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Team Training – a dev managers story

By Greg Peringuey

Having done quite a bit of my own research around agile and scrum, I decided to take the next step and get myself on some certified training. This is where I met Karen and Sam from Growing Agile. The Certified Scrum Master training that I did with them, offered immediate benefits to me, understanding the broader aspects of agile, as well as honing in on the relevant and role specific aspects of the scrum master title. I found both Karen and Sam who personally facilitated the session to have a fantastic and effective training style, which allowed our group to learn at their own pace, without restricting the learning’s as they took place. I honestly believe that what I picked up on this course gave me far more insight into scrum than just the black and white of what the course was supposed to cover.

Since then we have had the Growing Agile team back in house to facilitate a full day introduction to agile course for my team. The team and I all feel that once again the training was efficient and professional and allowed us to broaden our knowledge in a way that made sense to us. The training methods used made the most of the time we had, and kept everyone focused and learning.

Initially the going was very tough, the process required a huge time investment, and we struggled with some change management issues. More time on the prescribed activities felt like less time coding, and that wasn’t good! We persevered, and did begin to see some fruits of our labor. However when the going got really tough, and in the absence of dedicated scrum master and product owner roles, the old habits simply crept back in. We took a conscious decision that we wanted to give this a real run for its money, and hired a fantastic scrum master, as well as sourcing some product owners we could work closely with.

This approach has started to produce resulta! As a team we have realized that observing only some of the scrum formalities doesn’t work – it’s all or nothing! Today we are still learning, and regularly have some ‘entertaining’ retrospectives, but the point I think is that we are working together, and all intend on doing proper scrum. There is a wider responsibility of being an agile evangelist in the organization, and this takes more time to achieve. Our strategy has been to take things a day at a time, and slowly we are starting to see the organizational change. We have managed to start using tools like Jira, and its add-ons, GreenHopper and Crucible, and even have our daily burndown charts circulating to stakeholders.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Growing Agile for any training needs!

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