How does the APS course help people apply scrum effectively?
The APS (Applying Professional Scrum) course helps people apply scrum effectively in a number of ways.
A practical encounter with Scrum.
The APS course is incredibly practical and hands-on by design. So, during the course, people develop a deep understanding of what scrum is, how it works, and how it would work for them.
By the end of the second half-day training session, people have a firm grasp on scrum and how it works. There are still 2 more sessions after that, but by this time, they get what scrum is and how it works in the context of navigating complexity and solving complex problems.
A practical encounter with dysfunction
We kick the class off with an assignment that allows people to solve a complex problem or organize themselves around the creation of a product in the way they traditionally have.
They have no insight into scrum, nor do they have a framework within which to organize themselves, so they generally revert to what they know or what the have been taught in the past.
This makes traditional dysfunctions visible and visceral.
People see how a traditional mindset and way of working hinders collaboration, prevents creative solutions being generated, and impedes progress.
Differentiation between people who have experience with scrum and those that don’t.
We sometimes have people attending the course who are part of a scrum team and work in a so-called agile environment. They are looking to understand how to apply scrum effectively because their current setup or application of scrum is not delivering results.
So, for these people, we create a simulation that tests their capability and reveals the dysfunction in their current application of scrum. A simulation that provides a benchmark of current capability and allows them to assess how different the outcomes are when they apply scrum effectively.
For those who have never worked with scrum, we have a separate simulation that allows them to develop a clear understanding of how scrum helps them solve complex problems and organize themselves effectively to create or capture value for customers and the organization.
So, there is a great deal of flexibility and several different simulations we can run to cater for people’s varying experience and capability when it comes to scrum.
Each delegate will learn how to apply scrum effectively regardless of their experience and encounters with agile.
A practical encounter with the challenges of scrum in a traditional organization.
Most of our delegates attend the APS course because they have pockets of agility in the organization, but are still bound by the constraints of the organization and its traditional management practices and policies.
In an ideal world, your organization embraces agility and everything in the environment, from remuneration to policies, are designed to unleash business agility and tap into the power of scrum.
This just isn’t the case in 90% of applications so people need to know how to apply scrum effectively despite the constraints and challenges of their environment.
The simulations we run mirror the challenges they experience in the traditional project management and micro-management setup, and are designed to help highlight how their current approach and practices fall apart under duress.
We then focus on teaching how to apply scrum effectively, within the constraints of a traditional organization, with the objective of teaching teams how to navigate complexity effectively and achieve their desired outcomes.
Effective problem-solving capabilities.
Under pressure, individuals can seek to prioritize their own problems or prioritize the jobs that they need to get done in order to keep their job or meet their quotas.
The APS course demonstrates why this kind of thinking, across multiple individuals and multiple teams, leads to dysfunction and ineffectiveness.
When we teach people how to anchor themselves in the core values, principles, and practices of agile and scrum, we allow them to see for themselves how different their decision-making becomes and how their priorities align with great problem-solving capabilities.
In many ways, a shift from optimizing at the local level and thinking in alignment with customer and organizational objectives over the short, medium, and long term. A shift that allows them to solve complex problems effectively, and create an environment where the team can improve with each iteration.
It’s said that scrum doesn’t solve problems, it highlights them.
That is something we see in the APS course too. Sometimes, leadership teams who are a part of the course begin to understand how policies, procedures, and red tape block teams from achieving their goals.
They witness how management decisions, organizational policies, or power plays by senior managers prevent teams from doing great work. It is often a massive eye-opener for them and we frequently see those items being included in a backlog to be addressed when they return to work.
I would really encourage anyone who is attending the APS course to convince a relevant manager or leader in their organization to attend because it really does have an impact on how that person will make decisions in the future.
About NKD Agility
Naked Agility is an #agile consultancy that specializes in #scrumtraining, #agilecoaching and #agileconsulting to help teams evolve, integrate, and continuously improve.
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