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Agile & Scrum Training ASAP™ Delivered in CT, MA and beyond



Here is the Scrum training you are looking for. We deliver this agile training in CT, MA and beyond.


Course Name: Agile Training ASAP™

Brief Course Description: Complete introduction to Agile with strong emphasis on iterative, incremental development using Scrum.

Course Objective: The course objective is to impart the essentials of agile and Scrum to each participant in the shortest amount of time, via active classroom participation in team exercises, such that each student is ready to bring Scrum knowledge and experience back to their real-world teams who are planning and building complex products.

Teacher: Dan Mezick, an agile & Scrum expert residing in CT. See trainer bio here.

Duration: 2 days of FULL IMMERSION, experiental Agile and Scrum learning.

Format: Instructor-facilitated exercises and activities in groups and teams. Maximum experiential learning preceded by a very brief orientation lecture and instructions. This is a learn-by-doing class where we do many activities, and build many complex products in groups. Each segment is followed by a detailed de-brief or "retrospective".

Prerequisites: Knowledge and some experience with of the typical Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is assumed. This also known as the Waterfall Method. This model has the following activities: System/Information Engineering and Modeling, Software Requirement Analysis, System Analysis and Design, Code creation, Testing, and Maintenance. Some knowledge of agile & Scrum is useful but not required.

Assumed Audience: Project sponsors, project managers, project leads, developers, users and testers new to Agile and Scrum. Middle managers get A LOT out of this course because this class is AUTHENTIC agile and Scrum. As such, middle managers see what "doing agile" or "adopting Scrum" actually means. Adopting these methods enhances and increases the influence of the middle manager. There is nothing to fear from agile and Scrum and this class demonstrates how much more productive and happy teams are when using agile and the Scrum framework. Come- and see for yourself !!

Course Materials: Student Resource Pack with printed materials

Course Description Summary: This class is loaded with team activities. Just like a real agile project, we turn you loose on work, with others, using agile methods and the Scrum framework. However unlike some real-world scenarios, you actually DO REAL AGILE and DO REAL Scrum in this class. Attend this class to experience first-hand what REAL AGILE is all about. You exit this class confident, clear, and ready to work on agile & Scrum teams.

Location: We teach agile and Scrum training at your site in CT and MA. We also deliver Scrum training in our classrooms in CT. Call us for agile coaching in CT, Scrum coaching in MA, or anything else agile you have questions on if you are in CT or MA. We also deliver all of our courses nationwide.

Contact us to learn more about our agile coaching and Scrum and agile training in CT, MA and beyond.



"...these are excellent sessions. THANK YOU for helping me understand how agile and Scrum are so effective. I am a line manager and I used to think "agile: meant LESS planning and also a threat to my job and role. I know understand how agile means more and more effective planning, and much more effectiveness in my role as a manager. THANK YOU!" -agile and Scrum training student from 1Q2008

"...I have taken back everything you taught at this class and we are doing great. Our teams could not be happier and management and sponsors are delighted with the results. Thanks for coming in and setting up and delivering this wonderful course! See you at the next meeting of Agile CT !!" - agile & Scrum training student from CT in 3Q2009

"...The learning in this class is not easy to get from a book. We learned alot about each other and how learning as a group is anything but automatic. This is a fun, useful class. I am taking away a whole new way of viewing Scrum and agile methods. " - agile and Scrum student from 2Q2010

(references provided upon request)

NOTE: If you are in MA or CT and looking for agile and Scrum user groups, take a look at Agile Boston and Agile CT. New Technology Solutions organizes and leads these groups; anyone can attend a meeting. Take a look !


The Outline

The following is the detailed course outline for our agile training and Scrum experiential course. This course material draws DIRECTLY from our agile / Scrum coaching practice.

Keep in mind we deliver this class in CT, MA, NY regions. We also cover all of New England and can bring this class anywhere in the USA.

Agile Training ASAP Overview

The best way to learn Scrum practices and principles is to do them under the guidance of a coach. This is true throughout the real world. Professional athletes in teams practice relentlessly to perform well. Scrum teams are no different ! Practice makes perfect...this episodic, full-immersion experiential course is designed to improve your understanding of Scrum as you learn core and essential Scrum ideas.

In this course, you learn by doing (with coaching) and then by reflecting and discussing in a lively, group-level meeting event. This course is designed as an easy, comfortable, low-commitment but high-impact learning event that is optimized for maximum group-level agile training and learning in the shortest amount of time.

