Announcing "The Art of Agile" Training Courses

22 Aug, 2008

I'm very excited to announce that Diana Larsen and I are putting together a series of training courses based on The Art of Agile Development. The book is doing very well and from the reviews it's clear that it's hit the right tone for a lot of readers. But sometimes you need to experience an idea, not just read about it. And some people just won't read a book no matter how hard you throw it at them.

That's why we're doing these courses. We're starting with the same material that inspired the book, but we're taking it in a whole new direction. We're creating workshops and exercises that play to the strengths of an instructor-led environment. So these courses are going to be very hands-on, very experiential, and they'll retain the practical, concrete, and sometimes surprising tone of the book.

Our first courses will be in October and they'll cover the topics we've found people are most hungry to learn:

The courses are complementary but not overlapping. There's a discount if you sign up for both. (There's also a nice early-bird discount that expires in about a month. Register here.)

The content of the planning course is pretty obvious, but it stands out by going beyond the typical planning game and stories schtick. We'll be talking about the whole picture of agile planning, including visioning, release planning, risk management, making and meeting commitments, along with the more common topics. Another piece that I think people will like is our discussion of how to shrink the length of your planning meeting. (One of my planning customers told me that a recent planning meeting took half an hour. It used to take all day!)

The delivery course is also pretty neat. Rather than just teach programmers, we've decided to take a risk and teach a cross-functional course. After all, agile development is cross-functional. Programmers alone can't deliver great software--you need customers and testers, too. So The Art of Agile Delivery has material for everyone on the team, not just programmers. We're going to make this work by having the group work together in cross-functional teams for some segments, and then split apart into functional groups (led separately by Diana and me) for other topics. That way we'll get the best of both worlds: cross-functional content combined with deep dives into topics (like test-driven development and stakeholder management) that would usually bore a cross-functional class.

I'm excited about these courses, and if we get a decent turn-out, we'll add additional topics to the mix. A few we're considering are a course on coaching and another on agile mastery. So, if you'd like to experience the ideas in the book, or if there's someone on your team who needs to learn this stuff and just won't read, sign up. We're looking forward to seeing you.