Agile Training & Workshops
Engaging, comprehensive, pragmatic content reinforced by real world exercises and testing
The one question we find almost every organization struggles with is determining what training they need for their staff. We understand why they struggle, since most training providers do not provide complete coverage for the entire team including both business and information technology. Our training is designed to be complete, and understandable.
All development has three areas of focus
- Business requirements
- Process management
- Development actions
Why Agile, and what makes Agilest training different?
Conversations around agile often ask, why Agile? Typically the answers are things like speed or “failing fast”. But ultimately, the answer beyond any other reason for using agile practices is “fit for purpose”. The value creation lies in delivering the functionality that is needed by the organization. Well written, well-documented software the organization does not need has no value. Software that enables the organization to make a profit is valuable even when it is not perfect. By no means does that imply quality is not important, because it is, but it is not as important as “fit for purpose”.
Developing the right product is the result of creating the right requirements, plus frequent feedback. It is also important that the requirements be developed correctly for Agile development. Unfortunately, at many organizations, the product owners, product managers, and product directors either receive no Agile training, or they receive scrum master training. The result is that they are unprepared for the duties that are required by their roles. It is an odd contradiction that companies are so concerned about taking two days to develop the critical skills needed to develop requirements correctly, will cause a setback in their development. As a result they will intentionally skip training. Very often without proper training, it will take product management months or more to get to the point where they are creating quality requirements. This is due to their having been given scrum master training when what they needed was Product Owner/Manager/Director training. Even worse, they may have received no training at all.
The development team members are the other group that is often overlooked, or again incorrectly given scrum master training. An argument that is often presented is, “why do Agile team developers need training when waterfall team members do not”? This attitude might explain why over 70% of traditional development projects miss their deadlines and go over-budget. The problem is that when teams are not properly prepared, they do not perform as well as team members who received training. Empirical evidence has shown that the value generated by training more than justifies the costs, even when the team members will likely be working on just one project. Another cause of self-inflicted wounds is an unwillingness to use training contractors. This attitude does not make sense for many reasons. First, it is not uncommon for contractors to stay at a company for years. But, even in the situations where contractors will only be utilized for one project, inadequate training will slow development.
Finally, the last and most common training inadequacy is the lack of an integrated agile platform or framework. Most Agile training is either hodgepodge or just does not address the roles and responsibilities in a useful way. The team manager, scrum master, product director or product owner, and the development team members including the developers, testers, and Agile engineers all need sufficient training if they are going to perform at Agile levels of development.
To address the real-world needs of Agile software development, Agilest® has developed and refined training that meets the needs of everyone involved in the development process. Agilest® training is coordinated and synergistic by way of the three core training offerings:
All of the Certification training classes from Agilest® cover more than just Scrum. They are designed to provide an actionable foundation in Agile that includes a tool kit certified alumni can leverage to be effective with any Agile project they work on. The core methods include Kanban, Scrum, and Scrumban. The training explains in detail how each of the core methods work, and when to use them. The training is role specific, and when all of the staff is certified with Agilest® training, everyone on the team will know their roles and responsibilities and have an understanding of how to proceed in the Agile development process.
The training from Agilest® is made up of three main areas:
First is the lecture and written materials. In the onsite training, every topic is introduced by a lecture and short video.
Second is the workshops. To reinforce every critical learning delivered by the lecture and video, we have a workshop that has the participants go through the motions of the work. By the time the participants are back at their organization, they know the actions needed to be successful in their role, and are confident about what they need to do because they have had experience actually doing it and not just reading about it.
Third is access to the alumni only private website. Each participant who completes Agilest® certification training will be given private access to a tool kit that is specifically tailored for the certification area they completed.
The tools that the alumni will have access to include:
- On-demand training videos for many specialized topics
- Specialized calculators
- Quick-sheets (sometimes called cheat-sheets) for the participant role
- Documentation starters to get supporting documentation completed quickly
- Presentation decks needed by team members to convey an understanding of different topics.
