Blog 2017-03-14T14:15:30+00:00

Indiana Agile Articles and Information

Keep up to date on Agile articles and information with Project Brilliant. Our Agile team is always happy to share insights and lessons learned. If there is a specific topic you’re interested in, let us know and we’ll be happy to share our ideas with you!

Let’s Take It To The Parking Lot

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  Last week, I was facilitated a retrospective where we focused on meeting satisfaction. While talking about the daily scrum and what could be improved, an engineer brought up the team’s use of the "parking [...]

Iterative Retrospective Experimentation

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I really enjoy and get a lot of value out of experimentation at work. I think it’s a great way to unleash creativity, try new ideas, continuously improve, have fun, see what works/doesn't work, etc. One team [...]

Continuous Improvement Board

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Earlier this year - after a large, stressful release - a group of Agile Coaches facilitated a retrospective involving people from over a dozen dev teams. In order to address the retro takeaways and make the progress visible, [...]

Tree of Agility

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Agile is a mindset. This is important to understand and reflect upon as you begin, or continue, your Agile journey. Remember you're learning a new mindset as an individual, as a team, and as an [...]

New Agile Acronym – EFCIC

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Recently, I was preparing for a couple of speaking engagements and was thinking about how to summarize what Agile means to me. What I came up with was Empowerment, Flexibility, Communication and Collaboration, Iterating on Feedback [...]

5 Things Learned From Steve Jobs

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Last week, I (virtually) attended the Lean Startup Conference and heard Guy Kawasaki - former Chief Evangelist at Apple - speak about 10 things he learned from Steve Jobs. Below are the 5 that caught [...]

Agile Experimentation

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I am a big proponent of experimentation and find it particularly useful within the Agile space. When teams are working in short time boxes, a quick experiment could add a lot of value. On the [...]

Teamification: Agile Team Self-Selection

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Earlier this year, while consulting as an Agile Coach, I was involved with an interesting experiment. The experiment asked individuals to self-select into software development teams. Team members would be allowed to choose what products [...]

Five Ways Leaders Can Help Agile Succeed

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Leadership undoubtedly plays a large role in helping Agile succeed. Here are five ways that leaders can help enable the success of an Agile program. Create the right kind of environment Creating an environment where [...]

Upcoming Events

May
24
Wed
Certified Scrum Master (CSM) – Indianapolis @ Parkwood Conference Center
May 24 @ 8:00 am – May 25 @ 5:00 pm

Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)

2-day interactive workshop

Overview

Our Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) workshop is a dynamic and engaging two-day immersion into Scrum. We will learn Scrum through experiential hands-on exercises, and your trainers will share practical experiences and proven techniques for successfully implementing Scrum that you can use immediately at your workplace. You will be fully prepared for the CSM certification test, which you will take in-class.

What to Expect

Project Brilliant offers a holistic training experience and immersive learning environment. All supplies, food, and drink are taken care of for you.

  • Light breakfast snack

  • Snacks and drinks (coffee, water, soda) throughout the day

  • Lunch provided

  • Happy hour (complimentary & optional) networking event immediately following class on day 1 to mingle with classmates and alumni from previous classes.

Sample Schedule:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.07.50 PM.png

Feedback/quotes

  • “Perfect blend of theory, practice, and real-world examples.” -Jenny R.

  • “So engaging, best training class I have ever taken!” -Shane W.

  • “Hands down the the most useful Agile training I’ve even had.” -John P.

  • “Everyone in my organization needs to take this class!” – Jamie M.

  • “It felt amazing to pass the test in class. I’m an official CSM!” – Katherine D.

Benefits

  • Take the CSM test in-class and leave as a Certified ScrumMaster®

  • Learn through doing… absolutely no PowerPoint!

  • Our experiential hands-on approach using brain-based learning techniques allows you to retain more of what you learn.

  • Real-world stories and practical examples from a deeply experienced Scrum Coach & Trainer.

  • Earn 16 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) and 16 Professional Development Units (PDUs).

  • Increase your personal worth within your company and in the marketplace.

Who should attend?

  • Project Managers / Program Managers

  • IT Professionals (Architects, BAs, DBAs, Developers, Testers, etc.)

  • IT Leadership (Managers, Directors, VP, CIO, CTO)

  • Change agents and influencers

  • Anyone interested in learning about the benefits of Scrum

Take Aways

  • Course workbook packed with tons of bonus content, book recommendations, and learning resources

  • Two-year membership to the Scrum Alliance

  • First steps toward Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certification

  • Practical skills and facilitation techniques to use with your team immediately.

