Agile Boot Camp Outline

I. Agile Introduction and Overview
• Why Agile
• Agile Methods
• Agile Benefits
• Basics of Agile

II. Forming the Agile Team
• Team Roles
• Expectations
• Self forming teams - where flexibility exists
• Communication

III. Five Levels of Planning in Agile
• Vision
• Roadmap
• Release
• Iteration
• Daily

Team Exercise: Writing a vision statement. This can be very relevant if teams have not been operating with this level planning. If teams are already operating with a clear vision, it is an opportunity to revisit. Each team is expected to have an actual vision statement for their product that would be a solid foundation to build upon beyond just the course. The Product Vision is then posted in a very visible place for the team to reference throughout the remainder of the exercises.

IV. Creating and Maintaining a
Product Backlog
• User Stories and story cards
• Customer Roles - Defining your customer
• Acceptance Tests
• What makes a good story (sizing and substance)
• Story Writing Workshop

Team Exercise: Each team is tasked with identifying key customer roles, giving them a name, and describing key attributes about the customer. These customer personas are presented to other teams and good idea sharing takes place. Next, each team will conduct a brainstorming session for creating a product backlog in the form of user stories. Each team will present some of their user stories and the instructor will lead discussion about where teams hit the mark and areas for improvement (Instructor will not have all of the ideas, this is a great opportunity for team dynamic).

V. Product Roadmap
• Product Themes
• Prioritization
• Creating the Roadmap
• Communication
• Maintaining the Roadmap

Team Exercise: Each team will group their user stories into common product themes and presented them to the larger group. This helps teams to recognize that at times it makes sense to prioritize beyond just individual user stories. Teams then utilize the product themes to establish a desired product roadmap. Like the vision statement, the roadmap is then posted for the team to reference throughout the remainder of the course.

VI. Prioritizing the Product Backlog
• Methods for prioritizing
• Expectations for prioritizing stories

Team Exercise: Teams are tasked with assigning a priority to their user stories at the appropriate level of detail.

VII. Estimating
• Actual vs Relative estimating
• Story Points
• Planning Poker
• Estimating Team velocity

Team Exercise: Teams are tasked with assigning story point estimates to enough user stories to extend at least a few iterations into the future. The method for determining the story point estimates will be Planning Poker. Teams will be given enough time to begin to see some consistency in their team and triangulate relative sizing of their stories. Teams are then asked to estimate their team's velocity.

VIII. Release Planning
• Utilizing velocity
• Continuous Integration
• Regular cadence

Team Exercise: Teams are tasked with building a release plan by incorporating priority, story point estimates, team velocity and customer/product owner input to assign stories to iterations with desired release points.

IX. Iteration Planning
• Getting to the details
• Task breakdown
• Time estimates
• Definition of "done"

Team Exercise: Teams are tasked with discussing the details of the stories that, based on the estimated team velocity, may be completed in the first iteration. As the details are discussed, the tasks will be identified that are needed to achieve the desired result. Teams will discover that at times user stories needed to be split into multiple stories and re-estimated. Next, with all of the tasks identified, teams assign actual time estimates to the tasks identified. Finally, the team will revisit the sizing of the iteration to determine if they have the appropriate time and resources to meet their commitment. Led by the instructor, the larger group discussed the pitfalls of committing more than can be delivered and the importance of making and meeting commitments for both the team and the customer. One of the keys to success in Agile is a regular cadence of commitment and delivery for both customer and developer teams.

X. Iteration Execution
• Daily Standup (Daily Scrum)
• Task boards
• Scrum of Scrums
• Burndown and other metrics

Team Exercise: Task boards are an important communication tool. We begin with a task board building exercise. Each team is tasked with coming up with their task board that communicates clearly their commitments for the iteration and progress against those commitments. This usually proves to be a very creative and engaging exercise. Teams present their taskboards to the larger group, generating further good idea sharing among the larger team. At their task boards, each team then can hold a daily standup, with one person on the team responsible for ensuring the integrity of the meeting and other team members playing out assigned behavioral roles. With the larger group we will discuss the critical role of an effective daily scrum. The instructor will facilitate a scrum of scrums forum. Finally, the entire group can share perspectives on the definition of done and the importance of determining that as a team. The instructor will share perspective from experience on an iterative approach to the definition of “done”. Team approach is reinforced...start as a team, finish as a team.

XI. Measuring and Communicating Progress
• Actual effort and remaining effort
• Burndown charts
• Tools and Reporting
• Company X specific measures

Course discussion: Instructor will lead a discussion on the effectiveness of the measurements appropriate for course participants. Instructor will share real world examples of metrics and communication tools used by Agile teams.

Demo - because this is a course, teams will not engage in product development work and therefore will not have any actual product demos. We will discuss as a group the importance of demos and the expectations set internally for your teams back at work.

XII. Retrospectives
• What we did well
• What did not go so well
• What will we improve

Team Exercise: Teams will hold a retrospective on their experience during the course, specifically on what they learned during the exercises with their team. Each team is then tasked with identifying what things they plan to incorporate into their work environment. Further, teams will establish a roadmap for adopting all of the items identified. The larger group will discuss how this Improvement Roadmap will be maintained as part of ongoing retrospectives.


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