Together with two colleagues from SAP hybris we’ve elaborated and provided a lecture with labs about Agile for students. We’ve been asked to deliver the lecture and labs covering practical Agile issues for students from the Silesian University of Technology. We advertised our session as: Agile – how it really works? within the Hack Your Career activity.The purpose was to take into consideration Agile area from the practical point of view.
We’ve tried to help students improve their Agile skills presenting them selected common Agile/Scrum beliefs. The beliefs have a form of myths. We’ve formulated these myths basing on what we already have heard from working students, our experience and questions found on Agile forums. Scrum was the leading Agile framework on the lecture. In addition to Scrum we’ve also mentioned about other Agile methods including Kanban and scaling Agile.
We motivated attendees to join through the following words:
Most of nowadays IT undertakings base their development on Agile methods. It’s a result of promising principles and many successfully finished projects. We’re taking into account Agile methods, and Scrum in particular. We draw attention on how properly use all the elements and Agile principles during the whole product or project lifecycle, and also what to avoid then.
We had a dedicated session for students finishing Informatics as their field of studies. We also provided additional session, open for all people interested in this subject. The vast majority of attendees were students. Some of the students are already on job market. They’ve developed a view in organizing daily work and team work from their observation and practice. However, they’re not always able to evaluate if they are in a valid track of Scrum implementation and what they can do to improve it. This event was an opportunity for these students to take time to revise what they’ve already experienced and compare to the lecture content and finally take adaptive actions. This lecture was also addressed to those who have only theoretical background or no understanding at all in this area.
Our goal was to make the session as interactive as possible. On the lecture we as presenters took a role of mythbusters. We started with a discussion between presenters and then we had been transferring the talk to the audience. It worked! For every myth, we had been covering what The Scrum Guide™ says and comparing it to the reality. We came up with real world examples to question these myths. Everyone of us has worked in different Agile teams throughout the career. Basing on the experience and examples, we demonstrated why people think and act in ways following the myths. We gave examples where organizations follow antipatterns from the myths. We also demonstrated how other teams/organizations are able to manage a valid Scrum implementation. There were additional questions from the audience in the final part on the session.
The real world cases coming from experience presented on the session completed and supported students theoretical knowledge gained on the university. The event was also an opportunity to us i.e. presenters. The idea that the best way to learn is to teach enriched the opportunity.
Maybe the subject of Agile as a way of implementing team work to deliver valuable result isn’t so attractive comparing to technical subjects. It could make it harder to sell the idea of Scrum usability. However, the feedback from the session is pretty positive. People liked the idea and the execution as well. The conclusion is that experience with carefully selected cases can make a session more authentic and convincing to encourage the audience to listening and taking actions.