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  • Victoria Hekking

What is Your Agile Recipe?

Just as a meal can come out differently depending on the chef, even if they follow the same recipe, the expression of agile delivery sees a multitude of different iterations depending on the company.


At Construct Education, our Agile Recipe is based on our global workforce needing to manage multiple time zones, the complexity of each course being created, long timelines that need to be adhered to and a multitude of skill and experience levels between and within each team.


University of Tennessee- Project Manager recording major milestones & details.

Ingredients

The simplest way of coordinating all these factors, and ensuring daily accountability and transparency includes a combination of:


  • a detailed line-by-line analysis of task requirements,

  • one-week sprints,

  • daily stand-ups within each global agile team,

  • Trello boards, and

  • judicious use of the ubiquitous Slack.


Method

At its essence, when a company follows an agile methodology, it boils down to a combination of doing simply what makes sense, with some generally accepted tools and techniques that guide teams in an agile process.


  1. We start with a firm view of both the budget and the delivery date - these are elements that can not be flexed.

  2. Once we know the contents of the course, and flavor the client is looking for, we choose the agile team that will coalesce around the delivery.  By being very deliberate about who works with each faculty member, we can match personalities and skillsets in a way that reassures both parties - we are embarking on a marathon, and having trust and confidence in each other is a critical success factor.

  3. Next, we break down each element of the design that has been created for a particular learner group - a detailed analysis of what each element of the learning design requires enables us to have a granular view of each week of what usually amounts to a months-long process.  Without this granularity it is startlingly easy to add a day here and a day there, adding up to a major time challenge towards the end.

  4. With the granular breakdown set up, we ensure that each team that will participate in delivery signs off - this ensures we have internal commitment and accountability for achievement by all.

  5. The end of this set up stage sees some writing on the wall - literally.  The project manager will record on the wall the major milestones and details that the team needs to keep front-of-mind during their daily standups.

  6. Daily Stand-Ups (DSU) then begin - each day the team (with our global team members dialing in over Zoom) will discuss the course, and rapidly run through priorities, areas they are stuck, and any wins to share.


With this set-up, we are in an ideal place to achieve what we set out to do.


The next Agile post will explore how we use technology as we progress along the Agile design and delivery journey to enhance and streamline our global communications when half the team is asleep while the other half works.



Meg Knight

Chief Operating Officer, Cape Town