Category Archives: Agile Workshops

Agile Project Management

This course aims to help new and seasoned project managers who are transitioning to a ScrumMaster, Agile Coach, or Agile Program Manager / Release Manager role learn how to successfully apply Agile methods to their projects and programs. Participants will learn the full Agile Development Lifecycle, how to lead teams through Agile planning sessions, and understand techniques and practices to successfully execute on project and program deliverables. We will discuss the role of the Agile Project Manager and Program Manager through the various stages as well as the key Servant Leadership, Facilitation, and Soft Skills necessary to make this role a success. Participants will work through a sample real-world project and experience how to build the program master backlog, gather requirements at the right level at the right time, decide on team structures and roles, estimate the project, and build a program roadmap and release plan. Our experienced hands-on coaches will share many real-world techniques used to mitigate risks during planning. We will review a sample Agile Roadmap and Release Plan, Value and Cost burn-up charts, taskboards, key Agile metrics, and a sample Agile project workbook. Attendees will gain insight on how to bridge the gap between traditional and Agile Project Management. This is a must-have course for any project manager transitioning to Agile!

What You’ll Learn

  • What is Agile and Why?
  • The Agile values and principles
  • Comparing Agile roles to traditional roles
  • Project Manager vs. ScrumMaster
  • What are Self-Organizing Teams?
  • Agile Program Big Picture
  • Agile Project Initiation Activities
  • Building the Master Backlog
  • Building the Team Structures and Roles
  • Creating a Collaborative Environment
  • The Agile Lifecycle – Big Picture
  • Planning Your Release
  • Building the Team’s Backlogs
  • Identifying and Writing Good Stories
  • Methods for Prioritizing and Sizing Stories
  • Sprint 0 – The Foundation Iteration
  • Iteration Planning
  • Backlog Grooming and Pre-Planning
  • Daily Standup
  • Mid-Iteration Activities
  • Listening for Impediments
  • Tracking and Reporting
  • Iteration Review and Retrospective Tips

 

Why This Course?

  • This course is designed with 60% interactive group workshops!
  • You will practice all the core Scrum practices end-to-end.
  • You will learn real-world creative techniques for estimating, story identification, and prioritization that our real world practitioners use on their projects!
  • We use an end-to-end example project scenario for maximum learning retention!
  • For private courses, we can use YOUR company project as our sample.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources, and cheat sheets that will support you on your projects.

14 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Learning Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Agile vs. Traditional Roles
  • Workshop 3 – Project Manager vs. ScrumMaster
  • Workshop 4 – Agile Project Initiation
  • Workshop 5 – Building the Program Master Backlog
  • Workshop 6 – Prioritizing and Building the Roadmap
  • Workshop 7 – Breaking Down EPICs
  • Workshop 8 – Sizing Complexity Using Points
  • Workshop 9 – Estimating Team Velocity
  • Workshop 10 – Building a Release Plan
  • Workshop 11 – The ScrumMaster Role within the Iteration
  • Workshop 12 – The Daily Scrum Dysfunctions
  • Workshop 13 – Your Course Action Items
  • Workshop 14 – Final Retrospective

Real World Agile and Scrum for Teams

This is not your typical Agile and Scrum 101 course. This course is designed to spend 25% of the time on “What” and “Why” behind Agile and Scrum and 75% on “How” you can actually start using it with your team tomorrow. This is TEAM training so ALL roles (including the Business Product Owners) should attend. If you’re interested in learning real world techniques used by dozens of teams then this course is for you! We walk you through an end-to-end lifecycle Agile project journey from Release Planning all the way to Production Release using a sample project or YOUR own.

 

There is a cost to learning Agile and Scrum by trial and error or simply reading a book, and many other courses focus almost entirely on What and Why with little coverage of actual HOW-TO techniques. Our instructor shares how small, medium and Fortune 500 companies have applied Agile in real world projects along with many Tips, Tricks and Best Practices! This course is a pre-requisite for our other Agile courses. Click Here for a background on Agile.

 

DETAILED OUTLINE & COURSE EVALUATIONS

What You’ll Learn

  • Why Agile? A background into its evolution.
  • The Agile values and principles
  • What is Scrum? What are the Roles? What is the Process?
  • Compare and Contrast Agile and Scrum roles to traditional roles and responsibilities.
  • The Agile Lifecycle – Big Picture
  • Planning your Release and building the backlog
  • Identifying and writing good stories
  • Methods for prioritizing and sizing stories
  • Sprint 0 – The critical one!
  • Sprint Planning and task estimating
  • Daily Scrum Meeting
  • Sprint Review and retrospective
  • The pre-release sprint
  • Why Agile and Scrum are Adopted
  • How Agile can fail!

 

Why This Course?

  • This course is designed with 60% interactive group workshops!
  • You will practice all the core Scrum practices end-to-end.
  • You will learn real world creative techniques for estimating, story identification and prioritization that our real world practitioners use on their projects!
  • We use your company project scenario for maximum learning retention!
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources and cheat sheets that will support you on your projects.

13 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Learning Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Agile vs. Traditional Roles
  • Workshop 3 – Agile and YOUR Organization
  • Workshop 4 – Building the Story Backlog with User Stories
  • Workshop 5 – Prioritize the Stories
  • Workshop 6 – Sizing Complexity
  • Workshop 7 – Estimating Initial Velocity
  • Workshop 8 – Building a Release Plan
  • Workshop 9 – Sprint 0
  • Workshop 10 – The 59 Minute Scrum
  • Workshop 11 – The Daily Scrum Dysfunctions
  • Workshop 12 – Your Course Action Items
  • Workshop 13 – Final Retrospective

ScrumMaster Certification Training

What is a ScrumMaster?