  • 16 SEUs (Scrum Alliance) / 16 PDUs (PMI) / 16 CEUs (IIBA)

Topics Covered

  • Agile values & principles

  • Scrum Theory

  • Scrum Roles

  • Scrum Events

  • Scrum Artifacts

  • Definition of Done

  • Facilitation

  • Servant leadership

  • Removing impediments

  • Value of engineering practices

  • Coaching the PO

  • Coaching the Organization

Instructor

Aaron Kopel, CEC, CST

Aaron found his way into Agile and Scrum on accident while founding two tech startups in the 2000’s. He discovered that his personal philosophy and model for execution were closely aligned to Lean, Agile and Scrum, and began to coach and train others on how to work this way.  Ever since, Aaron has been a consultant, coach and trainer helping individuals and large companies focus on customer value, teamwork, and transform to an Agile mindset.

Aaron is the founder and CEO of Project Brilliant, LLC, an Indianapolis, IN based management consulting firm specializing in Agile transformation, coaching, and training.  He is one of only 40 people in the world who holds both top-level Scrum Alliance certifications: CST (Certified Scrum Trainer) and CEC (Certified Enterprise Coach). Aaron has led several major Agile transformation initiatives with companies ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 100 firms. He and his coaching teams have established more than 1,000 Agile delivery teams and trained more than 10,000 individuals.

Aaron is the organizer and Chairman of the AgileIndy meetup group (1,100+ users strong!), as well as a board member, and has been the conference chair, keynote speaker, and session presenter for the AgileIndy Conference.  He is a frequent presenter at regional user groups and conferences, and an inaugural participant in the Agile for Human’s Podcast series. He holds a BA from Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) with a double major in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, and a MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.  He also holds way too many industry certifications such as CST, CEC, CSM, CSPO, CSP, SAFe SPC4, PMI-ACP, PMP, CLP (Certified LeSS Practitioner).  Aaron lives with his wife and their two children in Carmel, IN.

 

Jun
12
Mon
Certified Scrum Master (CSM) – Indianapolis @ Parkwood (96th & Meridian)
Jun 12 @ 8:00 am – Jun 13 @ 5:00 pm

Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)

2-day interactive workshop

Overview

Our Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) workshop is a dynamic and engaging two-day immersion into Scrum. We will learn Scrum through experiential hands-on exercises, and your trainers will share practical experiences and proven techniques for successfully implementing Scrum that you can use immediately at your workplace. You will be fully prepared for the CSM certification test, which you will take in-class.

What to Expect

Project Brilliant offers a holistic training experience and immersive learning environment. All supplies, food, and drink are taken care of for you.

  • Light breakfast snack

  • Snacks and drinks (coffee, water, soda) throughout the day

  • Lunch provided

  • Happy hour (complimentary & optional) networking event immediately following class on day 1 to mingle with classmates and alumni from previous classes.

Sample Schedule:

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.07.50 PM.png

Feedback/quotes

  • “Perfect blend of theory, practice, and real-world examples.” -Jenny R.

  • “So engaging, best training class I have ever taken!” -Shane W.

  • “Hands down the the most useful Agile training I’ve even had.” -John P.

  • “Everyone in my organization needs to take this class!” – Jamie M.

  • “It felt amazing to pass the test in class. I’m an official CSM!” – Katherine D.

Benefits

  • Take the CSM test in-class and leave as a Certified ScrumMaster®

  • Learn through doing… absolutely no PowerPoint!

  • Our experiential hands-on approach using brain-based learning techniques allows you to retain more of what you learn.

  • Real-world stories and practical examples from a deeply experienced Scrum Coach & Trainer.

  • Earn 16 Scrum Educational Units (SEUs) and 16 Professional Development Units (PDUs).

  • Increase your personal worth within your company and in the marketplace.

Who should attend?

  • Project Managers / Program Managers

  • IT Professionals (Architects, BAs, DBAs, Developers, Testers, etc.)

  • IT Leadership (Managers, Directors, VP, CIO, CTO)

  • Change agents and influencers

  • Anyone interested in learning about the benefits of Scrum

Take Aways

  • Course workbook packed with tons of bonus content, book recommendations, and learning resources

  • Two-year membership to the Scrum Alliance

  • First steps toward Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) certification

  • Practical skills and facilitation techniques to use with your team immediately.

