Agile Fundamentals Training

This experiential 2-day class is crammed with all the Agile essentials & is taught by your expert Agile coach: Daniel Mezick 

Agile ASAP™ Course Overview

This class is an introduction to Agile values, principles and practices. Appropriate for anyone new to Agile methods, this is an comprehensive, experiential course in the fundamentals of Agile software development. You’ll exit this class with a great understanding of the overall Agile approach. You’ll also exit this class with takeaway resources, including links to essential books, white papers and online tools for Agile work. Every student leaves with 30 days of personal Q&A support by email after attending this class.

 

Course duration: TWO DAYS

Course Objective: Acquire a strong working knowledge of specific Agile practices

This is one of the best classes I have ever attended! I had a lot of fun and brought back enough learning and confidence to start using Agile right away.

-Annette Savoy, Project Manager, attended 1Q2010

Are you looking for great Agile training and Scrum training for yourself or for your teams?

Look no further– Here is the public Agile/Scrum training you are looking for.

Attend this class to GET GOING NOW with Agile. The course quality is guaranteed.

 

Your instructor:

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 8.43.54 AMDANIEL MEZICK is a management consultant, author and keynote speaker. Daniel Mezick has trained thousands of people in agile methods since 2007. He is the formulator of OpenSpace Agility, a technique for creating rapid and lasting enterprise agility. He is the author of THE CULTURE GAME, a book describing sixteen patterns of group behavior that help make any team smarter. The book is based on five years of experience coaching 119 Agile teams across 25 different organizations. Daniel’s client list includes INTUIT, CIGNA, SEIMENS Healthcare, Harvard University and many smaller enterprises. Learn more and contact Daniel at www.DanielMezick.com.

 

Agile ASAP™ Agile & Scrum Fundamentals Training

Description: Complete introduction to Agile with strong emphasis on iterative, incremental development using Scrum.

Objective: The course objective is to impart the essentials of authentic Agile and Scrum to each participant in the shortest amount of time, via active classroom participation in team exercises, such that each student is ready to bring Agile and Scrum knowledge and experience back to their real-world teams who are planning and building complex products.

Qualifications for Attendance: We expect you to have some knowledge and experience with the typical Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) . This is also known as the Waterfall Method. This model has the following activities: System/Information Engineering and Modeling, Software Requirement Analysis, System Analysis and Design, Code creation, Testing, and Maintenance. Some knowledge of Agile & Scrum is useful but not required.

Who Should Attend: Team members, testers, business analysts, managers. project sponsors and executives who work closely with information technology teams to  develop software systems. Marketing, finance and HR professionals who want to understand and use Agile practices to improve productivity and quality. Any professional seeking a comprehensive introduction to authentic Agile methods will get a lot out of this class.

Come and experience it for yourself !!

Testimonials

“…these are excellent sessions. THANK YOU for helping me understand how Agile and Scrum are so effective. I am a line manager and I used to think Agile: meant LESS planning and also a threat to my job and role. I know understand how Agile means more and more effective planning, and much more effectiveness in my role as a manager. THANK YOU!” -Agile and Scrum training student from 4Q2015

…I have taken back everything you taught at this class and we are doing great. Our teams could not be happier and management and sponsors are delighted with the results. Thanks for coming in and setting up and delivering this wonderful course! See you at the next meeting of Agile CT !!– Agile & Scrum training student from CT in 3Q2015

…The learning in this class is not easy to get from a book. We learned alot about each other and how learning as a group is anything but automatic. This is a fun, useful class. I am taking away a whole new way of viewing Scrum and Agile methods.– Agile and Scrum student from 2Q2015

 

Format: Instructor-facilitated exercises and activities in groups and teams. Maximum experiential learning preceded by a very brief orientation lecture and instructions. This is a learn-by-doing class where we do many activities, and build many complex products in groups. Each segment is followed by a detailed de-brief or “retrospective”.

Course Materials: Student Resource Pack with printed materials.

Summary: The class is loaded with team activities. Just like a real Agile project, we turn you loose on work, with others, using Agile methods and the Scrum framework. However unlike some real-world scenarios, you actually DO REAL AGILE and DO REAL SCRUM in this class. Attend this class to experience first-hand what REAL AGILE is all about. You exit this class confident, clear, and ready to work on Agile & Scrum teams.

 

This is the perfect class for project managers and others seeking a quick 1-day overview and full immersion in Agile fundamentals. You exit this class ready to plan your Agile adoption, including all of the essentials such as Product Backlog development, determining a Sprint length, evaluating the need for a Agile coach, and so on. Everything you need is here.

Detailed Course Information & Outline

The best way to learn Scrum practices and principles is to do them under the guidance of a coach. This is true throughout the real world. Professional athletes in teams practice relentlessly to perform well. Scrum teams are no different ! Practice makes perfect…this episodic, full-immersion experiential course is designed to improve your understanding of Scrum as you learn core and essential Scrum ideas.

