Training

Inspiring experiences that change mindset, develop skills, and catalyze action

We are not a generic training company. Every one of our trainers has an extensive, balanced record of training, coaching, consulting, and facilitation in Agile. All our courses are experiential and engaging, and all our exercises are original. We keep our material current with the ever-expanding Agile frontiers. And, we will work with you on a customized agenda as needed.

 

The courses we teach these days are:

Leading Toward the Agile Mind-Set (2 days)

for technology managers/directors/VPs, senior project/program managers, enterprise coaches

Develop effective attitudes and know-how for cultivating team and organizational Agility.

Overview

If you’re a manager, director, or VP, what are you supposed to do in Agile? And how can you be effective, and fulfilled, on the years-long Agile journey? Most managers are not sure how to answer these questions, and they have nowhere to turn. Their organizations’ whirlwind Agile transformations have left them hanging.

 

Finally, there’s a course for middle management. Not yet another course on Scrum mechanics, SAFe structures, or certified leadership (!), but a workshop designed specifically to help middle management support the Agile journey, and thrive while doing that.

 

This workshop has a simple objective: increase organizational Agility by fulfilling the conditions in which thriving teams implement truly Agile processes. Several of the world’s largest organizations have had their hundreds of directors and senior managers attend this workshop on-site. Ask us privately for references.

 

We dive deeply into two key elements of successful Agile environments: the mind-set and the human dimension. (Sputtering implementations are usually due to problems with either one of these elements.)

 

  • We paint a vivid picture of the Agile mind-set, its rationale, and its application to work and to people. We take the Agile conversation out of the weeds of tools and mechanics to the more meaningful place of values, beliefs, and principles.
  • For the human side of Agile, we explore key topics of leading toward and in Agile workplaces, and help attendees discover and process the implications to them as leaders.
  • The agenda includes time on day 2 for facilitated reflection accompanied by coaching and consulting by the instructor.

 

The more advanced the participants are in terms of leadership experience, the less we cover the basics of the human side, and the more time we spend on Agile’s implications and applications to leadership. If the group ranges from beginner to advanced, we try to find common ground that benefits everyone.

 

Class size: 12-20 participants.

 

Curious to hear about this course in Gil’s words? Watch Dave Prior’s interview with him from Agile2016. Start at 04:45 (before that point, they discussed Gil’s conference session, which was about making meetings matter.)

Leading Toward the Agile Mind-Set (1 day)

for managers/directors/VPs and project/program managers, both technology and business

Work more effectively in Agile environments by solidifying your understanding of the Agile mind-set, its application, and its implications.

Overview

If you’re a manager, director, or VP involved with Agile teams, what do you need to know to be effective and supportive? If the Agile transformation has resulted in a wide spectrum of understanding, buy-in, and implementation, how can you get everyone on the same page and make the most out of Agile?

 

Most managers struggle with these questions, often due to assumptions they make. They think Agile is “better, cheaper, faster”, a process with a set of best practices, or a framework they can “install” for managing technical work. This is all wrong.

 

It gets worse. Even when technology managers learn the answers, their business counterparts are usually left guessing.

 

We have a scalable solution to this problem: the one-day format of “Leading Toward the Agile Mind-Set.” The two-day format (see above) is for those who need to apply; the one-day format is for those who need to know.

 

Some of the world’s largest organizations are having us lead dozens of sessions, to which they invite managers from both technology and business. This isn’t merely a scalable training solution; it’s a conversation changer and a secret weapon. Ask us privately for references.

Being Agile (1 day)

for Agile team members, ScrumMasters, technical leads, product owners and close business partners

Strengthen the foundation for Agile and gain thinking tools for increasing Agility.

Overview

If your team has been doing Agile for a few months, are they also being Agile? That is, do they truly put people before process, deliver value frequently, respond to change economically and without drama, and collaborate with their customer?

