Recently I’ve been getting a lot of request for Agile Training and Consulting. Unfortunately the expectations from the training are not clear for me. Most people approach me saying, “we want a TDD training” or “we want a Project Management training“. Once I start talking to them & their team (or even worse sometime during the training), I realize the topic we’re discussing is not their biggest issue. I get a feeling that most organizations have not done their homework to figure out what they really need and how they should go about it. They might have heard somewhere that ‘blah’ will help them and they want to jump on it.
Few months ago I started doing readiness assessments before my trainings. (I’ve also started doing assessments after my training so see if the training was effective.) But I have realized the assessment is not enough. So I’ve started asking the following questions even before the assessments:
- What kind of issues your organization is facing currently and do you think Agile will help you? If yes, why so?
- What is the current strength of your development team? How experienced is the team with software development? Does your team understand all aspects of software development?
- What is the current process you follow? In other words, from the inception of an idea to the delivery of the same, what are the various steps and people involved?
- What is a day in life of a team member (one per role please)?
- How do your stakeholders (including customers) perceive your team/organization? Currently how do you gather feedback from them?
- How would you rate the technical know-how of your team? Are they able to quickly resolve technical challenges and respond to changing priority of the business?
- Is your team/organization open to trying out things that might seem non-intuitive/illogical? For Ex: Letting the requirements evolve during the project, not freezing them? Letting tests drive your design?
- And so on …
Luckily a lot of organizations don’t get back to me with answers for these questions. This is really good for me, because this acts as a filtering criteria. I feel I would have wasted my time training/coaching this team. There are others who are in much more need and are more receptive to what I’ve to contribute.