What Makes Agile & Scrum Training Effective?

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What Makes Agile & Scrum Training Effective?

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Is the title of a recent article by Anthony Mersino. In it, Anthony lists the following factors that increase training effectiveness—

  1. Agile training should be engaging;

  2. Agile training MUST be interactive;

  3. Agile trainers should share real-world experience;

  4. Agile and Scrum training should be fun;

  5. Agile and Scrum training should be Just-in-Time.

I don’t disagree with anything Anthony says. Although, I have written about keeping classes balanced so that there isn’t too much interaction or fun. I know that sounds odd, but there can always be too much of a good thing. You can read some of my previous thoughts around agile training in this list in the following posts:

Anthony’s article inspired me to emphasize a singular point though. Beyond his list, I believe there is a singular PRIMARY point that makes Agile and Scrum training effective.

That is the Teacher / Instructor of the training. Period!

Who is teaching any Agile or Scrum class makes ALL the difference. In my experience, there are far too many folks who are teaching things with little to no practical experience. Or, their actual experience was 10-15 or more years ago. Meaning, they lack relevant and recent experience.

In other words—

  • They might be a good/smooth teacher, but they lack experience.

  • They might be a great communicator, story-teller, and quite personable, but they lack experience.

  • They might have a playful or fun demeanor, but they lack experience.

  • They might be able to facilitate fantastic interactive or collaborative experiences, but they lack experience.

This is clearly a personal bias for me. For example, when I took my Certified Scrum Master class in 2004, I wanted to go to the “source”. So, I took the class with Ken Schwaber.

When I took my CSPO class in 2007, I was taught by Ken and Mike Cohn.

And when I’ve sent folks in my organizations to certification classes, I almost always picked Mike Cohn. Even if the costs were higher, I considered the quality of the instructor to trump any cost differential.

And I’ve found that there is a world of difference (variability, experience, skills, etc.) in the folks teaching.

So, yes, take Anthony’s advice. But in the end, make sure you focus on getting a great instructor first. Then the rest mostly takes care of itself.

Stay agile my friends,

Bob.

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