Team Launch Workshop

Better Results with Better Starts

Maybe its time we all get on the same page

There is a joke that if you ask 3 people what agile or lean are you will get 5 different answers. Unfortunately this is no joke if your team is not aligned on how the get things done. Team members can “know” agile, they can “know” lean, but if they have different perspectives on how to work together, and even what their “true north” is, then they are not a high performing team. This is a team workshop to create alignment on how the team gets the job done, what what the job is. Whether this is an experience agile team or a team new to agile and even your organization, the benefits of achieving alignment are immediate.


Learning Outcomes

Create team alignment on practices for getting the job done and what the job is. Use those practices to create a team backlog and launch the team.


Flipped Mastery workshop: 16 hours on-demand and Virtual Instructor Lead Training (VILT) plus two days onsite workshop.


All roles of the software development team, plus those who have a direct dependency on the team and work with the team on a regular basis.


Registered participants receive a workbook which they use to develop and agree to their “practice library”. In addition they create team “working agreements” and  a team process improvement backlog – use agile to roll out agile.

Specific Learning Outcomes

The primary objective of this course is to create team alignment on development practices and the job to get done.

  • Understand how Scrum is an effective way to organize people and get the job done
  • Know the Scrum roles, artifacts, and practices enable a team to get the job done
  • Understand how to use Kanban to manage the flow of work
  • Know how to use relative sizing to estimate work
  • Know how to calibrate (or re-calibrate) relative sizing practices
  • Build a backlog of work and begin executing on that work
  • Create a set of team working agreements.
  • Create a team improvement backlog


Workshop Structure

On-Demand and Virtual Instructor Lead (VILT)

There is 8 hours of on-demand training (including video lessons and self directed reading) plus 4 structured contact hours with the instructor (Virtual Instructor Lead Training).  The course agenda presented here assumes a 5 week delivery schedule.

Work with Sahil to help his team adopt lean and agile practices

Our on demand material is built around the story of Sahil’s, Wings over the World’s (WoW) Chief Architect. Sahil is WoW’s pillar of technical strength and a solid innovator who wants to do something different. He is tired of the fire fighting to keep people on the same page. He’s heard of lean and agile practices and has heard of the success other teams have had. Now he wants to try them for his team.  Each unit in our on demand course presents the challenges that Sahil is running into. Can you help him out?

Week 1, Part 1: What Exactly is Scrum? (2 hours VOD + quiz )

Scrum is an excellent way to organize a group of people to get a job done.   In this unit, Sahil wants to introduce Scrum to his team and is met with a barrage of mis-conceptions and resistance. Can you help him get the team aligned with what Scrum is, and how to work with it to achieve better team outcomes?

Instructor Contact hour activity: Workbook exercise, how would you organize your Scrum team?

Week 2, Part 2: But Shouldn’t we do Kanban Instead? (2 hour VOD, + quiz)

Dragan is just a couple of years out of school and argues that all the cool kids are doing Kanban, and besides, agile is so 2000, lean is the way to go. Sahil struggles to explain that Kanban and Scrum are not competing approaches and that lean and agile are complimentary and necessary mindsets.

Instructor Contact hour activity: Workbook exercise, how would lean thinking benefit your team?

Week 3, Part 3: Using Relative Sizing to Answer How Much and How Long? (2 hour VOD + quiz)

Sahil tries to encourage the team to use relative sizing, but Laurence the Product Owner is skeptical saying “the points are cute but I need to know how much and how long” Can you help Sahil explain the benefits of relative sizing and how to answer the question “how much and how long?”

Contact hour activity: Workbook exercise, sizing animals and stories

Week 4, Part 4: Once Again, What is a User Story? (2 hour VOD )

Laurence the product owner asks Sahil, “…so if we are doing this agile thing now, am I suppose to write all the user stories? And what happened to requirements?”  Dragan then points out that one of the user stories if far too large to fit into a sprint and so what should we do with it? Work with Sahil to explain to Laurence what a user story is and how to effectively use the user story process to create alignment between the team and product owner. Help Dragan understand how to split a story such that it still delivers value.

Contact hour activity: Workbook exercise, understanding the user story format, and preparing user stories

Onsite Instructor Lead Workshop – 2 Days

Goal of the onsite workshop is to use the practices from the online agenda to align the team and launch them. Specifically:

  • Agreement on our team practices, meetings, roles, and artifacts
  • Develop a well groomed backlog of work
  • Create sprint and release calendars
  • Construct/Update virtual and/or physical “team room”
  • Configure supporting tools
  • Plan and execute first sprint

Morning Day 1: – Our Practice

A set of activities to provide a deeper understanding of concepts previously explored in the virtual segment of the course and gain agreement on team roles and practices

  • Myth or Truth – as a review exercise participants sort a set of value management statements as either Myth or Truth
  • What are we doing? Which methodology are we following – Scrum? Kanban? A hybrid?
  • Who’s who – who are the team members and what roles do they play?
  • The big picture – who is upstream and downstream of the team? How do we work with them?
  • Ready and Done – what is our definition of ready and definition of done?
  • Our workflow – how does a backlog item go from “ready” to “done”

Afternoon Day 1: Building Our “Rock Crusher”

The Rock Crusher – a simple conceptual model for understanding backlog management and the user story creation process. We use the Rock-Crusher model to build our team backlog

  • Building the “Rock Crusher” – how will we represent the “Rock Crusher”? Physically? Tool Usage?
  • Crushing Rocks to get “ready” – work through our backlog to get backlog items and user stories “ready” for planning.

Morning Day 2: We have a plan!

Work through our backlog and construct a team plan that we can commit to.

Afternoon Day 2: What Stands in Our Way?

  • What stands in our way to deploying the “Rock Crusher” in our environment and what can we do to remove those impediments?
  • Where are the wastes in our process?
  • How can we make those wastes visible?
  • Who do we need to support us?
  • Construct a backlog of process improvement elements.