You’ve taken one or more SAFe classes and now it is your turn to teach. Most SPCs will need to educate people and train various certified SAFe classes. Join us for the next episode in the “SPC Journey” series as we discuss how an SPC can excel in the classroom so that they can enable participants with the knowledge and understanding necessary to achieve greater business agility.
Together, we will explore topics including:
Can versus should… determining when you are ready to teach
Preparation tips and tricks, from enablement to the start of class
The power of pairing, learning, and growing as you deliver great classes
Playing to your strengths and becoming a specialist
Cultivating engagement in remote vs. in-person environments
Q&A (bring your questions or submit them ahead of time)
About the SPC Journey series:
The SPC Journey is a series of webinars and panel discussions, hosted by SPCT Phil Gardiner, designed to help SPC’s and those they support on their journey to learn, grow, and succeed in implementing SAFe.
Phil Gardiner, Applied Frameworks – SAFe Practice Lead
Phil Gardiner, SPCT, leads the SAFe Practice for Applied Frameworks, where he serves as an Executive Consultant, enabling enterprises to accelerate the delivery of products and services through Lean-Agile ways of working. Phil has a passion for deep, sustainable change, and this has led him to become a thought leader in the Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) space while also developing an outcome-based approach that meets his customers where they are while cultivating the capabilities of their leaders, changes agents, and SPCs. On his journey, Phil has worked with dozens of enterprises and agencies, from Fortune 10 corporations to the US Department of Defense.
Rebecca Davis, Scaled Agile Inc – Principal Consultant
Rebecca Davis is a member of the SAFe Framework team within Scaled Agile, a SAFe Fellow, SPCT, and a Principal Consultant. She has led multiple transformations as a LACE Director, RTE, Portfolio Manager, and Coach. Rebecca has experience helping organizations create joy in the workplace by connecting employees to each other and to user outcomes.
*The transcript was generated using AI. Please forgive any egregious spelling or grammar errors.
Bob Ternes, Rebecca Davis, Phil Gardiner
Bob Ternes 00:03
Hey, good morning and good afternoon. Good evening to our participants and attendees today. It’s one minute after the hour, we’re gonna give people a few minutes to join. Welcome to this Thursday’s installment on I’m an SPC and now when those of you who have joined I see we have some pretty good participation already in the chat. I’m curious where are people joining from there’s also serves as my own audio check Rick Vance. Illinois, perfect London New Brunswick, New Jersey. Salt Lake was just there a couple of weeks ago great place. Dallas and South Texas North Dallas. Mars. Good enough. Connecticut, New Jersey. Excellent. Boulder we have 27 Folks, let’s give folks maybe one more minute to join Deathstar dose put those zero
Phil Gardiner 01:09
I know the name of his company and that’s why he wrote that.
Bob Ternes 01:14
Excellent to have you Janina thank you for joining us this lady being from from Deutschland Monica from Brazil your ex Lincoln Nebraska great folks in Nebraska awesome perfect and Anna from Planet Accenture. Hello,
Phil Gardiner 01:36
I’m seeing we have we have some people from from both consultancies from it from from internal companies. We’ve got some actually some government employees, I’m looking at some of the names I recognize. So I love the lead that a good section of people from a wide variety of industries. Yeah.
