Certified Agile Leadership Training

Certified Agile Leadership Training with Michigan Technology Services

Michigan Technology Services offers instructor-led Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) training, as well as other Agile and Scrum courses, through a partnership with a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainer. The training can take place at our location in Farmington Hills, 20 miles outside of Detroit, or onsite at your office anywhere throughout the United States.

While many CST’s fly into metro Detroit to deliver Agile and Scrum classes at a hotel, and then leave, we live here and support the local Agile community.   We continue to sponsor regional Agile conferences, and have successfully run Agile and Certified Scrum courses for multiple teams in the Great Lakes area.

What is Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) training?

The vision of Scrum Alliance is to make the values and principles of Agile accessible to every leader, regardless of prior education and experience, by making known the why, what, and how of Agile in a pragmatic and experiential approach.

The Scrum Alliance Certified Agile Leadership 1 (CAL 1) class is an education and practice-based course with the goal of developing Agile leadership competency and maturity in order to increase the effectiveness of a leader in complex, uncertain, and rapidly changing conditions.

Schedule:
The next Certified Agile Leadership 1 (CAL 1) class is June 5 and 6, 2017. The regular course fee is $2,250/student, but early enrollment, prior to May 12, is $1,950/student.

Enroll in our June Certified Agile Leadership class by filling out the following enrollment form.

Course Schedule

Private, Corporate or Group Training Available

Early-Bird Price: $1950

Regular Price: $2250

Date(s) Days Time Type
6/5/17 - 6/6/17 M & Tu 8:30am - 5:00pm

Live Classroom

Enroll

For complete information on Scrum Training classes or to request a class date contact Michigan Technology Services. 248-489-0408

Who Should Attend

Scrum is not just for programmers. The CAL program is intended for:

  • Executives, middle management, and other leaders with organizational influence
  • Leaders who support, lead, or interact with Agile teams
  • Organizational Leaders include senior executives, vice presidents, directors, middle management, and process and program-level leaders
  • Any leader sponsoring, requesting, or involved with an Agile adoption within their organization

Course Objectives

This program takes the following into consideration:

  • Agile leadership is a broad topic, currently without a shared definition or understanding.
  • Organizational agility cannot exceed the level of personal leadership agility of those with the most influence in an organization.
  • Because Agile leadership involves ongoing personal development, it is not something that can be mastered in a single training course.

Program goals

  • Develop Agile leadership competency and maturity, which increases effectiveness of a leader in a complex and rapidly changing environment
  • Balance education, practice, and peer collaboration
  • Flexible for participants and education providers
  • Multiple touch points to apply and deepen learning

An Agile leader . . .

  • Operates effectively amid uncertainty, complexity, and rapid change
  • Is knowledgeable about Agile values, approaches, and practices
  • Surfaces more creative solutions through increased self-awareness, a growth mindset, and engaging others
  • Aligns and empowers teams toward delivering more customer value
  • Personally integrates feedback and experiments, and adapts their ways
  • Takes a collaborative continuous-improvement approach to organizational effectiveness
  • Catalyzes change in others and facilitates organizational change

Prerequisites

We do not require you to be a Certified ScrumMaster or Product Owner to attend. We do, however, expect participants to have a core knowledge of Scrum and Agile Learning Objectives.

If you are coming in with little to no agile experience or education, we will send out some pre-reading and video watching to catch you up to speed on the basics.

In general it would be helpful if you are able to:

  • Evaluate the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto for how they relate to an organization’s ability to thrive in complex and rapidly changing conditions.
  • Describe at least three characteristics of a high-performing team, and how these characteristics relate to agile thinking.
  • Compare and contrast the practices and benefits of at least two common Agile frameworks (e.g. Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc.)
  • Describe the benefits of an Agile approach from the perspective of at least three stakeholder groups with differing needs.

Course Outline

The Context for Agile

1. Describe at least three economic or market factors that have led to the rise of Agile approaches. For example:

  • Technological advances
  • Internet, mobile, and social media connectivity
  • Globalization of the workforce and economy

2. Illustrate how the complexity and uncertainty of work relates to the fitness of an Agile approach.

3. Identify at least two management trends and their historical fit with the business environments of their time. For example:

  • Taylor’s Scientific Management
  • Total Quality Management (TQM)
  • Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System

4. Explain the long-term effects of an organizational focus on delighting the customer, and how that relates to improved outcomes.

