Some Familiarity with Agile
This workshop uses Amplio@Teams: The Path to Lean-Agile Teams as a workbook.
This workshop integrates how to create great teams using Lean-Agile methods with how to be a great coach and coordinate multiple teams working together. It is designed for the busy professional coach, whether embedded with teams or filling more of a consulting role on how teams at an organization can improve.
Team coaches require a deeper understanding of the principles of Flow, Lean, and the theory of constraints than team members. They also need to understand how to convey these ideas to different roles. And, of course, they need to know how multiple teams can coordinate with each other. This workshop integrates all of this.
Who this workshop is for
This workshop is primarily for coaches who want to go to the next level and transcend particular approaches but instead think for themselves. It is also useful for people in an organization who are responsible for how effective their coaches are. Those new to Agile can also take this workshop but must be prepared to do some extra work to keep up with the advanced themes. Enrollment also includes a six-month enrollment in Success Mentor’s Value Stream Management Masterclass workshop.
Attends to the Busy Professional’s Schedule
It is also designed to accommodate both the busy professional’s schedule and how people learn. The workshop has 12 sessions. Each week a live session is presented, and exercises are given. This enables participants to learn something, try it out, get questions answered, and try again. It enables learning in the participants’ workplace instead of the workshop alone. Live sessions are recorded, and each session is presented twice a week at different times to accommodate the busy professional’s schedule. This enables participants not to lose two days of work and not adversely affect the people counting on them for those two days.
In addition to accommodating the professional’s schedule, this teaching method enables high retention of what is learned. Studies have shown that up to 85% of what’s learned in a workshop is lost in a few weeks. This workshop avoids that by short learning sessions and applying what’s been learned each session.
The Masterclass Integrates Advanced Techniques
The workshop also includes cutting-edge concepts that have been proven at all scales. These include:
- Value stream management
- A focus on business agility
- The proper use of Minimum Viable Products when creating new products and Minimum Business Increments when extending existing ones
- How to organize teams when cross-functional teams are not practical
Creating, Coaching, and Coordinating Lean-Agile Teams attends to both what’s needed and the pace of learning it. Most approaches take one of two approaches. Scrum, for example, believes in the entire approach being simple, having relatively few concepts taught, and leaving the team to figure out the practices needed. SAFe, on the other hand, leaves little out but, in the process, becomes very heavy.
This workshop takes a pragmatic approach. It distinguishes between what the coach knows and how the team learns best. Participants in this workshop learn how to co-create (with their teams) a well-defined starting point for a team that is simple for the team to understand. Then, when challenges arise, they can provide more information as required.
This enables overcoming the dilemma that there are no universal practices but that people need a good, well-defined starting point. A good Lean-Agile coach guides the team to use practices suitable for them by attending to the team’s situation.
Participants also receive several Miro (virtual) boars that they can use during and after the workshop (requires a Miro license).
On completion of this course, participants will
- Understand the basics of Flow, Lean, and the Theory of Constraints
- What capabilities are needed to be effective at the team level
- How to interact with other teams
- How a few teams can work together to create value
- How to organize their teams to remove delays and handoffs
- Understand Agile product management when it entails enhancing existing products or creating new ones
- Know the basics of Behavior Driven Development to create better requirements
- Know how to run 3-9 teams together with BLAST (Basic Lean-Agile Solution Team)
Most training is still based on decades-old techniques. There are many disadvantages to this:
– The time lost by participants by being in training and by not being available to anyone relying on them
– Full-day workshops result in the loss of 80% of the information presented.
– Learning in a workshop is quite different from learning in the workplace. It’s still conceptual until applied for real. – Individual learning is not as good as group learning
– There is no good way to bring new team members up to speed after the training
– Fees are high
This workshop specifically addresses each of these issues. By having short sessions, participants can work the training into their schedules. If they miss a session, they can watch a recording at their convenience, enabling participants to keep up with the workshop regardless of schedule conflicts. Short sessions mean more retention. The exercises provided create learning in the participants’ place of work.
Enrolling in the workshop provides six months of access to the three months of curriculum. This extra time enables deeper study and greater cooperation with other participants.
- Non-Agile organizations typically operate at 5-15% of their capability.
- Much of this loss is due to people not understanding the rules, so to speak, of product development.
- People don’t need to change, but the way they work has to.
- Effective organizations require effective teams.