In this course, you learn by doing (with coaching) and then by reflecting and discussing in a lively, group-level meeting event. This course is designed as an easy, comfortable, low-commitment, high-impact learning event that is optimized for maximum group-level Agile training and learning in the shortest amount of time.

In this class, you learn Scrum essentials via brief and focused lectures that are followed by direct experience doing exercises in groups. The direct experience is followed by reflection and the cycle repeats.

The purpose of Scrum is to set up a work structure and a team-centric, safe “space” that enables teams to make small mistakes and LEARN as they build very complex products. That is what this course is all about. In this course you learn, then clarify goals, and then engage in planning…. and execute in short iterations. You then inspect your results. You learn about the people and the work, just as if you are doing real-world work. The class is a “safe room” to explore the Scrum way of working and Scrum roles. Scrum is used as a framework that provides structure and container for team work.

Your iterations are followed by discussing, questioning, speaking and listening. The class ground rules are structured for fun, a deep level of learning, and rich collaboration. The focus is on Scrum … with rules, roles, relationships and structure that encourages production at the expense of waste.

Student Entry Points

Each student comes in to the course with a unique level of maturity, from “newbie” to “master” of Scrum thinking. Each student attending (regardless of starting level) achieves a higher level of competence in Scrum as a result of attending this class. From this new level of skill comes immediate understanding and learning that you can apply to your current work and team to solve problems and build complex products.

This course is taught over 2 sessions of 1 day each. We do 2 “full immersion” episodes (days) of experience. This is enough to begin with Agile!!  Attendees are typically project sponsors, project managers, middle managers, project leads, developers, users and testers, but anyone interested in authentic Agile and Scrum can attend.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the essentials of Scrum rapidly, at the deepest level of understanding possible, limited only by the course duration.
  • Identify (and deeply understand) the essential values and beliefs that drive ALL successful Scrum adoptions.
  • Adopt new ideas related to traditional planning, prediction, and control.
  • Exit the course with the essentials needed to understand how Scrum adoption can succeed….or fail, in your organizational context and culture.
  • Exit the course ready to reflect on your learning and integrate it immediately after the class, such that you may be a truly effective, self-governing member of a Scrum team.
  • Exit the course ready to learn more, and engage with others in the execution and further learning and leveraging of the empirical team process and production of value, using Scrum techniques.

Topics Covered

Scrum Principles
The course begins with a description of the four key principles in the Scrum Manifesto.  These core principles become well understood as a result of experiencing this class. These four key principles are:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

Scrum Practice Essentials
Three Roles, Three Meetings, Three Artifacts

  1. Essential Scrum Roles (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team Member)
  2. Meetings (Sprint Planning, Demo, Retrospective)
  3. Artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown Chart)

Scrum Structure
Scrum examined under the surface:  (BART) Boundaries, Authority, Role and Task definitions as structure

Team Self-Organization

Understanding Present-tense Team Collaboration

Estimating
Estimating tasks via Planning Poker

User stories

  • Format, types, the “INVEST” acronym….Independent, Negotiable, Visible, Estimable, Small, Testable
  • Planning vs. Prediction: similarities and key differences explained

Group-level Visual Process Control
Visual Process Control via Task Board and information radiators

Scrum Basics

  • Sprints are no more than 4 weeks
  • Software is done at the end of each sprint
  • Requirements do not need to be done before start of sprint
  • There is one Product Owner
  • There is a product backlog prioritized by business value
  • The team estimates backlog items
  • The team creates burndown charts / knows velocity
  • The team is not interrupted

Practice and Simulation with Scrum Ceremonies
Planning Meeting, Actual Iteration, Demo Meeting, Retrospective Meeting

Scrum Exercises Essentials

Group Estimating Exercise #1: Participants take a shot at estimating at the level of group. The results from this exercise are often quite surprising. Duration: 5 minutes.

Group Estimating Exercise #2: Participants in small groups use Planning Poker and User Stories to estimate the size of various batches of work on a Backlog. Duration: ½ hour.

Low Complexity Team Task Exercise: Participants in a small groups plan and estimate the effort for a team task of relatively low complexity. They then execute and compare actual to estimated effort. This experience informs future exercises. Duration: 1 iteration in 20 minutes.

Moderate Complexity Team Task Exercise: Participants in small groups use a Task Board to plan work and maintain a Sprint Backlog as they collaboratively develop a product of moderate complexity. Duration: 3 iterations in 1 hour and group retrospective.

Higher Complexity Team Task Exercise: Participants in small groups use a Task Board to plan work and maintain a Sprint Backlog as they collaboratively develop a product of higher complexity. Duration: 3 iterations in 1 hour and group retrospective.