Bob Ternes 01:58
That’s great. And from around the world, we are so overjoyed to have such good participation in these, this SPC series. To remind we do this. This is a recurring series on the third Thursday of every month, we have a new one of these sessions. So we’re glad you’ve been able to join us for today. And with that, I think three minutes in four minutes. And now let’s get let’s get started. Hello again, everybody, wherever you find yourself. Thanks for chiming in on chat. It’s great to hear, who has been able to join us to today’s installment of our webinar series on the SPC journey. Today’s is focused on the role of SPC as trainer. Now, whether you’re a change agent who wants to excel as a training SPC, or if you’re part of an enterprise, who wants to enable your new way of working with good training and good SPCs. We’re super glad that you’re here. My name is Bob Ternes. And I’m the Director of Client delivery here and applied frameworks. Now for those of you who are new to applied frameworks, we’re a management consulting firm that guides you in discovering the product management and software development practices that best fit your business and your customers. Using safe and other frameworks and techniques. were driven by improving our clients business outcomes. Our goal is to help you make more money, more profits, and do so sustainably. In all uses of those words, we’re also really committed to creating sustainable change. I think that’s one of the things that Ben drives Phil, it drives Rebecca, it drives myself, we need to help make a again, a real, lasting and durable change in the organizations that we represent. It’s funny in that in the pre webinar banter, we were joking that all of us work, because this is our passion, we really like to make this this big change. And for us, a lot of that is enabling the internal change agents, who either kickoff at some point sustain, or even help transform the big changes in the new way of working that our organizations and our clients adopt. So that’s us. And that’s kind of why we’re all here. That’s our big, our big wide. Now, there are a couple of housekeeping items before we get started. As a reminder, this webinar is being recorded. And I’m actually going to check that as we talk here. It is perfect. Thank you, Phil. Shortly after the webinar, we’re going to send out a recording of the session along with any materials presented. Now feel free to ask questions during the session using not just the chat that we just all used, but instead the q&a function. Now if you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, that’s elsewhere on the Zoom toolbar. Any questions that we’re able to answer during the session will do so and any that don’t get answered will be given answers after the session and provided to those registrants along with Recordings. Have recall. And now, I want to introduce our presenters. Phil Gardner is our one of our SPCTs here at Applied frameworks, he leads our SAFe practice. And further to what I just mentioned, Phil has a passion for deep and sustainable change. That’s led him to become a thought leader in the lpm space. And he’s also helped develop our outcome based approach that cultivates capabilities of the leaders to change agents and the SPCs. In the organizations we support. It’s that change, actually, that passion filled. That’s one of the reasons that I joined applied framework. So that’s my public, thank you for being a light brought me here. And I’m also delighted to introduce Rebecca Davis, she’s a colleague, a friend. She’s also a member of the safe framework team within Scaled Agile,
Phil Gardiner 06:00
it’s a big deal. Sorry, Rebecca is one of my safe heroes. And this is the first time I’ve been able to co present with her. So I’m pretty excited.
Rebecca Davis 06:12
Yeah, we’re all heroes of each other. That’s the fun part.
Bob Ternes 06:17
Your accolades are not done, Rebecca euroset, your SPCT, you have led multiple transformations. And what’s also really notable is that I’ve seen you both create, and give back to the community. So thank you for being also your own light in the safe and agile communities. And we’re super delighted to have you as part of our webinar here today. So thank you for joining us. And by the way, I want to point out, you’re taking time away from an SPC and Implementing class to join us. So extra kudos.
Phil Gardiner 06:50
This is lunchtime during implementing.
Rebecca Davis 06:55
Glad to be here, super psyched.
Bob Ternes 06:59
So as far as our agenda today, Phil, I’m going to run you through our all tickets to the agenda. And then I’ll pass it over to you guys for discussion. So here’s the scenario, here’s your point of view, you’ve taken one or more safe classes. And now it’s your turn to teach most SPCs we’ll need to educate people and train various certified SAFe classes. We’re delighted that you’re joining us to discuss how an SPC can excel in the classroom with the framework with people training from wherever you train in the room. So that you can enable your participants with the knowledge, the understanding the experience transfer, that’s going to be necessary to achieve greater business agility. That’s kind of your why isn’t SPC. And so some of the topics that we’re going to talk about are are kind of can versus should, which is determining when you’re ready to teach preparation tips and tricks from enablement to the start of the class. We’re gonna talk about the power of pairing, which is learning and growing as you deliver a great classes potentially with another SPC or an SPCT. We’ll talk about playing to your strengths and becoming a specialist. Also cultivating engagement in remote versus in person environments, tips and tricks for each. And then again, we want your Q&A, we want your questions. And so make sure that you’re using the Q&A function in zoom to do that. And with that, I’ll pass it over to our panelists. Thanks, folks.
Phil Gardiner 08:31
Thank you, Bob. So, you know, this is kind of like, I don’t know what to call this. Sometimes this series is kind of turned into a my mind is kind of like a video podcast almost right? Where, where I bring in an awesome guest or guests, and we just have a conversation. So in our preparation for this, that’s kind of where Rebecca and I landed. So there are no slides. There’s not any slide where for this, it’s just really kind of some passionate people having a conversation, hopefully being able to share some insights and some some lessons from our own journeys that can help you on your journey. So we’ll kind of go through those topics Bob mentioned and just kind of really, really just have a dialogue around this. You know, it’s interesting, we talked about, you know, this, this whole piece of can versus should so, you become an SPC, you’re now in SPC, you can go out and go through an enablement and teach 13 different courses. Right, there’s all these courses that you can go teach. Well, how do you determine if that’s actually the right thing to do? Rebecca, what are your thoughts on that?