An agile project manager emphasizes facilitation, leadership, and communication over traditional command-and-control activities. In the Scrum framework, this role is called “ScrumMaster” as a constant reminder of the differences between agile and traditional project management. The ScrumMaster’s role is to maximize the team’s efforts toward its goals while removing the impediments that stand in its way.


 

What You’ll Learn

You will learn more than the basic Scrum framework.

 

You will also leave understanding the underlying principles, basic practices and common techniques ScrumMasters (and others – see Who Should Attend tab to the right of this course description) need to know to help their teams achieve project success in a fast-changing world.

 

This workshop covers all of the basics of Scrum as well as a significant amount of material devoted specifically to the skills necessary to become an excellent ScrumMaster. Facilitation, coaching and conflict management skills will be explored.

 

Additional topics covered during the workshop include: leadership and being a change agent.

 

At the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Describe the Scrum framework to others
    • roles and responsibilities
    • use of each artifact
    • purpose of each meeting/ceremony
  • Explain the difference between the Scrum framework and other methods
    • compare with waterfall
    • compare ScrumMaster role with traditional roles
    • compare the Scrum product backlog with traditional requirements
  • Be a successful ScrumMaster for a Scrum team
    • facilitate each type of Scrum meeting
    • know how to detect and correct potential impediments to Scrum success
    • help a team adopt Scrum or improve their use of Scrum
    • have difficult conversations about process, structures and values
    • use several different conflict resolution techniques
  • Help a Scrum team plan successfully
    • plan a release
    • plan a sprint
    • use different estimating techniques
    • create/maintain a prioritized product backlog
  • Create a personal plan for the future
    • list 3 immediate action items for personal change
    • pass the Scrum Alliance CSM test
    • become a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) one year after becoming a CSM

Why This Course?

That’s easy!

 

This is a unique simulation and exercise-based workshop rather than the dreaded “Death by PowerPoint.”

 

Most attendees notice these differences from other courses they have taken:

  • No Boredom: Fewer than 50 PowerPoint slides are used during the two days (and most of those are a picture and a few words!).
  • Learn By Doing: There are approximately 20 different exercises and simulations used during the workshop.
  • High Knowledge Retention: Using accelerated learning techniques, the workshop material is presented in ways designed to maximize learning AND retention.
  • WHYs before HOWs: This workshop explores the principles and values which drive success before getting into successful practices – which allows attendees to understand the practices at a much deeper level.
  • Fun: Every part of the course is designed to keep attendees engaged and having fun while learning the material.

Plus you get all this

  • High quality training based on accelerated learning techniques for better retention
  • Continental breakfasts, lunches, snacks and drinks
  • A USB drive containing a PDF of the course materials and other useful Scrum-related content
  • A one-year membership in the Scrum Alliance, a $50 value
  • A printed and bound copy of the course materials
  • Eligibility for the “Agile For All” client contests for one full year (we give away awesome prizes several times per year)
  • Eligibility for a $200 discount on future Agile For All workshops (including $200 off of early bird prices!)

Add all this up and this workshop is one you should NOT miss!

 

Upon completing the course attendees will receive an email instructing them to set up a profile on the Scrum Alliance website and optionally take a short CSM exam. Upon completion of those items, a participant will be recognized as a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) by the Scrum Alliance.

 

Certified Product Owner

Every two to four weeks a Scrum team selects features to develop from the top of a list of features called the product backlog. The backlog is prioritized by a person called the product owner in Scrum. The product owner determines the order of features developed on the basis of their value to the customer, cost and risk and uses powerful agile planning tools to guide a product towards a targeted release date, scope or budget.

Point your Scrum teams in the right direction as an effective Product Owner.

You’ve invested time and money training your IT/Development staff to use Scrum to make products right way. Now learn how to make sure they are making the right product the right way. Learn the tools and skills to become an effective product owner from a trainer with 25 years of product development experience and over seven years of Scrum experience.

Details

Building a product with a new process can be a daunting prospect. Being asked to serve as the team’ s Product Owner can be downright intimidating.

This 2-day course teaches you the requires knowledge to become an effective product owner and guide the emergence of the product your customers need in the most direct way possible. It employs hands-on exercises as well as interactive instruction to give you the best possible foundation for succeeding in the Product Owner role.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to launch a Scrum project
  • The role and responsibilities of the Product Owner
  • How to establish and support a vision for your product with the entire team
  • Create and maintain a good product backlog
  • How to plan, estimate and track releases
  • How to help teams plan, execute and review sprints
  • Better business value engineering
  • How to use the empirical tools of Scrum to manage scope, budget or schedule constraints
  • How to work with agile teams and stakeholders
  • How to use other tools such as:
  • Muscow analysis and Kano planning
    • Planning poker
    • Collaborative Innovation Games ®

 

About the Instructor

Lonnie Weaver-Johnson obtained a degree in Communications and then went on to a 20 year career implementing IT projects or leading people through change. She enjoys transforming people and organizations through coaching, conflict resolution, performance management, or simply imparting knowledge. Helping Scrum teams learn and grow together until they reach a high performing stage is Lonnie’s passion. Her candid and patient coaching style helps people understand how to make the necessary behavioral changes to make Scrum work for their teams.

 

Advanced Agile for Mature Teams

This workshop is designed for Agile teams who have been practicing Agile for at least a year and want a deep dive session that covers the unique challenges they are facing at this stage of their maturity. The topics covered and activities are customized to each team with a goal of filling the immediate gaps.

