Tag Archive for: agile

Webinar | Implementing Agility at Scale 

In our latest webinar, Implementing Agility at Scale, hosted by Giuseppe de Simone and Lothar Fischmann, we explored the intricacies of scaling. The discussion offered valuable insights into the challenges involved in transitioning to Agile frameworks on a larger scale. 

De Simone and Fischmann, seasoned experts in organizational agility, provided a comprehensive overview of three main approaches to scaling: pattern-led, principles-led, and practice-led. They shared that implementing agility at scale requires a holistic approach that integrates various perspectives, fosters open communication, and embraces adaptability. Organizations can pave the way for smoother transitions and more resilient operations by addressing challenges collaboratively and aligning strategies with business objectives.

 Watch the full webinar below, or read on for six key takeaways.

Watch: Implementing Agility at Scale

1. It’s Important to Identify Your Scaling Goals and Challenges

As the webinar opened, De Simone defined the primary goal of scaling as enabling an organization to increase its capacity without necessarily increasing the headcount. This contrasts with the common misconception that scaling is solely about growing the team.

Participants voted in a poll to share the challenges they have encountered in scaling efforts. Some of these responses included resistance to change, operational issues, lack of strategic goals, leadership concerns, and bureaucracy.

De Simone emphasized that resistance to change often stems from top-down changes from leaders. This tends to occur when the reasons or benefits are unclear to teams. Organizations need to ensure that changes are meaningful and well-aligned with strategic objectives. 

2. There Are Four Critical Choices to Make When Scaling Agile Teams

There are four interconnected choices involved in scaling. Each choice has implications for team structure, autonomy, coordination, and speed of delivery. By carefully considering these choices in alignment with their strategic goals and organizational context, organizations can make informed decisions to optimize their scaling efforts.

  1. Product Breadth: There are many ways to define and understand a product. Most people think they have a clear definition of their product. But, De Simone mused, if you ask five people in your organization for that definition, you’ll likely end up with five different definitions – some of which may be very broad while others are specific. De Simone outlined the example of a banking product. At first, it may seem fairly broad and simple: the key product is the online banking service. But there are also insurance and loans, credit cards, the mobile banking app – and even within the app, there’s Android and iPhone. When you think about it, these could all be considered separate products. How you define their scope or breadth has implications for team structure, backlog management, and alignment with customer needs.
  2. Components vs. Features: Organizations must decide how to structure their teams based on either component specialization or feature delivery. According to De Simone, component-based teams focus on specific layers or components of the system. Feature teams, on the other hand, have all the necessary skills to work on any component in the system. In addition, they can make decisions and implement features autonomously to deliver value to the customer. Each approach has advantages and challenges, including managing dependencies, autonomy, and collaboration.
  3. Efficiency vs. Effectiveness: This choice pertains to team organization and resource allocation. Efficiency-oriented teams are specialized, with members dedicated to specific roles like programming, testing, or UX. On the other hand, effectiveness-oriented teams are cross-functional. According to De Simone, “They focus on delivering the most important item as fast as possible.” Organizations need to weigh the benefit of having specialized teams versus increasing the speed of delivery when implementing agility at scale. 
  4. Product Ownership: De Simone elaborates that organizations must decide whether to have one Product Owner per team or one Product Owner per product. Having a Product Owner per team can lead to increased autonomy, but may result in fragmented ownership and coordination challenges. Conversely, having a Product Owner per product reduces the cost of the time taken to coordinate the teams. However, this requires broader skills and may limit team autonomy.
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

3. There are Three Main Approaches to Implementing Agility at Scale

According to Fischmann, “We can distinguish between three main approaches to scaling agility: the first is pattern-led scaling; the second is principles-led scaling; and the third is practice-led scaling.”

  1. Pattern-Led Scaling: This approach allows organizations to apply scaling based on the specific situation and context they face. In this approach, we understand the patterns of problems in our particular business context. Therefore, we can apply solutions that have already been proven to work well in this context.  According to Fischmann, the advantage of using this approach is that we’re approaching the problem within the specific context of our business. 
  2. Principles-Led Scaling: In this approach, organizations align their behavior and decision-making with Agile principles and values. This approach fosters a strong Agile culture, but Fischmann notes, “If you only come from a principal perspective then it may be hard to relate agility to any specific business problems”. 
  3. Practice-Led Scaling: This approach involves implementing tactical practices and frameworks to drive agility at scale. It emphasizes hands-on learning and involves applying specific practices to gain a deeper understanding of underlying principles. 

