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Re: [XP] "coaching coaching"

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  • jay_conne
    Hi Mike, I have spent a large fraction of my four decades in this industry successfully developing, delivering and managing such training. Cory s advice below
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 3 7:25 AM
      Hi Mike,

      I have spent a large fraction of my four decades in this industry
      successfully developing, delivering and managing such training.

      Cory's advice below is great. To do this well require a thoughtful
      plan and practices - call me if you need some coaching in doing it.

      Here's a quick primmer...

      Start with knowing your goal for the class: Upon completing this
      training the students will be able to... (starting with verbs) - with
      as much detail as you think appropriate.

      Then develop a hierarchy of knowledge to get you there. This should
      include presentations of ideas, exercises to concertize those ideas
      and discussions to establish understanding and reinforce the ideas in
      the group or team.

      Remember - you are using valuable time - multiply an hourly rate by
      the number of people involved. Invest enough effort to make it worth
      the company's investment of that amount of salary and potential lost
      opportunity.

      Start the class with why people should care...

      "People are not interested in answers to a questions they don't have!"

      For example, I start my Lean/Agile/Scrum/XP Intro. classes or Project
      Team Start-up classes with evidence of how our historical approaches
      have failed, and get people to a clear YES on the history of
      self-deception we have endured. We acknowledge how painful that has
      been for all parties and then proceed to discuss a more same
      alternative. I use the line:

      "Humans deserve better!".

      To get past normal defensiveness in getting people to change long
      established habits, I think it is critical to make it humorous and
      fun. Get people laughing about how foolish *we* have been - and how
      painful it has been for all parties in the game as I said above.

      Here are some details -

      1. Milestones are critical for keeping the
      instructor/leader/facilitator on track as well as the
      students/participants. An agenda slide that repeats at transitions
      allows you and the class to track where they are on the path - in a
      Tufte style of visual presentation. I even color code the slide items
      to indicate what's done, what's next, and what's left.

      2. Think through the hierarchy of learning that the material
      requires. Get the dependencies nailed down. Understand how lecture,
      discussion and exercises reinforce the learning sequence. (This is a
      principle missed in much education of our children today based on
      incompetent ideas coming from John Dewey's theory of education -
      misnamed 'progressive'.)

      3. Using PowerPoint, I use the notes feature with this outline:
      Purpose, Points not to miss (Points:), Optional points (Opt:), and
      Transition. I do this to manage the attention of both the leader and
      the students to my training intention. In effect, I develop each
      course as a train the trainer tool. It serves me well if I'm only
      doing it for myself.

      Purpose: (What should the presenter have in mind as the goal for
      this piece of the presentation. Knowing your goal clearly at each
      step is critical to presenting naturally.

      Points: (What are the points not to miss - just key words as
      prompts to what you have to have already well thought out. This also
      keeps one from the common mistake of spilling your guts on everything
      you know on one slide. It's all about intentional focus.)

      Opt: (Notes on issues that may arise or filler for when you get no
      interaction that your timing is dependent upon.)

      Transition: (What do you want to say about the next slide before
      you distract the audience with reading the new one. Remember it's
      about managing the attention of your audience and yourself.)

      4. Exercises - get them off their butts and get them mentally
      active beyond the conversation in other activities. Know what
      principle the exercise dramatizes. Perhaps tell them before or let it
      be discovered. Change up the approach. Once you have their trust,
      they will play along in your game. A good exercise produces ah-ha's
      with fun. At the end of the class, I like to review a list of
      exercises and the principles they concertize. My expectation is that
      they will be able to remember these in the future to validate why the
      principle is valuable.

      5. Remember that all knowledge is contextual - know the context
      for each principle and practice you recommend. Know the boundary
      conditions. For example, the ides in the Agile Manifesto apply in our
      'discovery' context, but not in mass production discipline. Not
      understanding that distinction, in my opinion, is the heart of why we
      needed Agile.

      You can contact me off-list to discuss these ideas. I don't monitor
      this list as much as I wish I could as you can see from my delay in
      posting to your message.

