Building Effective Agile Teams

2 Day Classroom  •  3 Day Live Online
2 Day Training at your location.
Adjustable to meet your needs.
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When training eight or more people, onsite team training offers a more affordable and convenient option.
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This course provides the participants a clear and practical understanding of the need to select the right people for an agile transformation project.  We highlight the need to include an evaluation of the soft skills as well as the technical proficiency of every team member.  We also expose the need for leadership to fully embrace and endorse the Agile Manifesto and Principles to ensure the project’s success.

ICP-TALThis course has been approved by ICAgile to award students the Certified Professional in Agile Talent (ICP-TAL) upon completion. 

Learn why selecting the right people for your agile team is critical for success
Discover the benefits of personality assessments in developing more effective agile teams.
Explore the benefits of analyzing team dynamics through the use of personality assessments. Realize how such knowledge will improve communication, productivity, and trust
Define key characteristics that are ideal in the members of a high performing agile team
Understand how leadership impacts the success of an agile transformation
Learn a process for developing a more effective job description based on the key accountabilities and characteristics that should be present for individuals on an agile team
Investigate techniques for successfully onboarding new people to the agile team that clearly align the employee’s and manager’s expectations and mutual responsibilities
Explore exercises that can be applied within your organization to develop effective team building
Understand strategies for developing leaders within the agile process
Examine the rational for agile team members needing a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset
Upcoming Dates and Locations
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There aren’t any public sessions currently scheduled for this course, but if you fill out the form below, we can tell you about how we can bring this course to you!

Course Outline

Part 1: Designing for a New Way of Working

The idea of designing a new way of working through the creation of self-directed agile teams sound great; but, how will the current structure and culture of your organization react to the change?  Does your leadership truly understand the Agile Manifesto and how it may require them to change their approach to achieve a successful agile transformation?  The class begins by discussing “the elephant in the room” how to align your organization to succeed in implementing the agile methodology

  • Review of the Agile Manifesto and Guiding Principles
  • Identify the challenges of creating a people centric approach to software development
  • Discuss strategies to increase probability of success
  • Create a template to communicate the learnings from this class to your colleagues and manager

Practice Session

Participants volunteer insights into the organizational structure and culture of their organizations.  The class discusses the challenges and possible solutions for those organizations to achieve a successful agile transformation.  Also, participants create the initial outline of a memo to colleagues and managers based on the lessons learned from this class.

Part 2: Understanding the Challenges in Creating Effective Teams

What makes a team high performing and effective?  We know that high performing teams must have high trust.  But, how does that happen?  It starts with each member of the team understanding their unique personality traits and skills and learning to appreciate the personality traits and skills of their teammates. 

Prior to the class, each participant takes a personality assessment that uncovers their unique individual behavioral styles, motivations and soft skills.  The assessment results will provide a comprehensive report including specific strategies on how to achieve improved relationships with different personality types.  We use these assessment reports throughout the remainder of the class to deepen your understanding of individual and team dynamics.

Practice Session

We break the participants into groups and conduct a series of short group exercises to reinforce aspects of the different personality styles. Participants will gain an appreciation of their unique personal style and the value of different styles.  We also begin the discussion of how different styles impact the dynamics of a team.

Part 3: Identifying Potential for Team Conflict

We take an extensive look at how differing behavioral styles and motivations interplay to create potential conflict within a team.  Through the review of the different personality styles, we help participants build a common language of understanding and appreciation.  Through the common language, participants begin to uncover strategies to avoid or self-manage conflict. 

Practice Session

In small groups, participants identify their personality traits that may create conflict with others.  The groups discuss areas where a personal development plan can yield benefits.  Also, the groups discuss ways to proactively self-identify potential conflict with others as well as strategies to work with teammates to manage or avoid the conflict. 

Part 4: Designing Effective Teams and Teams of Teams

There are certain personality characteristics that are better suited for an agile team.  We identify those characteristics and explore what makes them better suited for an agile project.  We also provide the participants with a team report that combines and analyzes the individual reports of the participants.  The team report highlights areas of collaboration and possible conflict within the team.  We’ll discuss your insights on the team report from the perspective of an agile team.  What strategies could be employed to improve the prospects of the team?  

Practice Session

Participants are assigned to small groups.  The assignment is to evaluate strengths and challenges from the perspective of an agile transformational team.

Part 5: Identifying and Developing Agile Leaders

The ideal agile leader is a servant leader.  What exactly does that mean?  How do you identify individuals with those skills?  How do you foster servant leadership within the organization?  Participants review and discuss key servant leadership characteristics as well as consider how to foster these capabilities within their organizations.

Practice Session

Complete a group exercise of identifying personality traits and skills that will best exemplify a servant leader and report out the findings.

Part 6: Talent Acquisition

Selecting the right people is critical to a successful agile transformation.  You need to do more than check the boxes for having someone with cross-functional insights and the right technical skills.  The human element is critical from a personality and soft skills perspective.  It is also important to appreciate that every organization has different needs, hence, there is no generic blueprint of whom to include. 

To select the right talent, we introduce the participants to a formal job benchmarking process.  We take the participants through the key elements of the process that will uncover the key accountabilities and characteristics the team requires.  Finally, we share how to use the personality assessment to compare and evaluate the various candidates for the team thereby bringing data analysis into the decision-making process.

Practice Session

The participants engage in the job benchmarking process that results in the development of a job description for the position. 

Part 7: Onboarding Employees

Once you have selected the right people for the team it is important to provide them with the best possible chance to be a successful team member.  Employees transferring to the agile project from other parts of the organization need to be oriented to the unique needs of this assignment.  This is best achieved through a formal onboarding process.  We’ll share how to use the employee’s personality assessment and the results from the job benchmarking process to debrief the employee on the requirements of the position and discuss any ongoing development plan to better match the employee’s needs of the position.  This plan is mutual developed and agreed to by the employee and manager and includes progress milestones for employee and manager.  This process is successful in accelerating the integration of any employee into a job more quickly.

Practice Session

Based on the job benchmarking process developed in Section 6, each participant uses their individual personality assessment to identify three areas of strength and three areas needing personal development.

Part 8: Creating an Agile Culture

Moving from an initial agile project to developing an agile culture requires the commitment of senior leadership and human resources.  An agile culture requires a growth and opportunity seeking mindset as a foundation for leadership, recruiting, professional development and promotion. 

Based on the information gained from this class, what insights should you share with your colleagues and managers so they better understand the agile process?  We’ll conduct a discussion to develop a communication that participants can share within their organizations to help them achieve greater success using agile methodology.

Practice Session

Participants draft a communication to colleagues and managers sharing insights and recommendations for their organizations to consider in having a more successful implementation using agile methodology.

Who should attend

Anyone involved in an agile project, from the participants to line managers to senior managers that want a better understanding of how to select the right people and building an effective team and supportive organization.

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