Thursday 23 May 2013

Agile SAFe Training - the Facilitation bit.

Well I have been a bit busy of late being further trained up in the Scaled Agile Framework and also helping facilitate at the first UK SAFe Release Train Planning.  This event was also the largest SAFe Release Train planning event to be held in the World as of March 2013 with about 200 participants, and we are doing it all again in June.

We are being helped along the journey by Rally Software who have flown in consultants and trainers to help us up the SAFe "mountain" and the uptake and commitment by the teams inside the company has been impressive.

One such bit of help that Rally gave last week was a two day course in facilitation.  Now I don't think I'm too bad at facilitating but equally I know there are better people than me at it so an opportunity to pick up some new tips and techniques was a bonus so I enrolled.

I have to say that having done the course I now realise there is a bit of an Art to good facilitation and I learned a lot about the way to structure a productive workshop, how to prep, how to open it and more importantly how to close it.  There were practical exercises across both days and we all took away new skills that we put into practice immediately in the workplace.

Laura Burke - one of the Rally trainers on the Course

Ironically I had facilitated a retrospective a week earlier and been given a "Thank You" card for a "Brilliant retrospective" - now with hindsight and what I learned on the course I realise I could have done better, but that's all part of life learning.

What was clear from the course was that the larger you scale any Agile framework in any company, the more "value" you need to get from your meetings and workshops. There isn't the time to get groups of people together to go over the same points yet reach no conclusion, and ultimately if you are leaving a meeting without a decent set of actionable items or decisions, why did you have the meeting in the first place?

More on the Scaled Agile Framework to follow.

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