Get a Agile Foundation in 30 Minutes a Day
Enjoy these training videos, templates, and other tools. The average video is only about 5 minutes, so you’ll get the critical information you need quickly without sitting through a long, boring lecture. If you invest only half an hour a day, you’ll have a reasonable foundation for Agile in a week!
Are you overwhelmed by bugs and technical debt? Do you feel like you keep revisiting the same user story over and over again? Do you want to protect the quality of your product?
If so, it might be time to write or revisit your Definition of Done. In this 2-minute video, you’ll learn a simple technique for fighting technical debt and preserving the quality of your product.
Do you feel like you spend more of your sprint chasing down requirements and dependencies than you do building? Would you like your team to work twice as efficiently?
If so, you might need to revisit or create your Definition of Ready. In this three-minute video, you’ll learn a simple tool for ensuring that stories are ready to work on before you start.
Do you feel like you never know what you’ll deliver in a sprint until the very end? Would you like an early warning if the sprint might not go as planned? Have you ever wondered if you were on-track to get all of the “must haves” included in your next release?
You might benefit from a burn-down (or burn-up) chart. They’re built into many Agile tools, but you can draw them by hand, too. This three-minute video will teach you the basics and provides several examples.
Do your meetings start late? Do they seem to run forever because people are paying more attentions to their phones than to each other? Is there conflict on your team?
There’s a way out: create a working agreement with your team. This video will show you how in less than three minutes.
Have you ever had to compromise your work-life balance or product’s quality in order to ship a feature on time? Have you ever added people to a project, only to find that it made your project later?
If so, the Tradeoff Matrix is for you. In this 3-minute video, you’ll learn a powerful technique for coming to agreement with your stakeholders as to what to do next when things inevitably don’t go as planned. You’ll protect your product’s quality… and your sanity.
Does your Sprint Planning seem to take forever? Do you find that you’re working on stories that aren’t well defined yet? Are dependencies driving you crazy?
You might need (more) Backlog Refinement. In this 4-minute video, I’ll cover the basic steps of Backlog Refinement and share a few hard-earned tip that you’ll find helpful.
Wondering what Sprint Planning is? Wondering why your sprint planning is taking so long? Would you like to get a more useful and accurate plan from your time investment?
In this video, I share an agenda and approach for the Sprint Planning event that is both authentic and practical. Even if you’ve done dozens of Sprint Planning events, you’re sure to pick up something new.
Do you feel like your Daily Scrums (Standup) are just an update for micromanaging project managers? Do they seem to go on and on? Have you feel like they’ve lost their value?
In this 5 minute video, I dispel common myths about the Daily Scrum and provide a sample agenda that help it go smoothly. I also offer tips and tricks from several years of participating in them.
Do you get enough feedback from your stakeholders and customers? Do you feel like you’re shipping great software every week, but nobody knows what you’re doing? Do you feel out of touch with what your teams are working on?
Then the Sprint Review—also known as the Sprint Demo—is for you. This 3-minute video will give you an overview of the Scrum event, along with some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Does your team feel like they’re no longer improving? Do you see big opportunities for how your team could work better together, if only they’d spend time time talking to one another about it?
Well-facilitated retrospectives are just the cure. In about 6 minutes, this video will give you an overview of the Retrospective’s significant value, a sample agenda, and tips and tricks I’ve learned from facilitating dozens of them.
16-page printable PDF
Do better with printable documents? This handy guide is provides the “bare minimum” instruction required to successfully bootstrap the five standard Scrum Events and Backlog Refinement. It is written to illustrate both “textbook” Scrum (scrumguides.org) as well as how it is conventionally taught and practiced.
This guide is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License so you can share it with others, even commercially.
Learn the fundamentals of Scrum in just 16 minutes. Covers the key events, roles, and artifacts. Big thanks to my friend and fellow Agile Coach, Steven Smith, for the idea.
Would you like to quadruple the speed of your teams? Would you like it if everyone in your company were ten times happier? You can, but it will take a lot more than just changing your practices.
In this 6-1/2 minute video, you’ll learn about the Agile Manifesto and how your company can use it to your competitive advantage. When your company’s culture and structure is compatible with Agile’s values and principles, you’ll enjoy the profound benefits that it can bring.
Are you struggling to get the most of your Agile transformation? Do you want to deviate from “textbook” practices but ensure that you’ll still be Agile?
This video is for you. You’ll learn the 12 Agile principles, along with some practical tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way. These principles bridge the gap between the Agile Manifesto and Agile practices. You’ll be able to better understand and adapt the practices to your environment without compromising on what makes them so effective.
Agile? Scrum? XP? Kanban? Lean? What are they, and how do they fit together?
In this 3-minute video, you’ll learn what Agile is and how the various Agile Frameworks relate to one another. It’s a great place to start if you’re just getting introduced.
Need a simple way to gain a sense of the likelhood of a plan’s success from your team? Try the “Fists of Five,” a simple but useful addition to any team’s Agile toolkit. In less than a minute, you’ll know exactly how your team feels about your chances.
