Agile Boot Camp for Government

Iteration Planning, Product Roadmap and Backlog, Estimating Practices, User Story Development and Iteration Execution. Not just methods and approaches. Bring your team together to learn and experience Agile as it should be done in the government environment.

Agile is a growing methodology within federal, state and local governments. While the principles of Agile remain consistent between private sector and public sector implementations, some of the nuances have to change to accommodate government oversight. The Agile Boot Camp for Government is a course that is designed to provide a rigorous and in-depth introduction to Agile from the perspective of past and present successful government Agile teams.

In this Agile for Government course, you will learn how to:

  • Work with a government IPT in an Agile, self-organized team
  • Understand the extent to which the Agile methodology is penetrating the government workspace
  • Use existing government contracting methods to secure Agile services
  • Fit Agile methodologies into current government processes and practices, including contracting, IGCE, FAR compliance, and budgeting
  • Concrete examples of government agencies that are currently using Agile to deliver successful projects
  • Practice and maintain a regular cadence when delivering working software each iteration
  • Follow the team approach; start as a team, finish as a team
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of Agile principles with context on why they are so important for each team
  • Embrace planning from Vision down to Daily level, recognizing the value of continuous planning over following a plan
  • Build a backlog of prioritized stories that provides emergent requirements for analysis that also fosters customer engagement and understanding
  • Engage in more effective estimating (story points) and become more accurate by being less precise
  • Pull together Agile release plans that connect you back to business expectations – including hard date commitments and fixed price models
  • Apply Agile testing strategies based on unit and acceptance testing, which creates a bottom up confirmation that your software works
  • Avoid the top mistakes made when rolling out Agile practices and how to craft an adoption strategy that will work in your organizational culture

Explore Software Agility from a Variety of Perspectives

There's more to Agile development than simply a different style of programming. That's often the easy part. However, it totally changes your methods for:

  • Requirements Gathering
  • Project Estimation & Planning
  • Team Leadership
  • Producing High Quality Software
  • Working with your Stakeholders & Customers
  • Focus on Team Development

While not a silver bullet, Agile Methodologies are quickly becoming the most practical way to create outstanding software. We'll explore the leading Agile methodologies. You'll learn the basic premises and techniques behind Agility — so that you can apply them to your projects.

Discover the Strengths Across the Various Methodologies
Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Feature Driven Development and other methods each have their strengths. While there are significant similarities that have brought them together under the Agile umbrella, each method brings unique strengths that can be utilized for your team success. Rarely do organizations adopt one methodology in it's pure form. Rather success is achieved by combining the best practices, creating a hybrid approach. In the government space such processes as CMMI and Modular/Iterative approaches fit squarely within the Agile umbrella, too.

Not Just Methods and Approaches — You Get Real Hands-On Experience
The only way to Agile success is practice. Agile is an art more than a science. The art of Agile must be practiced and finely tuned over multiple iterations. In this three-day Agile Boot Camp you will put the knowledge, skills, tools and techniques taught to work. The classroom will be broken up into Agile teams and your expert instructor will drive each team through the Agile process from vision down to daily planning and execution. Your instructor will answer questions with real-world experience, as all of our instructors have Agile experience "in the trenches." You will leave the class with practical knowledge and a clear roadmap for your team's success.

Acquisition of Agile Services via Government Contract
One of the key questions that governmental practitioners of Agile need to understand is how to write a contract for Agile services. While that subject is covered in great detail in our course Acquisition for Agile Services, in this course you will understand the basics of a Proscribed Work Specification and Statement of Objective (SOO) vs. a Statement of Work approach to Agile services, and how these apply to government/contractor relationships in an Agile work environment.

In-Class Workshops and Group Exercises
Your classroom is set up in pods/teams. Each team looks like a real-world development unit in Agile with Project Manager/Scrum Master, Business Analyst, Tester and Development. The teams will work through the Agile process including Iteration planning, Product road mapping and backlogging, estimating, user story development iteration execution, and retrospectives by working off of real work scenarios. Specifically, you will:

  • Practice how to be and develop a self-organized team
  • Create and communicate a Product Vision
  • Understand your customer and develop customer roles and personas
  • Initiate the requirements process by developing user stories and your product backlog
  • Put together product themes from your user stories and establish a desired product roadmap
  • Conduct story point estimating to determine effort needed for user stories to ultimately determine iteration(s) length
  • Take into consideration assumed team velocity with story point estimates and user story priorities to come up with you release plan
  • Engage the planning and execution of your iteration(s)
  • Conduct retrospectives after each iteration
  • Run a course retrospective to enable an individual plan of execution on how to conduct Agile in your environment

Immediate Benefits of Participating in this Workshop

  1. Apply Agile principles and best practices from the various methodologies in the best mix for your team success
  2. Discover how to conduct an Agile Retrospective and learn how to continuously adapt your team to work most effectively
  3. Gain techniques to develop Agile requirements in the form of User Stories that are both simple and powerful
  4. Understand and appreciate the value of "maximizing the amount of work not done"
  5. Learn the different approach to Agile architecture and design that supports a more incremental and emergent project
  6. Transform your estimating practices to give executives and customers what they need more easily and more accurately
  7. Identify the pitfalls that poorly disciplined Agile teams fall into – contributing to failed Agile adoption attempts
  8. Learn how to adopt Agile practices effectively within the context of your existing software development framework
  9. Use planning poker technique to develop story points
  10. Gain practice in organizing your group into a self managed team
  11. Develop the correct technique for writing user stories
  12. Conduct exercises in a real-world Agile development unit, see first hand how the roles mingle together to get the work done
  13. Using Scrum as the backdrop, acquire techniques for successfully scaling Agile across your teams and the enterprise
  14. Learn to use velocity-driven planning in order to support fixed date or fixed price environments
  15. Order your user stories into themes that encompass architecture and feature development in a value-based manner
  16. Learn how to adapt from a plan-driven approach to continuous planning, start including actual velocity-driven aspects into your planning, scheduling and tracking
  17. Gain pragmatic skills, tools and techniques that take into consideration your organization and its culture
  18. Practice the coaching and communicating skills of a Scrum Master and understand the differences between what a Scrum Master does compared to a traditional Project Manager
  19. Run multiple iterations using real-life scenarios
  20. Make your first hands-on experience with agile a classroom experience, not a production experience
  21. Use Agile methods immediately within the construct of your current government projects and contracts--no waiting until the next fiscal year, project end, or department reorganization to get value from the material.
  22. Calculate Earned Value according to government specs within an Agile framework, so that EVM has practical, tangible use, not just reporting use.
  23. Better estimate project delivery based on the IPT potential performance, rather than artificially imposed dates and deliverables.
  24. Understand which contract framework is best for working with contractors and 3rd party providers.
  25. Hear real world, government based examples that will give you confidence that you can succeed with Agile in a governmental space!