How to Elaborate Requirements Through Use Cases and User Stories

Use cases and user stories are both excellent techniques for understanding what a user needs from a product. While both have a similar purpose, use cases and user stories are not meant to be used interchangeably. That is why it’s important for a business analyst to understand the difference.

The older of the two techniques is the use case, which captures usage scenarios. In other words, a use case documents how an individual uses a product to accomplish something of value. This technique works well for projects where functional requirements and usage scenarios must be – and can be – specified upfront. However, what if you can’t know the requirements upfront?

In a user story, the user and what they need the product to accomplish is also specified, but in contrast to use cases, at a much higher level.

Recognizing which technique is best suited to your situation is the key.

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Transitioning to Agile Webinar Series

Business Agility enables an organization to respond quickly to external forces (such as new market opportunities and competitive forces) as well as to respond quickly to new insights attained internally.

So, how do you achieve Business Agility?

While many organizations have achieved the local optimizations of more effective teams, few have achieved agility at the organizational level. Even when team agility has been achieved, if improvements to how the business is selecting their product enhancements isn’t done, overall return on investment of software development may not have significantly improved.

This webinar series is organized around roles so each person in an organization can be introduced to what they need to know for their business to achieve business agility.

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ScrumMaster or Armchair Psychologist

New ScrumMasters tend to focus on the perceived administration they see in Scrum: facilitating a sprint planning ceremony or a retrospective, for instance. But what tends to get overlooked is the “people stuff.” When ScrumMasters embrace their new role, they ask:

  • “My team is sticking to their old roles. How do I get them to work together?”
  • “Nobody updates our information radiators. How do I get people to do this?”

These are not truly “Scrum” problems but, rather, are people problems. Ah, enter the armchair psychologist now known as ScrumMaster. How do you get people to do anything?  This is more art than science, and it requires ScrumMasters to be willing to roll up their sleeves and engage in active facilitation.

This webinar hosted by Scrum Alliance will focus on practical tips to help any ScrumMaster tackle the greater task of improved teamwork.

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The Way to Lean

There is a natural path for you and your teams to follow in order improve your lean thinking and practice together. It’s true to the original intent of lean tools and principles and it captures not only the intellectual journey of learning-by-doing but also the emotional elements of change that are needed to transform entire organizations.

This way to lean was laid out over the trilogy of business novels written by Michael and Freddy Ballé – The Gold Mine, The Lean Manager, and, most recently, Lead With Respect – all Shingo Research Award winners.

This webinar will teach you The Way to Lean: Read more


The Two Basic Forms of Coaching for Lean

Coaching is an essential practice for lean leaders. But not all coaching is the same. Did you know that there are two basic kinds of coaching that you have to recognize and know when to use?

  1. The first is Coaching for Correction. This happens when you give someone feedback and direction about how to improve performance. Coaching for Correction seems to come naturally to us.
  2. The second – and harder – kind is Coaching for Development. This happens in a lean culture when you are developing a coachee’s problem-solving capabilities. This kind of coaching doesn’t come naturally. In fact, we have to overcome some behaviors ingrained in us by traditional management to Coach for Development. But you can master this key type of coaching, if you learn a few key techniques.

Find out what they are and grasp the fundamentals of how to use them during this practical, 60-minute, free webinar with David Verble, the former manager of Human Resource Development for North American Manufacturing at Toyota’s HQ in Erlanger, KY.

You will learn about…

  • When to use the 2 basic types of coaching
  • What capability development really means in a lean company
  • 2 big reasons why Coaching for Development is more difficult and how to guard against them
  • “Yes or no” versus “open” questions
  • How to use the essential practice of Humble Inquiry to develop others and how it supports people moving through the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) process
  • How to get coachees to “look” at what they are thinking so they are aware of what they know and what they think they know

About the presenter: David Verble applied his organizational skills at Toyota’s Georgetown, KY, plant where he worked in management and organizational development during the facility’s startup phase and beyond. During his 10 years at Toyota, David became the manager of Human Resource Development at Georgetown and then manager of Human Resource Development for North American Manufacturing at Toyota’s manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, KY. Before his tenure at Toyota, David was responsible for organizational development as assistant to the Dean of the College of Education, University of Kentucky.

Click here to listen to Webinar Recording


Facilitation Skills for Project Managers

Meetings are nothing more than a tool to get results. A successfully facilitated meeting helps to achieve and exceed project goals, by improving issues resolution, decision making, and risk management. Facilitation is an art and science that consists of a set of skills that can be learned. Successful facilitators can recognize and balance the needs of the meeting, the individuals, and the team.

This webinar discusses typical challenging behaviors of individuals and groups and associates them with various animal metaphors. We will review a few facilitation strategies for key challenging behaviors. We’ve all been in meetings with the “wise old owl” who philosophizes at great length. And we all know what it feels like when there is an “elephant in the room.” The images may be simple to grasp, but this is not a basic meeting management webinar.

You will learn about:

  • The fundamentals of facilitation
  • A perspective shift that encourages the use of meetings as a tool
  • Overview of the top individual challenging meeting behaviors
  • Strategies for dealing with some challenging behaviors

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Launching Agile Release Trains: Why Start at the Program Level? …with Dean Leffingwell

Many organizations are tempted to begin their agile transformation with a series of low risk, stand-alone pilots. While these pilots may prove that teams can adopt a new process, they don’t prove that enterprise teams can work together to drive out dependencies, gain alignment across stakeholders, provide program-wide transparency, and deliver end-to-end value.

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Becoming Agile for Project Managers

Learn how Project Managers using traditional Waterfall methods are becoming Agile…


(click book to purchase)


  • Is Agile only for software projects?
  • How and Where to identify areas to leverage Agile
  • How do you move to Agile?
  • How does Agile affect the traditional Project Manager role?
  • and more…

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7 Ways to Avoid Being a Project “Micro” Manager

Micromanaging a project team is akin to managing each task or deliverable with extreme control.  This suffocating management style is likely to put a damper on creativity and inhibit individual growth. There are many reasons why this happens, but in general, it is not a healthy situation for the project manager, employee or team. As a program manager, you want to help project managers improve their performance without stepping on their toes or stepping into their projects. As a project manager, you are keen on making the project a success while balancing the needs of the team, the sponsors, and the organization as a whole.


So, what should you be focused on while others are tackling the work of the project?

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Running an Agile Release Planning Meeting, with Dean Leffingwell and Jennifer Fawcett

Release planning is the “pacemaker” of enterprise agility and the Agile Release Train (ART) which aligns the Agile program to a common mission.  Based on nearly a decade of experience, Dean Leffingwell and Scaled Agile have developed a process which has worked with small trains of 40 people to larger trains of 180.

This webinar explains what it takes to run a successful Agile release planning meeting from a scaled point of view (100’s of teams).  Hear real stories and feel what it’s like to be a Release Train Engineer!

What you’ll learn:

  • Overview of Agile Release Planning
  • How to prepare, content preparation, executive, product, and architectural briefings
  • Release Planning Days 1 & 2, ceremonies and timelines
  • Beyond the basics, logistics, and evolution

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