Workshop: How to Transition to Agile for Project Managers and Teams

Workshop Objective: If you’ve been reading the software engineering literature, you know that Agile is all the rage. But moving from a phase gate lifecycle (or even a strictly iterative or strictly incremental lifecycle) to iterative/incremental development is quite difficult. Not only is the 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. To make matters worse, what you are accustomed to measuring doesn’t actually tell you where you are either. In this workshop, we will work through projects, both planning and implementing them. We’ll debrief how the projects proceeded and what you perceived worked well and what was not quite what you expected. We’ll also talk about how to get started and how to address the issues of corporate change.

Workshop Overview:This is an experiential, hands-on workshop. We will address many of the core Agile practices in the workshop, first by discussing them and then by practicing them. We will build projects and use feedback and coaching as team members to simulate what a project might look and feel like as a more Agile project.

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

Prerequisites: Experience on a project

Workshop Duration: 2 days.

Workshop Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Project 1: After a short introduction, I will guide you into doing an agile project
  3. What participants are managing now
    1. Problems moving to Agile techniques
    2. Elicit problems participants are dealing with now
    3. Showing how to modify any lifecycle to use Agile practices
  4. Release and iteration planning
  5. Technical practices
    1. Continuous integration with automated smoke tests
    2. Inviting your team to implement by feature, test pervasively, rank the requirements, planning to refactor and integrating refactoring into the project, how to use requirements to help understand how to deliver value quickly
    3. Variety of activities to try the practices
  6. What and how to measure
    1. Velocity, work in progress, whatever else makes sense for you
  7. Management practices
    1. How to plan an iterative/incremental project, including the use of timeboxes, rolling wave planning, milestones that deliver value, keeping the team working
    2. Creating cross-functional project teams without changing the organizational structure
    3. Variety of activities to try the practices
  8. Team practices
    1. Planning in-the-small and in-the-large
    2. Standup meetings and other techniques to see status
    3. One-on-ones and when to use them, including a short piece on feedback and coaching
    4. Variety of activities to try the practices
  9. 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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