Course Description

Course curriculum

The Lean-Agile Team Masterclass is based on Success Engineering’s Amplio@Teams approach. Amplio means to improve in Latin. The philosophy is not to follow a framework but to understand what needs to happen and teach people how to do it by making intelligent decisions. It has identified 30 different roles, events, artifacts, and rules at which teams must do well in order to be effective. Each of these is identified as an objective along with why it must be met along with different options on meeting them to enable teams to work toward consistent goals across the organization while being able to choose their own way of working for their situation.

Workshop Overview

What to expect

This workshop takes teams that are either using Scrum or some Agile approach loosely based on it. It starts with a quick way to be effective by attending to quick feedback cycles. This enables quick improvement and focuses teams on what’s important to be effective.

It then provides some essential theories in the form of Flow, Lean, and Theory of Constraints. This enables an assessment of how well the team is working. Throughout the workshop, some innovative concepts are woven into the learning. These include new team structures and the concept of the Minimum Business Increment.

The workshop closes with teams constructing their way of working based on what it’s learned. Finally, it uses these techniques to continue improving.

On completion of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the basics of Flow, Lean, and the Theory of Constraints
  • What capabilities are needed to be effective at the team level
  • How to interact with other teams
  • How a few teams can work together to create value
  • How to organize their teams to remove delays and handoffs
  • Understand Agile product management when it entails enhancing existing products or creating new ones
  • Know the basics of Behavior Driven Development to create better requirements

Course Design

The biggest costs of most workshops are not the fees paid, but the time lost by participants in taking the workshop and the lack of knowledge transfer. It’s easy to convey information in a workshop but most of it is lost quickly. The Amplio@Team Tune Up: Creating, Coaching, and Coordinating Lean-Agile Teams is designed in a different way. It is organized around twelve, one-hour lessons. These have 3 parts:

  • Pre-reading. A 1-5 page document to be read prior to the live session.

  • A live session going over the content to be learned. Pre-recorded versions of this are available as well. This session concludes with Q&A

  • Exercises. People learn best by doing. Each lesson includes exercises for participants to do with people in the workshop, peers, people they mentor and who they report to. These enable participants to apply what they’ve learned. Quick learn with quick doing means quick improvement.

Why Improve

  • Non-Agile organizations typically operate at 5-15% of their capability.
  • Much of this loss is due to people not understanding the rules, so to speak, of product development.
  • People don’t need to change, but the way they work has to.
  • Teams that are ineffective make for ineffective organizations.
  • Understanding effective teams provide insights into effective organizations


Consistency Across an Organization

There are significant advantages to the consistency of teams across an organization. Getting teams to align to the same items and shifting from I to the team, to the organization is essential. However, different teams have different challenges, abilities, and constraints. By presenting the objectives needed, the why they are, and options to manifest them, teams can work towards the same goals but in ways that work for them.

Effective Team Structures

It’s easy to say every team needs to be autonomous and cross-functional. That’s the ideal situation. However, most teams can’t reach this. By designing from Flow, Lean, and Theories of constraints, teams can determine how to best work within their constraints.

Removing delays, handoffs, and hand backs to increase feedback

  • The intention is not to go fast at any one place but to eliminate delays and the waste caused across the entire value stream.
  • Business agility requires both being able to ensure teams are working on the right things and to pivot due to outside influences when necessary


Behaviors that increase agility

  • Improve teams’ understanding of what it takes to be effective 
  • Continuous learning and improve


Impediments and anti-patterns

  • A lack of understanding and imposition of methods causes resistance
  • Amplio@Teams is based on the belief that people want to do better and will do so when provided with the concepts needed and trusted to do the job


Introducing BLAST - Basic Lean-Agile Solution Team 

BLAST is a framework pattern used to coordinate the work of 3-9 teams. Each team can be using any kind of Agile method (Scrum, Kanban, eXtreme Programming, …). BLAST provides guidance for the teams to work together in either a flow or timeboxed manner.

It is based on theories of Flow, Lean, and Theory of Constraint. It takes well-performing Agile teams and shows them how to work efficiently together. The beauty of BLAST is that it takes less effort to coordinate these teams than might be imagined. This is because teams that understand value streams, Flow, and key Lean product management concepts will naturally work together.

BLAST is included in Amplio@Teams: 12 Steps to Effective Lean-Agile Teams because few teams work in isolation and knowing how to coordinate a few teams is essential.   BLAST is called a framework pattern because it is not immutable but rather a suggested way for teams to work together. As all patterns do, it provides for multiple ways of implementing the framework so that the result is achieved without having to attend to particulars that may or may not fit your situation.

The 12 Steps to Effective Lean-Agile Teams

  • No. 01

    Introduction and the purpose of a team Lean-Agile approach.

  • No. 02

    The essence of Lean-Agile – quick value delivery with fast feedback.

  • No. 03

    The essential theories of Flow, Lean, and Theory of Constraints.

  • No. 04

    Timeboxing or Flow?

  • No. 05

    Understand what’s needed for team effectiveness.

  • No. 06

    Using MVPs when creating new products and Minimum Business Increments when enhancing existing ones.

  • No. 07

    Using Behavior Driven Development to improve requirements.

  • No. 08

    Looking at your workflow via a value stream perspective. Delays cause waste.

  • No. 09

    Continuous learning and improving.

  • No. 10

    How multiple teams can work together effectively.

  • No. 11

    The roles of Lean-Agile Teams

  • No. 12

    Wrap up and final exercises

Practical Opportunities

How the workshop can be used.

  • Individuals learning how to be more effective.

  • Individuals running lunch and learns by having their team watch the live sessions together and doing the exercises together.

  • Teams taking the workshop together, where each person is enrolled.

  • Companies having multiple teams taking the workshop as lunch and learns or as full teams enrolled.

Instructor

Al Shalloway

Senior Instructor

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Success Engineering and the creator of Amplio@Teams. Al is a recognized thought leader in the areas of Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Scrum, design patterns, Acceptance Test-Driven Development, Lean-management, value creation networks, Lean product management, and more. He is the creator of the FLEX system that is the heart of the Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant workshop. The innovations he brought into the PMI also strongly influenced the Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master workshop. He has co-written 5 books ranging from Design Patterns to Agile at Scale. He holds master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Mathematics from MIT and Emory respectively. He is an international speaker. He is a former SPC Trainer and contributor to SAFe.