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Training Employees for the SCRUM/Agile Development Environment

SCRUM training programs will help employees to succeed in an agile development environment. We thought it would be helpful here to explain what this environment looks like. There are two reasons.

  1.  Understanding the agile environment is an effective way for people to sense what kinds of training scenarios would probably work.
  2. This is a unique kind of career requiring a level of teamwork that employees may not have experienced on other kinds of IT teams or projects.

The Background on the Agile Software Development Process

It helps to think of the agile environment as one in which the project manager will use a set of management practices to get employees to build the components of the project along a specific timeline. The process usually involves a software application getting developed over time as the agile team moves through a set of iterations. Each iteration looks like a short phase in which specific components of the software will be complete. The leaders of each iteration know that the team will not be able to meet its final deadline if any iteration experiences roadblocks. The team can only experience success by keeping up its iteration schedule.

Problems with the Iterations Process

We have seen agile development firms create software and other training materials to help developers understand this unique application development environment. Some of their training content will fall short. One of the rules of thumb for agile team leaders is that they may have to make changes to a team during any iteration of an application development project. If one or more members of the team are not able to pull their weight, then the team will fail. Leaders also don’t have a lot of time for team-building, which would help the developers working on any single iteration to become more cohesive. Some developers will have agile certification and others won’t. Because agile teams get only days or weeks to complete their iteration, each member’s learning curve must be brief and the time that it takes for the team to reach cohesion must be short in duration. Anything else will be unacceptable in an agile development firm.

Agile Training Must Be Multicultural in Scope

Because agile is a global movement that consists of a set of management practices for project leaders, the developers who use it will need training that is truly multicultural in nature. This is because the members of agile teams are often co-working from various locations, sometimes on multiple continents. This reality means that every developer must be able to access the training, interact with it, understand it, learn to apply it in different development situations, and be accountable for its contents. The success of any agile development or SCRUM project will depend on the success of the different types of training content given to developers, who may have different skill levels and backgrounds in SCRUM, and upon the team’s ability to successfully complete all iterations of a project. We have seen that many software applications, even built by developers with SCRUM certification, evolve in a much unique way than their future buyers would like due to problems with a development team that could not collaborate in effective ways.