 

Many teams start their Agile journey doing Agile: going through Scrum/SAFe/Kanban motions and trying “best practices.” But without a solid grasp of the Agile mindset — values, beliefs, and principles — those motions will not make them agile. People cannot get great at Agile by following recipes and imitating moves, as if they’re learning to drive; the concepts that make Agility work must permeate their work.

 

This workshop is perfect both for teams that need to level up with Agile and for teams that are struggling to get Agile (and perhaps take a dim view of it, for the wrong reasons).

 

Class size: 12-20 participants.

Facilitating Collaboration and Agile Teamwork (1 day)

for ScrumMasters, team and technical leads, product owners, and managers

Master powerful yet simple techniques to get your whole team talking, collaborating, and making effective shared decisions.

Overview

In a healthy Agile environment, people communicate, collaborate, and decide together all the time. The big idea is that the group can be smarter than the individuals, which means it will do better work and produce better results.

 

However, too many teams do not experience this synergy:

 

  • Rather than have valuable interactions, they complain, “Agile has too many meetings!”
  • Instead of determining work together, they wait for someone to assign them tasks (or don’t wait, and decide unilaterally).
  • They default to working on tasks individually “because that would be faster”.

 

These patterns rule out group wisdom, but that’s not the only problem. When the team doesn’t act as a team, the non-collaborative power structure (“command & control”) fills the vacuum. And if it pressures teams to interact but they only go through the motions, they get disillusioned about empowerment and resentful toward Agile.

 

It’s actually quite easy to turn this situation around, and we only need one day with you. You’ll learn powerful, simple techniques to make every meeting collaborative, worth having, and a welcome experience for its participants. You’ll study and practice useful communication patterns that get people talking. You’ll learn how to support (and not deter) your team’s self-organization. And you’ll discover how to help your team increase their motivation, satisfaction, and contribution.

 

Class size: 8-20 participants.

Pragmatic Scrum (2 days)

for cross-functional Agile teams including managers and close business partners

Develop the necessary understanding, skills, and mindset so you can establish an Agile process that works for you.

Overview

This course is designed for teams that realize that simplistic Scrum mechanics, roles, and artifacts won’t make them Agile.

 

With this course, teams learn the Agile values, beliefs, and principles (= the mindset), what Agile is and isn’t, how to perform good practices correctly and usefully, and what Agile behaviours look like. It also includes critical components that are missing from certified Scrum.

 

This experiential training makes use of powerful simulations, activities, and interactions not found in the hundreds of publicly available Scrum courses. We evolve the material continuously based on the best knowledge the Agile community has to offer. The instructor, Gil Broza, has been coaching organizations since before Agile had its name, and has authored books on the most commonly neglected aspects of Agile — the mindset and the human side.

 

 

Class Size: Up to 20 participants

Agile Engineering: Effective Programming Techniques and Strategies for Sustained Agility (2 days)

— for software developers, architects, database developers, testers who code, and their respective managers

Master the strategies and practices of developing high-quality code and reining in legacy.

Overview

Agile changes the rules of the programming game. A software team can’t just use stripped-down versions of traditional programming; they must develop the knowledge, approaches, and habits to be effective in an Agile life-cycle. Otherwise, they’ll just produce instant legacy code and within a year or so, technical debt will compromise quality and productivity. Guaranteed.

 

In this Agile Engineering course, programmers learn reliable, sustainable and enjoyable software development attitudes and practices. They’ll be poised to become true Agile developers, rather than developers who happen to use Agile practices. They can immediately put to use everything they learn in this course to reduce time to market, increase quality, and reduce technical debt.

 

Participants’ learning objectives:

  • Develop simple, clear, tested code faster than you ever did
  • Use test-driven development and refactoring correctly and effectively
  • Evolve object-oriented software with tests’ guidance
  • Unit-test the tough cases
  • Stop dreading legacy code

 

Note: Delivered in Java, this course is perfect for C#, C++, PHP, and web developers too.
Class Size: Up to 20 participants

 

Consult the curriculum and read rave testimonials from students in Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, and Israel.

