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The Center of Agile 2017-07-11T11:32:02+00:00

Project Description

The Center of Agile

1-day workshop for all roles, all levels

An exciting, informative day for all roles and at all levels, learning the Center of Agile from one of the creators of the Agile movement.
  • Just one, opening lecture, to catch you up on the state of product and software development right now.
  • Two fast-moving activities that involve cooperating, developing, drawing, sharing, in short, being agile.
  • Finally, a facilitated small-group discussion to work out what to do with all the insights from the day.
Set your organization’s expectations for agile adoption, create a shared experience for everyone to refer back to, ask difficult questions of one of the founders of the agile movement.
Level This workshop is for all roles, at all levels in the business, and all levels of experience with agile.
Who should attend This is a great workout day for an entire organization, from execs to receptionists, business to technical people, novices to
experts (yes, even the experts will learn!). Use it to level-set vocabulary and expectations for agile, to create a shared experience to refer
back to, and create new small improvement initiatives within the organization. General comment heard during this workshop is, “I wish my boss were here!”
Contents of the day
  • Lecture: What is and isn’t Agile development, the current state of the art in developing and deploying software.
  • Timed Activity: A cooperative games of invention and communication
  • Timed Activity: Early business value, trimming the tail
  • Roundtable Discussion: Questions, answers and discussions from the day.
Course description This day is designed as a 4-part workshop making sure every job position from Execs to Testers understand what is and what isn’t agile. The value of this one-day workshop is to unify vocabulary, to make sure that everyone hears and heard the same story. Having the executives present alleviates the oft-heard complaint, “I wish my boss had been here!”


The opening lecture introduces key concepts and ideas needed to make use of modern agile development:
  • Decisions flowing through an organization,
  • Cooperative games of invention and communication,
  • Disciplined learning,
  • Craft,
  • Trimming the tail on product development.

Communication Exercise

In this 90-minute activity, the room is broken into teams of 5-7 people, each with specifiers and artists. The specifiers are given a drawing to have the artists reproduce, but they can only use simple-text messages to communicate. The teams go through this activity three times to learn how to reflect and improve
during a project, how to spot impediments to communication and collaboration. This is a high-energy, highly enlightening activity.

Carpaccio (Programming) Exercise

In this 120-minute activity, people work in pairs (or trios) on a computer with either a programming environment or a spreadsheet. Programming is best,
spreadsheet usage also works. Any development language and environment is OK, whether JavaScript, .NET or Java, whatever. The spreadsheet version
is used when there are not enough programmers present.
The purpose of the exercise is to show business people how to slice their business requests thinly enough to fit into any size of iteration or sprint, and to show programmers how the best programmers currently work, working in 15-to 45-minutes episodes that result in fully functional, end-user-visible, tested code ready to be checked in and used.
This is an intense exercise that shows business-side and development-side people, both, how to work in the fine-grained style needed for modern agile development.

Facilitation Discussion

In this final activity, discussion groups are formed, to discuss what parts of the agile concepts learned during the day will be easy to adopt, and which will be difficult. This section of the day serves so that every person can discuss how to take the day’s learnings home.

The instructor

Dr. Alistair Cockburn
One of the original authors of the Agile Manifesto. Voted in “The All-Time Top 150 i-Technology Heroes” for his work in Use Cases and Agile Software Development.
Internationally renowned strategist, author of the Jolt award-winning Agile Software Development and Writing Effective Use Cases, he co-created
the Agile Manifesto, the Declaration of Interdependence, the Agile Project Leadership Network and the International Consortium for Agile.
Dr. Cockburn is an expert on agile development, project management, process design, use cases, and object-oriented development.
Find his articles, talks, poems and other writings at

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