This workshop includes a TeamHealth Retrospective Assessment so that the team and coach have clear visibility into the top strengths, gaps and growth areas for this team.

What You’ll Learn

  • Improving clarity on roles and expectations of the team and their leadership
  • Learning better methods for estimating and planning
  • Learning how to improve pre-planning activities
  • Digging deeper into team dynamic and ‘layer below the surface’ issues
  • Identifying solutions to common team allocation and multitasking problems
  • Identifying key skill gaps within the team and developing a Skills Roadmap
  • Gaining alignment and common understanding on the Agile Lifecycle end to end
  • Identifying key Agile Engineering gaps
  • Learning about Stable Teams and how work should flow through to the teams

Why This Course?

  • This workshop is completely customized to fit your team’s needs.
  • This course is 70% highly interactive workshops!
  • You will use YOUR own team’s challenges throughout the course.
  • At the end of this course the team develops an actionable growth plan to move to the next level of maturity.
  • You will receive valuable cheat sheets and handouts for reinforcements post training.
  • Taught by our dynamic, high energy expert facilitators!

Scaling Agile to Large Multi-Teams

Many Agile teams learn how to plan at the Release, Iteration and Daily levels well but get stuck when it comes to planning a Release across multiple teams. Agile Program Planning and Management refers to the practices and activities that need to occur for a Program with deliverables that span several teams (possibly distributed) to plan and manage their backlog. This course will dive deeper into this topic with specific focus on forming the Program Leadership team, forming the program backlog and release roadmap, identifying and planning for dependencies and maintaining healthy cross-team communication and impediment visibility. We will address specific challenges related to planning with distributed teams and planning among Agile vs. Traditional teams.

What You’ll Learn

  • The 6 Levels of Agile Planning
  • Overview of the Agile Lifecycle
  • Release Planning at the Team level
  • Sample Team Reporting Output
  • What is a Program?
  • Why Do We Need a Program Leadership Team?
  • Common Challenges with Multi-Team Planning
  • Forming the Program Leadership Team (SOS)
  • Building the Program Backlog
  • Breaking Items Down to the ‘Right’ Level (Initiative, Deliverables, Themes, Features, Stories)
  • Deciding on Which Team Gets What
  • Identifying and Mapping Dependencies
  • The Agile Program Manager Role
  • Agile Program Manager Skills Needed
  • Ranking Backlog Using Value, Size, Risk & Dependencies
  • Planning for Integration and Testing
  • Planning for Agile and Traditional teamS
  • Planning for Distributed Teams
  • Building the Program Plan and Estimates
  • The Program Standup Meeting
  • Updating and Grooming the Program Backlog and Roadmap
  • Agile Program Metrics Tracking & Reporting
  • Stakeholder and Sponsor Management
  • Program Demos and Retrospectives
  • Short Overview of Agile Portfolio Mgmt.

Why This Course?

  • Real World and highly engaging workshop that uses YOUR own backlog and program as an example throughout the workshops. 60% Hands on!
  • Valuable courseware and handouts to refer to after training.
  • Taught by seasoned Agile Coaches who are practitioners working on real world projects.

Lean Product Development

Organizations are increasingly moving towards finding ways to cut waste and optimize their processes. More and more companies are adopting a Lean Product methods as part of their Agile Transformation and as the next level of maturity.  Agile Lean Product development process are built on the concept of developing strategic product objectives and prioritizing feature based on Minimal Viable Product (MVP) increments to achieve those objective.  We’ll cover a mix of Product Canvas, Scrum and utilizing Kanban walls to visualize and prioritize your product roadmap.  Your team will also go through the Lean Product Health assessment and visualize their radar and develop a clear action plan to be implemented after the course. 

bml-loop-1-1Product-Canvas

 

What You’ll Learn

  • Agile Overview
  • What is a lean mentalitity
  • What is Product Canvas
  • Lean in a Nutshell
  • Eliminating Sources of Waste in Development
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Lean Start-up, Scrum, Kanban in a nutshell
  • Real World Examples of Product Management
  • Estimating & Prioritizing the Product Backlog across Product Initiatives
  • Scaling Agile Planning at the Product Line, Program and Portfolio
  • Make Measurement Visible
  • Defining Your Team’s Policies and ‘Pull’ Criteria
  • Lay out a visual Kanban board
  • When to use Kanban vs Scrum boards
  • Lean Product Health assessment and growth plan

Why This Course?

  • This course is 60% highly interactive workshops!
  • You will learn using our very effectiveExplain-Live-Demo-Practice method of teaching!
  • You will receive our most valuable “Value Stream Mapping Cheat Sheet”and “Kanban Cheat Sheet” handouts!
  • Taught by our dynamic, seasoned Enterprise Coach.

11 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Personal Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Major Sources of Waste
  • Workshop 3 – Multi-tasking
  • Workshop 4 – Setting Up the Product Canvas
  • Workshop 5 – Methods of Prioritization
  • Workshop 6 – Estimation & Planning
  • Workshop 7 – Scaling Agile Planning
  • Workshop 8 – Visual Simulations
  • Workshop 9 –Define and track execution across teams
  • Workshop 10 – Demo
  • Workshop 11 – Lean Product Health Assessment and Growth Plan

Agile TeamHealth Retrospective Assessment

This workshop is a powerful deep-dive strategic assessment that focuses on the top areas that affect Agile team performance and health. Our expert facilitates to your team our unique 360 TeamHealth Radar, which is a survey-style assessment covering the 5 key dimensions of a healthy Agile team (Clarity, Performance, Leadership, Culture, Foundation). The facilitator then engages the team in a healthy and open retrospective around analyzing their radar results and reviewing their StrengthsImprovements and Top Impediments to growth. The final output of the workshop is a team Growth Plan that includes key outcomes the team wants to achieve within the next few months. 