- Understanding effective teams provides insights into effective organizations
Consistency Across an Organization
There are significant advantages to the consistency of how teams work across an organization. Getting teams to align and shifting from “I,” to “team” to “organization” is essential. However, different teams have different challenges, abilities, and constraints. By presenting the objectives needed, the why they are needed, and options to manifest them, teams can work towards the same goals but in ways that work for them.
Effective Team Structures
It’s easy to say every team needs to be autonomous and cross-functional. That’s the ideal situation. However, most teams can’t reach this. By designing from Flow, Lean, and the Theories of Constraints, teams can determine how to best work within their constraints.
Removing delays, handoffs, and handbacks to increase feedback
- The intention is not to go fast at any one place but to eliminate delays and the waste caused across the entire value stream.
- Business agility requires both being able to ensure teams are working on the right things and to pivot due to outside influences when necessary
Behaviors that increase agility
- Improve teams’ understanding of what it takes to be effective
- Continuously learn and improve
Impediments and anti-patterns
- A lack of understanding and imposition of methods causes resistance
- Amplio@Teams is based on the belief that people want to do better and will do so when provided with the concepts needed and trusted to do the job
The lessons of the workshop
- Introduction and the purpose of a team Lean-Agile approach.
- The essential theories of Flow, Lean, and Theory of Constraints.
- Understand what’s needed for team effectiveness.
- Value Stream Management Part 1.
- Value Stream Management Part 2.
- Agile Artifacts to use to guide creating value.
- Achieving high product quality with feedback.
- Continuous learning and improvement.
- Effective Team Structures and Shared Backlogs.
- The Roles of Lean-Agile.
- Creating a quick start.
- Wrap up and final exercises.
- Bonus session: how multiple teams can work together effectively – Introducing BLAST.
In addition to these, there are 24 reading assignments that are integrated into these lessons about how to be a better coach.
Introducing BLAST – Basic Lean-Agile Solution Team
BLAST is a framework pattern used to coordinate the work of 3-9 teams. Each team can be using any Agile method (e.g., Scrum, Kanban, eXtreme Programming). BLAST provides teams the guidance to work together in either a flow or timeboxed manner. These teams can be from the same part of an organization needing to coordinate to create or enhance a new product or when teams from different parts of an organization need to work together.
BLAST is included in the workshop because few teams work in isolation, and knowing how to coordinate a few teams is essential. BLAST is called a framework pattern because it is not immutable but rather a suggested way for teams to work together. As all patterns do, it provides for tailoring its implementations to achieve the desired result for the context at hand.
Creator of Amplio@Teams
Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Success Engineering. Al is a recognized thought leader in Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Scrum, design patterns, Acceptance Test-Driven Development, Lean-management, value creation networks, Lean product management, and more. He is the FLEX system creator, which is the heart of the Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant workshop. The innovations he brought into the PMI also strongly influenced the Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master workshop. He has co-written five books ranging from Design Patterns to Agile at Scale. He holds masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Mathematics from MIT and Emory, respectively. He is an international speaker. He is a former SPC Trainer and contributor to SAFe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: This workshop is priced like e-learning; is it really instructor-led?
A: Yes. This workshop uses an innovative delivery mechanism that is more effective than standard training while lowering the cost to deliver it. This enables us to deliver the equivalent of a 2-day workshop at the cost of a ½-1 day workshop
Q: Does this workshop include the equivalent of Nexus, which is usually a 2-day workshop?
A: Yes. The second to last lesson introduces BLAST (Basic Lean-Agile Solution Team framework pattern). Al Shalloway created BLAST in ’07 as a special case solution for handling multiple teams working together. When value stream mapping and Lean-Thinking are understood, coordinating a few teams is not very difficult.
Why you should take this workshop if you are a professional coach.
Most “coaching” workshops today are about how to follow a given framework. This workshop enables you to see what the people you are coaching needs based on their situation. Go beyond being a mere facilitator. Learn how to assist teams in working in better ways.
Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Success Engineering. Al is a recognized thought leader in the areas of: Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Scrum, design patterns, Acceptance Test-Driven Development, Lean-management, value creation networks, Lean product management and more. He is the creator of the FLEX system that is the heart of the Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant workshop. He has co-written 5 books ranging from Design Patterns to Agile at Scale. He holds Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Mathematics from MIT and Emory respectively. He is an international speaker. He is a former contributor to SAFe and SPC trainer.