Tag Archives: Team Leaders

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

 

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.
 

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.

 

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/Servant Leadership

Working to empower and serve the people you lead is the main concept behind Servant Leadership. Challenging them to go farther, reach higher, innovate and have fun doing it requires leadership skills that are beyond the traditional “Command and Control” style of management. Through this course, you will learn and practice execution of the most critical skills needed for leading by serving first. We will take you through practical REAL WORLD SITUATIONS and have you practice being a Servant Leader. You will come out of this course feeling energized and have a large number of tools and skills you can start to apply immediately to empower your teams. Bring your entire leadership team to this training! We promise it will be transformational!

DETAILED OUTLINE & COURSE EVALUATIONS

What You’ll Learn

  • Comparing Agile Servant Leadership to Command and Control Cultures
  • Why Lead This Way?
  • The Top Skills of Servant Leaders
  • Understanding the Roots of Command and Control
  • Practical Tips for Shifting to Servant Leadership
  • Self Reflection, Assessment and Gift Giving
  • Building High Performing Teams
  • Team Maturity Stages and YOUR Role as a Leader
  • Top 10 Tips for Forming a Team
  • Defining Team Norms and Expectations
  • Understanding the 3 Decision Making Tools
  • Creating a Shared Vision and Getting Engagement
  • Getting Out of the Weeds (Teach Others How to Fish)
  • How to Coach Others and Gain Trust
  • Addressing Dysfunctional Behavior as a Servant Leader
  • Leading Through Change
  • Assessing TeamHealth
  • Measurement and Rewards that Lead to Teamwork

Why This Workshop?

  • Our course is 60% highly interactive group workshops!
  • You will learn using our very effective Explain-Live-Demo-Practice method of teaching!
  • You will receive our most valuable “The Servant Leader Cheat Sheet” handout!
  • You will leave the course with Action Items you commit to doing to apply your new skills at your organization.
  • Taught by our dynamic, high energy practicing facilitator!
  • Video clips are included to enhance learning.
  • Check out our course evaluations & testimonies!

13 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Command and Control vs. Servant Leadership
  • Workshop 2 – Untangle This – Game
  • Workshop 3 – Mirror Mirror on the Wall – Self Reflection
  • Workshop 4 – Servant Leadership Self Assessment and Gift Giving
  • Workshop 5 – Healthy vs. Dysfunctional Teams
  • Workshop 6 – Ball Point Game – Practicing Forming to Performing
  • Workshop 7 – Defining a Team’s Vision, Customers and  Deliverables
  • Workshop 8 – Building Team Norms, What We’re Known For
  • Workshop 9 – Addressing Dysfunctional Behavior One on One – Demo
  • Workshop 10 – Practicing Team Conflict Resolution Tools
  • Workshop 11 – Personal Growth and Action Plan
  • Workshop 12 – Team Growth and Action Plan
  • Workshop 13 – Final Retrospective

Effective Facilitation and Collaboration Skills

Did you know that many judge your effectiveness and leadership skills by how well you run your meetings? The key to a successful group session is having an effective facilitator who can organize the meeting, control it and skillfully guide the team towards achieving their goal for the session. You may think ‘I already know how to facilitate and participate in group sessions’ but you will be surprised at the statistics and costs of how many meetings we all attend yet how little of them are actually effective in terms of delivering any real value! The goal of this course is to teach you the most effective facilitation, participation and group collaboration skills that will ensure your group sessions are focused and produce value. This course covers several advanced facilitation, emotional intelligence and cultural transformation topics that are guaranteed to have an immediate positive effect in the way you work. We have designed this course to have extensive workshops and live demos to demonstrate the key skills needed.

DETAILED OUTLINE & COURSE EVALUATIONS

What You’ll Learn

  • Understand the fundamentals of collaboration and facilitation.
  • Understand the main roles required for effective facilitation of group sessions.
  • Learn the ‘House of Skills’ necessary for being an effective facilitator.
  • Understand the concept of Facilitator/Servant Leadership.
  • Learn how to effectively initiate and prepare for a group session.
  • Learn the most effective “Listening” and “Questioning” techniques used to control the meeting process and attendees.
  • Learn the 5 Patterns of Group Collaboration.
  • Learn the most effective “Thinklets” used for gathering and processing information in a small or large group setting.
  • Learn how to handle the most common group dysfunctions.
  • Learn how to manage and resolve conflict and build consensus.

Additional Topics:

  • Facilitating Group Sessions for distributed teams.
  • Facilitating phone conference calls.

Why This Workshop?

  • Our course is 60% highly interactive group workshops!
  • You will learn using our very effective Explain-Live-Demo-Practice method of teaching!
  • You will receive our most valuable “Effective Facilitator Cheat Sheet” handout!
  • You will receive our colored “Thinklet” cards that will guide you step-by-step on when, why and how to use the information gathering techniques you will learn!
  • Taught by our dynamic, high energy practicing facilitator!
  • Check out the course evaluations & testimonies!

15 Group Workshops Included!

  • Workshop 1 – Personal Objectives
  • Workshop 2 – Collaboration Challenges
  • Workshop 3 – Benchmarking Your Facilitation Skills
  • Workshop 4 – Self Assessment & Action Plan
  • Workshop 5 – Preparing for a Group Session
  • Workshop 6 – Exploring Process Facilitation Techniques
  • Workshop 7 – Facilitating the Process
  • Workshop 8 – Managing Dysfunctional Behavior
  • Workshop 9 – Assessing Your Listening Skills
  • Workshop 10 – Managing Conflict & Developing Inclusive Solutions
  • Workshop 11 – Facilitate a “Generate” Brainstorming Session
  • Workshop 12 – Facilitate a “Converge & Organize” Session
  • Workshop 13 – Facilitate a “Evaluate & Build Consensus” Session
  • Workshop 14 – Closing the Session
  • Workshop 15 – Putting it ALL together

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