For a deep dive into Agile principles, check out our Agile Foundations e-learning course. 

Fischmann elaborates that there are interdependencies between the three main scaling strategies: principles-led, pattern-led, and practice-led.

  • Principles-Led governs Pattern-Led and Practice-Led: This means that the principles and values of agility serve as the foundation for both pattern-led and practice-led approaches. Organizations rely on Agile principles to guide their decision-making and problem-solving processes, whether they’re identifying patterns or implementing specific practices.
  • Practice-Led helps us understand Principles-Led: “By practicing certain rituals, teams get a deeper understanding of why these rituals are important, and they will get a better understanding of the principles behind them,” Fischmann explains. Through practical application, individuals and teams internalize the core concepts of agility and how they translate into real-world scenarios.
  • Practice-Led is used to manage Pattern-Led: Organizations leverage practice-led approaches to address specific patterns or challenges they encounter. Practices serve as tools or techniques to manage and navigate complex patterns in the organization. For example, if an organization identifies a pattern of communication breakdowns, teams may implement practices such as Daily Stand-up meetings or Retrospective sessions. In doing so, teams can improve collaboration and transparency.

Overall, these relationships emphasize the importance of aligning principles, patterns, and practices when implementing agility at scale. Each approach complements the others, contributing to a holistic and sustainable Agile transformation journey.

Photo by Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash

4. Practice-led Scaling Has Three Sub-Categories

According to Fischmann, we can further categorize practices into framework-led, methodology-led, or toolbox-led approaches. Each of these offers distinct levels of structure and guidance.

  • Framework-Led Approaches: Fischmann explained that framework-led practices offer a minimal set of guidelines and processes to follow, allowing teams to be flexible and adapt based on their specific needs. Frameworks, such as Scrum or Kanban, outline key roles, events, and artifacts, providing a foundation for teams to organize their work and interactions.
  • Methodology-Led Approaches: Methodology-led practices involve pursuing knowledge, with clear instructions on how practices should be executed. This approach uses a pre-configured heavyweight external model. Contained within the model are many methods and practices describing how to perform all the activities. The model is then applied to your current organization. This is a popular approach as the methodology removes the need to make complex contextual decisions. It is often laden with risk for the same reasons. A key disadvantage is that it doesn’t take the individual organization’s context and challenges into account when scaling agility. 
  • Toolbox-Led Approaches: Toolbox-led practices rely on tactical tools and techniques for addressing specific situations or challenges. Fischmann used the example of a tool that has been successful in one situation and proposes that it can be applied elsewhere in the organization to tackle similar issues. Instead of following predefined frameworks or methodologies, teams assemble a toolkit of practices based on their context and requirements. Organizations select and adapt these practices as needed to address their unique challenges and achieve their specific goals.

By understanding these distinctions, organizations can choose the most suitable practice-led approach for their scaling efforts. This decision takes into consideration factors such as complexity, organizational culture, and desired level of flexibility. Whether they opt for a structured framework, a comprehensive methodology, or a flexible toolbox approach, aligning practices with organizational goals is essential to successfully implement agility at scale.

5. Three Core Competencies Underscore Agile Scaling

  1. Scaling/Engineering Skills: These include the technical expertise and capabilities required to scale Agile practices effectively within an organization. De Simone elaborated on this by saying that scaling/engineering skills are essential for designing scalable systems. These skills are also crucial for ensuring the smooth integration of Agile practices across teams and projects.
  2. Organizational Culture: Organizational culture is crucial in scaling agility and driving successful transformation initiatives. It encompasses the values, beliefs, norms, behaviors, and practices that shape how people work together within an organization. “When you scale, you need to set up a kind of organizational culture that is prepared for scaled collaboration, cross-team collaboration, and customer collaboration,” De Simone concludes.
  3. Change Management: Change management involves understanding the human side of change, addressing resistance, and ensuring smooth transitions during the transformation journey. De Simone highlighted that change management is a delicate change process. Therefore, it’s essential to be cautious with the approach you choose. You cannot simply create a goal, devise a grand plan, and expect to transform multiple teams instantaneously; it doesn’t work like that. 
Photo by Håkon Grimstad on Unsplash

6. We Can Identify Three Principles Of Organic Scaling

Three principles provide a guiding framework for organizations seeking to implement agility at scale organically. By focusing on value delivery, making culture explicit, and validating change in small increments, organizations can cultivate sustainable growth.

