The scaling we’ve forgotten

I’m referring to getting large numbers of people up to speed effectively and economically in knowing how to do Agile development. Consider what we know about how people learn:

  1. people don’t like PowerPoint decks (pedagogy is not good for adults)
  2. people like to be taught on their own work (so games, while fun, don’t teach specifics)
  3. people don’t retain much when training is done 8 hrs a day for a few days in a row
  4. people learn by doing
  5. peer to peer learning is good, but needs to be guided by someone with deep experience
  6. people want to know what to do – starting with a framework instead of their actual work focuses them on the framework instead of their work
  7. people learn best when they have a small failure followed by a quick success

If you’re a practitioner, consider if what you’re being offered attends to the above. Consider if certification takes you closer to what works or further away? There is no question that frameworks provide value. But focusing on them instead of the actual work is not the best approach. Yet, the unquestioned assumption is that doing so is effective.

There are alternatives:

  • focus on the real work in initial workshops
  • use a system that teaches your crew over time while they are working
  • this needs to be cost effective, small increments and include a support system so people can learn how to adjust any framework to their own needs

By attending to how people learn these alternatives are both more effective and less expensive.

Would love to chat about this if you are in the situation of having to train hundreds or thousands of people

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