The concept of Agile software development has gained huge popularity in the last few years and there is now demand for the training component to match the approach.
Within Agile, the development is based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between selforganizing, cross‐functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. By it's nature, these iterative phases last between 2 and 4 weeks which means the users must gain the necessary knowledge to use the features of product in a very short period of time and build on their knowledge through the phases until the product is fully completed and released.
I would like to know if anyone has experience in development training within an Agile software development environment and if so what techniques or methods they have adopted to provide the rapid up-skilling of the users through the phases.
We regularly work on Agile software development projects, to develop training. Its a way of working, that was initially hard to get to grips with, but now I prefer it to the waterfall projects, where often as a trainer we didn't get our hands on the software until near deployment. In Agile, the users are involved very early and this gives you a feed straight into the way the software will be used, where the learning stumbling blocks are etc.
Typically the type of user who is involved in the develoment phases, are interested in use of IT in their jobs and quick to learn and therefore need little training - usually brief demos by experts in the project e.g. tech leads or BAs - is all that is required. Its more a case of watching these users closely to get tips on how to develop the training!
Thanks for your insight, Kate. It seems that the whole concept of training development needs to be turned on it's head and be more of an ad-hoc and informal communication to the users rather than the formal training delivery.