Scrum with Agile Requirements: Achieving Sustainable Agility

Course Tabs

Course Overview
Summary: 

Table of Contents

This course is based on Scrum/Agile Product Management, which is an operating model that incorporates Scrum.  This prepares people to adopt Scrum to their environment.  It is also useful for training SAFe® ARTs since it both accommodates large class sized and integrates Agile Product Management which SAFe for Teams does not cover to such a deep extent.  If needed, the course can be taught using SAFe and/or customer-specific terminology.

The objective of training in Scrum is not to just learn what Scrum is but how to use it effectively to improve your teams' abilities and agility. Net Objectives' almost two decades of experience in training and coaching in Scrum has enabled us to create a new type of training for Scrum teams that provides more breadth of content, more retention and more support after the training. All while reducing cost because of the innovative delivery format allows for larger class sizes while increasing collaborative learning.

We accomplish this by substituting generic story decomposition methods with using Behavior Driven Development to accomplish this essential work. This helps teams eliminate the common challenges of unclear requirements and sets the stage for better testing.  Although Scrum is a generic framework, we find that by taking advantage of what is known about Scrum in the software world, specific recommendations can greatly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of adoption. Most importantly, the course is offered by senior consultants who ensure it fits the culture and context of your organization.  It also includes one-on-one coaching of teams to so each team gets a half day of personalized coaching.

Just as important, we include supporting materials to help new Scrum teams with Scrum. We don't believe your only choices are to go it alone or pay for embedded coaches. By properly preparing you during the workshop and providing needed support materials many of the challenges faced by teams with standard Scrum training can be avoided. You can increase this value by bundling in the Coaching Academy for your Scrum Masters

High Level Curriculum

A CSM course is intended to teach teams the roles, events, artifacts and rules of Scrum. It typically adds estimation, decomposing epices to features to stories. Some trainers include some work in process management (WIP). The focus is on the process of building software incrementally. 

The most difficult challenge teams new to Scrum have is how to decompose epics to small enough stories to fit in a 1-2 week sprint. Our 20 years of experience with Agile has taught us that some form of specifying requirements in the form of acceptance criteria is the best way to do this. In complex code environments and even more business environments, we have found that behavior driven development (BDD) suits this very well. We have found that BDD is effective for new teams as it provides a solid guidance to teams to get clarity on what is needed, to decompose large product backlog increments (PBIs) into smaller ones and to focus on completing small slices of work.  This workshop therefore covers:

  • Basic Scrum curriculum
  • Lean principles of flow
  • Agile product management including concepts of MVPs and MBIs
  • How to use defining acceptance criteria as part of the requirement to achieve small stories
  • Teaches Scrum as example so Scrum can be accommodated to your teams’ environments
  • How to manage people who have to be split across teams
  • Focuses on realization of value not mere deployment
  • Provides insights on how multiple teams can work together on multi-team projects

There Is A Difference Between Team Training and Scrum Master Training

Most Scrum training is a blend of Scrum and Scrum Master training.  These are two different things. There is definitely value in Scrum Masters being present to the Scrum training of their teams. This facilitates collaboration. But the training should not cover what the Scrum Master needs to do since the developers don't need to know that and it wastes their time. We suggest having Product Owners be in team Scrum training as well. This helps teach these two roles how to work better together. Much of the work done in the Scrum involves developers and product owners working together. Product Owners define the "what" with the team deciding on the "how." Since teams also validate what's built the product owner and development team represent the customer, development and testing - the Triad of Acceptance Test-Driven Development (another name for Behavior Driven Development - BDD).

No need to reinvent the wheel

Scrum is a framework that is intended to have people self-organize within it. We believe that Scrum should be taught with enough key practices, tailored for the teams involved in the workshop, so that they can get started in an effective manner.  Our deep knowledge of patterns of success and challenge enable us to provide guidance on how to adopt certain practices for the teams in the workshop. This enables teams to learn specific practices they should while avoiding having to have teams re-invent the wheel. By also providing templates to be used after the training teams can continue to evolve their Scrum practices or even transcend Scrum if warranted.

What you need to learn to be effective with Scrum

Before adopting Scrum, you must ensure it is the correct framework to use.  Included in this workshop is a half-day consulting with management to ensure it is the right framework for you and if and how it needs to be tailored. If a flow model works better for you, this workshop can be tailored to that. Most of the work development teams do are understanding requirements, developing code, and validating that the code meets the requirements. Behavior Driven Development (the defining of test specifications before developing software) has been integrated into teaching Scrum because although Scrum itself is simple, teams need to learn how to create stories.  We integrate story writing with tests into our Scrum training to take advantage of this. This is done with the teams' own stories, so they get a start on applying it to their own work. After the training teams can then take BDD as far as they want, but their mindset will have definitely shifted towards the better. See How to Start with ATDD/BDD for more.

More information can be found at What You Need To Get Started With Scrum on our portal.

Providing a support system for continued learning

We provide a collection of templates, on line videos and discussion boards to help participants continue to learn and be able to ask questions of experts as needed.

Templates provided

All participants in this course are provided with 6 month free access to our Net Objectives Premium Content. It provides access to all of the following templates. Go here for the premium content template page or click here to see an overview of these templates.

  • Outcome-based Thinking Mindset
  • Definition of Done, Definition of Ready, Team DoR-DoD Template
  • The MBI Mindset
  • Team-Agility Scorecard
  • Components of a good Scrum/Kanban Board
  • How we agree to new practices
  • How to do a Retrospection
  • Classes of service
  • Agreements to make with other teams and management
  • Ensuring what's being built can be delivered
  • Going  beyond "Scrum-but" (how to change practices that commonly get dropped by those new to Scrum)

Support videos

These are short videos that help with improving common Scrum practices

Comparing this Workshop to a CSM Course

Here's a comparison of time, curriculum covered and cost. The biggest differences are in content and coaching. Although we include price, we are not selling on price. We're selling on higher quality and deeper scope being delivered. We have come up with innovative workshop methods to integrate the broad curriculum so it takes less time with higher quality. We pass this savings in our cost on to you. 

 

  CSM Scrum /APM
1/2 day pre-workshop preparation N Y
Core Scrum practices Y Y
Learn how to write small stories N Y
Lean how to write testable specifications N Y
Large class sizes allow for better collaboration with product owners N Y
Embedded coaching N Y
Remote attendees allowed? N Y
Focused on Scrum Master role Y N
Focused on team (PO, developer team and Scrum Master) N Y
Cost per student with large class size $600 $433

How We're Able to Do This

To ensure we are delivering the workshop for your situation, we include one-half a day of pre-workshop discussions with the leaders related to the team. 

We've increased the efficiency of the course by:

  • not discussing what Scrum Masters need that the team doesn't
  • only briefly covering the generic Scrum decomposition methods which must be transcended before long
  • teaching some of the Scrum practices while teaching BDD

We improve the quality of the workshop by:

  • having product owners and developers work together which facilitates learning
  • using exercises  and games to enable larger class sizes while keeping it interesting
  • doing one-on-one team coaching to ground the practices in the teams' actual work
  • having all of our workshop leaders are skilled practitioners and consultants with an average of 15+ years in Agile methods

Any Certifications/PDUs

28 PDUs
 

Maximum Number in Class

75 (Approximate. Depends upon make up and experience level of team.)