In this class, you learn Scrum essentials via very brief and focused lectures that are followed by direct experience in groups, building some very complex products. The direct experience is followed by reflection and the cycle repeats.

The purpose of Scrum is to set up a work structure and a team-centric, safe “space” that enables teams to make small mistakes and LEARN as they build very complex products. That is what this course is all about. In this course you learn, then clarify goals, and then engage in planning.... and execute in short iterations. You then inspect your results. You learn about the people and the work, just as if you are doing real-world work. The class is a “safe room” to explore the Scrum way of working and Scrum roles. Scrum is used as a framework that provides structure and container for team work.

Your iterations are followed by discussing, questioning, speaking and listening. The class ground rules are structured for fun, a deep level of learning, and rich collaboration. The focus is on Scrum … with rules, roles, relationships and structure that encourages production at the expense of waste.

Student Entry Points

Each student comes in to the course with a unique level of maturity, from “newbie” to “master” of Scrum thinking. Each student attending (regardless of starting level) achieves a higher level of competence in Scrum as a result of attending this class. From this new level of skill comes immediate understanding and learning that you can apply to your current work and team to solve problems and build complex products.

This course is taught over 2 sessions of 1 day each. We do 2 “full immersion” episodes (days) of experience. This is enough to begin with agile!! The ideal students are sponsors, managers and other stakeholders, in addition to development team members.

Learning Objectives

1. Learn the essentials of Scrum rapidly, at the deepest level of understanding possible, limited only by the course duration

2. Identify (and deeply understand) the essential values and beliefs that drive ALL successful Scrum adoptions

3. Adopt new ideas related to traditional planning, prediction, and control

4. Exit the course with the essentials needed to understand how Scrum adoption can succeed....or fail, in your organizational context and culture

5. Exit the course ready to reflect on your learning and integrate it AFTER class, such that you may be an truly effective, self-governing member of a Scrum team

6. Exit the class ready to learn more, and engage with others in the execution and further learning and leveraging of the empirical team process and production of value, using Scrum techniques.


The following topics are taught and explored during this hands-on class:

Scrum Principles Essentials
The course begins with a description of the four key principles in the Scrum Manifesto. These four key principles are:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

These core ideas become well understood as a result of experiencing this class

Scrum Practice Essentials

Scrum :
Three Roles, Three Meetings, Three Artifacts Lecture:
Introducing essential Scrum Roles (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Team Member),
Meetings (Sprint Planning, Demo, Retrospective)
Artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown Chart)

Scrum Structure:
Scrum examined under the surface: Boundaries, Authority, Role and Task definitions as structure

Team Self-Organization:
Understanding Present-tense Team Collaboration

Estimating Tasks via Planning Poker

User stories:
Format, types, the "INVEST" acronym....

Planning vs. Prediction Similarities and Key Differences Explained

Group-level Visual Process Control:
Visual Process Control via Task Board and information radiators

The Nokia Test for Testing your level of 'canonical Scrum' implementation
Nokia Test / Your IT Environment

The Nokia test asks eight questions of a team. If all of the questions are not answered in the affirmative, the team may not be doing Scrum. In this session, participants use the Nokia test to analyze their current software development framework and compare it to Scrum. The class discusses how the organization may transition to a Scrum environment which does pass the Nokia test.

Sprints are no more than 4 weeks
Software is done at the end of each sprint
Requirements do not need to be done before start of sprint
There is a Product Owner
There is a product backlog prioritized by business value
The team estimates backlog items
The team creates burndown charts / knows velocity
The team is not interrupted

Bounded Ceremonies:
Planning Meeting
Actual Iteration,
Demo Meeting,
Retrospective Meeting

Scrum Exercise Essentials

Group Estimating Exercise #1: Participants take a shot at estimating at the level of group. The results from this exercise are often quite surprising. Duration: 5 minutes

Group Estimating Exercise #2: Participants in a small groups use Planning Poker and User Stories to estimate the size of various batches of work on a Backlog. Duration: ½ hour

Low Complexity Team Task Exercise: Participants in a small groups plan and estimate the effort for a team task of relatively low complexity. They then execute and compare actual to estimated effort. This experience informs future exercises. Duration: 1 iterations in 20 minutes.

