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Human Centered Design

2 Days

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is an approach to problem solving commonly used in design and management frameworks that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process. HCD emphasizes immersion, observing, and contextual framing in which innovators immerse themselves with the problem and community. HCD, also known as customer experience or design thinking, encourages us to stop jumping to solutions prematurely and to consider the problem from the customer’s perspective. Often we can find solutions that are cheaper and better, while significantly increasing customer satisfaction.

Agile Requirements, Story Splitting, Release Planning, Forecasting and Metrics

1 Day

Among the leading causes of project failure are unclear or poorly defined requirements. In addition, many projects are set up for failure due to being drastically underestimated from the start.  This training course addresses both of these issues head on!  First, we focus on the processes of requirements gathering, communication and coordination in an Agile environment.  We will discuss strategies for organizing requirements into categories and hierarchies. We will cover visual modeling and tips on how to engage stakeholders. We will discuss rolling wave planning and how to decompose high-level requirements into lower-level User Stories.  We will construct our “Definition of Ready” to ensure that our requirements are captured correctly, and practice Story Splitting to chop big requirements down into bite-sized– but still valuable and business-understandable chunks.  Finally, we will explore techniques for creating tests that help us ensure we have captured requirements completely and correctly.  Second, this training course provides a deep dive into Agile forecasting, release planning, and metrics.  We will explore different methods for prioritization and estimation, and how probabilistic methods can be used to provide highly reliable estimates that get better and better over time.  We will also review techniques like reference class forecasting, which can be used even in situations where we have very little information.   This class is for all project stakeholders including subject matter experts, business analysts, project managers, developers, and testers.  No matter which Agile method you are practicing: Scrum, Kanban, eXtreme Programming, or something else, this 1-day overview can dramatically improve your chances of success!

Automated Testing and BDD

1/2 Day

This course focuses on test automation, including automated acceptance testing and behavior driven development (BDD). Test automation came into its own in 1998 with the invention of jUnit, the Java-based automated unit testing framework that became a centerpiece of eXtreme Programming. BDD is a new, exciting approach to developing software that leverages and extends test automation, and which has been shown to reduce rework and increase customer satisfaction. While other testing tools focus primarily on “are we building the thing right?”, BDD tools attack the problem of software directly at its source: “are we building the right thing?” In this way, we can measure both test coverage and functional coverage. By retaining all the benefits of automated unit testing, while extending them upstream to cover requirements, we cut the Gordian knot of risk and complexity to unleash hyper-productivity.

Discovery Kanban, Human-Centered Design and Kanban Flight Levels: Innovation at Scale

2 Hours

“Innovation at scale doesn’t happen by accident. And it isn’t magic, either. How can we encourage innovation and at all levels, ensuring that insights and findings are incorporated into organizational strategy so that we can react and adjust quickly — enabling true business agility? Discovery Kanban and Human Centered Design provide the keys to understanding our customers and managing R&D efforts to ensure we build the right things. In turn, Kanban flight levels provides a rich and robust framework to align these activities across the organization—connecting organizational strategy (at flight level three) down to the efforts of individual teams of knowledge workers (at flight level one).

In this session we will explore how the combination of Discovery Kanban, HCD, and Kanban Flight Levels give us a vocabulary and a rich set of tools to visualize and manage customer-centered innovation efforts at scale. We will start out by reviewing Kanban boards that are used by individual teams to manage their work—at flight level one. We will see how each team’s discovery or delivery efforts are beautifully visualized by Kanban so that they can be integrated and managed effectively. We will then proceed up to flight level two and see how Kanban boards at this level help coordinate multiple inter-dependent discovery and delivery teams. Finally, we will see how a flight level three board captures organizational strategy, tying strategic objectives to both current and future initiatives—that are in turn tracked on flight level one and two boards. Kanban provides the alternative path to agility: a humane, evolutionary approach that works both within and outside of IT. The combination of HCD, Discovery Kanban, and Kanban flight levels provides a powerful, effective and low-overhead method for achieving true business agility.”

ALM Customization with Version One/TFS/JIRA

1/2 Day

Many teams struggle with their application lifecycle management tool’s out-of-the-box- configuration.    Typically these tools provide overly complex or inappropriate workflows and forms and are not fully integrated into the ecosystem.  On the other hand, some teams suffer from overly customized and disorganized configurations, and metrics that don’t make sense.   What is needed is a middle ground.  Properly general and streamlined configuration can pay for itself many times over in terms of increased productivity and more accurate metrics.  This training course provides a deep dive into the capabilities of VersionOne with many examples demonstrating how it can be integrated with other tools in the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) ecosystem.  There are VersionOne, TFS, and JIRA alternatives for this training.

Overview of DevOps and CI/CD

1/2 Day

This course provides an overview of DevOps and Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) and why it became a dominant approach to software delivery. We will explore best practices in Continuous Development, Continuous Testing, Configuration Management and Continuous Integration, and finally, Continuous Monitoring of software throughout its development life cycle. We will learn about important tools in the DevOps ecosystem such as GitHub, JIRA/TFS, Docker, Ansible, Puppet/Chef, Terraform, Kubernetes, GitHub Actions/Azure, Pipelines/Jenkins/Spinnaker, and GitOps.

Management 3.0

1 Day

Lean and agile practices were first introduced within the context of small, co-located, high-performing teams. Now more than 20 years later, the industry is starting to see the adoption of agile methods and practices across the enterprise and at scale. Nevertheless, there is relatively little guidance for what Agile means for managers or executives. What else is required, other than providing your organization with budget, resources, and playing cheerleader? Agile methods also have little to say about the role of management, and some methods go so far as to say line managers are obsolete! What role can management play to facilitate their agile teams and support digital transformation? In this workshop, we will explore how the role of leadership and management changes in an Agile organization, applying concepts from many sources including Lean, the Kanban Method, and Management 3.0. We will explore Liberating Structures and discuss how these simple but powerful facilitation techniques can help get people engaged and energized, smooth corporate transitions, foster creative thinking and innovation, and in general make meetings fun and productive again.


With the goal of always delivering the most current and relevant content, please note that the class agenda, contents and schedule, are subject to change.

Substitutions are accepted at any time. If you cannot attend a class you signed up for, let us know as soon as possible, and we can usually put you in one of the next regularly scheduled classes for no fee! In the event that you wish to cancel outright, cancellations must be notified by email and refunds will be provided according to the following:

More than 10 days prior = 80% of course fee
5 to 10 days prior = 50% of course fee
Less than 5 days = no refund provided

Ariel Partners reserves the right to postpone or cancel this event if there are insufficient registrations or if presenters are unable to attend due to illness. If necessary, you will be notified no later than 7 days prior to the event and all registration payments will be refunded promptly. If circumstances require, presenters may be substituted for alternative qualified presenters with equivalent experience.

Please be advised that events can be subject to changes in date and/or venue due to acts out of our control such as bad weather, civil unrest, etc. It is recommended that you purchase changeable and refundable tickets. Ariel Partners will not be responsible for incurred costs in the event that we need to make changes due to circumstances beyond our control.

For more information, please contact us at: [email protected]

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Copyright 2023 Ariel Partners. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2023 Ariel Partners. All rights reserved.