  1. Focus on Value Delivery: As De Simone advises, “focus on value delivery and removing unnecessary synchronization.” When you prioritize delivering value, your organization can streamline its processes. In doing so, the organization focuses on activities that directly contribute to customer satisfaction. This principle guides strategic choices, such as determining the number of Product Owners (POs) and feature teams. It also determines the size of the product itself.
  2. Make Your Culture Explicit: Building on the foundation of value delivery, this principle highlights the significance of organizational culture in scaling agility. Organizations can foster an environment with clearly defined and shared values, norms, and behaviors across teams by making culture explicit. 
  3. Validate Change in Small Increments: As De Simone explains, the only way to scale agility is by using an Agile approach. Instead of implementing large-scale transformations all at once, organizations should adopt an iterative and incremental approach to mitigate risks, gather feedback, and make course corrections as needed. 

Scrum Alliance has launched Certified Agile Skills – Scaling 1 (CAS-S1). Sign up to learn more about the frameworks, methods, and principles behind Scaling.

Scaling Agile Teams

We’ve been working with organizations for over 15 years and despite numerous existing frameworks and models, we’ve learned that there is no silver bullet when it comes to scaling Agile teams. Every context is different and complex. However, we believe that by applying Agile principles and some good practices, any organization can create a framework or model for scaling Agile teams: one that is best adapted to its respective environment and can grow organically. In this guide, we’ll describe a few best practices for scaling Agile teams.

Read more

The History of Scrum

Today, Scrum has become one of the most widely adopted Agile frameworks. It enables teams and organizations to deliver value iteratively and incrementally, adapt to changing requirements and foster collaboration and self-organization. The influence of Scrum extends far beyond software development, shaping the way teams approach complex work across various industries. But how did everything begin and what were the main landmarks along the way? Here is a brief summary of the history of Scrum.

Read more

Webinar: Why Technical Debt is an Opportunity

In software development, technical debt is a concept that reflects the extra development work that arises when we use quick or easy solutions. But the concept is useful beyond the world of software too. In the digital world, where new technologies and ideas are emerging just about every day, technical debt is almost unavoidable. So we need to know how to deal with it. 

Read and Watch

Everything I Needed to Know About Agile Product Development I Learned from Dark Souls

There are two activities in my life that have filled the years with a roller coaster ride of celebration and depression –  periods where I had to rely on grit and determination slogging through unending drudgery punctuated with moments of delight –  developing software products and playing Dark Souls.

I realize that not everyone who reads this blog may be familiar with the Dark Souls games. Luckily, I can sum it up with one image – the screen that players see more than any other:

A screenshot of the computer game, Dark Souls, with the text "you died" in bold red lettering across the centre.

Dark Souls has a reputation as a brutally challenging game. As I start playing Elden Ring, the latest game in the series, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned playing these games and how similar it is to Agile product development. Below are four of the things I’ve learned about Agile Product Development from Dark Souls.

1. It’s All About Learning From Your Mistakes

While Dark Souls may be unforgiving, it’s not a particularly complex game. Even the most challenging enemies have big tells for their attacks and are fairly predictable in their behavior. Despite how frustrating it may feel after the tenth time dying to the same enemy, the game’s developers want you to succeed. If you’re paying attention, each level teaches you how to beat it. Easier enemies teach you the skills needed to beat the harder ones. Every time you see the “You Died” screen, you should be asking yourself, “what did I do that got me killed, and what should I do differently next time?”

This might be the most important lesson in Agile product development that so few people learn. Most of the products we build are not simply copies of another product. We’re solving new problems or old problems in new ways. Missteps will happen. Success comes when we learn from those missteps and find an innovative solution.  

Related reading: How Dungeons and Dragons prepares you for being a Scrum Master

2. Take Small Steps

Nothing leads you into disaster like over-committing. In Dark Souls, a wise player will take the game one enemy at a time and always check their corners. This lets you re-evaluate your surroundings and take the best strategy for that moment, even if that strategy is to run back to safety to regroup and rethink.

Agile Product Development is no different. We take our development one small feature at a time. This doesn’t mean we don’t have a larger context in mind, but we also know that each completed feature could show us a fundamental flaw in our thinking. This gives us a chance to take a step back, regroup, and rethink.

Whether you’re playing Dark Souls or building a product, if you don’t want to end up in over your head, take it one small step at a time.

