Last week I had the opportunity to be co-trainer in a Certified ScrumMaster Workshop. Mike Vizdos was the Certified Scrum Trainer leading the session. It was a small class with just four attendees. And they were awesome attendees with major contributions to the discussion!
I learned some interesting things that I’ll try to pass on here.
Where You Are
The attendees of the workshop were a diverse group: A CEO of a web development firm, a web application developer, a project manager and a high-level manager of development for an insurance company. Each of them had important and different views of Scrum and Agile. Best of all, each of them were highly engaged in learning.
As we discussed, I saw the each of them being open and honest about their experience and knowledge around Scrum. They were speaking from “where they were” in their own Agile journeys. This empowered the rest of us to give them what they needed most out of the class. Early expression of truth brought about meaningful discussion and value.
We all should do this in all our interactions, whether they be daily meetings, planning or talking with our kids. Where you are is not known to those around you. If you help them see that place more clearly, the interaction will be far more valuable for them and you.
Experience Is Not Quite Everything
None of us in the room were new to Scrum. We all had experience with the terms and the practice. What do you do in a workshop on the Scrum framework with people who already know Scrum? Mike masterfully structured the class to use the Scrum framework content as a framework for discussion.
Only reading books, watching videos or attending classes is shallow learning. Agile is all about action and learning from that action. And remember, combining learning with experience is powerful for building the next leap in action!
The workshop was filled with interactive activities, from writing Product Backlog Items on cards to shuffling cards and folding boats. The long-time practitioners on the team consistently expressed delight at the value of studying a concept and then applying it, even in a “contrived” environment.
Action is where the lesson is learned, just as it is in developing a product.
Lastly I personally learned that continuous application of principles is needed in my own Agile practice. It is easy to forget the basic little things that make all the difference. Powerful things, like honesty, direct but polite disagreement and small pieces of a big vision can be more important than we know. I promise to keep applying them if you will!