5. Explain at least three factors that increase the level of employee engagement, and how that relates to better outcomes. For example:

  • Clear purpose
  • Autonomy
  • Opportunity to develop mastery
  • Strong social connection
  • Daily small wins

6. Describe at least two benefits of becoming a more effective Agile leader. For example:

  • Increased ability to make good decisions in a complex environment
  • Ability to deliver on personal and organizational purpose with less
  • expended energy
Agile Overview

Note: Learners can opt out of this section if they hold a Scrum Alliance CSM or CSPO certification that covers the learning objectives in this category.

2.1. Evaluate the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto for how they relate to an organization’s ability to thrive in complex and rapidly changing conditions.

2.2. Describe at least three characteristics of a high-performing team and how these characteristics relate to Agile thinking. For example:

  • Psychological safety
  • Trust
  • Clear team membership
  • Small
  • High-communication bandwidth
  • Aligned around a clear purpose/mission
  • Etc.

2.3. Compare and contrast the practices and benefits of at least two common Agile frameworks. For example:

  • Scrum
  • eXtreme Programming
  • Kanban
  • Lean Startup
  • Etc.

2.4. Describe the benefits of an Agile approach from the perspective of at least three stakeholder groups with differing needs. For example:

  • Board of Directors
  • Shareholders
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Etc.
Leadership in an Agile Context

3.1. Describe at least three key mindset shifts required to effectively lead in an Agile context. For example:

  • From fixed mindset to growth mindset
  • From directing to coaching
  • From telling to collaborating
  • From preventing and hiding failure to learning through it
  • From viewing the organization as a machine to viewing it as a living system
  • From predict and control to inspect and adapt
  • From chess master to gardener
  • From expert to catalyst
  • From reactive to creative
  • Etc.

3.2. Explain at least one leadership development framework that is aligned with Agile thinking. For example:

  • Leadership Agility (Joiner)
  • The Leadership Circle (Anderson)
  • NeuroLeadership (Rock)
  • The Leadership Gift (Avery)
  • Etc.

3.3. Apply at least one technique for incorporating feedback that improves your ability to inspect and adapt your own leadership behavior to increase effectiveness.

3.4. Practice at least one technique that enables a leader to be present, aware, and engaged, while avoiding over-influence and micromanagement. For example:

  • Gemba
  • Hawthorne effect — paying attention
  • Engaging in the Agile delivery and feedback cycle
  • Advice Process
  • Etc.

3.5. Demonstrate a coaching approach that integrates alternative perspectives, engages others, and improves outcomes.

The Agile Organization

4.1. Identify at least three challenges an organization might face when undertaking an Agile approach beyond a single team. For example:

  • Building trust between teams
  • Optimizing the whole
  • N-factorial problem as communication scales
  • Large-group collaboration
  • Psychological safety
  • Etc.

4.2. Apply at least three patterns for increasing trust and collaboration between multiple teams. For example:

  • Information radiators
  • Co-location
  • Radical transparency
  • Job rotations
  • Team liaisons
  • Etc.

4.3. Describe at least two factors that influence the culture of an organization and how that relates to organizational agility. For example:

  • Power distance index
  • Organizational structures
  • Leadership beliefs and behaviors
  • Risk and change attitudes
  • Industry factors
  • Etc.

4.4. Evaluate at least two ways to structure an organization in order to enhance agility. For example:

  • Value-based matrix (e.g., Spotify)
  • Communities of Practice
  • Holacracy
  • Sociocracy
  • Self-management
  • Etc.

4.5. Describe at least three governance policies that enhance organizational agility. For example:

  • Compensation and incentives
  • Career advancement practices
  • Performance appraisals
  • Procurement and budgeting
  • Legal and regulatory
  • Etc.

4.6. Deconstruct at least one case study of an organization that uses an Agile approach. For example:

  • Spotify
  • Morning Star
  • Valve
  • Buurtzorg
  • Zappos
  • Geonetric
  • Etc.
Agile Approaches to Change

5.1. Describe an Agile organization as a human system where change is always present and dynamic leadership is required to catalyze that change for positive growth.

5.2. Evaluate at least three organizational metrics for their alignment with Agile thinking and how they impact behaviors and results. For example:

  • Outcome-based metrics, such as customer satisfaction, employee engagement, time to market, cost, etc.
  • Output-based metrics such as productivity, velocity, features delivered, milestones met, etc.