      Jay Conne
      ==============================
      Lean/Agile Coach, Trainer and
      ScrumMaster-Practicing
      jay@... www.jconne.com
      617-776-0339 M:617-470-5038
      ==============================

      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Cory Foy <usergroup@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Mike,
      >
      > Wilson, Michael wrote:
      > > I'm steeped in the practices of XP and their derivation from Agile
      > > principles, so I think I'll be as covered as I can reasonably be
      as far
      > > as raw material goes. But the dynamics of multi-day (much less
      > > multi-week) training has got to have a number of basic "gotchas" that
      > > I'm going to run straight in to.
      > >
      > > Any advice on this? I confess I'm not quite sure what I'm asking for.
      > > It's just rather undiscovered territory.
      >
      > Multi-Day / Multi-Week training can be a bit overwhelming. In my last
      > position, I had to teach some extremely low-level courses that were
      > multi-day. Our workshop on Advanced .NET Debugging ripped the CLR apart
      > and even touched on assembly concepts - and was 4 intensive days for
      the
      > students. It was brutal.
      >
      > The key to a successful class has several elements:
      >
      > 1) You have to feel comfortable with the material. Not be an expert.
      > But be willing to look up things, discuss things, and follow through on
      > your research. You need to be the confident one, but also humble.
      >
      > 2) The course should have definitive goals and check points. People
      > should reach passes throughout the class where they can see that
      they've
      > learned something and gotten to the next level.
      >
      > 3) People need to be dedicated to the class. If they are in and out
      > all day, then it is disruptive for everyone involved.
      >
      > A book I'd highly recommend (outside of the ones already given) is
      _Even
      > a Geek can Speak_.
      >
      > Finally, I found the most successful classes I delivered were those
      > where the students had an action plan in mind and ready to go. They
      were
      > mapping the concepts we were discussing into their domains and
      > real-world situations. That's something that can really make a class
      shine.
      >
      > And, of course, let us know how it goes!
      >
      >
      > --
      > Cory Foy
      > http://www.cornetdesign.com
      >
    • jay_conne
      lol - this certainly contrast with my posting. I agree with your points Victor. The trick is knowing what is appropriate preparing, out of respect for people s
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 3 7:32 AM
        lol - this certainly contrast with my posting.

        I agree with your points Victor.

        The trick is knowing what is appropriate preparing, out of respect for
        people's time, and what is over preparing :-).

        Like - "Postpone decisions until the last responsible moment."
        There's a lot of art in discovering that point.

        Jay

        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Victor" <vmgoldberg@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > One more thing to what has been said here.
        >
        > There is a common tendency for novice teachers/trainers to over
        prepare. Remember, the purpose of classes is that students learn, not
        for the teachers to show off how well they know the material. This
        should be reflected in the class plan. If the students are
        overwhelmed, they will not learn well. Good communication (which also
        means being a good listener) is of the essence. Minimize assumptions
        as to what they know by keeping a good dialog going. Arrogance and
        put downs are no-nos.
        >
        > I hope I didn't overwhelm anybody here. :-)
        >
        > Victor
        >
        > =======================================================
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Cory Foy
        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 10:42 PM
        > Subject: Re: [XP] "coaching coaching"
        >
        >
        > Hi Mike,
        >
        > Wilson, Michael wrote:
        > > I'm steeped in the practices of XP and their derivation from Agile
        > > principles, so I think I'll be as covered as I can reasonably be
        as far
        > > as raw material goes. But the dynamics of multi-day (much less
        > > multi-week) training has got to have a number of basic "gotchas"
        that
        > > I'm going to run straight in to.
        > >
        > > Any advice on this? I confess I'm not quite sure what I'm asking
        for.
        > > It's just rather undiscovered territory.
        >
        > Multi-Day / Multi-Week training can be a bit overwhelming. In my last
        > position, I had to teach some extremely low-level courses that were
        > multi-day. Our workshop on Advanced .NET Debugging ripped the CLR
        apart
        > and even touched on assembly concepts - and was 4 intensive days
        for the
        > students. It was brutal.
        >
        > The key to a successful class has several elements:
        >
        > 1) You have to feel comfortable with the material. Not be an expert.
        > But be willing to look up things, discuss things, and follow
        through on
        > your research. You need to be the confident one, but also humble.
        >
        > 2) The course should have definitive goals and check points. People
        > should reach passes throughout the class where they can see that
        they've
        > learned something and gotten to the next level.
        >
        > 3) People need to be dedicated to the class. If they are in and out
        > all day, then it is disruptive for everyone involved.
        >
        > A book I'd highly recommend (outside of the ones already given) is
        _Even
        > a Geek can Speak_.
        >
        > Finally, I found the most successful classes I delivered were those
        > where the students had an action plan in mind and ready to go.
        They were
        > mapping the concepts we were discussing into their domains and
        > real-world situations. That's something that can really make a
        class shine.
        >
        > And, of course, let us know how it goes!
        >
        > --
        > Cory Foy
        > http://www.cornetdesign.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Wilson, Michael
        Thanks very much for all this everyone. There s an awful lot of really great information for me to wade through, I really appreciate it. I m going to spend
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 3 1:31 PM
          Thanks very much for all this everyone. There's an awful lot of really
          great information for me to wade through, I really appreciate it.

