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How to make virtual agile training effective?

We, at Advance Agility, have been delivering online virtual training for SAFe and have got some constructive feedback. Building a personal connection with student before the class helps to empathize and deliver what they need. How do we motivate our students so that they remain focused, have a sense of community, leading to a meaningful discussion? Increasing participant engagement is tough during online training and few other systematic issues can lead to make the things worse. In this blog we will highlight four such common issues raised during various virtual trainings that we have delivered.

Improvement Feedback 1: “This was a virtual classroom course, and some of the online collaboration tools were introduced at short notice. This meant that we were wrestling with the technology instead of concentrating on the early exercises.”

Action Tip 1: When delivering an online training always make sure your audience have access to collaboration tools in advance. A few tips about some most commonly used tools and a 2-5 min video also helps a lot. In our Implementing SAFe classes, we always send a practice link for the practice of Miro-board, so that the users can practice paying with it. In SAFe we collaborate with an ice breaking activity before starting the session so that the users can learn how to use the collaboration tool. Improvement Feedback 2: “In a virtual classroom, it's harder to go round the tables/breakout rooms and sort out confusion, so you have to be very clear about the exercises, both content and process, and at times this wasn't the case.”

Action Tip 2: As the time in Zoom break out session runs faster; the users are mostly not able to complete the activities. They give feedback that the time was not enough or they took a lot of time in understanding what needs to be done. It is important to make sure all the participants have understood what needs to be achieved before moving into the zoom breakout room. I normally check with each participant to repeat what they understood about the activity. If you are using zoom it’s a good idea to make participants co-host while doing PI Planning so that they can move between the rooms. Do not forget to inform them that Alignment is the goal/purpose of PI Planning and not the plan in isolation. Improvement Feedback 3: “The trainer faced difficulties in getting agreement if all the participant have got the message and if we can move ahead. I think that the use of the zoom emotes (thumbs up or clapping) may help”

Action Tip 3:- As per the sixth agile manifesto principle “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.” When working on remote training, it’s very important to have a working agreement at the beginning of the class requesting everyone to keep their cameras on because if not face-to-face in real, at least it feels like face- to-face virtually. It is advisable to inform the participants well in advance, through the welcome email that they will be required to keep their cameras on. Improvement Feedback 4: “Since this was a virtual session it’s too tiring to get the same completed in 2 days and we did not had enough breaks between session”

Action Tip 4: Having a small break for 10 min every 60-75 min helps a lot. Continuation of 90 min is a bit too much for the attention span of a person. Having the 16 hours session distributed over 4 days of 4.30 hours each makes it a bit better. Kaizen is about changing the way things are. If you assume that things are all right the way they are, you can’t do kaizen. So change something —Taiichi Ohno We hope that these actions tips will help you to have a more productive virtual training session. Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. We are delivering virtual and classroom training for SAFe almost everyday. Write to us at contact@advanceagilty.com for any agile training or consulting needs. Also, we are on a continuous lookout for great Agile trainers. So, if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us as we can together Learn, Grow and Achieve.

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