Below is the AgilityHealth TeamHealth Radar – Summary and Detailed Views:

Key outcomes from this workshop are:

  • Team’s understanding of the key areas that affect team health and performance.
  • Completion of the 360 TeamHealth Radar assessment.
  • Analysis of the results and variances between the responses.
  • Review the team’s strengths and celebrate success.
  • Review the team’s opportunities.
  • Targeted Just In Time coaching on top gaps for the team.
  • Team Growth Plan with actionable deliverables for the next quarter.
  • Optional: Follow up custom training/coaching on team’s target growth areas.

The real value from this workshop is the open and honest conversations we facilitate to help the team get past any current roadblocks and the development of a clear plan of action for getting their performance and health to the next level.

Repeat this strategic retrospective each quarter and see your team’s performance and health surge to the next level!

Request a Quote below for AgilityHealth Assessments or learn more about our Radars, which are produced by our AgilityHealth growth and measurement tool.

Leading Agile Teams

This is a deep dive course that takes you into some more advanced topics of how to take your skills to the next level. Participants start by brainstorming many of the real world daily challenges they face as Leaders then we discuss practical ways to address them. The course aims to help the Leadership Triangle (ScrumMasters, Product Owners, Technical/Solution Leads) AND Managers  gain a deep understanding of their role and how to lead high performing self-organizing teams. We will cover the key Servant Leadership, Facilitation, and Soft Skills necessary to make this role a success.   This is a must have course for team leaders interested in taking their Agile teams to the next level!

 

DETAILED OUTLINE

What You’ll Learn

  • The Agile Values and Principles Refresher
  • The Agile Lifecycle End to End
  • Comparing Agile Roles to Traditional Roles
  • Deep Dive into each Leadership Triangle Role
  • The Role of Agile Managers
  • What are Self-Organizing Teams
  • Top Challenges Leading Self-Organizing Teams
  • Servant Leadership – Letting Go of Command and Control
  • Assessing the Team Structure and Roles
  • Creating a Collaborative Environment
  • Assessing and Coaching on Team Dynamics
  • Protecting the Team from Outside Disturbances
  • Coaching on Basic Agile Practices and Principles
  • Assessing the Backlog and Coaching on Effective Requirements
  • Assessing and Coaching on Agile Engineering Practices
  • Listening for Impediments
  • Effective Tracking and Reporting
  • Running Effective Retrospectives
  • Practical ‘We Should Try’ ‘We Should Stop’ Action Items

Why This Course?

  • Unique course designed to address real world challenges with leading Agile teams. Provides practical solutions as action items.
  • This course is designed with 60% interactive group workshops!
  • Engage in several workshops that simulate real world team issues!
  • Practice leading a dysfunctional team and receive feedback!
  • For private courses, we can discuss YOUR company projects and develop practical action items for improvements.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources and cheat sheets including our Agile Coaching cheatsheet that will support you on your projects.

Agile Estimating & Planning

This course takes a deeper dive into the topic of Agile Estimating and Planning at the Release level and at a Program (multi-team) level. Many teams struggle with the topic of ‘Just Enough’ upfront requirements, ‘Just Enough’ upfront sizing and design and ‘Just Enough’ planning so this course is dedicated to demystifying these concepts and walking through practical real world approaches to successful Agile planning and estimating.

This course introduces participants to the 6 levels of planning (Strategic, Portfolio, Roadmap, Release, Iteration, Daily). The first two levels of planning are covered in the Agile Portfolio Management course.

This course assumes you have basic Agile knowledge and experience and have attended foundation courses such as Real World Agile for Teams or similar courses.

What You’ll Learn

  • Challenges with Traditional Planning and Estimation
  • What is Agile and Why?
  • Agile Estimating and Planning Principles
  • The 6 Levels of Planning
  • The Agile Lifecycle Diagram – What Happens When?
  • Writing Stories and Breaking Down EPICS
  • Agile Sizing Methods and When to Use What
  • Affinity Sizing
  • Planning Poker
  • Complexity Buckets
  • Ideal Days
  • Understanding Velocity and Capacity
  • Estimating Initial Velocity
  • Planning a Release
  • Planning for Fixed Date and Fixed Scope
  • Multi-team Program Release Planning
  • Tips for Structuring the Teams
  • Distributed Teams Release Planning
  • EPIC Sizing Buckets
  • Re-Estimation and Calibration
  • Agile Budgeting Tips
  • Agile Metrics – What Do We Measure?

Why This Course?

  • This course is designed with 60% interactive group workshops!
  • You will practice all the core planning activities end to end.
  • Lear real world techniques you can apply immediately, less theory and more practice!
  • For private courses, we use YOUR own company initiatives as our sample through all the exercises.
  • Get our unique Agile Planning Jump Start toolkit that includes: Levels of Agile Planning, Agile Planning Cheat Sheet, Business Value Points Cheat Sheet, Sizing Epics Cheat Sheet, our famous Agile Team Workbook.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources and cheat sheets that will support you on your projects.

