There is much information available for Agile developers, testers, and project managers, but very little for development managers, team leaders and other people involved in management. However, when organizations adopt Agile software development, not only developers, testers, and project managers need to learn new practices. Managers, leaders, coaches, and other stakeholders will have to learn a new approach to leading and managing Agile organizations. This Agile management training course is designed to help them.
Current Agile Management Training Schedule
This course aims at leaders/managers who want to become Agile, and other stakeholders involved in leadership and management. (No practical experience with Agile methods is necessary, though some familiarity with Agile principles and practices is useful.)
The course typically draws team leaders (15%), development managers (15%), agile coaches (15%), scrum masters (15%), project managers (10%), product owners (10%), developers and testers (10%), and top-level management (10%).
Topics Day 1
- Agile software development is the new golden standard for software teams. You will learn about different Agile methods, popular best practices, the 7 dimensions of looking at software projects, challenges in Agile adoption around the world, and the contribution of the manager and team leader in Agile organizations;
- Complexity science and systems thinking are the cornerstones of an Agile mindset. You will learn what complexity theory is, how to think in terms of systems, about Black Swans and Jokers, about the difference between complex and complicated, about fallacies of traditional linear thinking, and suggestions for complexity thinking;
- People are the most important parts of an organization and managers must do all they can to keep people active, creative, and motivated. You will learn about the difference between extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation, the 10 intrinsic desires, and common techniques for understanding what is important to the people in your teams, such as one-on-one meetings, personal assessments, the 12 most important questions, and 360 degree meetings;
- Teams are able to self-organize, and this requires empowerment, authorization, and trust from management. You will learn how to make self-organization work, how to distribute authorization in an organization, the challenges of empowerment, how to grow relationships of trust, and several techniques for distributed control, such as the 7 levels of delegation, and authority boards;
Topics Day 2
- Self-organization can lead to anything, and it’s therefore necessary to protect people and shared resources, and to give people a clear purpose and defined goals. You will learn when to manage and when to lead, how to use different criteria to create useful goals, about the challenges around management by objectives, and how to protect people and shared resources from any bad effects of self-organization.
- Teams aren’t able to achieve their goals if team members aren’t capable enough, and managers must therefore contribute to the development of competence. You will learn about skill levels and discipline levels, how and when to apply the seven approaches of competence development, how to measure progress in a complex system, the effect of sub-optimization, and several tips for useful metrics;
- Many teams operate within the context of a complex organization, and thus it is important to consider structuresthat enhance communication. You will learn how to grow an organizational structure as a fractal, how to balance specialization and generalization, how to choose between functional and cross-functional teams, about informal leadership and widening job titles, and about treating teams as value units in a value network;
- People, teams, and organizations need to improve continuously, in order to defer failure for as long as possible. In practice this means that managers and leaders must act as change agents, trying to change the social complex systems around them. You will learn about the 4 facets of change management, which address the system, the individuals, the interactions, and the boundary of the system.
Games and Exercises
Each of the eight topics includes at least one game or exercise where people put into practice the ideas of the course in groups of four to six people. Sometimes the attendees play as different managers against each other. Sometimes they act together as one manager, sharing their thoughts while working on a problem.
Every social activity ends with a debrief and a discussion, so that people can relate what they’ve learned to their own situation, and bring up questions and experiences to be addressed by the whole group