Top 3 Things I’ve Learned About Virtual Agile Training

It’s been a whirlwind for many of us as we’ve adapted to the current work conditions – that’s equally true for us as Scrum Trainers at Agile for All! While many of us have extensive experience in the virtual realm, this is the first time that we’ve been able to deliver the CSM and CSPO in this way.

I spent a week of intensive work transforming my Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course so that it could be presented in an interactive and effective way. I’ve now facilitated that class 3 times with great results and here are my top 3 learnings about virtual classes.

1. In-person virtual classes are a lot of work!  

That’s not just true for the instructors but for the students as well. We find that more frequent breaks are essential and changes to class schedules are sometimes required. You need to get up and move around frequently. Having good video and internet become key to a great experience.

2. There are some amazing tools out there to support virtual work

I’ve settled on Zoom for the voice and video portion and Mural as our main interactive tool. I have a document camera now so that I can still do live “charts” in class. Zoom lets us do a lot of our class in small groups via breakout rooms. Mural gives us a whiteboard-like experience where we can interact, run quizzes, and do our full Scrum simulation. Since I know many of us are in working in virtual environments now, I’m using the class as an opportunity to go “meta” and explain the use of the tools for the student’s real work environment.

My new virtual / live online Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) classroom set up

3. We can be effective while staying at home.   

Working in a virtual environment may be familiar to some of us but is very new to others. Regardless of previous experience in online sessions, I’ve seen people picking up new skills, having fun collaborating with people that they’ve never met in person, and learning effectively in ways that they never imagined were possible. People are also creating real connections and doing effective networking – a real nice side benefit of our time together.

Virtual CSM and CSPO classes are only expected to be offered for a limited amount of time. The current plan is to go back to in-person for them when it is safe to do so – and I’ll look forward to that myself. But if now is a good time for you to take one of these classes, don’t hesitate to consider our live virtual options!

-Steve

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Steve Spearman

Steve Spearman is a CST and Agile coach with over 30 years of experience in corporate software development settings including 20 years in a variety of leadership roles. In his last corporate role, he was the sponsor for his business unit’s transition to Scrum. Steve is an Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) and coach with great passion for Scrum but pragmatic enough to engage with you at different levels of transformational maturity. Steve’s varied experience as an engineer, architect, project manager and leader at Bell Labs, Lucent, Avaya and Cisco systems helps him relate to your real world transformational challenges.

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