Project Delivery
Agile Boost Workshop


Overview

This workshop has everything you need to launch an Agile team or to tune up an ongoing team. The exact activities used in the workshop depend on the current Agile maturity of the team. Typical activities include: Product Visioning, Agile agreements, Epic and user story creation, backlog grooming (or creation), release planning, iteration planning for your first (or next) iteration, and team building.

Regardless of the current Agile maturity of the team, the workshop provides participants with an opportunity to greatly increase their proficiency with Agile techniques using their real work facilitated by an experienced Agile Coach. For teams that have been Agile for a while, running an Agile Boost is useful as a refresher: to reinforce and validate areas of strength, to learn new Agile techniques, and to work on areas where the team has hit a plateau or even regressed.

If you are starting a new team, the artifacts produced during the workshop may be sufficient to get started. If additional backlog grooming and planning is required, the next steps are up to you. You can either engage an Agile Coach or use the experience gained in the workshop to continue the process on your own.

This workshop can also be run for a project that is being considered but is not yet funded. In this case, it can be used to flesh out the vision and create estimates that can help with the funding decision.

Duration: 1-2 days depending on team-specific goals

Pre-requisite: Any 2-day introduction to Agile such as Agile Whole Team Training

Participants

This workshop requires all participants to be at the same location. Remote participation is not supported. The standard version of the workshop is for a single team at a time. Participants include everyone involved in the Agile Team including:

  • Management
  • Product managers, product owners, business analysts
  • Designers, Developers, Testers, DBA’s
  • Technical writers
  • Project manager, scrum master

Course Outline

Note: the exact activities depend on the current Agile maturity of the team.

Team building – the workshop will introduce participants to multiple activities that help a team come together as a high performing Agile team. All of the activities in the workshop will include all participants.

Retrospectives – break out of the default retrospective format by learning new ones including “Speedboat” and “Best Team / Worst Team” that help a team better understand their strengths and areas of opportunity.

Team improvement backlog – many of the activities will lead to action items for future improvement which the team can prioritize in a team improvement backlog.

Team startup planning (for new teams) - preparing the team for success from various perspectives include logistical, technical, team workspace configuration, stakeholder communication, etc.

Rules of engagement – a high performance team requires knowing what the rules are. In Agile this means having good agreements in place including: definition of ready, definition of done, and team working agreement.

Product visioning - A product vision sets the direction and guides the Scrum team. It is the overarching goal everyone must share – Product Owner, Scrum Master, team, management, customers and other stakeholders. Creating a compelling product vision involves a number of activities including: product segmentation, creation of lightweight personas and use case scenarios, writing Epics, user story mapping and determining minimum viable products (MVPs).

Minimum Viable Products – breaking up a single release into multiple incremental releases, each of which are viable for some set of users, in order to get early feedback and potentially early savings or revenues. MVPs are also useful for enabling strategic or tactical changes in direction.

Product segmentation – a product can be broken up into multiple segments which aids in the creation of Epics, User stories, and MVPs. A useful framework for this is Geoffrey Moore’s classic “bowling pin” strategy.

Personas and Use Cases – in preparation for user story mapping, participants will create “empathy maps” which are a fast way to create lightweight personas, and sketch out a few use case scenarios. Can also be used to transform existing personas and use cases into ones that are purpose-built for Agile.

User story mapping – this is a useful technique for elaborating a product vision in the form of Epics and user stories originally created by Jeff Patton. Minimum Viable Increments and smaller user stories are good additional outcomes from this exercise.

User story writing and splitting – reinforces good story writing skills. Updating and rewriting of stories following INVEST, adding MARS acceptance criteria and story-splitting. Covers a wide variety of story splitting techniques such as Cake slicing, CRUD, list generation, acceptance criteria, and keywords.

Team-based estimation – learn or improve on a variety of estimation techniques such as planning poker and bucket sizing.

Iteration planning – performing the necessary prioritization, estimation, story writing, and Epic/story splitting to create the first iteration of ready stories.

Release planning - the release plan sets the timeline for the first three months to a year of releases using a high level content plan which is a flexible framework for iteration planning. Includes planning for release activities.

Project Delivery

 
Agile Boost

This workshop has everything you need to launch an Agile team or to tune up an ongoing team. The exact activities used in the workshop depend on the current Agile maturity of the team. Typical activities include: Product Visioning, Agile agreements, Epic and user story creation, backlog grooming (or creation), release planning, iteration planning for your first (or next) iteration, and team building.

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