          I'm going to spend some time chunking through all of this and see if I
          can't cobble together an interesting digest.

          - Mike

          -----Original Message-----
          From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jay_conne
          Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 10:33 AM
          To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [XP] "coaching coaching"

          lol - this certainly contrast with my posting.

          I agree with your points Victor.

          The trick is knowing what is appropriate preparing, out of respect for
          people's time, and what is over preparing :-).

          Like - "Postpone decisions until the last responsible moment."
          There's a lot of art in discovering that point.

          Jay

          --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, "Victor" <vmgoldberg@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > One more thing to what has been said here.
          >
          > There is a common tendency for novice teachers/trainers to over
          prepare. Remember, the purpose of classes is that students learn, not
          for the teachers to show off how well they know the material. This
          should be reflected in the class plan. If the students are overwhelmed,
          they will not learn well. Good communication (which also means being a
          good listener) is of the essence. Minimize assumptions as to what they
          know by keeping a good dialog going. Arrogance and put downs are
          no-nos.
          >
          > I hope I didn't overwhelm anybody here. :-)
          >
          > Victor
          >
          > =======================================================
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Cory Foy
          > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 10:42 PM
          > Subject: Re: [XP] "coaching coaching"
          >
          >
          > Hi Mike,
          >
          > Wilson, Michael wrote:
          > > I'm steeped in the practices of XP and their derivation from Agile
          > > principles, so I think I'll be as covered as I can reasonably be
          as far
          > > as raw material goes. But the dynamics of multi-day (much less
          > > multi-week) training has got to have a number of basic "gotchas"
          that
          > > I'm going to run straight in to.
          > >
          > > Any advice on this? I confess I'm not quite sure what I'm asking
          for.
          > > It's just rather undiscovered territory.
          >
          > Multi-Day / Multi-Week training can be a bit overwhelming. In my
          last
          > position, I had to teach some extremely low-level courses that were
          > multi-day. Our workshop on Advanced .NET Debugging ripped the CLR
          apart
          > and even touched on assembly concepts - and was 4 intensive days
          for the
          > students. It was brutal.
          >
          > The key to a successful class has several elements:
          >
          > 1) You have to feel comfortable with the material. Not be an expert.

          > But be willing to look up things, discuss things, and follow
          through on
          > your research. You need to be the confident one, but also humble.
          >
          > 2) The course should have definitive goals and check points. People
          > should reach passes throughout the class where they can see that
          they've
          > learned something and gotten to the next level.
          >
          > 3) People need to be dedicated to the class. If they are in and out
          > all day, then it is disruptive for everyone involved.
          >
          > A book I'd highly recommend (outside of the ones already given) is
          _Even
          > a Geek can Speak_.
          >
          > Finally, I found the most successful classes I delivered were those
          > where the students had an action plan in mind and ready to go.
          They were
          > mapping the concepts we were discussing into their domains and
          > real-world situations. That's something that can really make a
          class shine.
          >
          > And, of course, let us know how it goes!
          >
          > --
          > Cory Foy
          > http://www.cornetdesign.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >



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