3. You Will Fail. Often.

While it is true that each failure is an opportunity to learn, that doesn’t mean that failure won’t hurt. Whether you’re throwing yourself at the same enemy for the 28th time or you bomb a feature you were sure would be a slam dunk, you will get frustrated and it will kill your motivation. The best players and Agile teams know how to recognize that frustration and recover from it. 

Find out what works for you to recover and re-energize. Do you need a break? A small win? Do you need the support of your team to rally and push through the problem? Too often, teams just resign themselves to the frustrating task, which rarely leads you to a successful outcome. 

4. Sometimes, Your Princess is in Another Castle

OK, I’m mixing game metaphors, I know, but the lesson holds. Sometimes hitting a wall in Dark Souls is an opportunity to double down and persevere. Other times, it’s a sign you need to go spend a little time tackling other challenges in another level. This can help you unwind the frustration, build new skills, and build up your character. You may find that when you come back to the challenge, it will be easier to overcome.

In Agile development, you will encounter technical challenges and business challenges. You may need to buckle down and work through them, but other times, turning your attention to other feature areas will help you make progress and get your team unstuck. Often, that shakes loose new ideas and new solutions. When you return to the earlier work, you’ll be armed with new ideas and a fresh perspective.


It may seem strange to compare two things that seem so different as playing video games and building products, but in the end, a challenge is a challenge. The ways we work through them carry over across our personal and professional activities. I hope some of these lessons resonate with you. 

Want to learn more about Agile? Contact us

Webinar | Agile Certifications: New Year, New Opportunities

While the Agile journey is exciting, it can be overwhelming. In this webinar, our senior coaches Daniel Lynn and Giuseppe De Simone help to give you direction on this journey. They explore the many options and agile certifications available to you. They outline the Path to CSP as well as the many other qualifications and experiences that can help you along the way. When mapping out your path, our coaches explain that you should be guided by what you want to learn and how you want to grow. 

Watch now | Agile Certifications: New Year, New Opportunities

Stay in the loop about upcoming webinars by joining our mailing list 

Meet your webinar hosts 

Daniel Lynn started his career as a software engineer and found himself passionate about developing products inside of Scrum. He is an experienced Agile Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Daniel is passionate about what he does and helping others. 

Giuseppe De Simone is a Certified Scrum TrainerCertified Enterprise and Team Coach who is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations become more productive by embracing Agile values, principles and practices. Being an Approved Certified Agile Leadership and Path to CSP Educator, he is one of the very few in the world holding all the guide level certifications from Scrum Alliance. Giuseppe holds a Master degree in Electronic Engineering and started his career as a Software Developer. He became interested in how people can effectively work together and how teams can transform into an organism capable of delivering products and services which customers love. 

Browse the agile42 Agile Certifications

agile42 offers Scrum courses, as well as:

  • online Agile certifications;
  • Kanban training with certification from Kanban University;
  • ICAgile Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF) and Agile Coaching Certification (ICP-ACC) training; and
  • Scrum Alliance Certified Agile Leadership training.
Agile Challenges

Eight Lessons We Learned in 2021

2021 was another unpredictable year. Although we seemed more prepared for remote working and different ways of doing business, there were, as always, some unexpected curve balls. COVID-19 variants, hybrid working arrangements, and cancelled Christmas parties, among many other challenges, made for an interesting year of work. If there is anything we can learn from the past few years, it is to expect the unexpected. There is always room to inspect and adapt. 

We asked you, our community, what your greatest agile challenges were from 2021 and what you learned from them. Here are eight of your biggest challenges, and biggest lessons, from the last year. 

If you fail to inspect, you fail to adapt

Having a plan and procedures in place allows you the opportunity to inspect and adapt. This is a vital step towards improvement. As Agile practitioner Jesper Ørting reminds us, “In sport, people train 99% of the time and perform 1%, but in business, we train 1% of the time and have to perform 99%, and we still expect it to work.” This begs the question: are we spending enough time planning, developing skills, and adapting? 

Scrum Master Riaan Johannes R reflects on how important having a plan was for his Program Increment (PI) Planning. “Face to face communication is already difficult with PI Planning, but doing this remotely is a nightmare,” he explained, “You need to not only have an agenda and a plan, but also facilitate via the tool you use and also know this off by heart.” 

Trust and openness can help to overcome uncertainty

When there is massive uncertainty, it can result in a lack of purpose, motivation, and cohesion among your teams. Scrum Master Floris Dafel experienced this. “I’ve learnt that a lack of purpose is like kryptonite to teams”, he said, “and it can be overcome by trust and openness. […] We did some trust-building team exercises that helped and also created our own vision where there was a lack of it instead of waiting for it. The challenges actually built a strong team in the end.”

