We recommend this workshop in lieu of SAFe® for Teams. The best way to get entire trains up to speed, including their product owners and RTEs, is for them to learn together. ATDD is often relegated to future training which often does not happen. Learning it up front requires less framework knowledge. By using a blend of advanced training methods and one-on-one or one-on-two team coaching the workshop enables trains to work on their own backlogs.


This workshop is delivered through several modules

Pre-Workshop Discussion

One-half day of pre-workshop discussions with the leaders related to the team. 


Module 1

This module involves everyone together for 8 hours of training plus a 1-hour lunch break. We can accommodate your scheduling requirements.

  • An exercise that allows people to express what they think are the main challenges to sustainable product development. We use a Kanban board to track progress on these topics throughout the workshop.

  • Lean and Theory of Constraints game. This lays the foundation for teaching Scrum and Lean Product Development fundamentals. This allows people to experience some of the Lean-Agile challenges we are going to address but in a simple, safe, and fun manner. Learning solutions to these challenges. 

  • Scrum as a project management framework in its purest form with no deviations from the Scrum Guide. This is presented in a brief but very disciplined manner focusing on the objectives and intentions of the roles, events, and artifacts. 

  • We address the importance of

    • Optimizing value realization throughput instead of optimizing individual productivity

    • Channeling all work through the Product Owner

    • Making all work visible

    • Having clarity on what will constitute acceptance before starting

    • Adopting definitions of Done and Ready

    • Team-based estimation

    • Working together as a cross-functional team (and succeeding or failing as a team)

    • Focusing on finishing Work-in-Process instead of starting new work

  • Continuous improvement

  • Advanced techniques for dealing with requirements in Scrum are covered during Modules 2, 3, and 4.

  • Some things, like coaching metrics, are not part of the workshop but can be offered if required.

Module 2

This module involves both training and coaching.

Training: Everyone together for 4 hours.

  • An Agile requirements game that allows people to see the problems with requirements analysis, management, conveyance, and collaboration. A demonstration of the essential aspects required to address these including iterative requirements, fast feedback, domain specific language.

  • The team picks something from their backlog that they are going to work on during the workshop and they start doing some rudimentary exercises on it during the morning.

  • The fundamentals of TDD and Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)

  • The importance of collaboration on specifications

  • The importance of having a non-controversial Definition of Done

  • The Given-When-Then construct of BDD


Coaching after training section: Each team gets 1.0 to 1.5 hours of coaching

  • Applying the ATDD/BDD techniques they have learned  on their backlog items

  • Coaches answer questions, guiding and coaching them but just on the aspects learned so far

  • Introducing 1) separation of concerns, 2) higher-level scenarios, and 3) chains of justification


Module 3

This module involves both training and coaching.

Training: Everyone together for r hours.

  • The Behavior-Based Analysis (BBA) process

  • How to collaborate on discovering additional scope around the backlog items they started with in Module 2

  • How to manage this growing body of knowledge around their selected backlog items while maintaining focus

  • How to integrate the analysis process and responsibilities into Scrum


Coaching after training section: Each team gets 1.0 to 1.5 hours of coaching

  • The team continues to learn how to use the BBA process, but with 1:1 coaching and guidance

  • We continue to practice separation of concerns and crafting higher-level vs. lower-level scenarios

  • We introduce the concept of chains of justification, again, because this is taught best within the experiential coaching context

  • How to define the scope of the backlog item they started with using new insights

  • Understanding  a noncontroversial definition of done

  • How to estimate using this new understanding of the backlog item’s scope preferably in support of the coaching metrics


Module 4

This module involves both training and coaching.

Training: Everyone together for four hours.

  • Business Architecture and Capability Management and how to use this as a structure and backdrop for their BDD specifications

  • How to build thin vertical slices using the Capability structure and BDD specifications

  • The difference between a) the Capability structure and BDD specifications, and b) work management artifacts, i.e. backlog items, e.g. Product Backlog Items, Epics, Features, User Stories, etc.

  • How to craft definitions of done and ready, integrate it into Scrum, and continuously improve it


Coaching after training section: Each team gets 1.0 to 1.5 hours of coaching

  • Helping the team finalize the structure of their newly documented body of knowledge

  • Next steps in adoption of Scrum and ATDD using BDD especially focusing on things they can start with immediately. This includes

    • Agree on a Definition of Done and a team-based estimation for each backlog before starting development

    • Use ATDD/BDD and BBA for at least a single scenario and see it fully to Done in a Sprint, gradually using it for more and more scenarios, eventually for an entire backlog item, and finally for an entire Sprint’s worth of backlog items

    • Defer all work requests to the Scrum Product Owner or whomever has the “Team Backlog Management Authority”


Module 5

This module is four hours and includes everybody. It trains the teams in how they will do their planning. This can be either SAFe big-room, long-term planning, or any of FLEX's variants.

Some practices that are best taught "just-in-time" are only briefly covered as they will need to be reviewed prior to using them in any event.

Full Description

This workshop is designed to be completed for an entire Agile Release Train within a one week period. It starts with an interactive workshop for the entire ART (product owners, testers, and developers). This provides a common ATDD/BDD background for everyone. The session demonstrates how to create and use acceptance tests to create a joint understanding of the requirements. It shows how to use these acceptance tests as a communication and verification tool. Following this initial session, each team is provided their own half day session that revolves around their particular environment and stories. These sessions include topics based on the teams’ individual needs and enables them to apply ATDD/BDD into their own practices.


Applying these skills streamlines communication within the organization, decreasing rework, raising customer satisfaction, and promoting trust within the organization. These methods have demonstrated an ability to be able to lower released errors by up to 90%.



Max class size



5 Days




Acceptance Test-Driven Development for Trains/Teams Doing FLEX or SAFe®