16 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Learning Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Traditional Planning Challenges
  • Workshop 3 – How Long Will it Take?
  • Workshop 4 – Writing Good Stories
  • Workshop 5 – Affinity Estimation
  • Workshop 6 – Let’s Size Our Stories
  • Workshop 7 – Range Calculation
  • Workshop 8 – Velocity Estimation
  • Workshop 9 – Factors Influencing YOUR Team’s Velocity
  • Workshop 10 – Try Release Planning
  • Workshop 11 – Multi-Team Challenges
  • Workshop 12 – Biggest Bang for the Buck Ranking
  • Workshop 13 – Multi-Team Release Planning
  • Workshop 14 – Cost – Budget Estimation
  • Workshop 15 – Retrospective
  • Workshop 16– Your Course Action Items

Agile Testing

Iterative development also means iterative testing. This can be a challenge for teams who are used to the traditional view of testing as the final phase of a project. This Agile Testing Training course will help your team learn how to strategize, plan, design and execute tests in an Agile environment. We will particularly address the challenges and strategies for testing in short development iterations and walk through the four quadrants of Agile Testing. We will cover topics such as writing acceptance criteria as upfront requirements, Test Driven Development, test automation, exploratory testing, usability testing, non functional and performance testing, continuous builds and inspections and much more. We will discuss the importance of transitioning from ‘waterfall thinking’ to ‘agile/iterative thinking’. We will discuss and share Real World practical tips of the Agile Tester role, expectations and how they can work within cross-functional teams. This is a must-have workshop that will help your team define new testing and quality norms to improve their current processes!

 

What You’ll Learn

  • Understanding the top challenges with testing during projects
  • Comparing traditional testing to Agile Testing
  • The Agile Tester role
  • How to Plan for Agile Testing
  • Understanding the 4 Agile Testing Quadrants
  • Planning for Automation
  • Test Driven Development
  • Red, Green, Refactor
  • Functional vs. Non-Functional Testing
  • Writing Acceptance Criteria
  • Automated Acceptance Testing
  • FIT & Fitness
  • Exploratory Testing
  • Tools for Exploratory Testing
  • ‘ility’ Testing
  • Continuous Integration Practices and Tools
  • Code Coverage
  • Continuous Builds
  • What Should We Automate
  • Test Metrics
  • Technical Debt
  • Automate Early and Often

Why This Course?

  • This course is 50% highly interactive workshops!
  • You will learn real world Agile Testing techniques you can apply immediately!
  • We can use YOUR own project for private courses.
  • You will receive our most valuable “Agile Testing Cheat Sheet” handout!
  • Taught by our dynamic, seasoned Enterprise Agile Coaches!

11 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Personal Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Top Challenges with Testing
  • Workshop 3 – Traditional vs. Agile Testing
  • Workshop 4 – Developing an Agile Test Plan
  • Workshop 6 – Test Driven Development Simulation
  • Workshop 7 – Writing Acceptance Tests
  • Workshop 8 – What Should We Automate – Why?
  • Workshop 9 – Building our 4 Agile Testing Quadrants
  • Workshop 10 – Your Agile Testing Team Norms
  • Workshop 11 – Retrospective

Agile Engineering Best Practices

Many teams that adopt Agile will tend initially to focus on adopting the Scrum practices of Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Retrospective. The only problem is these practices will not help on the engineering side of the house. The goal of this course is to take a team (Developers, DBAs, Analysts, Testers, Developers, Architects) through a journey of Agile Engineering Practices founded from methods such as XP, FDD  and pure common sense architectural patterns we’ve always known. We will discuss in detail some of the XP practices below, in addition to topics such as User Centric Design, Agile Architecture, Agile Database Design, Daily Builds and Code Check-ins, using Mock Data, and some on Automated Testing. Teams will walk away with new Team Engineering Norms they will apply to their projects.

  • xppractices
    • Test Driven Development
    • Metaphor
    • 40 Hour Week
    • Planning Gam
    • Refactoring
    • Simple Design
    • Pair Programming
    • Agile Testing
    • Short Releases
    • Coding Standards
    • Collective Ownership Continuous Integration

What You’ll Learn

  • Understanding of the foundation XP principles
  • The cost of technical debt
  • Review the Agile Lifecycle diagram
  • Agile engineering roles vs. traditional roles
  • Identifying non-functional foundational requirements
  • Identifying proof of concepts and spikes
  • Planning early for dependencies
  • Planning early for testing (data and environments)
  • Test Driven Development
  • User Centric Design
  • High level architectural designs
  • High level data designs – just enough
  • UML Diagrams – Just Enough
  • Designing Service Contract Interface
  • Testing with mock data
  • Unit Testing and Build Automation
  • Defining build stability rules and measurements
  • Refactoring
  • Automated Testing Tools
  • Define your Engineering Team Norms

Why This Course?

  • Our course is 60% highly interactive hands on workshops!
  • You will receive our valuable “Agile Engineering Cheat Sheet” handout!
  • Facilitated by our dynamic, seasoned enterprise coach!
  • Great for team building!
  • Check out our course evaluations & testimonies!

11 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Personal Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Traditional vs. Agile Engineering
  • Workshop 3 – Brainstorming Non-Functional Stories
  • Workshop 4 – Identifying Proof of Concepts, Spikes and Dependencies
  • Workshop 5 –  Practicing User Centric Design
  • Workshop 6 – From Stories to High Level Architecture Models
  • Workshop 7 – Agile Database Modeling
  • Workshop 8 – Developing a Testing Strategy
  • Workshop 9 – Developing a Test Automation Plan
  • Workshop 10 – Planning for SCM and Build
  • Workshop 11 – Defining Our Engineering Team Norms

Advanced ScrumMaster

This is a deep dive course that takes you into some more advanced topics of how to take your ScrumMaster skills to the next level. Participants start by brainstorming many of the real world daily challenges they face as ScrumMasters then we discuss practical ways to address them. This is NOT the entry level ScrumMaster Certification course. The course aims to help new and seasoned ScrumMasters who are transitioning to a ScrumMaster, Agile Coach or Agile Program Manager/Release Manager role learn how to successfully apply Agile methods and lead high performing self-organizing teams. We will cover the key Servant Leadership, Facilitation, and Soft Skills necessary to make this role a success.   This is a must have course for team leaders interested in taking their skills to the next level!