Rebecca Davis 09:41
That’s a great question. So um, I mean, SPC is going to enable you to go get enabled to teach a lot of different courses and it covers a full spectrum of how you really can run a business and in cases before I was working at scaled, agile the companies I was at meaning is our fortune 10 Fortune fives fortune fours. And in my case and running on a buffalo business is serious it should be right. So if you’re going to run a class about Lean portfolio management and help people start to really think differently about how to manage millions, if not billions of dollars, I surely hope that prior to you doing so that you ensure you have some experience, and that you’ve really studied and paid attention. And that if you don’t have the experience, you go out and get it prior to teaching. So for me, I look at teaching has, you’re giving something to the people, which means you have to have something to give. So when you’re up there, and you’re looking at the set of courses, there’s everything from software engineering all the way through, like I said, financial governance for major organizations out there. And you’re not going to be amazing, all of them right away. And you probably don’t have experience. Unless you have a very specific background in everything from software engineering, through product management, through customer experience through funding and financing things. And I think that’s fine. Like, understanding what your strength is, and understanding what you do have experience in and looking at learning as a giving mindset and really giving back to people is key. And looking at that that list at what you really feel like you could gift to your audience and to the people that you’re trying to help change rather than looking at it has something where Hey, like this looks like really new challenge. I don’t have any experience here. But wouldn’t it be fun to go try? It’s always fun to go try, but maybe try with somebody who does have the experience?
Phil Gardiner 11:56
Yeah, it’s it’s a it’s an interesting point. You know, we we talk about customer centricity, right? Everybody’s you see the seven core competencies of business agility. Sometimes people forget that, that what’s in the center. You know, Mark Rick’s and I did a talk previously about, you know, the importance of customer centricity. Don’t forget that. That’s what what all the competencies help you really focus on. And when you look at this, determining if you’re ready to teach a class, you know, aren’t you to Rebecca’s point about what are you giving? Right? Are you focused on the customer experience in that class, the experience of the students, as opposed to kind of this this natural, yay, me, I’m empowered now, which, which everybody kind of goes through that on their journey. And it’s like, you want to show your stuff? Well? Are you showing your stuff in a way that’s gonna delight your customers? Have you have you you’ve talked about customer centricity in the classroom? Rebecca, anything you want to share around those
Rebecca Davis 12:53
topic? Sure. And I think it is for me that giving mindset and back to what I said about because I’m looking at the guest list right now. And so I’m, I’m deciding that I’m gonna pick on somebody for a second. But there’s a particular person who’s who’s watching this right now who I’ve helped before, because she had glorious, beautiful experiences to share inside of a classroom, she grew up as a scrum master became a product owner and then became an RTE, and is somebody that I’ve always really admired. And then she got her SPC, she was very nervous about getting on stage and sharing that, but she has beautiful things to share. And I think the thing that makes someone like that able to gain confidence getting on stage is, is having the acknowledgement that you are giving to other people, so that the audience you’re gifting them knowledge rather than being terrified, that you’re gonna get on stage and, and they’re going to be like judging you or anything. There’s nothing to judge if you if you think ahead of time, I’m about to walk up. And I’m just gonna give everything I’ve got. So I think it works in both ways, from a customer centricity startup point of view, and alongside that, I think it’s really key when you’re in SPC, especially if it’s the first time you’ve taught something, or if you have an organization where you’re very specifically trying to change the culture or the mindset in a particular area. To really concentrate on your audience. Who is it that’s coming in this class? Are you crafting an audience by intention? And then understand, like where they’re coming from? I’ve often even had asked new SPCs to do empathy interviews with students that are coming into their next class, discover what are their pain points, what are their troubles and then it helps you craft your stories, which again gets you more in a giving mindset has a has a instructor to really be be giving the best experience to those learners.
