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Enterprise Agile: Training and Building Common Understanding

In reading Scott’s reply to the Enterprise Agile post, I got to thinking: how much training do you need? In this area, training serve two purposes in my mind:

  1. the education everyone on the topic.
  2. to give everyone a shared understanding of the topic.

There’s tons of material and practices on Agile out there. While you can suck it all in, getting a group of people to effectively use a sub-set of those practices demands a fair amount of training to build up a common understanding that the group can use. In doing Agile, I’ve spent a lot of time simply level-setting the group’s understanding of how we were using Agile terms and practices.

Of course, this is par for course with any skill/practice you do in a team. The point is to reinforce that even teams who are swanky enough to be doing Agile need to build that common understanding.

A Funny Example

During a retrospective, we were asked how well the ScrumMaster had been doing. I said immediately that I didn’t think we had a ScrumMaster because, frankly, no one had ever said “so and so is the ScrumMaster.” Now, I know what a ScrumMaster is (I’m one myself), I just hadn’t been told we had one. It turns out the ScrumMaster was my good friend Divakar…who was my boss at the time. So, I ended up red-faced due to a subtle understanding.

Point being: even Enterprise Agile can do with a hefty, hefty dose of declarative living…least I continue to get wonderful chances to make an ass of myself ;>

Categories: Agile.