What You’ll Learn

  • The Agile Values and Principles Refresher
  • The Agile Lifecycle End to End
  • Comparing Agile Roles to Traditional Roles
  • What an Effective ScrumMaster Looks Like
  • What are Self-Organizing Teams
  • Top Challenges Leading Self-Organizing Teams
  • Servant Leadership – Letting Go of Command and Control
  • Assessing the Team Structure and Roles
  • Creating a Collaborative Environment
  • Assessing and Coaching on Team Dynamics
  • Protecting the Team from Outside Disturbances
  • Coaching on Basic Agile Practices and Principles
  • Assessing the Backlog and Coaching on Effective Requirements
  • Assessing and Coaching on Agile Engineering Practices
  • Listening for Impediments
  • Effective Tracking and Reporting
  • Running Effective Retrospectives
  • Practical ‘We Should Try’ ‘We Should Stop’ Action Items

Who should attend? New and experienced ScrumMasters, Project managers, Program Managers, Managers and even team members interested in going deeper into the role of a ScrumMaster.

Why This Course?

  • Unique course designed to address real world challenges with leading Agile teams. Provides practical solutions as action items.
  • This course is designed with 60% interactive group workshops!
  • Engage in several workshops that simulate real world team issues!
  • Practice leading a dysfunctional team and receive feedback!
  • For private courses, we can discuss YOUR company projects and develop practical action items for improvements.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources and cheat sheets including our Agile Coaching cheatsheet that will support you on your projects.

14 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Learning Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Top ScrumMaster Challenges
  • Workshop 3 – Debate the Agile Principles
  • Workshop 4 – Agile vs. Traditional Roles
  • Workshop 5 – ‘Untangle This’ Self Organizing Game
  • Workshop 6 – Architect Your Team Game
  • Workshop 7 – Assessing the ‘Health’ of Agile Practices Game
  • Workshop 8 – What’s Wrong with the Backlog?
  • Workshop 9 – Dysfunctional Daily Standup
  • Workshop 10 – Mid Iteration Impediments – Are You Listening?
  • Workshop 11 – Assessing the ‘Health’ of Engineering Practices
  • Workshop 12 – What Are these Reports Telling You?
  • Workshop 13 – Fun and Effective Retrospective Games
  • Workshop 14 – Final Retrospective

Real World Agile and Kanban for Agile Teams

Organizations are increasingly moving towards finding ways to cut waste and optimize their processes. More and more companies are adopting Lean and Kanban methods as part of their Agile Transformation.Pure continuous flow Kanban systems work very well when your backlog includes minor enhancements and support related items. There is no need here for strict time-boxes, instead a regular continuous flow optimized process for delivering predictable value with no bottle necks. Scrum mixed with Kanban walls works great for Projects and Initiatives that have a specific Product Owner and require more strict planning and review/demo time-boxed iterations. This course will help you understand how Agile, Scrum and Kanban all fit together to deliver value for your organization!

Kanban Board Example

 

What You’ll Learn

  • Agile Overview
  • What is Scrum?
  • Lean in a Nutshell
  • Eliminating Sources of Waste in Development
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Kanban in a nutshell
  • Real World Examples of Kanban
  • Visualizing the Workflow
  • Limit work to capacity
  • Measuring Lead/Cycle Time
  • Understanding Classes of Service (type of work)
  • Make Measurement Visible
  • Defining Your Team’s Policies and ‘Pull’ Criteria
  • One Day In Kanban Land
  • Lay out a visual Kanban board
  • Moving Stories Through the Process Flow
  • Measuring Avg Cycle/Lead Time – Being Predictable!
  • Optimizing Flow, Relieving Bottlenecks, Optimize WIP Limits
  • Timed Cadences and Event Triggers
  • When to use Kanban?
  • Comparing Kanban and Scrum
  • Using Kanban with Scrum (Scrumban)

Why This Course?

  • This course is 60% highly interactive workshops!
  • You will learn using our very effectiveExplain-Live-Demo-Practice method of teaching!
  • You will receive our most valuable “Value Stream Mapping Cheat Sheet”and “Kanban Cheat Sheet” handouts!
  • Taught by our dynamic, seasoned Enterprise Coach.

11 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Personal Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Major Sources of Waste
  • Workshop 3 – Value Stream Mapping
  • Workshop 4 – Setting Up the Kanban Board
  • Workshop 6 – Team and Capacity Planning (WIP)
  • Workshop 7 – Classes of Service and Pull Criteria
  • Workshop 8 – Kanban Simulation
  • Workshop 9 – Setting Up Event Triggers
  • Workshop 10 – What I Can Apply
  • Workshop 11 – Retrospective

Agile for Product Owners

This course addresses the business questions related to Agile such as: What is the business value of using Agile for me and why should I collaborate with IT this way? Who is the Product Owner and what does my new role entail? What are the expectations of me? What are User Stories and how do I write them? How can I be an effective Product Owner? What is the role of my Users and business SMEs? What are Acceptance Tests and how do I identify them? When do I and my users do acceptance testing? What techniques and real world best practices can I use to motivate and encourage the team? I haven’t played a ‘Leader’ role before, how do I prepare?

