There is no question that people can only absorb so much at any one time. Moreover, we have a lot of limitations to learning – cognitive bias, bounded rationality, cognitive overload, ego, etc. So the idea of trying to teach even 10% of what’s known early is counter-productive. But going to the other extreme and deciding a framework must be minimalistic and have people re-invent things is no better and is often a trap, making it worse.

Continuous learning is no less important than continuous value delivery. We need to integrate our transition approach with our way of working. We must rethink our training methods.

The two extremes seem to be e-learning & intense full-day training. Both of these run counter to what we know about training. Consider the standard 2-3 full-day training:

  • There’s an impact from lost time for the training to both those in the workshop & anyone relying on them
  • Only 20% of information will be retained from a full-day workshop
  • Learning isn’t taking place in the workplace, so it’s still conceptual and has to be learned in the workplace
  • 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

While e-learning addresses some of these it is not very effective when a mind-shift is needed. Ironically, most Agile training takes a waterfall approach.

What’s needed is:

  1. Teaching a core set of concepts quickly
  2. Having a way to create a quick fit for purpose start based on limited knowledge
  3. Exposure to a decision framework when needed to help guide adjusting practices
  4. A toolkit that can provide potential solutions so as to avoid re-inventing the wheel
  5. A community of practice where people can learn together

The first 2 steps can be quick. The last 3 must be an ongoing process.

The above analysis is why Process Mentors and Success Engineering have created Success Mentors University. We blend a combination of standard Disciplined Agile workshops (DASSM, DAVSC) with an advanced, over time, workshop – our Value Stream Management Master Class. This supplements the community of practice the PMI offers for the DAVSC. All of the DA workshops take advantage of DA’s toolkit – now available for free and highly recommended.

More importantly, we are working towards the future with a series of instructor-led workshops that take place over 12 weeks. These provide high quality, low cost via high volume workshops that have you learn in your workplace. Our first is for improving team Agile (available now). Ones for SAFe and for being an Agile coach are in the works. These can also be used as e-learning if there is a need to gain information quickly. We also offer Miro boards to support our workshops and offer on-demand training to fill in the gaps.

When looking for training pay attention to the pace and level of interactivity at which it is offered. Or ask me for more information if interested.