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University System of Maryland

Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX

Overview

Version 2 of this course series delivers beyond the original agile certification. It includes updated content, better audit and verified learner experiences, and bonus videos on key topics.

The follow-on to this course series on “Advanced Scrum” is expected by the end of Summer 2020.

Speed is by far the most sought-after benefit of Agile.

First mover advantages, the economic cost of delays, and the enabling effect on innovation drive the search for speed. Agile offers the fastest means of attaining speed: managing scope. But beyond the hype over scope management, there are key principles of non-traditional task management that ensure the scope chosen is delivered as efficiently as possible.

In this course, you'll learn how to drive speed into any project by selecting and limiting work-in-progress through agile planning and task management. There are two principle roles involved, the scrum master and the product owner. However, the entire scrum team needs to understand the principles behind backlog refinement, sprint planning, and execution throughout the sprint cycle.

In this course we'll show you how to run effective sprint planning meetings that produce a sprint backlog ready to deliver on your sprint goals and release objectives. You'll learn the power of prioritizing backlog items, and why we agile planning and sprint planning isn't just a managed list you work top-down in priority order. Instead, scrum teams commit to achieving goals and work together to ensure the user stories that are highest priority get delivered in this sprint, so the upcoming sprint isn't delayed. This also means understanding your team capacity and how to ensure safe and on-time delivery of the highest items on the product backlog that actually matter to your customer.

While this course will not make you an agile certified practitioner (PMI-ACP), or certified scrum master (CSM), it offers a more fundamental agile certification based on agile principles and how sprint planning enables hyper productivity in industry today. You'll finish this course more than ready to continue your agile journey, which we hope takes you to the next course in the series on “Agile Innovation and Problem Solving Skills.”

Upon successful completion of this course, learners can earn 10 Professional Development Unit (PDU) credits, which are recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PDU credits are essential to those looking to maintain certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Syllabus

  • Week 1: The first week focuses the discussion on Agile to its primary benefit, Speed, and how to easily calculate and prove its supremacy in benefits of any project management method because of timing impacts and market changes outside a project manager’s control.

  • Week 2: The second week explores why and how varying scope is the most powerful method to achieve speed; introducing the Exponential Pareto Principle and how to apply it effectively. Perhaps the most important lesson is that not all product backlog items are equal, and in fact, most don't matter at all!

  • Week 3: The third week dives into second tier methods for achieving speed through sizing, simplicity, and sprints with real-world examples ranging from air and space craft to software. Team members work together to ensure a smooth glide on the burndown chart by actively managing work in process during daily scrum sessions.

  • Week 4: The last week teaches ground-level techniques to avoid delays, increase speed, and apply a full range of planning, execution, and control techniques that will guarantee 2x or better improvement on traditional projects. This week is essential to producing a winning product backlog and release plan.

Taught by

John Johnson

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Reviews

4.4 rating, based on 172 reviews

Start your review of Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    There is a lot of good material, mostly towards the end of the course. However, there is supposed to be bonus material for verified students and only the first course in the series has that material and this one does not.

    Also a lot of the questions on the final tests I think are unfair (asking about specifics not covered), incorrectly (I answered exactly as found in the notes but was marked wrong), poorly worded/ambiguous, and lacking in quality e.g. major typos or boilerplate text that should have been removed but wasn't.

    Overall I found some value in the class but think it wasn't as good as I expected and certainly comes across as a rush job by UMD.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I enjoyed the course more than I'd expected, and look forward to finding ways to incorporate more speed into my team's processes. I can also see that I have a lot to learn. (I fall into the classification of "unofficial project manager" or "default project...
  • WALTER THOMPSON
    Great course! Fabulous material! Offered as one who as affected software development projects using the predictive, waterfall approach. I very much enjoyed the course. I look forward to the opportunity when I can affect a software development project...
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course, and it felt much less conceptually dense than the first one. However, I feel that it doesn't go into as much depth as I would like, and that the videos could go into a bit more detail. I also miss the bullet points appearing one after the other that the previous course had. It was much easier to take notes and make sense of everything when I had the instructor talk through a bullet point, and transition to the next as the slide did. Again, the course also needs some better proofreading.

