Introduction to agile methods – Seminar on 28 February 2013

On 28 February 2013 we facilitated a seminar with 14 participants in Agile Partner offices. The aim of the seminar was clearly stated as to allow the participants discovering agility and understanding the basics of the main agile methods that are currently in use.

In all our seminars and workshops we favor active participation and interactions between the participants and the speakers, thus we often use some sort of serious games or similar activities. In this seminar we used the Ball-Point game, which was popularized by Boris Gloger, because it is fun and energizing (as you can see on the picutre below).

Ball-Point GameAlso the Ball-Point Game offers a very nice metaphor of some key agile principles and the Scrum process in particular. As usual the debriefing of the activity raised the following topics:

  • Uncertainty, estimations and team velocity
  • Self-organization and communication
  • Continuous improvement
  • Experiments (success & failure)
  • Customer feedback / validation
  • Bottlenecks and organization rules / constraints
  • Pragmatism and adaptability
  • Limited WIP / small batches

That’s already a very good start to recognize the value of agile approaches and some of the key principles at the heart of those approaches.

The rest of the seminar was spent presenting a brief overview of 3 methods or frameworks that allow more and more teams to put agile values and principles into action in order to deliver higher business value with better quality software and less waste:

  1. Scrum (see: Scrum.org and the Scrum Alliance)
  2. eXtreme Progamming
  3. Kanban (read more about Kanban in other articles of this blog)

A closing Q&A session allowed us to make sure that each participant got out of the seminar with a high “Return On Time Invested”.

Even if we have been practicing and advocating agility for years now, this seminar confirms that it still makes sense to provide our customers with a mix of entry-level introductions to agile and more advanced sessions. That is exactly how we designed our 2013 Agile Ramp-up programme of seminars, workshops and trainings.

Don’t hesitate to comment about what particular topics you would like to discuss in future sessions!