Product Owner and other Agile Customers (2 days)

— for product managers, business analysts, UX designers, domain architects, and other stakeholders who shape products

Learn the mindset and techniques for discovering, shaping, and evolving valuable products the Lean/Agile way.

Overview

Product managers, UX/UI designers, business analysts, and domain architects are all Agile Customers. (One of these roles is typically designated as the lead, or Product Owner.) This role comes with great responsibility, far beyond merely writing user stories and prioritizing a backlog.

 

To be successful their role, the Agile mindset must permeate everything Agile customers do: choosing the work, engaging with delivery teams, working better. They need to know how to make commitments while eschewing predictions, how to thin-slice work items, and how to chart meaningful evolutionary paths. The tools and techniques are secondary, yet somehow they are the focus of most PO courses out there.

 

Participants’ learning objectives:

  • Decide (easily) what to work on… and what not to work on
  • Perform useful customer practices
  • Structure your daily activities well (and stay sane)
  • Feel confident about carrying out your role effectively
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with delivery teams

 

Class Size: Up to 20 participants

Agile Testing (2 days)

— for testers, test leads, and QA managers

Learn the mindset, skills, and behaviours of great Agile testers

Overview

If you’re a tester, your Agile team invites you to be an equal, contributing member from the very first day. What are you supposed to do? How can you contribute? What are effective, desirable behaviours and attitudes? And what would you need to do to adopt them easily and confidently?

 

The course is designed to turn testers from people who “happen to be in a Scrum team” to bona fide Agile testers. Participants will see exactly where they fit in an Agile team throughout the work’s life-cycle. They’ll understand how Agile teams can deliver working software on time without squeezing the testers (or testing in the next iteration). Throughout the course, they will examine their beliefs and assumptions about software testing and adjust them easily to an Agile environment.

 

Participants’ learning objectives:

  • Test more effectively and pragmatically than ever before
  • Engage productively with developers, product owners, and managers
  • Add value to your team and organization every day (not just at the end of the project)
  • Understand what’s changed and what’s remained in the move from traditional testing (e.g. ISTQB) to Agile testing
  • Cover all of your team’s testing needs

 

Class Size: Up to 18 participants

Grow A Solid Agile Team: Practical Skills for Cultivating Excellence (2 days)

— for ScrumMasters, managers, team/delivery leads

If your team is not as solid, as Agile, or as much a team as they could be, develop the key soft skills to help your team grow into a solid Agile team.

Overview

Agile is predicated on empowered, collaborative teams. In most real-world Agile teams, the situation is not rosy. There are managers, and it’s not clear who owns which decisions and activities. The team might “storm with a happy face”, because they have no reason to feel accountable to each other. Their self-organization is rather basic, and most of their retrospectives result in minor changes. The promises of hyper-productivity are just that — promises.

 

Such teams benefit from strong leadership. If you’re the leader, this experiential course will help you learn to:

  • Support your Agile team all the way from Forming to Performing (did you know that every stage requires different actions and strategies from you?)
  • Build up your confidence and skills as a servant leader (all the more so if your organization doesn’t entirely understand servant leadership)
  • Put team autonomy, empowerment, and self-organization in your context, and specifically who makes which decisions when
  • Develop ways to share your expectations, needs, and experience without being seen as interfering or micromanaging
  • Get through to even the most resistant people without being “touchy-feely”
  • Discover how to coach both individuals and teams, and practice that in a safe environment
  • Lead useful, collaborative meetings (even if you can’t be a neutral facilitator)

 

Class size: Up to 20 people

 

All the details, including testimonials, are here. Curious to hear about it in Gil’s words? Watch Dave Prior’s 8-minute interview with him from Agile2014.

All prices in Canadian dollars (C $1 =~ US $0.80, GBP 0.60, euro 0.70) Dismiss