 days!
  • Save time and money by not building untested functionality
  • Increase engagement and collaboration from stakeholders across your organization.
  • Leverage proven “test and learn” lean startup practices
  • Implement a consistent, proven, discovery approach and process
  • Build a realistic product façade for customer testing and feedback
  • Get validated customer learning in just 5 days
  • Identify common patterns and trends

Over the course of the journey, you will design, prototype and test ideas using a realistic facade to get practical customer feedback and insight saving valuable time and costly development dollars.

Be prepared to learn a fun, new and innovative process that will bring your team together to solve complex problems and get validated customer feedback in just 5 days! Come with an open mind and get ready to work!

Pre-Requisites:

Your company has already adopted Agile methods over a couple of years and looking to Scale and bring maturity to the enterprise portfolio planning and execution processes.

Duration:

5 days


Journey Outline


Step 1 – Map

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the “Discovery Sprint” framework
  • Determine the Sprint Long Term Goal
  • Conduct stakeholder interviews
  • Create team notes via the “How Might We?” exercise
  • Develop a process map
  • Pick a TARGET

Step 2 – Sketch

Leveraging the map and target created on day 1, team members on Tuesday will focus on developing solutions. In the morning, team members will demonstrate solutions and ideas that inspire them from a variety of sources. Based on this shared inspiration, team members will take these ideas to the next level through a series of individual guided sketching exercises (focused on critical thinking over artistic aptitude) to help them create solutions to solve the target.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and review desirable product features and functionality
  • Create individual solution sketches
  • Create final solution sketches for team consideration
  • Recruit customers for testing

Step 3 – Decide

On Wednesday, the team will have a series of sketches to evaluate. The focus of day 3 is to determine which sketches have the greatest probably to solve the long term strategy defined on Monday. Team members will critically review each element of the sketches and determine which elements can be stitched and integrated together to create a storyboard that the team will build a prototype around and test with customers.

Learning Objectives

  • Review the gallery of sketches
  • Determine the winning sketches via heat map voting
  • Decide on a final solution
  • Create a storyboard

Step 4 – Prototype

Now that the team has developed a storyboard that they wish to test, Thursday will focus on building a prototype for customer interviews on Friday. In order to build a prototype in just one day, the team has to think in terms of “façade over function” and create a realistic user experience to get constructive feedback and customer learning. In a parallel effort, customer scripts are written, discussed and practiced in conjunction with the prototype to prep for customer interviews.

Learning Objectives

  • Prototype is developed and tested
  • Customer volunteers are finalized
  • Customer scripts are created and rehearsed
  • A integrated “Dry Run” is conducted with the scripts and prototype

Step 5 – Test

The culmination of the teams’ hard work happens on Friday where the solutions created throughout the week are tested by watching customers interact with the prototype. During the interview process, the team will observe and capture critical reactions to the prototype that will provide valuable insight and guidance into product direction.

Learning Objectives

  • Real feedback and findings from 5 customers!
  • Team notes are captured and consolidated and themes emerge
  • Clear product direction and/or decisions or made
  • Validated learning in 5 days

 

Agile Leadership Triangle Collaboration

The Leadership Triangle Collaboration 1-day class is a full-immersion course intended for Product Owners, Scrum Masters, Technical/Solution leads and Managers to learn the ins and outs of each key leadership role in a stable team triangle and understand how they can best operate as a leadership team. Participants will do a deep dive into each leadership role, learn collaboration techniques, learn how to handle challenging situations Agile teams commonly experience, gain insights into which role has responsibility for what and how to make decisions as a team.

Pre-Requisites:

A basic understanding of the Agile lifecycle is recommended.

Duration:

1 Day

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the importance of Agile principles and the benefits driving Agile adoption
  • Gain alignment on the Agile lifecycle
  • Deep dive into the Product Owner role
  • Deep dive into the Scrum Master role
  • Deep dive into the Technical/Solution Lead role
  • Expectations of how the Triangle Team works together
  • Come to agreement as to who is responsible for the different parts of the Agile process
  • Learn Best Practices for Collaboration
  • Understand how to handle common team dysfunctions
  • Learn participatory and collaborative decision making techniques
  • Working effectively with Managers and Leaders
  • How to Measure Team Success
  • Being a “Leader” & setting goals together

Why this course?

  • This course is designed with several interactive workshops!
  • You’ll go through real-world team scenarios and how to problem solve common dysfunctions.
  • You’ll experience how to best work together through role-playing and simulations.
  • Learn from a real world-practicing Agile Coach who will share stories and lessons learned!
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources, and cheat sheets that will support you as you work as a team.

Designing Enterprise Agile Stable Teams

Many companies have piloted and adopted Agile methods at the team level but are looking now to mature and take their Agile adoption to the next level. Through this workshop you’ll explore the concept of Stable Teams and why they are more effective than temporary project teams.  This advanced and unique workshop will take your team through a practical, real world and intensive hands-on journey of designing your Enterprise Stable Teams strategy by looking at your current as-is team design and developing a plan for the future. Be prepared to learn some new and innovative methods for looking at enterprise capacity planning by planning around teams, measuring velocity and establishing a pull method from your portfolio backlog. Come with an open mind!

