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University of Virginia

Managing an Agile Team

University of Virginia via Coursera


While agile has become the de facto standard for managing digital innovation teams, many wonder if they’re doing it ‘right’. Twitter is full of jokes about how teams say they do agile but don’t ‘really’ do it. The reality is that getting the most out of agile is less about observing specific procedures and more about how a team focuses and measures their progress. Rather than just boring you with an accounting of agile methodologies, this course focuses on helping you better charter your team’s focus, definition of success, and practice of agile. While learning about agile mainstays like Scrum, XP, and kanban, you’ll also learn to help your team ask the right questions about how they’re working and facilitate good answers on how agile can help. This course is supported by the Batten Institute at UVA’s Darden School of Business. The Batten Institute’s mission is to improve the world through entrepreneurship and innovation:


  • The Agile Team
    • This week we’ll introduce the four fundamental jobs of software development to help you define what’s important to your team and, hence, which of the many agile practices might make the most sense for you to try out. Then we’ll talk about achieving alignment with your company while maintaining autonomy through an agile team charter. We’ll close by stepping through the leading agile methodologies--Scrum, XP, and kanban. You’ll finish the week with an understanding of how to pair what’s important to your team with the best of what agile has to offer.
  • Learning and Deciding
    • One of the most critical focal points for any team is facilitating a focus on outcomes over output. Without this, you’ll never graduate from responding to requests about your to-do list of output to driving better user outcomes that move the needle for your company. This week, you’ll learn how to define and prioritize what’s important to your team in the areas of learning and deciding, and to pair those with relevant agile practices from Scrum, XP, and kanban.
  • Building and Managing
    • This week we’ll dive into the jobs of building software and the core management jobs in running an agile team. Agile--and XP in particular--offers a rich body of work on specific coding practices. We’ll step through a few of the most prominent and discuss key linkages with the other concepts and practices you’ve learned. On the job of managing, we’ll dive deeper into what that means and what works in an agile context.
  • Practicing Agile
    • Now that you’ve learned about the four jobs of software development, you’ll have a chance to think through how they relate to your work in this week’s peer-reviewed assignment. You’ll finish the course with a clear plan to accomplish the jobs of learning, deciding, building, and managing for your project.

Taught by

Alex Cowan


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4.7 rating at Coursera based on 1313 ratings

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  • Niklas Thörne

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