This course is designed to leave delegates more confident in five key areas:
1. Why successful businesses use lean and agile principles.
2. The skills needed to achieve agility.
3. The value of establishing clear outcomes and vision for success.
4. How tools aid informed decision making.
5. Actions required to increase business agility.
Audience, Pre-requisites and Assumed Knowledge
As an introduction-level course there is no assumed knowledge agile or technology. The course is aimed at people who understand their business context and competitive landscape, and are keen to explore techniques to implement an agile strategy. Typical attendees include:
- Business representatives who want to work more effectively with technical teams.
- Managers and leaders of business units.
- Delivery managers and leaders of technical departments.
- Engineers and technical staff who want to understand the business intent of agile.
When delivered as a private class, the course may be pitched at an appropriate level. For example, experienced teams can quickly re-establish the basics and then spend more time considering the detail of their approach.
We are a friendly team of practitioners and we like to provide a personal level of support, before, during and after the class:
- Pre-course reading designed to expose questions so that they can be explored in class.
- Contact details allowing delegates to ask questions to the trainer before and after the class.
- Access to a comprehensive set of guidance after the course so that delegates apply what has been learnt.
- Digital course effectiveness surveys with results sent out to delegates and sponsors straight after the class.
Why businesses need to be agile
We look at the current landscape for operating a business with an increasing rate of innovation and disruption, and some examples of organisations that have employed a growth mindset to be competitive. Delegates then explore what this means for their business:
- Position in the market, and how might this change.
- Things that in the way of being effective.
- Impactful measures that can overcome these difficulties.
Lean and agile principles
Lean principles pre-date agile software delivery by decades, and emerged to deliver competitive advantage in manufacturing. Today these principles are used by business in a wide range of sectors, and delegates will learn how to put the customer at the centre, remove waste from the process, and improve the flow of value.
The discussion will then turn to the agile movement and the distinction between:
- Doing agile: having a 15-minute meeting every morning.
- Business agility: having an effective capability to innovate while responding to change.
Vision and leadership
We highlight some key success factors in effective leadership by establishing a clear vision, keeping that vision fresh, and ensuring that everyone is aligned towards achieving it. An example of an effective agile operating model is described, which allows organisations to ensure that the best ideas are progressed and delivered.
Case study class project: A plan must be put in place for an expanding business, where the route to growth has many options. Delegates explore how leaders establish a clear vision having evaluated the possible courses of action.
Skills and tools needed to support business agility
Delegates learn the skills and traits linked to effective outcomes, while avoiding cognitive bias. These skills are applied to the case study project by evaluating release strategies and managing risk. A range of supporting tools are described, including visual reporting and data analysis, that can help to confirm decisions.
Business agility applied
We review a range of specific practice areas including Scrum, Kanban, Agile studios, design sprints, transformations and change management. Delegates then reflect on their current place of work and are invited to describe:
- How they could design their workplace to be the least agile it could possibly be.
- Which of the points above they are actually doing right now.
- How they might stop doing those things.
Business Agility Outcomes
The course ends with a learning review to ensure full understanding of the key concepts presented and that delegates feel confident in knowing how to get started. Long-established practices that are widely accepted to be “the way we do things round here” are likely to face scrutiny in the days after this course, leading to better business outcomes.