* Client preparation for this workshop is required before delivery.

What You’ll Learn

    • Top Challenges with Enterprise Portfolio Management
    • The Multitasking Problem
    • Why We Need a Different Approach
    • Limiting Work In Progress (WIP)
    • Enterprise Stable Teams Big Picture
    • The Pull vs. Push Concept
    • Understanding Capacity
    • Why Stable Whole Teams?
    • Building Communities of Practice
    • Designing Stable ‘Whole’ Teams
    • Which Team Should Pull What?
    • As-Is Team Current State
    • Roles and Allocation
    • To-Be Team Design
    • Design Considerations
    • Team Transition Plan
    • Next Steps – Piloting Stable Teams

Why This Course?

    • Real World and highly engaging workshop that uses YOUR own Portfolio of Initiatives! 70% Hands on!
    • Taught by highly dynamic expert with real world experience and ability to influence change!
    • Consider this a working session, you will actually use what you create during our intensive workshops!
    • Valuable courseware and handouts to refer to.
    • Get our one of a kind Agile Portfolio Jump Start Toolkit which includes: Business Value Buckets cheat sheet, Portfolio Planning Cheat Sheet, Agile/Lean Portfolio Big Picture, The Levels of Requirements

Advanced Agile for Teams

Is your team ready for the next level of Agile maturity? Is your team struggling with many aspects of the Agile process? Would your team benefit from techniques that will help them refine their process to become more optimal?

This course is a deep dive into the finer and sometimes more difficult aspects of an Agile process that will allow teams to tailor their Agile process to the needs of their specific team and customers. Many Agile teams struggle with how testing fits into sprints, how to handle support needs, how defects should be treated within sprints, what to do with operational items like technical debt, maintenance and management requests, etc. We will discuss and outline these concepts in detail and focus in on what your teams need to get out of their current rut or get to that next level of productivity.

This is not your basic Agile 101 course so come prepared to do some out-of-the-box thinking so you can take away many concepts that will immediately provide value to your teams.

Topics:

  • Classes of Service, including how to handle Planned vs Unplanned work
  • ScrumBan – combining the best of both Scrum and Kanban for maximum productivity and transparency
  • How should we deal with Tier 1, 2 and 3 level support
  • How to effectively fit testing into sprints
  • How to improve Backlog Refinement
  • Understanding Cycle and Lead times
  • How to execute and communicate a Value Stream Map
  • Scaling strategies
  • Scrum of Scrums vs Product Scrums
  • Backlog Prioritization techniques
  • Improving Retrospectives
  • How to get the most out of Standup Meetings
  • Real World Release Planning
  • Agile Metrics

Lean Portfolio Management – ECC Room Journey

This is an advanced journey that will take you through several workshops to help transform how your organization currently executes your portfolio management processes. The journey is broken down into 5 comprehensive steps over the course of several weeks that will allow you to learn collaboratively while working through your actual backlog of Initiative and Portfolio Epics. Following each 1-day workshop you will have time to get feedback, collect data and prep for the next intensive workshop.

  • Step 1 and Step 2 are ‘hands-on learning’ workshops designed to teach you modern ways of planning demand and managing capacity.
  • Steps 3 and 4 are focused on setting up and validating your ECC room experiment where future quarterly portfolio planning would occur.
  • Step 5 is an actual Big Room Portfolio Quarterly Planning workshop that leverages your learning and the ECC room to plan your next quarter priorities.

Be prepared to learn new and innovative methods for planning, prioritizing, sizing and managing your portfolio of initiatives. We will also learn the agile approach of looking at enterprise capacity by planning around teams, measuring throughput and establishing a pull method from your portfolio backlog. Come with an open mind!

Pre-Requisites:

Your company has already adopted Agile methods over a couple of years and looking to Scale and bring maturity to the enterprise portfolio planning and execution processes.

Duration:

5 steps, several workshops, over the course of 1-2 months


Journey Outline


Step 1 – Demand Management – 1 Day

This one day workshop is for Leaders to understand and get visibility into their actual Demand of work across the Enterprise or Portfolio. Participants bring in 10-20 actual Portfolio Epics or Initiatives that they work through during the day. Starting with understanding the vision and context behind each Epic, participants then breakdown Epics into specific objectives and measurable outcomes, determine appropriate value filters to assign business value, collaborate to relatively size the items and utilize “Biggest Bang for the Buck” techniques to prioritize and rank the Enterprise or Portfolio backlog.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to write good quality Epics with specific outcomes and success criteria
  • Gain clarity into the objectives and measures of success
  • Learn how to breakdown Epics into smaller deliverables using problem/hypotheses statements
  • Understand qualification filters and Business Value scoring
  • Learn how to strategically align Epics back to the overall enterprise strategy
  • Understand how to apply Agile relative sizing techniques
  • Leverage Value, Size, Risk and Dependencies to determine how to rank Epics for optimal value delivery
  • Build a roadmap spanning the next several quarters for your Enterprise backlog
  • Understand how to prep for the Capacity Management workshop

Leave the session with a list of strategic deliverables that are broken down to quarterly chunks and sized, worded using the hypothesis and outcome statements, have measures for success and business value points assigned and ranked against each other.