Moderate Complexity: Team Task Exercise: Participants in a small groups use a Task Board to plan work and maintain a Sprint Backlog as they collaboratively develop a product of moderate complexity. Duration: 3 iterations in 1 hour and group retrospective

Higher Complexity: Team Task Exercise: Participants in a small groups use a Task Board to plan work and maintain a Sprint Backlog as they collaboratively develop a product of higher complexity. Duration: 3 iterations in 1 hour and group retrospective

Higher Complexity: Team Composition Exercise: Participants in a small groups plan work and maintain a Sprint Backlog as they collaboratively develop a product of higher complexity. Team composition is changed during the various iterations. The effects on team and project performance are inspected and explored. Duration: 3 iterations in 1 hour and group retrospective

Full Scrum Exercise: Participants in small teams use everything they have learned about Scrum during this episode to plan and create a very complex, non-software “product”. Scrum and full Scrum roles are used. Duration: 1.5 hours

Multi-Team Scrum Exercise: Participants in small teams use everything they have learned about Scrum during this episode to plan and create a very complex, non-software product. Multiple teams work from one Product Backlog. Scrum and full Scrum roles are used. Duration: 2.5 hours

Real-World, Multi-Team Scrum Exercise: Participants in small teams use everything they have learned about Scrum up until now to cope with complexity, and plan and create a very complex, non-software product. The exercise scenario includes unrealistic Product Owner demands, constraints on resources, limited team authoritization, weak facilitation by a developing Scrum Master, and more. This is the final exam. Multiple teams work from one Product Backlog. Scrum and full Scrum roles are used. Students learn that Scrum is not all fun and games but rather, an intentional way to do serious work in groups. Duration: 2.5 hours

Discussing the Essentials
Scrum ROI / Business Case
The class ends with a description and discussion of the business benefits of transitioning to Scrum. This is a group-level retrospective. Participants engage in defining ground rules for this facilitated meeting.

  • Topics in this class include
    • Pulling the trigger at the “Last Responsible Moment”;
    • Spikes-- how to plan to focus on one research item for one day to gather essential info;
    • Empirical, iterative planning for complex products;
    • Changing team composition and the group dynamics of velocity;
    • Exploring group-level learning via “fail fast” dynamics
    • Failing Fast-- honoring experimentation and mistakes; experimenting & risk management;
    • Defining, agreeing to and adhering to WORKING AGREEMENTS;
    • Exploring all the Scrum roles;
    • Why agile means slightly more planning, but far less prediction;
    • Organizing your team to outperform all competitors;
    • Exploring Scrum boundaries for roles, rules and tasks;
    • Definition of READY and DONE;
    • Understanding the Scrum Ceremonies (Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Team retrospective)
    • Understanding the Scrum Roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, Team)
    • Understanding the Scrum Artifacts (Release Burndown, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Sprint Burndown)
    • Understanding the essentials of Team Trust, Safety, Group Learning and Hyper-Productivity)

    Successively more complex products are built IN TEAMS on existing tools and platforms as teams explore the dynamics of accumulating understanding of the work, Scrum, and each other in an experiential and highly empirical format of learning.

    The student that completes this course is knowledgeable in agile methods and the Scrum Framework, and knows how to:

  • Identify what is an agile practice, and what is NOT agile
  • Explain Scrum's roles, boundaries, tasks, and related authorization for all of the above;
  • Create Release backlog, Product backlog, Sprint backlog, and Sprint burndown documents;
  • Do agile estimates and planning and report same to project sponsors;
  • Understand the dynamics of fixing the variables of cost, delivery date, quality and features
  • Educate sponsors & managers on how agile & Scrum techniques increase productivity;
  • Plan and execute Sprint planning, Daily Scrum and Sprint Review meetings;
  • Tap the power of periodic and iterative group learning via the Retrospective meeting;
  • Exploit the power of visual management via the Task Board;
  • Explain and use Planning Poker for developing group-level estimations of work;
  • Explain and use User Stories for planning and estimating work;
  • Work in a team scenario while encouraging and participating in group-level learning;
  • Speak from experience on complex agile concepts like failing fast, deferring commitment till the 'last responsible moment', role, task and boundary management, and the like;
  • Confidently begin a agile adoption initiative as a Product Owner, Scrum Master or Team member
  • Understand and appreciate the power of having an agile/Scrum coach to guide the team, especially in the early stages of agile adoption;
  • Appreciate, develop and begin to actively use facilitation and conflict management techniques to increase group learning and keep the team on task

    Click here to contact us about this class
  • Click here for information on Agile Coaching services we provide.

    Click here for Pricing.


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