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL COURSE OUTLINE

What You’ll Learn

  • A History on Waterfall Development
  • So Why Agile? The Value Proposition
  • Agile values and principles
  • What is Scrum? What are the Roles? What is the Process?
  • Deep Dive into the Product Owner Role
  • Expectations from You
  • Time Management for the busy Product Owner!
  • Your Expectations of the Team
  • Business Users and SMEs
  • Defining a Vision and Conditions of Satisfaction
  • Building The Story Backlog
  • Best Practices for Identifying and Writing Stories
  • Writing Acceptance Tests
  • How to do User Acceptance Testing
  • Being a ‘Leader’ and Setting Goals
  • Motivating High Performing Teams

Why This Course?

  • This course is designed with 60% workshops!
  • You will learn real world best practices and case studies for how others played this role successfully on their projects!
  • Prepares your business users and SMEs for their role and expectations.
  • Learn from a real world practicing Agile Coach who will share stories and lessons learned!
  • You will take away with our valuable ‘Product Owner Cheat Sheet’.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources and cheat sheets that will support you on your projects.

10 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Learning Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Waterfall Characteristics
  • Workshop 3 – Product Owner Expectations
  • Workshop 4 – Team Expectations
  • Workshop 5 – Traditional vs Agile Roles
  • Workshop 6 – Setting a Vision and Conditions of Satisfaction
  • Workshop 7 – Writing Stories and Acceptance Test cases
  • Workshop 8 – Characteristics of a ‘Leader’
  • Workshop 9 – Practice Giving Positive and Constructive Feedback
  • Workshop 10 – Retrospective

Agile Overview for Executives and Leaders

This is our executive/management overview course that introduces the main concepts behind Agile, Lean, and Scrum to a leadership team and provides a strategic view of how to successfully transform an organization to high performance.

We will discuss the common drivers for change including:

  • Managing large backlogs of work with constantly changing business priorities
  • Lack of engagement and collaboration between various departments including business customers
  • Ineffective planning and estimating for larger initiatives
  • Slow time to market, long wait cycles to get work completed
  • Errors, rework and miscommunication on expectations
  • And more…

This course will look at the organizational impact Agile may have on various aspects such as roles, moving to Servant Leadership, creating cross-functional teams and providing visibility tracking and measurement at the team, program and portfolio levels. We will also discuss YOUR role in leading this type of change and cover some of the common challenges and best practices real companies have addressed through their Agile adoption. Finally, we end with a discussion on YOUR own roadmap to Agile adoption. This will be a fun and highly engaging workshop!

 

Prerequisite Videos to Watch:

 

What You’ll Learn

  • An overview of Agile, Lean and Scrum
  • Why is Agile being adopted?
  • A tour of the Agile Roles, Processes and Lifecycle
  • The Servant Leader and Empowerment Transformation
  • Impact to Current Organizational Roles
  • Resource Management in an Agile World
  • Business and IT Collaboration as one Team
  • Creating Cross-Functional Service/Feature Teams
  • Agile/Lean Portfolio Management
  • Agile Performance Reviews
  • How Agile can fail
  • Case Studies and Best Practices for Success
  • Developing Your Transformation Roadmap

Why This Course?

  • This course is designed to address specific executive topics relating to Agile adoption and uses many real world case studies to enhance learning.
  • One of the main reasons for Agile adoption failure is no executive buy-in or understanding of Agile. This course helps mitigate this risk and ensures your company will have a thought-out transition plan.
  • This course is highly interactive with 60% thought-provoking workshops and team discussion exercises.
  • You will leave the course with valuable Action Ideas and input from your team as a result of our brainstorming exercises.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts and cheat sheets that will support you through your transition.

Agile for Managers

This course will give managers an overview of the Agile lifecycle, roles and processes. You will learn the key Agile terms and understand how Agile teams estimate, plan and track their work. We will also take a deeper dive into the new role of managers and address key topics such as transitioning away from daily task management, resource allocation for Agile teams, the concept of Stable teams, Servant Leadership and coaching skills, impediment removal and Agile metrics and reporting. The course will address the most common challenges managers face when transitioning to leading Agile teams.

What You’ll Learn

  • Understand the Agile lifecycle, roles and processes
  • Learn the key Leadership Triangle roles and expectations
  • Learn the Role of an Agile Manager and expectationsBrainstorm and discuss common challenges with this role transition
  • Learn top ways and models other companies have used to address challenges
  • Understand why Servant Leadership and Facilitation skills are critical to success
  • Learn key skills needed for People Development and Coaching
  • Learn key skills needed for Process Improvement
  • Develop a clear change management plan for this role transition

Why This Course?

  • Unique course designed to address real world challenges with leading Agile teams. Provides practical solutions and action items.
  • This course is designed with 60% interactive group workshops!
  • Engage in several workshops that simulate real world manager and team issues!
  •  For private courses, we can discuss YOUR company’s specific challenges and develop practical action items for improvements.
  • You walk away with valuable course material, handouts, resources and cheat sheets including our Role of an Agile Manager guide.