Trust and openness

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Change is a process and shouldn’t be imposed

For Agile Coach Matteo Betti, coping with change in a remote working environment was a massive challenge. They had the additional challenge of facing a massive reteaming. “I learned that you have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to show things from different perspectives,” he explained, “Change should not be imposed. Scrum Master Daniel Palmisano shared a similar experience.“I learned that sometimes we have to be patient and let the people think about change and be willing to accept new ways of working,” he told agile42. 

During times of change, teams need time to embrace the process. The best thing a leader can do is communicate what is expected across the team, be open to new ways of working, and be patient.

Take action after a retrospective

While retrospectives can be a great opportunity to look back on a sprint and make plans to improve in the future, it’s important to make sure they’re geared towards real, actionable change. “Retrospectives can be great and insightful but the pitfall is that if nothing changes teams tend to say, ‘this is all useless!’,” shared Facilitator Valentina Sandi. “So Inspect – Adapt – ACTION”. A successful retrospective ensures action instead of running into the same issues every time.  

Make sure the team has a shared understanding of your goals 

When undergoing change and transformation, especially along your Agile journey, it is crucial that everyone shares the same understanding of both the process and the goal. “Our biggest fail this year was assuming that everybody on the team and organisation has the same understanding of what Agile and Scrum means,” reflects Scrum Master Claus Trohl. “We are now rectifying this by more widespread communication throughout the organisation.” 

Use the correct communication tools 

There are a multitude of tools that can help you communicate better, especially as more and more teams work remotely. For Lean and Agile coach Ilija Popjanev, changing their approach to communication has been instrumental. She says, “Our biggest failure was weak communication through emails. We learnt the lesson and switched to Slack and Whatsapp, now it is totally different.”

Use games, activities and tools in Agile facilitation

Mentor and Facilitator Nissaf Sleimi has incorporated games and tools to build resilience while facilitating. Using games to practise agile methods not only deepens our understanding of concepts but helps us to build confidence, communication skills, and trust. You can practise communication and other Agile concepts through these games, such as the Kanban Pizza Game

Agile games

Photo by Parabol on Unsplash

Keep learning, always

At agile42, one of our biggest lessons for the year was that the learning never ends. As we approach the new year, we want to make sure we’re not repeating old mistakes, and learn how to improve on the issues we’ve identified. Want to learn with us? Check out our online courses, enquire about our training and workshops, and sign up for our free webinars.

Part 2: Digital Transformation

For the month of June, we've teamed up with our partner, Dave Snowden, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge. In Part 2, Dave explains the role Agile plays in a digital transformation and potential organisational implications. He also examines the social-human impact of such changes. 

Watch the full interview below:

What is a digital transformation and why is it necessary?

In a modern world, you need to be able to connect very quickly. You need people to be able to do things that are routine without difficulty, without problems. We need to have information in near real-time in many cases. So, digitisation is a key hygiene factor aspect of that process and essential within any modern organisation.  

What are the organisational implications of a digital transformation?

They are many and various. Part of the danger here is that people are seeing digitisation, like people saw business process reengineering back at the turn of the century - an excuse to reduce staff numbers rather than to increase the quality of services. So, the organisational expectations are that many of the routine tasks would go and instead become automated. 

However, those are in the center of a normal distribution. You also need to account for the fact that the exceptions will be many and varied, particularly in the early days. You need to create an organisation that can handle both the automation and nonautomation, the digitisation, and personal interactions. So, it’s not just simply a process of saying:

  • what can we do?
  • what can we automate?
  • what does digitisation affect?

You actually have to rethink the culture and the aspects of the organisation around digitisation - what it will mean for you, what it will mean for your staff and what it will mean for your customers. That is an exploratory process and not necessarily something that can be planned in advance.  

What role does Agile play in the context of a digital transformation?

Agile at its heart, is about fast cycles, high levels of customer interaction, high levels of experimentation, a willingness to be wrong, and a willingness to do things again and again until you get them right. Those sort of short-cycle, high interaction processes are key to digitalisation. Agile, properly applied, has a key role to play in making this transformation successful.

What is the social-human impact of such changes?

This is the area which everybody is neglecting. So, if I’m a customer, digitalisation can provide me with a very powerful way of doing routine tasks very quickly. However, when I start to move into exceptional states, everything sort of just goes wrong. 

