After reviewing Michael Allen’s Successive Approximation Method, we did not think it went quite far enough for what we needed, so we borrowed from both Scrum and Kanban. Because many training customers have not heard of Lean-Agile before, we decided to stick with generic terms like iteration rather than Scrum-specific terms like sprint.

During one project kickoff meeting, two stakeholders for a particular customer clearly had experience or at least much exposure to the Software industry’s use of Scrum, one method of Agile that is frequently used often in Software development teams. They also were new to learning experience development.

One of the stakeholders started asking questions in the technical jargon of Scrum, leaving many others in the room seeming bewildered. We asked everyone else if we could address her question in the jargon she is familiar with. They agreed, and we explained the differences between how pure Scrum works in software development and how we have merged both Scrum and Kanban and have made adaptations for the learning experience domain.

Eventually, after answering more of her questions, she was okay, and the meeting proceeded. Although this turned out well, a situation like this could have easily derailed our plans to use Lean-Agile for this customer if we could not have answered her questions well right there in the public meeting with all the customer’s stakeholders. Her use of the Scrum jargon had all her stakeholders looking to her and giving her credibility for driving what would happen next.

You have to know Lean-Agile principles well to address the various situations that may come up. Spend the time to build your knowledge, so you can help customers follow your approach.

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