  • Optional: Build a roadmap for when you would like to see each deliverable/outcome completed
  • Session Input: Bring in up to 20 strategic deliverables you want to leverage through this workshop

Step 2 – Capacity Management / Team Design – 2 Days spread out over a couple of weeks

Most enterprises push a lot more work to their teams than their actual capacity to complete work causing many problems among the teams as well as to the customer. This workshop is for Leaders to understand the actual capacity of their organization. Participants will gain visibility into each of their teams, their skills and abilities to complete work. They will learn how to build and stabilize cross-functional delivery teams that can remain focused in order to get work to “done”. Leaders will learn about the role of a Manager, how to handle different classes of work, how to track throughput and other important topics to help optimize their delivery teams. We’ll work through risks, challenges and potential gaps in order pave the way for teams to be successful.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how Stable Teams operate and how to support them
  • Understand Team Structure and Allocation best practices
  • Learn how to properly “stand up” new teams
  • Learn how to utilize team Skill Walls to properly form the right teams
  • Understand the Role of an Manager and how their role changes in an Agile environment
  • Utilize the team data to form and stabilize cross-functional delivery teams
  • Understand Work-In-Progress (WIP), how to measure and how to use to increase flow
  • Determine organizational gaps and create mitigation strategies
  • Understand the top challenges, risks and impediments and how to overcome them
  • Begin preparations applying these techniques for planning the next quarter of work

Define your future desired role for an Agile managers after learning industry best practices.

  • Agree on a roadmap for standing up and stabilizing Agile teams.
    Visibly layout on the wall the current as-as teams you have working on your strategic priorities, identify their current allocation, skills, other work they do and team gaps.
  • Develop a to-be team design strategy that enables more focused functional teams that are aligned to key value streams or business priorities.
  • Identify and prioritize the challenges moving to the new model such as: limited SMEs, multi-tasking across teams, support vs strategic work, skill gaps ..etc
  • Optional: Build a strategy for addressing the risks and gaps above
  • Session Input: Bring to the session the as-is design of current teams that are directly or indirectly working on the strategic priorities identified for this working session. Include information such as: names, roles, allocation of team members, team skills, type of work they do, current quarter deliverables, gaps)

Step 3 – Full Enterprise Clarity Center (ECC) Setup – 1 Day

This day is spent designing and building the ECC room and boards to provide maximum visibility and transparency into the flow of work at all levels of the Enterprise. Participants will be guided on how to optimize the way they visualize their teams, backlogs, programs and portfolios to facilitate prioritization, dependency management, issue resolution and tough decision making.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the objectives and purpose of ECC rooms
  • Learn how to lay out the room and design each element of the room
  • Create visual card templates that contain the right information to facilitate discussion
  • Understand how to show Program, Portfolio and Enterprise WIP
  • Design a program board to show dependencies across teams and initiatives
  • Agree how the boards will be managed and how tools will be integrated

Build initial version of the ECC room walls with your Demand (strategic objectives and deliverables), Capacity (delivery teams), KPI wall (key metrics you want visibility into)

  • Session Input: Prep needed for pulling and printing the information needed to be displayed on the walls.

Step 4 – ECC Room Validation – Half Day

This day is utilized to bring your Stakeholders, Executives and other key contributors to validate the ECC room, make any potential refinements, understand how to utilize each board and practice planning together. This is where the work now comes together to facilitate better discussions on how the work is flowing and is tracked and measured.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain stakeholder approval for how best to utilize the ECC room
  • Understand how the different elements in the room work together and provide visibility
  • Practice using the room to facilitate prioritization and planning

The leadership team will understand the ECC room, provide feedback and input into additional data needed for effective quarterly portfolio planning.

  • Session Input: Prepare room for leadership review/input.

Step 5 – Big Room Planning – 1.5 Days

This is the pivotal point of our Portfolio Management Journey! We now initiate coordinated and synchronized planning by applying the Portfolio Management techniques the group has learned and utilizing the ECC room to plan out the next quarter of work and build out a high-level roadmap for the next year.

Learning Objectives

  • Collaboratively work together to visualize the flow of work and how work can be pulled by teams
  • Utilize the ECC Room to plan out the next quarter of work
  • Plan out a high-level roadmap for the next several quarters

Execution of quarterly planning resulting in clarity on leadership vision, desired deliverable and outcomes

  • Which team will work on what?
  • Final consensus on the plan and clarity on risks for the quarter.
  • Session Input: Prepare leadership and teams for planning session.