Higher Complexity Team Composition Exercise: Participants in small groups plan work and maintain a Sprint Backlog as they collaboratively develop a product of higher complexity. Team composition is changed during the various iterations. The effects on team and project performance are inspected and explored. Duration: 3 iterations in 1 hour and group retrospective.

Full Scrum Exercise: Participants in small teams use everything they have learned about Scrum during this episode to plan and create a very complex, non-software “product”. Scrum and full Scrum roles are used. Duration: 1.5 hours.

Multi-Team Scrum Exercise: Participants in small teams use everything they have learned about Scrum during this episode to plan and create a very complex, non-software product. Multiple teams work from one Product Backlog. Scrum and full Scrum roles are used. Duration: 2.5 hours.

Real-World, Multi-Team Scrum Exercise: Participants in small teams use everything they have learned about Scrum up until now to cope with complexity, and plan and create a very complex, non-software product. The exercise scenario includes unrealistic Product Owner demands, constraints on resources, limited team authority, weak facilitation by a developing Scrum Master, and more. This is the final exam. Multiple teams work from one Product Backlog. Scrum and full Scrum roles are used. Students learn that Scrum is not all fun and games but rather, an intentional way to do serious work in groups. Duration: 2.5 hours.

Benefits of Scrum
Scrum ROI / Business Case.

Class Retrospective
The class ends with a description and discussion of the business benefits of transitioning to Scrum. This is a group-level retrospective. Participants engage in defining ground rules for this facilitated meeting.

Concepts covered in this coure: 

  • Pulling the trigger at the “Last Responsible Moment”;
  • Spikes– how to plan to focus on one research item for one day to gather essential info;
  • Empirical, iterative planning for complex products;
  • Changing team composition and the group dynamics of velocity;
  • Exploring group-level learning via “fail fast” dynamics;
  • Failing Fast– honoring experimentation and mistakes – experimenting & risk management;
  • Defining agreeing to WORKING AGREEMENTS and adhering to them;
  • Exploring all the Scrum roles;
  • Why Agile means slightly more planning, but far less prediction;
  • Organizing your team to outperform all competitors;
  • Exploring Scrum boundaries for roles, rules and tasks;
  • Definition of READY and DONE;
  • Understanding the Scrum Ceremonies (Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Team Retrospective)
  • Understanding the Scrum Roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, Team)
  • Understanding the Scrum Artifacts (Release Burndown, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Sprint Burndown)
  • Understanding the essentials of Team Trust, Safety, Group Learning and Hyper-Productivity.

Successively more complex products are built IN TEAMS using existing tools and platforms as the teams explore the dynamics of accumulating understanding of the work, Scrum, and each other in an experiential and highly empirical format of learning.

The student that completes this course is knowledgeable in Agile methods and the Scrum Framework, and knows how to:

  • Identify what is an Agile practice, and what is NOT Agile;
  • Explain Scrum’s roles, boundaries, tasks, and related authority for all of the above;
  • Create Release backlog, Product backlog, Sprint backlog, and Sprint burndown documents;
  • Do Agile estimates and planning and report same to project sponsors;
  • Understand the dynamics of fixing the variables of cost, delivery date, quality and features;
  • Educate sponsors & managers on how Agile & Scrum techniques increase productivity;
  • Plan and execute Sprint planning, Daily Scrum and Sprint Review meetings;
  • Tap the power of periodic and iterative group learning via the Retrospective meeting;
  • Exploit the power of visual management via the Task Board;
  • Explain and use Planning Poker for developing group-level estimations of work;
  • Speak from experience on complex Agile concepts like failing fast, deferring commitment till the ‘last responsible moment’, role, task and boundary management, and the like;
  • Confidently begin a Agile adoption initiative as a Product Owner, Scrum Master or Team member;
  • Understand and appreciate the power of having an Agile/Scrum coach to guide the team, especially in the early stages of Agile adoption;
  • Appreciate, develop and begin to actively use facilitation and conflict management techniques to increase group learning and keep the team on task.

 

Questions?

The course material draws DIRECTLY from our deep Agile/Scrum coaching practice. Call or contact us at NewTech for more information or to bring this course to your company, on-site.

 

FINAL NOTES: This is a brief yet comprehensive, full-immersion, 2-day experience of experiential training in incremental, iterative agile methods. You exit this class ready to know where and when to use Agile, Scrum and Kanban in your organization. LOOK NO FURTHER. This is your course for a complete introduction to the essentials of software agility and incremental, iterative Lean/Agile techniques.

Call or contact us at NewTech for more information about this essential course or to discuss your Agile/Scrum training needs.

View our Agile Coaching Services  for actionable, expert guidance for organizations adopting Lean/Agile methods.