- A forum
Our goal with the private alumni area is to empower our certified alumni. Our private alumni website is continually refined and updated with the latest tools and methods the professionals at Agilest® use both internally and on our customer engagements.
The different Agile training classes that we offer include:
The CATM (Certified Agile Team Manager) training is for Scrum Masters and Agile Team Managers. This training is designed to prepare Scrum Masters and Agile team managers with the skills they need to act as a Scrum Master on a Scrum team or as a manager with agile teams using a hybrid Agile model. Information on how to conduct reporting to upper management, and how and when scaling is needed, are both provided along with an overview of the major Agile management tools.
The CAPD (Certified Agile Product Director) training is for Agile Product Owners, Agile Product Managers, and Agile Product Directors. The training is designed to prepare the participants to develop the requirements needed by an agile team in the form of Agile User Stories. The alumni from this class will also be trained on how to prioritize stories in a product backlog, and to do continuous grooming to maximize the value of work to be developed. Additionally, the training covers other concepts relevant to product development, including design thinking, and creating the MVP (minimum viable product). Pivoting to make direction changes to align with customer feedback, creating themes and story mapping for release planning, how to deal with stakeholders, and how the backlog changes when scaling is used to increase development capacity, are all covered in depth.
The CADE (Certified Agile DevOps Engineer) training is for Developers, Testing Professionals, DBAs (Database Administrators), SysOps (System Operations) and DevOps Engineers. This training is designed to give each of the participants an understanding of each of the different roles and the related responsibilities they have in the realm of the Agile Development Lifecycle. The goal is defect prevention. The training has an emphasis on Quality and Automation for testing and continuous integration (CI). The training is designed to deliver a comprehensive overview and includes exercises to reinforce learning. This class includes 48 hours of content, so it is roughly divided in half between the classroom and online training. We have created the format this way in order to fit the classroom training and workshops into two days because most employers do not approve longer training.
The CASO (Certified Agile Strategy Officer) training is for the organizational leadership that is, or plans on implementing Agile at their company. This certification training is designed to give executives an understanding of the broad agile landscape along with the different methodologies available including Agile scaling. The executives will be provided direction on where and how to apply agile based on the current needs of the company based on such factors as their industry, and where their business is in the organizational lifecycle. All participants of this training will be given access to the executive only private access web portal for alumni that includes executive white papers, success checklists, calculators, reporting tools, and our latest training to keep you at the forefront of Agile management strategy.
The AASC (Adaptive Agile Scaling Certification) training is for everyone involved with an organization that is using agile scaling to adapt their development to the changing capacity needs of an organization. This training is based on over fifteen years of real-world project management experience with Agile and is not hindered by theoretic ideals for team sizing. This training covers how to handle groups starting at just one member and how to progressively scale-up teams to virtually any size up to over 500 people. The training will include coverage of the different scaling methods including DaD (Disciplined Agile Delivery), LeSS (Large Scale Scrum), Nexus (from Scrum.org), SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), and of course AAS (Adaptive Agile Scaling). In addition to covering how to scale up, the training also includes how to scale-down. We do this because in reality, even at larger organizations, the need to maintain a large scaled framework does not always exist. Very often scaling is used for a big project, and when that project is over, supporting a large team for small, long term development and maintenance can not only be a financial burden but be detrimental to the morale of the organization. Our goal with this training is to give the participants a strong understanding of how to make their company effectively responsive to changing capacity demands. Of course, like all of our training, the participants of this training will be given access to the private alumni web portal where they will have access to our latest information on scaling. This will enable them to stay on the cutting edge.
Unlike many training providers, Agilest® is actually in the field engaging with corporate clients. We give you the methods we use ourselves, and we are constantly updating our materials to reflect what we have learned empirically. What this does is ensure the training you receive is the most up to date. We also continuously update the training that we provide in our private alumni web portal enabling you to stay on the cutting edge.