Comments on Agile Planning and Scrumban Boards Posts
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Comments on Agile Planning and Scrumban Boards Blog Posts

Danilo Tambone, who is Agile and Project Management expert and the author of Udemy course (which I recommend checking) was kind enough to give me feedback on my recent articles/videos on Agile implementation in training. I always welcome feedback, positive or negative, and I am especially receptive to this topic since it is something that I am working on and trying to wrap my head around. Besides, I am most likely to present on the topic on the ASCA Conference this November in Melbourne.

Anyway, here are Danilo’s comments.

A few comments from my side.

I like the way you use the Kanban board in the first part of your video. It is an effective way to have visual evidence of how the athletes’ level varies over time, and who of them needs support or attention.

Be aware, though, that this use of Kanban is not what you find in the agile approaches. The Kanban board gives you the evidence of a flow of deliverables from their ideation, to their subsequent transformational statuses, until their final “done” status, when they leave the board.

In your case instead, what you are doing is “Visual Management“.

Again, for your specific viewpoint, the way you use the “Signboard” is just perfect, since you’re able, with a single glance, to visually check the current situation and take appropriate actions whenever needed.

Have you already tried the Scrum approach on real cases? Were you already able to have your trainers or athletes focus on short wins, as a progression path to full preparation goals (to be managed at “Release” level)?

My suggestion is to gather real feedback from them asap, in order to fine tune your approach and expand its usage with your colleagues!

As for the article, I have a question for you on the chart at page 3. In my opinion, steps 1 to 3 are simply gathering of requirements that should happen anyway before you start making any planning, either traditional or agile, in order to have thorough clarity on the scope of the training project. Do you think instead you would benefit from making an agile planning on them as well?

Then, I agree with you that focusing on steps 4-5 too much in details from the very first moment would be an useless exercise. You work with real people, and a training program should be flexible enough to adapt to changing situations (an athlete who doesn’t perform as expected and needs to develop certain physical capabilities before proceeding with the planned training, or who gets injured, or whatever).

What’s important is reducing the “feedback cycle” as much as possible. As you state in your article, waiting too long before measuring athletes’ performances is too bad, because you don’t monitor the real adaptation of athletes’ bodies over time and you don’t get enough insights in order to adapt the training.

Today we are full of tech tools that allow us to monitor KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in effective and easy ways, so we should make good use of them!

Another aspect that I would like to put under your attention is the active involvement of agile team members.

In fact, in traditional project management (and traditional training as well) the resources/athletes are simply expected to execute tasks that somebody else assigns to them – in your case, following specific sets and reps as their trainers prescribe to them.

In agile project management, instead, team members keep full accountability of final results, have full visibility about how the project is progressing, and are allowed (even encouraged) to take on new paths in order to fulfill the goals.

In your application to training, this could mean that an athlete realizes he needs to develop a specific part of his body before progressing with the rest, or to focus more on resistance rather than aerobic capabilities, or to get more confident with specific skills, and he can be allowed to actively experiment a little bit (still under trainer supervision) instead of following a prescribed path.

Would this be acceptable in your environment?

Again, the key word here is fast feedback – realizing quickly that a certain set of actions brings better results than an originally planned path, may shorten the time needed to get the desired performances.

Besides, this would get your athletes even more committed to their training.

Again, congratulations on applying this approach to your training programs!

I suggest you to go through the ebook (or book, if you prefer) “Becoming Agile

…in an imperfect world” (https://www.manning.com/books/becoming-agile).

It’s quite an easy read but extremely powerful. It lets you follow the real-life situation of an agile implementation, detached enough from the software dev world to be meaningful also for the use you have to do!

It is amazing what we can learn from, at first glance, unrelated fields such as (Agile) Project Management. I want to thank Danilo for taking his time to check some of my writings and provide a feedback.

 

I am a physical preparation coach from Belgrade, Serbia, grow up in Pula, Croatia (which I consider my home town). I was involved in physical preparation of professional, amateur and recreational athletes of various ages in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts and tennis. Read More »
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Home Forums Comments on Agile Planning and Scrumban Boards Posts

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mladen Jovanovic 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • 16/03/2016 at 18:52 #17601

    Quite current and insightful this from Danilo, having been involved in sports medicine for many yrs 1996 I think I first became involved in rugby league. The Athletes had to self manage …. because there was not the extended team of medics and scientists we have today.

    By self manage I mean they had to experiment a little with injury and recovery and do what they felt was needed in order to return to play … and get paid.

    Now my feeling is that in some sports we have been breeding a helpless team of athletes who are so used to being told what to do they have lost the ability to self manage, they are tracked from head to foot by wearables and we gather the data from these devices and use it to devise a plan

    While I agree this is going to be the future we have lost something.

    Exactly what Danilo points out and that is that the athlete is just another member of the team and needs to learn the skills of self management, recognising an issue, this may for example be a tightness in the Achilles for example with this recognition understand to rest and initiate a strengthening program into his or her training program being able then to respond him or herself to changes in how he or she feels and work out ( with the extended team ) what works best

    ie not just following a blind prescription

    The more we encourage learned helplessness the more we will have to do to the athlete the larger the teams will grow to be able to manage them.

    I often wonder what is the correct formula for a sports medical and science team. It seems it is not based on need but on the budget of the organization.

    Some smaller teams with small budgets have a low incidence of injury ………. are their players better at self management ?

    therein is the question

    19/03/2016 at 12:47 #17620

    Interesting thoughts – is the technology limiting us by pampering the athletes?

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