To give a personal example; I got a package from Amazon the other day containing an expensive item that I never ordered. I contacted Amazon and they said, “do you not want it?” and I said, “well I never ordered it so something is messed up in your system”. Their digitised system couldn’t cope with me returning it, so I got a pair of size 8 shoes, which I can never use, for free.

You need to be able to interact with somebody in real-time and you need to have somebody who actually understands the concepts of your inquiry. At that point, digitalisation is supporting a human actor and not replacing a human actor. We also need to consider the degree to which society-level access is an issue. For example, if you live in a middle-class household, you are likely to have high-capacity broadband and digitised services that are easily accessible and make perfect sense. However, some people may not have the same digital access and are excluded from these new services and products. We need to think about making technology pervasive and open access widely enough to handle some of these societal implications. The danger is in the creation of a digitised class and an undigitised, disenfranchised class. 

What is the impact on customers?

For customers, if it works well, it becomes a very different, and often better, way of interacting. It was like when ATM’s took off -; you didn’t have totalk to the bank manager if you actually didn’t have enough money, the machine would tell you, not a person. The level of personalisation and automation was actually very powerful. The same is true with digitalisation – the customer now has more autonomy and agency in their interactions

As a customer, that impact is quite a powerful one. It makes my life easier and gives me more freedom. Except in cases where a high level of human interaction is required. When something happens that couldn’t have been planned for, the system needs to have the ability to adapt and change. One of the problems in a digitisation market is that, if you lose customer intimacy, you become a commodity supplier and customers might as well go to somebody else. So, even if you can automate things, even if you can digitize the whole experience, it’s really important companies also focus on maintaining intimacy and human contact in that relationship as a part of their overall approach to loyalty.

Watch the recording of Dave's webinar on "Digital Transformation".

*Click here to read Part 1 blog post* 

Part 2: What makes a great Product Owner?

In Part 2 of our series on "What makes a great Product Owner?", agile42 coach Lothar Fischmann, looks at why having a Product Vision is so important for a Product Owner and what we can learn from “Shark Tank”.

You can watch the full video interview below:

Why is having a Product Vision so important for a Product Owner?

One of the first questions we ask Product Owner’s when it comes to any kind of coaching conversation is: “what is your product basically about”? And hopefully, the Product Owner is able to give us a short insight into the main characteristics of his product and be able to tell us where the journey should go. If he is able to tell it to us, he should also be able to tell it to stakeholders, users, or clients. The basic idea behind the Product Vision is that the Product Owner should be able to make an elevator pitch for instance to his company’s CEO/CIO of the idea behind this new product.

Are there any good examples of Product Visions?

There are a couple of good examples of Product Visions that are very well known. For example, JFK’s “Man on the Moon” speech or Martin Luther King who stated, “I Have a Dream”  and, of course, Steve Jobs’ vision of the iPod. So what we are seeing is that a Product Vision can also be used for organisational or social development as Martin Luther King did. A vision and a clear understanding of the product is helpful and guides people on the journey. 

We use the idea of a Product Vision also when we talk about an agile transition. For example, where there is a sponsor at the top who has an idea of how the agile organisation could look like, what the benefit of agility is and why it is important to start working in an agile way. Other good examples of Product Visions can be found within shows such as “Shark Tank”. The principle behind “Shark Tank” is quite simple. There are people who have an innovative product idea and they would like to get some capital from venture capitalists. So they pitch their product and try to convince the “Sharks” to invest in their product.

What can we learn from “Shark Tank”?

The people on “Shark Tank” are extremely motivated in selling their product to the “Sharks”. In their presentation, they will focus on the most important aspects of their product and why people would buy it. Some of them also hand the product to the “Sharks” so they can touch, smell or possibly taste it, which can be quite important for some products. 

It’s not only the presenter's work we can learn from. You could also learn something from the “Sharks”. For example, what kind of questions are these people asking? Typical questions include:

  • have you already sold some of the items or is it still an idea?”
  • have you been able to collect customer feedback?
  • what did they say and how have you been able to incorporate that?
  • what is the market looking like? Are there any kind of competitors?
  • Why should we use this approach over other competitors? (i.e. a “make or buy decision”).

You will find Product Owners who have given a thought to all these questions, who prepared themselves in front of a mirror or with friends, who thought how to present their product in a succinct way that will be well perceived by stakeholders, users, or the “Sharks”. This helps people to understand the product and to develop it. Therefore, working on a Product Vision is always a good first step on your journey.


