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Microcredential

Agile Leadership

University of Colorado System via Coursera Specialization

Overview

Constant fast change has become a reality of our time. Agile has become a popular leadership philosophy and a project management methodology for addressing this reality. While the theory is simple, it’s much more challenging to become Agile in practice. To bridge the gap between an easy theory and complex application, you will learn three critical success components for executing the complexity of Agile in practice: the neuroscience of change, social psychology, and change management. In this specialization, you will learn how to become an agile leader, how to build agile teams by using Agile philosophy and Scrum tools, and how to approach transforming a traditional organization into agile. This specialization will prepare you to build change-resiliency within yourself, your team, and your organization and implement Agile practices where appropriate to leverage its maximum benefits.

Syllabus

Course 1: Agile Leadership: Introduction to Change
- This is a foundational course in the Agile Leadership Specialization. By the end of this course, you will build an understanding of key agile leadership concepts. You will begin building a toolbox that will give you an ability to evaluate and create a baseline for yourself as an agile leader. You will access your team’s readiness for change. You will also analyze to what degree an organization is agile, and evaluate its ability to respond to change triggers.

Course 2: Agile Leader Training
- In this course, you will learn the neuroscience of change, why we are so change-averse, how to train for change resilience, and most importantly, you will begin developing a practice to help you be prepared for changes in personal life and in your career. You will learn specific strategies and tools for overcoming fear, anxiety and managing stress related to these changes. By the end of this course, you will know what you need to do to become truly unshakable. You will build a practice for getting stronger emotionally and mentally. By understanding neuroscience and building awareness of yourself, you will build a solid foundation for understanding your team and the greater behavior of the business world. Remember, these changes won’t happen if you don’t take action. You might be uncomfortable, you might find some of the exercises silly, you might have doubts, and you might want to quit. Babies don’t quit trying to walk because they fall a lot, and neither should you. The only way to truly change is to practice consistently.

Course 3: Developing an Agile Team
- Now that you have undergone personal information, you will be better prepared to empathize, understand, and mentor individual members of your team on a similar journey. Leading teams towards change-resilience is not as simple as knowing and understanding the psychology of individuals multiplied by a number of team members. It requires a different approach. In this course, you will learn what influences human behavior in teams by looking at social psychology. You will evaluate your team’s level of change resilience and agility, and you will be applying practical tools for building Agile teams by applying Scrum project management framework. You won’t stop there, you will learn how to be a servant leader. You will learn practical tools for organizing, leading, and facilitating a Scrum team. Parts of the content are written from a Scrum Master perspective, and even though you will not be able to use it as a Scrum Master certification, I will be sharing tools and best practices learned through my own experience of being a Scrum Master.

Course 4: Agile Organization
- The theory of Agile is simple. However, it takes experience, knowledge, and expertise to scale it successfully. In this course, you will focus on leading change at an organizational level and scaling Agile appropriately. When studying Agile application success stories and theory, it's easy to think in terms of adopting "best practices." However, what's best for one industry, company, and most importantly, culture is not always the best for another. Not every aspect of the business is suitable for the application of Agile. Not every organization will benefit from adopting Agile, and not every leader will facilitate yet another change to success. In this course, you will be introduced to seven different change management theories and learn how to best use and apply them in practice. You will also learn how to scale Agile in your organization, what to look for when looking for best use cases, and what signs serve as clear indicators that Agile is not an appropriate philosophy to apply.

Course 5: Agile Leadership Capstone
- This capstone project course takes you through a guided journey of putting together a comprehensive agile transformation packet. To create this packet, you will be creatively applying the concepts and tools we have covered in the first four courses of this Specialization. In the capstone course scenario, you were hired as a Senior Scrum Master at Nike. You will understand what a Fortune 100 company would be looking for in a candidate by analyzing a real Nike job posting. If you aspire to work in a similar role, this exercise should give you an idea of where you stand today and what skills you might want to hone on in the future. You then will be completing a probationary assignment as a part of the requirement of this new role. Your plan should help you answer the question of what steps you will take in your first 30 days at Nike to develop yourself, your team, and the enterprise. The packet you will be developing consists of the following four elements: Transformation roadmap One-month-long Sprint Plan for personal development One-month-long Sprint Plan for developing a brand new Agile team Change management plan to strengthen Nike’s internal culture, support innovation, and fend off intense competition (alternatively, you may choose to create a plan for the company you are working for) The capstone project will provide you with a hands-on experience of strategically planning for change and applying Scrum tools. Don’t forget to have fun with it!

Courses

Taught by

Oxana Trotsenko

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