    Overall, it was a good course, but it definitely needs improvement in the future.
  • Anonymous
    Agile Planning is the most powerful tool I've ever know for project management. It will help a lot in the projects development because it´ll help limiting the work in progress, have a one thing pursue mindset on the team members in order to accomplish...
  • Anonymous
    I enjoy the video lectures and find the insights helpful and applicable to a range of industries. Professor Johnson's style is conversational and easy to follow. I agree with another's comment, however, that the assessments occasionally test specifics that are not covered in the video (and are sometimes not covered in the lesson summary, either.) I had no issue passing the course, but failure to answer these few questions correctly makes me think that I missed important terminology or a valuable concept. I did not find this to be the case in the first agile class in the program, and believe that including explanations for some/all of the answered questions could be a useful feature for clarifying any doubts.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course, and it felt much less conceptually dense than the first one. However, I feel that it doesn't go into as much depth as I would like, and that the videos could go into a bit more detail. I also miss the bullet points appearing one after the other that the previous course had. It was much easier to take notes and make sense of everything when I had the instructor talk through a bullet point, and transition to the next as the slide did. Again, the course also needs some better proofreading.

    Overall, it was a good course, but it definitely needs improvement in the future.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course. good structure, would not hate longer video with real life examples. Then again, maybe that's where the external reference (thanks for that!) for more details comes in. Good way to keep the course focused for all types or learners. (I am not from a tech background). Typos here and there, maybe a clean up in the way questions are formulated. Overall, would recommend and will continue on the next course of the certificate.
  • Jennifer
    I really enjoyed the course. It was well paced, and offered sufficient detail on most subjects to ensure understanding of core concepts.

    The only changes I would make (which don't affect my rating) include:

    - Much more supporting content on prioritization for modules 4.2 forward.

    - Less reliance on project scheduling articles from the 1990s

    - More examples of the practical application of these techniques in business rather than government.
  • Anonymous
    All in all, it was a very informative course. Lot's of type-o's should be cleaned up before release due to them causing a distraction. The video's are packed full of information and are just long enough to retain the student's attention. I plan on completing all five courses and I understand that these courses will not make me an expert, but instead, will give me a very good understanding once put into practice. Overall, I highly recommend.
  • Anonymous
    A really good course to get an understanding of sprint planning for a novice like me however there are a number of typos that can be frustrating. Also some of the quiz questions at the end did not relate directly to information covered so even using my notes, I was unable to find the answers.

    Unlike the first course doing additional reading was more needed here
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course, I learned many project management techniques to increase delivery time and reduce delays, I feel that it opened my mind because it explains each of the mistakes that are made in practice when carrying out a project. , I highly recommend the course if what you are looking for is greater execution and agility in your projects.

    Thanks
  • Profile image for Irfan Pathan
    Irfan Pathan
    The great course of all the time love it ...it gives us a lot of knowledge about agile and sprint planning....
  • Profile image for Beata Wilczynska
    Beata Wilczynska
    The course describes main aspects of Sprint planning and explains how this way of planning speeds up the product/value delivery. Presented information is well structured and includes references to the concerned publications, i.e. it's guiding further self-studies. As a beginner in this area, I have received the necessary basic knowledge, as expecting.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Some assumptions that were made in the course really do not match with my everyday experience. Such as: people tend to overestimate the duration of a task when there is a deadline...in my experience people underestimate, either because of lack of experience;...
  • Anonymous
    Good combination of technical and business perspectives.

    Videos are tiring to listen to over time but written summaries help get key points.

    Wording is sometimes circumvoluted and there are spelling and grammar mistakes that may hinder understanding (especially for non-native English speakers I would say, and I'm one of them!)
  • Anonymous
    This course is a great introduction to many Agile concepts as well as good understand of how they can be used to drive introduce your team to agile practices. Alternatively if your organization is moving towards using an Agile framework this course will help you to understand the concepts and allow you to participate in the team.
  • Anonymous
    The course is well structured giving clarity on each and every aspect of the subject.

    The faculty and the course material are very good and comprehensive.

    I have really benefited out of this course.

    I sincerely Thank the University and the Professors for their contribution.
  • Anonymous
    Some good learnings here but I found the level of mistakes and missing content as against the quizzes frustrating. I’d still recommend the Agile Project Management program, which this course is a part of - but hope to see this course content reviewed and improved by the creators.
  • Anonymous
    Good course and content. Videos were helpful and came with detailed notes. There are some typos, including in quiz questions, which should get corrected. Overall I was happy with the content and feel like I can apply some of these principles immediately in my projects.

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