This course is designed to leave delegates more confident in five key areas:
- The intention behind agile and Scrum practices.
- Scrum roles and interactions.
- Scrum events, artefacts and tools.
- Managing and refining a product backlog with user stories.
- Putting Scrum into action.
Audience, Pre-requisites and Assumed Knowledge
As an introduction-level course there is no assumed knowledge in Scrum or agile principles, and it works well with mixed classes of software developers and the business stakeholders that they might interact with. The focus of the class in on software product delivery, matching the intent of Scrum itself. For scenarios that are less technical or less product-focused, our introduction to agile or effective use of Kanban courses may be more relevant. Typical attendees include:
- Traditional engineering teams of software engineers, analysts and testers, who are planning to start using Scrum.
- Established Scrum teams that are worried they’re not doing “proper scrum”, or want a refresher on the principles behind what they’re doing.
- Project managers seeking to adapt to agile roles such as scrum master, product owner, or subject matter expert.
- Established or prospective product owners and product managers.
- Stakeholders or users of products who need a good working relationship with agile teams.
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.
Scrum in Action
We begin by establishing some the basics: defining agility as a business capability allowing organisations to respond quickly and effectively. We then see how product backlogs are central to this idea: simple ordered lists with most of the effort and analysis weighted toward the top. We’ll explore the implications of this when new information comes to light and changing the plan becomes necessary or desirable.
Product Case Study
A case study for a new product idea will be introduced, which delegates will follow through the whole course:
- Teams will be formed with the three roles of development team, product owner and scrum master.
- A product vision and product backlog will be provided.
- Teams will take control by adjusting the vision as they see fit, then getting their product backlog in order.
Key concepts covered during this section are:
- The accountabilities of each role.
- The outcomes needed in product delivery (as distinct from project management).
Agile Planning in Scrum
Delegates will explore a range of complimentary practices that may be used to enhance long- and short-term plans:
- User stories to capture high-quality requirements without doing detailed analysis too soon.
- Story point estimation to enable good understanding of long-term forecasts.
- Factors that contribute to ordering a product backlog.
- Sprint planning: effective techniques for planning at the finest level of detail.
- How development teams can learn to stay in control of their own sprint backlogs, and improve their forecasting.
- Using metrics such as velocity and burn-down charts to make effective decisions.
At the core of the Scrum process is the idea that a new increment of working software is available to inspect every 30 days or less. Delegates will learn that if the process is to be effective, teams need a definition of what “done” means, which then acts as a driver to increase product quality and maintain transparency.
Establishing a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Scrum development teams are most effective when the whole team is always looking for ways to improve. We’ll explore the intent behind sprint retrospectives as a tool to help teams understand their process and implement improvements. Teams will learn a range of practical tips to run retrospectives effectively, and the course will conclude with a retrospective exercise that leaves delegates with a list of things they can take away from the class and apply in their teams.
Introduction to Scrum Outcomes
Delegates leave the introduction to agile training course with a shared experience of the terminology, intended benefits and practical application of agile practices. In addition, the delegates can immediately apply the techniques and exercises to their own real-world product delivery.