  • 16 SEUs (Scrum Alliance) / 16 PDUs (PMI) / 16 CEUs (IIBA)

Topics Covered

  • Agile values & principles

  • Scrum Theory

  • Scrum Roles

  • Scrum Events

  • Scrum Artifacts

  • Definition of Done

  • Facilitation

  • Servant leadership

  • Removing impediments

  • Value of engineering practices

  • Coaching the PO

  • Coaching the Organization

Instructor

Aaron Kopel, CEC, CST

Aaron found his way into Agile and Scrum on accident while founding two tech startups in the 2000’s. He discovered that his personal philosophy and model for execution were closely aligned to Lean, Agile and Scrum, and began to coach and train others on how to work this way.  Ever since, Aaron has been a consultant, coach and trainer helping individuals and large companies focus on customer value, teamwork, and transform to an Agile mindset.

Aaron is the founder and CEO of Project Brilliant, LLC, an Indianapolis, IN based management consulting firm specializing in Agile transformation, coaching, and training.  He is one of only 40 people in the world who holds both top-level Scrum Alliance certifications: CST (Certified Scrum Trainer) and CEC (Certified Enterprise Coach). Aaron has led several major Agile transformation initiatives with companies ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 100 firms. He and his coaching teams have established more than 1,000 Agile delivery teams and trained more than 10,000 individuals.

Aaron is the organizer and Chairman of the AgileIndy meetup group (1,100+ users strong!), as well as a board member, and has been the conference chair, keynote speaker, and session presenter for the AgileIndy Conference.  He is a frequent presenter at regional user groups and conferences, and an inaugural participant in the Agile for Human’s Podcast series. He holds a BA from Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) with a double major in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, and a MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.  He also holds way too many industry certifications such as CST, CEC, CSM, CSPO, CSP, SAFe SPC4, PMI-ACP, PMP, CLP (Certified LeSS Practitioner).  Aaron lives with his wife and their two children in Carmel, IN.

 

Jun
15
Thu
Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) – Indianapolis @ Parkwood (96th & Meridian)
Jun 15 @ 8:00 am – Jun 16 @ 5:00 pm

Overview

The Certified Scrum Product Owner course is a two-day, interactive class introducing the concepts of Agile business leadership using the Scrum framework. Successful participants will become Certified Scrum Product Owners, a first step in the journey towards a more adaptive form of business leadership. This course is based on over 24 years of industry experience, including nearly 10 years of experience in the role of Product Owner/Agile Customer and teaching/mentoring others in this role.

Though each Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) course varies depending on the instructor, all CSPO courses focus on Scrum from a product owner’s perspective. Graduates will receive the CSPO designation. All CSPO courses are taught by Certified Scrum Trainers.Audience

This course is designed for team members and managers involved in projects who may assume the Product Owner role. This is often a product manager, business analyst or business sponsor. In large organizations, it is recommended that Directors and Vice Presidents who oversee IT projects or functional areas also participate.

Prerequisites

Participants must have knowledge of Scrum by reading one of the Scrum introduction books or other self-study. A basic understanding of Scrum is assumed. Previous experience on a Scrum project is desirable.

Goals

Prepare participants to effectively participate on projects using Scrum and to assume the Product Owner role. View the CSPO Content Outline and Learning Objectives

Format

The course is primarily exercises and discussions with some lecture to define terms and concepts. Ample time is available to learn from real experiences on real projects from the instructor’s experience as a product owner and from teaching and coaching Scrum teams.

Course Agenda

Product Vision – A clear, shared vision is crucial for successful agile teams. We’ll walk through three techniques to help unify your team, stakeholders, and customers around the right vision for your product or service:

  • “We’re #1!” – boiling your product vision down to its essence
  • Product Differentiation – what makes your product unique, different and better
  • Collaborating on Product Vision – use the Product Box Innovation Game for a collaborative discussion about your vision

 

Agile Roadmapping – Roadmaps are an important link between vision and the product backlog. Unfortunately, many roadmaps are a slide with a date and some bullet pointed features, which doesn’t provide any context.

 

  • Learn how to create a rich, easily updated agile roadmap that gives the right amount of context to help stakeholders and team members understand where we might be headed and why.
  • Learn how to use the Prune the Product Tree Innovation Game to collaborate with customers on your road map.