16 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Workshop 1: Calendar Analysis (What do you do today?)
  • Workshop 2 : Agile Roles Clarity
  • Workshop 3: Predict the Challenges and Role Confusion
  • Workshop 4: ‘Untangle This’ Self Organizing Game
  • Workshop 5: Assessing Your Team’s Health
  • Workshop 6: Servant Leadership Self Assessment and Growth Plan
  • Workshop 7: Developing Manager and Leadership Triangle Norms
  • Workshop 8 : Vision for My New Role
  • Workshop 9 :Demo – Coaching
  • Workshop 10: Skill Practice – Correcting Unwanted Behavior
  • Workshop 11: Skill Practice – Conflict Resolution (one on one or group)
  • Workshop 12: Handling Impediments and Fires
  • Workshop 13: Demo – Facilitation using Information Gathering Activities
  • Workshop 14: Skill Practice – Building the Process Improvement Backlog
  • Workshop 15: What Are these Reports Telling You?
  • Workshop 16: My Role Transition Change Management Plan

Agile Visioning & Story Writing

This is not your traditional requirements gathering course! This course focuses on how to effectively and efficiently help users build their vision  using creative visual modeling and powerful engaging techniques.

You will learn how to differentiate the levels of requirements, design a simple 4 step process for gathering the right level at the right time. You will learn by practicing how to use fun facilitation activities to gather the “breadth” of user requirements up front and catch the usually ‘missing’ ones. You will learn how to break down big requirements into small manageable ones and how to dive into the details later. You’ll learn a creative business value points method for prioritizing requirements and how to take dependency into consideration.. You will learn about business rules, acceptance tests, process modeling and UI prototyping. (Agile or Non-Agile versions of the course available).

 

 

DETAILED OUTLINE & COURSE EVALUATIONS

What You’ll Learn

  • How to address requirements challenges
  • Stakeholder analysis and establishing their ownership
  • Understanding the 4 levels of requirements
  • 4 step process for gathering requirements
  • Defining the Product Vision
  • Defining the customer’s “Conditions of Satisfaction”
  • Facilitation and Elicitation techniques for Requirements Gathering
  • High Level Use Case Diagrams
  • Brainstorming and consolidating features
  • The art of breaking down epics into small chunks
  • The Non-Functional/Technical Requirements
  • Using Business Value Points and Dependency for prioritization
  • Identifying and mitigating Risk
  • Yes, Now Let’s Talk Details!
  • When is a Requirement “Done”?
  • User Acceptance Tests (UPFRONT!)
  • Effective Process Modeling
  • UI Prototyping
  • How to manage the inevitable CHANGE!

Why This Course?

  • This course is 70% highly interactive workshops!
  • You will learn creative and effective requirements gathering techniques that will make look like a PRO!
  • Day 2 can use YOUR own project for private courses. Just let us know ahead of the class.
  • You will learn using our very effective Explain-Live Demo-Practice method of teaching!
  • You will receive our most valuable “Requirements Gathering Cheat Sheet” handout!
  • You will receive our colored step by step “Thinklet” cards!
  • Taught by our dynamic, high energy practicing facilitator!

12 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Personal Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Requirements Gathering Challenges
  • Workshop 3 – Defining the Vision, Objectives and Measures for Success
  • Workshop 4 – Designing Your Approach Using the Design Template
  • Workshop 5 – Identifying Personas, Drawing Use Case Diagrams
  • Workshop 6 – Drawing High Level Process Diagrams
  • Workshop 7 – “Brainstorming” Features
  • Workshop 8 – Breaking Downs/Slicing The Epics
  • Workshop 9 – Business, Risk, Dependency Prioritization
  • Workshop 10 – UI Prototyping
  • Workshop 11 – Defining Acceptance Tests
  • Workshop 12 – We Should Try

Agile/Lean Portfolio Big Room Planning

Are you frustrated with not having one enterprise view of your organization’s Backlog? Do you have this list but don’t feel very comfortable with the methods you’re using for Portfolio Prioritization? Do you feel like your organization is multi-tasking too many projects at the same time without visibility or understanding into your enterprise capacity?

 

This is an advanced and unique workshop that will take your team through a practical, real world and intensive hands-on journey of applying Agile, Lean and Kanban to YOUR Portfolio Planning and Management! Be prepared to learn some new and innovative methods for planning, prioritizing, sizing and managing your portfolio of initiatives. We will also share a different approach of 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!
* This is a working session that utilizes your own deliverables/teams and thereby requires lots of prep to ensure success. 

CapacityDemand-Management

Additional Resources for Review:

 

What You’ll Learn

    • Top Challenges with Portfolio Management
    • The Multitasking Problem
    • Getting Initiatives Started .. Not DONE
    • Why We Need a Different Approach
    • Intro to Lean Thinking
    • Limiting Work In Progress (WIP)
    • Lean/Agile Portfolio Big Picture
    • The Pull vs. Push Concept
    • Understanding Capacity
    • Why Stable Whole Teams?
    • Supporting Communities of Practice
    • New Metrics to Measure
    • The New Role of an Agile PMO
    • Agile/Lean Portfolio Planning Steps
    • The 6 Levels of Planning
    • Building Your Backlog of Current and Future Initiatives
    • Strategic Alignment
    • Developing Your Business Value Buckets
    • Developing Your Qualification Filter
    • Assigning Business Value Points
    • Dependency, Risk, Sizing
    • Making the Tough Decisions
    • Ranking the Backlog
    • Designing Stable ‘Whole’ Teams
    • Which Team Should Pull What?
    • Measuring Velocity
    • Capacity Planning
    • Creating an Enterprise Portfolio Grooming Team
    • Roles and Responsibilities
    • Continuous Backlog Grooming
    • Setting Up Your Portfolio Tracking Kanban Walls
    • Where To Go Next

 

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 Cheat Sheet, Sizing Large Epics Cheat Sheet, Sample Agenda for Your Portfolio Planning Meeting, The Role of the Agile PMO Picture!