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Online Course

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

4.5 rating, based on 96 reviews

Start your review of Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery

  • 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...
  • 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.

    This course was pretty good in terms of usable knowledge. However, the materials have some mistakes that seem to suggest the Univ of Maryland does not have good quality control mechanisms in place (e.g. type-os throughout the materials, sloppy or misleading langauge in slides, exams, etc.). I am surprised at how little attention UMD pays to this basic level of quality!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Material was great. Clear explanations. I only regret that audit students cannot take the quizzes like in other edX courses I attended in the past. And this is the main reason for the 4 stars rating. I like to have my knowledge checked so that I can act accordingly. I strongly recommend this course to anyone that wishes to upgrade the knowledge on the subject.
  • Enrico Jay-ar Corella

    Enrico Jay-ar Corella completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Again, I found myself fascinated with the insights shared in the course. The examples are simple and practical enough to be well understood by learners. The course provided an opportunity for me to appreciate concepts learned on my high school days (ie Covey's7 Habits) and Pareto Principle. Time spent learning here is worth it!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I loved this course. I struggled to find time as I am studying a masters, work full time and have 3 children. I will definitely undertake more of these courses. John Johnson has a really natural presentation style and is easy to listen to. I look forward to doing some of the new courses I have seen on edx.org.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Great course of high quality. It's very structured and made accessible even for sight or hearing impaired people, since there are detailed descriptions for all pictures. Thoroughly and carefully sourced and with lots of links and tips to get even more information, if you want to dive deeper.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I urge students to take the Agile courses in sequence, as I took the courses starting with the Agile Leadership course and worked backwards. The courses do not have pre-requisites, however if taken in sequence the content is more understandable. Great course!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very nice agile course, that provide a large amount of basic fundamentals. We can find out a lot of good technical references. Some examples of usage of agile methodology are provided.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Great course in expanding one's knowledge of Agile, provides a good understanding of scheduling and deadlines in projects. Very well presented with knowledge provoking questions at the end of each module. Very much worth it.
  • Profile image for Mahmoud Kilany
    Mahmoud Kilany

    Mahmoud Kilany completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    I have enjoyed the course.
    It has lots of valuable information for me at the level of different types of planning.

    Now I can handle my team work with good planning to get more value.

    Thanks for your effort.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Gives a good overview of the techniques and resources to speed up projects with Agile, many of them already in use without calling for the Agile banner, like the 7 Habits, Focus, the Critical Chain
  • Nimal Amaranayake

    Nimal Amaranayake completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The course contents are well structured and easy to understand with the sample provided.
    Also the the reference materials given are very useful for further readings and enhanced the knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Great course from University of Maryland to get first insights in agile project management. The course is well structured, the videos are very good. I can really recommend this course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I really liked it, can't wait to put all the knowledge right to practice, although it says it's hard to master, I believe it is totally achievable with the right attitude!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very interesting course where you learn the importance of focusing on one thing, to be successful, and organizing activities in a more efficient way than expert scheduling
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Driving speed in Agile is an important concepts. It shows how important it is to do a piece of work in half a time and how to get to the market fast.
  • Yumary Triana Mendez

    Yumary Triana Mendez completed this course.

    Thanks so much. I appreciate the information provided. I really enjoy learn new topics and ways to make my work.The music is good...Thanks!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It is really a good course with new information not only related to Agile but general common knowledge. I can recommend this course to everyone.
  • Afshin Fallahi

    Afshin Fallahi completed this course.

    I learned a lot from this course and it can a good start in agile for me.
    the lecturer is amazing and he explains everything in detail.

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