Watch the recording of Lothar's webinar on "What makes a great Product Owner?".

*Click here to read Part 1 blog post* 


Post agile42 Connect

The agile42 Connect - A Series of Fortunate Events was a great success. We had public sessions running from the 27th to the 29th of July, as part of agile42's Innovation Sprint. Usually every year the whole company, including families, gather together for a week of Innovation. Besides working together, creating new things, supporting ongoing work and services, we most importantly - have fun!

This year we were supposed to go to Canada for our Innovation week, however COVID-19 forced us to change tack. We instead went virtual and decided to make some parts of the Innovation Sprint public. We miss not being able to see each other in person, but what can we do?

In this blog post, we will share the Panel discussion with you as well as the other 3 webinars we ran this week.

Help us to help!

This year, we chose a needy charity, Nutrition with Love & Kindness, where those taking part in the #agile42Connect event could donate. This charity converted their venue kitchen business to provide 12000 nutritious meals a month to vulnerable families during this COVID-19 crisis.

Funds raised will enable them to keep providing 12000 meals a month to the local community. Good nutrition improves immunity and creates stronger, healthier, happier humans. With just €8.00 you will feed 1 person for a month.

Please donate and help those in need!

Let's start with the Panel discussion. Through out the week, in the back of our heads, was the thinking around "The NEW NORMAL". What is the new normal? Or is it just the normal? The Panel discussion was about pandemic effects, market changes and what might happen next. The panelists discussed their various challenges, how they've adapted their way of working and insights into how companies can try weather the storm.

We had a great group of panelists - agile42's, Peter Hundermark, was the moderator of the panel, along with guests, Christoph Bornschein from TLGG, Richard Sheridan from Menlo Innovations, Tim Mois from sipgate, Tobias Schiwek from Divimove, Sonja Blignaut from Cognitive Edge and last but not least, Andrea Tomasini from agile42. Below you can watch the recording of the session.


OrgScan Summer Offer

If you want to see how your organization is handling the changes we are facing, the challenges and how work is moving on, you can test your organizational culture with OrgScan Starter summer offer. The summer offer is valid until August 15th 2020.

Tuesday started off with a session in the morning by Bastian Wilhelms, one of the founders of sipgate. At sipgate, Bastian has been driving the change to an all-in agile, decentralized and mission based organization since 2009. He is a Senior Advisor to the Product Leads at sipgate and helps set the vision for success with Scrum as well as sipgate’s overall company strategy.

He gave us very interesting insights into how work has been continuing at sipgate, as well as how to find and establish meaningful metrics for any recurring fee business model. He also delved into story-telling techniques.

Please find the recording of this session below.

Tuesday ended with a session together with Richard Sheridan who gave us a virtual tour of Menlo Innovations. Richard shared Menlo’s history, culture and practices – and how they're rebuilding a joyful culture in our new normal of today. It was nice to be able to take part in the largest (so far!) virtual tour of their company. Some of our agile42 colleagues actually visited Menlo a few years ago, and now we had the chance to hear how Menlo works today.

The stories which Richard shared are something that we all can relate to, and if you missed this session, please find the recording below.

If you want to sign up for a tour, please feel free to contact our friends at Menlo!

Wednesday was the last day of our public webinars. The day started off with a presentation by Yasmin Akay and Lena Natus. Yasmin is the Managing Director of Divimove’s Production and Strategy Studio, Europe’s leading digital studio and home of digital content creators. Lena is a consultant at Divimove, and her role is Company Culture and Organizational Development. She is also an actress. This session was about Human Behaviour consuming entertainment content and interacting with it.

They spoke about Social Media, different platforms, what to think about, how to try out new things, to be human, to breath and to listen to the audience you are trying to target. This session was incredibly valuable to all of us trying to build images of ourselves online, as well as branding our companies.

Have a look at the recording here!

Last but not least, I want to thank everyone that took part in our #agile42Connect event this week. We had many new faces join the webinars along with our valued regulars.

A big thanks to all of our guests, some of whom even took time out from their vacations to join us! It was a pleasure to hear your thoughts and ideas on the "New Normal". As the guests donated their time for free, we really hope that you can make a donation to Nutrition with Love & Kindness!

A big thanks to all at agile42 for the fantastic virtual Innovation Sprint. 2020 will be the Innovation Sprint we will never forget. We're also sure our "fun day" on the 30th July will be just as memorable!

