Workshop: Transitioning to Agile for Other Managers

Workshop Objective: Maybe your team has come to you with a request/demand to do “Agile.” But you can’t tell what you’ll get if they do.

If you’ve become accustomed to the artifacts from a phase gate lifecycle (or even a strictly iterative or strictly incremental lifecycle), moving to iterative/incremental development is quite difficult. Not only is the Agile project planning different from planning up front, but moving from technical practices that support detailed planning up-front to just enough planning as you proceed is not trivial either. In this workshop, we will work through a project, both planning and implementing it. We’ll debrief how the project proceeded and what you perceived worked well and what was not quite what you expected. We’ll also talk about your changing role, and how to make Agile work for you, your team, and your organization.

Workshop Overview: This is an experiential, hands-on workshop. We will address many of the core Agile practices in the workshop, first by practicing them and then by discussing them. We will build a project to simulate what a project might look and feel like as a more Agile project. Depending on your concerns, we will have more activities to practice how life would be if your team was Agile.

Target Audience: Project managers, program managers, functional managers, technical leads. Senior managers are also welcome.

Prerequisites: Experience on a project or being a project sponsor. I will send your team pre-work to focus the workshop and the activities on your particular problems.

Workshop Duration: 2 days. (I can expand this as much as you need, but a two-day workshop will get you started, expecially if you add a project jump-start to it.) Not sure if you’re ready for this? Consider an assessment.

Workshop Outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Do a project
    2. Debrief
    3. Elicit technical and management practices the project team used
  2. How to predict how long a project will take
    1. Do several projects and debrief
  3. Address common pitfalls moving to Agile. We will choose some of these, based on the needs of the participants, and use simulations to understand how to deal with them.
  4. Management concerns
    1. We need more projects done
    2. Overtime has worked in the past, can’t we just ask people to do more overtime?
    3. We have people all over the world. How can we make an agile team?
    4. Our product managers have too much to do to work with a team as a product owner
  5. Team concerns
    1. How do we agree on what “done” means?
    2. We have a geographically distributed team. How do we do planning or standups or retrospectives?
    3. How do we estimate?
    4. How can the team commit to a sprint’s worth of work?
    5. We didn’t finish what we committed to. Why can’t we expand the timebox?
    6. Our testers aren’t part of our project
    7. Our stand up meetings take too long
    8. How does an individual get more responsibility?
  6. Project issues
    1. How to combine “structured” and agile across a program
    2. How to move to agile with infrastructure
    3. With hw/sw integration project: how to reduce serial-ness before developing features
    4. How to use agile with legacy code?
    5. We have a matrixed team. How does that work?
    6. How to get agile to work with pre-set constraints: feature set, time, cost
    7. Involvement with others in the organization (marketing, sales, other business functions)
  7. What you can request of an agile team
    1. Measurements you should see
    2. Progress you should see
  8. Summary and Wrap-up

Contact me for the extended description or to book the workshop.

If you’re new to the agile ideas, I recommend a couple of days of project jump startto make sure you can make these ideas work.

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