Learn about empirical process control, a fundamental approach that guides all Agile software development.
Learn how you can get more work done in less time—with less stress—by reducing waste caused by context-switching.
I gave a talk for a business organization in New Zealand in October 2020 about developing an Agile Mindset. This hour could save you hours later?
Learn about the Product Owner (similar to the Product Manager), the person responsible for the what and why.
Learn about the Scrum Master (aka Flow Master, Agile Team Leader, Agile Facilitator), the person responsible for coaching the team in Agile values, principles, and practices.
Learn about the Development Team, the people who do the work to bring features to life. Responsible for the how and when.
Learn about the Tech Lead. While not an official Scrum role, we often see them emerge on teams to support the Team and Product Owner.
Learn about the Engineering Manager. While not an official Scrum role, we see it in many organizations.
User Stories and the Backlog
Learn how to slice stories to create iterative—not incremental—product development flow.
Learn how you can use relative story points to produce more accurate estimates in less time.
Learn Planning Poker, a simple game that will help your team come up with relatively accurate estimates and gain substantial learning in just a little time.
Learn about Affinity Estimating, a game that will allow your team to rapidly obtain estimates for large numbers of backlog items.
Learn about the most common attributes of a user story that every team member should understand.
Product backlogs are deceptively simple, which can sometimes make them challenging to adopt for product owners who may be used to working with lengthy PRDs (“project requirement documents” or similar). Learn how you can create and maintain a healthy team backlog.
Third Party Audio/Video
I didn’t produce this content, but I found all of it valuable. I hope you’ll check it out too!
I know of two C-level executives who told me that they finally understood Agile after listening to this episode, despite the term Agile never being used. In my opinion, this is a must-listen for any aspiring Agile leader.
From This American Life: “A car plant in Fremont California that might have saved the U.S. car industry. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: How it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. Frank Langfitt explains why GM didn’t learn the lessons—until it was too late.”
This is a brilliant video demonstrating bottlenecks and the Theory of Constraints by Dr. Shrinivas Gondhalekar and some of his students. It is a simple, lucid, and clear demonstration of how to identify and improve a bottleneck.
Every process has a bottleneck. After watching this video, you will know how to identify and improve your bottleneck, too.
“This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.”
Dan Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” lucidly explains how much more powerful intrinsic motivation can be relative to extrinsic motivation. This 11 minute video captures the essence of the book, but I highly recommend the book to anyone in a position that may require motivating others. I share this video with many of the leaders I coach.
From the YouTube page: “This Inno-Versity Inno-Mation was adapted from Captain David Marquet’s talk on Greatness, and is based on his book, Turn the Ship Around!”
David Marquet’s talk on Greatness describes a fundamental rethinking of the relationship between leaders and their teams. When we replace authority with vision and give control to our teams, extraordinary performance can arise. I share this video with leaders frequently and strongly recommend David Marquet’s book “Turn the Ship Around!”
This brilliant video from Arrie Van Niekerk is a “practical demonstration of how the Theory of Constraints (TOC) can help you to improve your business. Three identical bottles of water flowing at different rates. The challenge is to maximize the flow through your bottleneck and to do it in a spirit of calmness.”
I found it to be an excellent example of how reallocating the bottleneck’s capacity (e.g, putting a straw in the bottleneck to allow air through or scheduling Scrum events with developers) can paradoxically increase the total capacity and calmness of the bottleneck.
Mary Poppendieck is the software development expert who brought Lean thinking to Agile. Her talk, “The Tyranny of ‘The Plan'”, opened my eyes to the dangers of rigid planning. Her illustration of Agile planning using skyscraper construction in the 1920s shows that rolling, evidence-based planning is applicable in many contexts.
This video from Henrik Kniberg is “basically a 1 day product ownership course compressed into 15 minute animated presentation. There’s obviously more to product ownership than this, so see this is a high level summary.”
I find it to be an excellent overview of Agile for everyone, not just Product Owners. I will often show it during the lunch break of a 1- or 2-day Agile/Scrum fundamentals course.
Destin Sandlin is an aerospace and mechanical engineer from Alabama and the creator of Smarter Every Day, a YouTube channel with over 2 million subscribers and 125 million views.
His video about a “backwards bicycle” does a wonderful job of illustrating why learning a new skill is difficult, particularly if we have a similar and “competing” skill already developed. I think this is relevant for new Agilists who are trying to learn a new way of working while simultaneously unlearning how they worked before. As coaches, I think we owe it to the people we work with to appreciate how challenging it can be to shift our perspectives.
I’d love to speak with you! Click here to easily book a free 30-minute video consultation at a time that meets your needs. If these times don’t for you, send me a message and we’ll work it out.
I’m located in Wellington, New Zealand and train both in-person and remotely. My timezone, NZT, is ideally suited for teams and individuals in both the Americas as well as East Asia.
I also seek to provide long-term, pro-bono mentoring to a New Zealand entity or entrepreneur focused on innovative or scalable approaches to urgent or highly neglected issues, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Send me a message.