See you next year! 

Tag Archive for: agile

CAS-SA1 Training

New certification

Certified Agile Skills – Scaling 1 (CAS-S1) training

Our Certified Agile Skills – Scaling 1 (CAS-S1) training class is a brand new Scrum Alliance certification. There’s an unprecedented demand for companies to deliver more in the  contemporary business landscape. CAS-Scaling 1 provides a solid foundation to ramp up the results of your agile efforts and take production to the next level. Scaling agile requires focused collaboration, coherent objectives, and appropriate change management practices to ensure that the flexibility and responsiveness that make agile effective on a team level can be sustained on a much larger scale.

  • Duration: 16h
  • Delivery: Remote / Face-to-face
  • Certifications: CAS-S1 Certification (Scrum Alliance)


In CAS-S1 you will learn different approaches that need to be taken when working agile with multiple teams. Unlike prescriptive scaling frameworks, the course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to identify principle-informed patterns that apply to your organization’s unique and evolving context.

The class is presented in a highly interactive and collaborative format with elements of lecture, classroom discussion, exercises, games and simulations, smoothly blended throughout the class. We will approach the class at a sustainable pace and endeavor to take breaks often, to allow our brain to stay focused and our body to recharge when necessary. 

Upon completion of the class, students will receive a CAS-S1 Scaling certification.

Who should attend CAS-Scaling 1?

This course is ideal for change agents—managers, executives, coaches, and anyone participating in scaling within an organization who needs adaptable guidance and a tailored approach to the core aspects of scaling.

The CAS-S1 course is right for:

  • Managers guiding the change
  • Executives who believe in the change
  • Agilists who embody the change

You can supercharge your skills even if you’re in the middle of an evolving scaling transformation or have never attempted scaling. This course is designed to meet you and your organization wherever you are in your journey to expand the benefits of agile teams.

Training topics

  • What is Scaling and Why is it Necessary?
  • Approaches to Scaling (Principles-led, Practice-led, Pattern-led)
  • Principles of Organic Scaling
  • Introduction to Complexity and System Thinking
  • Value Delivery and Unnecessary Synchronizations
  • Organizational Culture and Decentralized Control
  • Scaling Patterns
  • Change Management in Scaling
  • The Role of Agile Coaches in Scaling
  • Scaling Case Study Deconstruction

Included in the training

  • Certificate for Certified Agile Skills – Scaling (CAS-S1) + two-year membership to the Scrum Alliance
  • Slack channel to continue collaborating with your classmates after the class and access trainers to ask questions
  • Option to join the agile42 Community and get access to a number of free learning resources, like books, articles and videos
  • Life-long warranty on the course: e-mail access to the trainers

Why train with agile42?

  • Experience: Over the years, agile42 has delivered Scrum & Agile training to thousands of professionals worldwide. Our instructors have decades of experience using and coaching Scrum in hundreds of organizations large and small.
  • Excellent ratings: We consistently receive excellent ratings from our participants. 
  • Techniques: In all of our classes, we use techniques from Accelerated Learning and in particular principles and concepts from Training from the Back of the Room.
  • Engaging: Our courses are highly interactive and fun – not a PowerPoint assault, and our participants stay engaged throughout the class, learn by doing, and have fun along the way. When learners talk and teach, they learn. – Sharon Bowman
  • Practical and Memorable: Participants learn through hands-on exercises, creating high knowledge retention.
  • Sustainable: We are contributing to a greener planet by decreasing our carbon footprint by not having people travel to the venue, and less paper usage in terms of flipcharts and post-it notes.
Mitchell F., Program Management Consultant

Your virtual environment

In order to ensure a collaborative, engaging and fun environment even virtually, we are going to use a number of digital platforms.

  1. We will use Zoom as a video conferencing platform. You can access Zoom through your browser or download the desktop application. We recommend you access through a PC/laptop with a webcam and mic or headphones.
  2. We will use Slack as an additional messaging channel. You will get an invitation to our class Slack channel. If you do not have a Slack account, please go to https://slack.com and create one using the same mail address you used to register to the training. If you already have a Slack account with another email address and you want to use that one, let us know.
  3. We will use Miro https://miro.com as an online whiteboard for digital collaboration. You will soon also get an invite to access the platform. The access is included in the training fee you paid, so it will be free of charge for the 2 days of the training.

You will receive further information and specific instructions before the training.

Michael M., Senior Project Manager

Upcoming training