5.3. Deconstruct at least one change management approach and evaluate its alignment with organizational agility. For example:

  • Scrum
  • Lewin
  • Satir
  • Kotter
  • McKinsey 7S
  • Etc.

5.4. Describe at least one Agile approach to identify and reduce bottlenecks, impediments, and overall friction in an organization. For example:

  • Systems thinking
  • Human systems dynamics
  • Lean A3
  • Organizational agility team using Scrum
  • Large-group retrospectives
  • Kaizen events
  • Etc.

5.5. Reflect on at least one case study of an Agile transformation and critique how it approached change in an Agile way.

A Note From Your CAL Instructor

Leading Agile: Laying the Foundation for Success

By Pete Behrens, Agile Leadership Coach, Trainer & Speaker

While Agile offers myriad benefits to an organization, the fact is: adoption and subsequent success of software development projects across the board could be better long-term. Why, when we have a system that has proven to work for countless organizations in various verticals, do initiatives still fail, or else the whole Agile endeavor peters out after a few months or years?

While there are many reasons why Agile approaches can fail, inadequate Agile leadership can be a large contributing factor. Note that it’s not necessarily inadequate leadership, because you can have the most stellar executive leader, but if she doesn’t know how to lead and support an Agile team, she can put it at great disadvantage.

Why Coaches and Consultants Can’t Save Your Organization 

Organizations spend millions on Agile coaches and consultants, then point the finger when, a few months down the road, the “whole Agile thing” has gone off the rails. Is it really the fault of these Agile professionals?

Not at all.

Coaching and consulting can only take a team so far, but beyond that, it’s up to leadership to foster an Agile mindset and behaviors which support and sustain an agile environment.

The Makings of an Agile Leader

So what’s the difference between a leader and an Agile leader?

An Agile leader understands that rapid change, complexity, and uncertainty are central to the role, and can operate effectively in such challenging conditions. She knows and can apply Agile values, approaches, and practices to her own thinking and behaviors to foster creative solutions through increased engagement, feedback and self-awareness.

An Agile leader knows how to engage her employees, and can align, empower and free them to deliver increasingly more customer value.

Feedback and collaboration are important to the Agile leader. She understands that continuous improvement is crucial to foster long-term organizational change.

Reading the Compass of Agility

I’ve developed a tool to provide orientation and direction for Agile leaders: the Agile Leadership Compass. Like a traditional compass, there are four directions: north and south represent the opposing views of the leader and organization. And representing true north is the leader herself - the leader who does not first develop herself as a leader will likely be ineffective at developing others or the organization as a whole.

East and west directions represent the opposing internal and external aspects of the leader and organization. How leaders think impacts how leaders act, and what organizations value impacts how organizations deliver, sustain, and grow.

I’ve noticed that the focus of most Agile initiatives is toward the southwest, focused on organizational delivery. However, without first orienting the leaders and enabling the organization, these early results often don't last. That’s why I encourage balance for Agile leaders:

  • Leader: Agile Leaders role model agility through their own adaptive thinking and behaviors.
  • Organization: Agile Leaders guide organizational agility inside out by creating a culture of safety to experiment, learn, and grow.
  • Enable: Agile Leaders enable agility through personally and organizationally living the Agile values.
  • Action: Agile Leaders exhibit catalyze behaviors and guide organizational delivery and change.

Where Certified Agile Leadership Comes Into Play

Having a solid Agile leader can create a solid foundation for long-term Agile success in an organization, but how do we get from Point A, where executives are aware of Agile and maybe even support it, to Point B, where they are actively taking a role in its success?

And how do we make leaders aware that there is even a journey to take? Once they’re aware, how do we convince them to actually take that journey?

These very questions have long been up for debate among Agile professionals like myself, as well as organizations like Scrum Alliance. I am happy to say that a solution has been developed: the Certified Agile Leadership Program.

Anyone who is involved in implementing Agile, from the person who signs the checks to those leading Agile teams, can now get a better roadmap to help them strengthen Agile practices within their company.

The course is designed to increase the effectiveness of those involved in Agile, as well as foster continual learning and interaction with Agile. When leaders become Agile leaders, they increase the success rate of Agile implementation and long-term — or even permanent — adoption.

While the broader certification program is in its infancy, the work and experience behind it are anything but. I have been focusing and guiding leaders across these dimensions for the past half decade, but I fully expect that, once executives and leaders see the value of increasing their fluency in Agile, it will become a requirement for all aspiring Agile leaders.

Reprinted with permission.

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