 

Product Backlog Basics – Learn the rules for a Scrum Product Backlog as well as a set of key practices for using the Product Backlog to help ensure consensus on what we are building.

  • Product Backlog Basics
  • Writing User Stories
  • Vertically Slicing User Stories
  • Acceptance Criteria
  • Backlog Refinement

 

Prioritization – The core of the Product Owner’s job is to prioritize among the many great things we could do and help the team focus only on what is most important to do first. Traditional techniques like Kano and market research are too slow for most agile teams, so many product owners prioritize solely on gut feel or by responding to the currently squeakiest wheel.

  • Learn a prioritization framework that helps you visualize the relative importance of your customer segments, internal & external stakeholders, corporate strategy, and maintaining a clean code base.
  • Use the Buy a Feature Innovation Game to collaborate with customers on priority.

 

Agile Release Planning – Believe it or not, I’ve heard many times the misinformed statement: “We’re agile, so we don’t really plan.” Not only is this not in line with Agile values, which state “We value Responding to Change over Following a Plan”, it is usually just bad business. The Agile value does not mean that we do not plan, but that we create a plan but then expect it to change as we start working on it!

  • Learn the nuts and bolts of creating an Agile release plan
  • Learn how and when to update the release plan

 

Working in Sprints – the Product Owner job doesn’t end once the Product Backlog is ready for sprint planning. Your team will be most effective if you are available during the sprint to provide feedback at key points. 

  • Learn the Product Owner role during the sprint

 

What You Get

  • A printed copy of all course materials
  • A one-year membership in the Scrum Alliance
  • Recognition by the Scrum Alliance as a Certified Scrum Product Owner

 

Instructors

Aaron Kopel

Aaron Kopel

Aaron is the Founder and Managing Partner of Project Brilliant, LLC, a Management Consulting firm specializing in Agile Transformation, and is the only Agile consulting firm based in central Indiana.  Aaron has led or participated in several major Agile Transformation initiatives with companies ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 100 firms. He and his coaching teams have established more than 1,000 Agile delivery teams, trained more than 10,000 individuals, coached more than 500 managers, developed and mentored more than 120 internal Agile Coaches, and have been the trusted Agile consultant and advisor to more than 50 Senior Leaders and Executives in major companies.  His clients include Capital One, Bloomberg, Eli Lilly, Roche, Sallie Mae, CNO (fmr Conseco) Wolters Kluwer, and many more.

Prior to Project Brilliant, Aaron founded two Tech Startup companies. Between them raised more than $2M in startup funding and nearly $1M in grants from the National Science Foundation and State of Indiana.  Aaron brings a small company Lean and Agile mindset to his work as an Agile Coach to help them rethink their business in terms of value and customer focus.  This has also led him to introduce Enterprise Lean Startup in several client engagements with great success.

Aaron is the organizer of the Agile Indy meetup group (500+ users strong!), as well as a board member, and has been the conference chair, keynote speaker, and session presenter for the Agile Indy Conference.  He is a frequent presenter at regional user groups and conferences, and an inaugural participant in the Agile for Human’s Podcast series.

He holds a BA from Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) with a double major in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, and a MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.  He also holds industry certifications such as CSM, CSPO, CSP, SAFe SPC, PMI-ACP, PMP, a candidate for CST and the only CEC (Certfied Entprise Coach) in Indiana.

 

Jason Tanner 

Jason joined Applied Frameworks (formerly Enthiosys) as a Senior Consultant in 2008 and has over 23 years of professional experience with software companies, a telecommunications company and the Marine Corps. His expertise spans Agile software product management, product marketing, business planning, partner management, project management and leadership.

As general manager in his most recent position, Jason held responsibility for all aspects of an IT chargeback product including product management, product marketing, pre/post-sales support and training. He worked with multiple clients ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to government agencies to universities enabling their adoption of new technology and methods to optimize their IT organizations.

His prior position with a startup software company included experience migrating from waterfall to Agile development methods. Jason collaborated closely with engineering to integrate product management into the Agile workflow. He has presented a synopsis of this experience for a software marketing conference and via webinar.

Jason is an active member of the Agile User Group in Research Triangle Park the Triangle Product Management Association in Raleigh, NC and the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development. He frequently speaks for the Product Management View webinar series, at user group meetings and for the Atlanta Agile Project Leadership Network.

He holds a BS degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from Cornell University and a MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship from Duke University.

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