Written by Kevin Heisey
on September 29, 2022

Agile adoption has spread from its Development Team origins to entire enterprises as more organizations pursue innovation to increase revenue growth, lower costs and provide a competitive advantage in today's market. In their efforts to become more Agile, organizations often fall into a familiar pattern.

  1. The leadership team chooses an Agile methodology
  2. The organization trains all their employees
  3. Employees try to apply what they learned
  4. Agile adoption stalls

Foundational training of Agile principles is important to optimize your efforts and training should be designed around how people learn best in a way that directly applies to your organization’s purpose and unique environment.

People Learn Best On-the-Job

Off-site or classroom training lacks the hands-on, on-the-job element that is most effective. The Center for Creative Leadership found that for staff development, a 70-20-10 rule applies:

  • 70% of learning comes from on-the-job experiences and challenges
  • 20% comes from other people
  • 10% comes from courses

Learning is optimized through engagement with others through sharing understanding, working together to build comprehension and by teaching each other while having ready access to expertise to turn to for guidance and clarification. Learning with others on the job allows trainees to apply new concepts to familiar contexts enhancing the speed and depth of learning as well as its applicability to their work.

Learn Agile by Being Agile

In an Agile environment, the job of teams is to experiment, test, learn what works, what doesn’t work and where you can adjust to improve. Training on the job allows teams to learn Agile by being Agile. Does a concept apply to your unique work environment? Teams can discuss and figure out how the concept might best apply, test it, gather data, learn and progress from there. If they find the new concept unclear or aren’t sure how to apply it, they can turn to a coach or trainer for guidance.

With this learning approach, teams can see directly what applies and what doesn’t. They’ll understand and internalize the concept better by having gone through the exercise. You can’t do that in a classroom or workshop where there is a significant lack of retention between learning and application no matter what training methodologies are used.

The tighter your organization aligns around a clear and shared purpose, the more focused and beneficial your Agile on-the-job training will be. Rather than learning how to be Agile for the sake of being better Agilists, teams learn how Agile practices help them achieve organizational business objectives.

For tips on how to optimize your Agile training so your teams retain, internalize and apply Agile principles to achieving your business goals, watch the webinar, Train to Sustain: 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Agile Training. xScion's Train to Sustain unique approach to knowledge transfer focuses on on-the-job training that leaves a lasting impact.