Agile and Scrum training the Agile For All way

Take a moment to consider the last time you were in any sort of training environment. Were the tables set up “classroom style” so everyone faced forward in rows? Did the instructor read a lot of PowerPoint slides? Perhaps the room was even dark so everyone could see the PowerPoint better. Maybe you were lucky and you even had a workbook that was 500 pages long to go along with the training! <please feel free to gag at this point> Yes, we’ve all been there, and it’s horrible. It is one reason why many adults avoid any sort of educational opportunities – it’s just too horrible to ponder going through that again!

Well, people in our courses experience something completely different from what happens in a normal classroom. That didn’t happen by accident. We have spent a lot of time, money and effort over the past 5 years to become advanced practitioners of a training system from a book by Sharon Bowman known as Training From the Back of the Room (TFTBOTR). Between all of us, we’ve logged many hours in training with Sharon and picking her brain over the years. We’ve participated in many TFTBOTR seminars at conferences and even led sessions ourselves.

2013 Barry Staver, www.barrystaver.comRichard Lawrence and I (yes, in the picture to the left I am unfortunately, the height challenged one!) were privileged to spend one more incredible day with Sharon in January. After that day, both of us officially became “Certified Training From the Back of the Room Trainers” at the end of that day. This means we have progressed to a level where Sharon Bowman can confidently endorse us as trainers of her courses on the subject. We never really expected to get to this level, but after 5 years of using this in our daily work it was a natural fit. It was kind of nice to hear people in the course that day refer to us and say things like “it was great to see old hands like Richard and Bob show how easy this is!” That really made us happy to hear, because too often we don’t really know what we know because it has become so ingrained in us.

We often talk and write about our courses being different. They are highly experiential, involve more movement and interaction than most classes, don’t use much PowerPoint, etc., etc. We use these techniques because modern brain science makes it clear these things work better than anything else for helping people learn. Richard and I are both proud to be certified to teach these topics to others. And even though we may not host TFTBOTR trainings very often, the certification has given us more credibility. Believe it or not, there are companies that come close to hanging up on us when they hear how different our courses are from what they expected. Certification as TFTBOTR trainers lends additional credibility when talking about why we do the things we do.

If you haven’t taken a course with us, then we hope this article convinces you to consider it. Check our calendar of courses to see if any fit your schedule. We believe once you experience one of our courses you’ll change your mind about how adult education should be done!

Once you take a course with us you’ll be eligible to come to our 2015 Humanizing Work Conference where we take what happens in the classroom and amp it up. WAY UP! Check out the video on our conference homepage at for a taste of what you missed if you didn’t attend in 2014. We hope to see you in one of our classes soon, and at our Humanizing Work conference in the Park Hyatt Resort and Spa in the beautiful mountain town of Beaver Creek, Colorado this July. Learning can actually be fun. Try one of our courses and find out how! Just to show you how fun, just last week I got this evaluation form after a class (it made my day):eval1

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