Phil Gardiner 14:56
That’s a great point. You know, you and I have different back grounds in that, you know, we both got started as internal change agents. For me, I ended up going the consulting route for for many, many years and teaching, you know, teaching a public class with a group of random individuals versus teaching a targeted internal class can be different. And you know, when you think about your, your readiness to teach, right there, you know, as an internal change agent, you might find that, even though you’ve taught a class multiple times inside the same enterprise, if you end up on your journey, and you go and go the consulting route, you might find that you want to go back to some of this advice before you start teaching public classes. Because there’s a level of flexibility you might have teaching internally, a level of, you know, as Rebecca mentioned, empathy interviews, and really knowing your audience, there’s a string, and we’ll talk more in here in a moment about strategy to prepare for class. But there are strategies that don’t work as well, with with with public, you know, you’re not sure who you’re gonna get side of things. So, just keep keep that in mind. You know, for me, I think that preparing for an external class or for a class where the the people aren’t around, just know that you could walk in here, and you really don’t know if you’re going to get a CTO from a, you know, from a startup out in in Sunnydale. Or Sunnyvale rather, or if you’re going to get, you know, somebody who’s, you know, retired school teacher wanting to change careers. And, you know, thinking about that understanding the customer centricity side of it, and making making a little bit more time for, for introductions and connections. So, anything else you want to say on this topic about kind of the can versus should? Rebecca?
Rebecca Davis 16:51
I think the original question was customer centricity. But I would also talk about can vs. should – if you want to, let’s go with both. Sure. Um, I mean, the the way I think about Canvas shed is you, you will definitely be allowed to go enable in and teach any of the classes, I think you have a responsibility to your organization. And I’m mostly going to talk about if you’re an internal SPC, because that’s the most of my experience, honestly. But you have a responsibility, your organization to discuss things teach things that you it doesn’t mean you have to know everything about it, right, but you need to have stories for it. So in my experience, one of the reasons that an organization will take on a state of transformation is that that word transformation, they’re really actually looking for net new behaviors across across the board. rapid change, people feeling comfortable with rapid change. And that’s a really big deal. So when you’re up when you’re telling stories, and you don’t actually have that background. So take product management, for example, if I’m up there teaching APM. And I don’t actually have any experiences, doing large scale product marketing and market research and funding. As well as I have not gone out to shadow and watch or really research or learn about those techniques or design thinking techniques. My audience inside of that that company is going to have some experience because those are the people who do that job. So when they asked me questions, giving a light veneer of, well, let’s just read the slide again, is not at all the same as being able to say, Yeah, I’ve run into that situation. And these are some ways that I’ve solved it. Because there’s not black and white answers in this this is really how you run a business. This is how you react to things and different things that have worked or or changed and different ways you could use tools in many different areas to be able to create change. So personally, I think the can part is you can the shed part is do I actually have the experience? Have I gone and got it?
Phil Gardiner 19:20
I’ve got a question in chat. I’m gonna ask why but they’re, like understanding the customer would give him the best experience for learners. When teaching a public class or class when you know nothing about learners. How do you get feedback to grow what you’re giving is providing the value or targeting? You know, for me, this is where I mentioned kind of in a public class taking little extra time for for intros, you know, there’s activities, the beginning, you can add new you can always certainly add new icebreakers yourself. Before the class actually kicks off and understand why you know, why are you here? What what outcome are you looking for when this class is over? What do you want to be true, right and really kind of understanding what brings somebody there and what They’ve heard why they’re here, what they expect what they’re going to do with this information and this, how does this How does this class fit into the individual journey? And those are things that, you know, we typically have pretty small classes. And so we can go through and do that if you’re if you’re going to be a larger class, or you’re hosting a larger class, and maybe taking the time to, you know, have an orientation where you can connect with people and understand that those are a couple of techniques I’ve used for that.
Rebecca Davis 20:29
Anything. Yeah, the other thing I noticed, actually, this week that I thought was like, it’s a small thing, but it’s, it’s been insanely helpful, is inside of the call, I’ve just had people change their, their name in the call to to say what business they work for, and what their role is. And then it’s like day three, and you don’t remember what happened on day one, right? But on day three, you could still look at the list and be like, Oh, like that person who’s asking me a question comes from health insurance. And I have a story about that, or that person who’s asked me this question is the director of product design. And so I’m gonna, like, Swizzle, like, that’s probably why they’re making that face at me right now. And so I’m gonna switch on the answer for that.
Phil Gardiner 21:12
Yeah, knowing your knowing your audience and kind of understanding their outcomes allows you to tailor your stories, you know, you, if you’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and you’ve you’ve worked in multiple industries, the stories you choose to tell can be focused on a specific market segment or type of transformation. You know, some some companies are still, you know, I’ve worked with companies where they’ve got, you know, somebody’s got somebody well intentioned, went out and read the framework site, awesome articles, like the ones Rebecca and others on the framework team, right. And they go back, and they, they get out their PowerPoint, and they, they document all their value streams, and they, they build out a model for their art, and they say, We’re gonna implement safe, and here’s what it’s gonna look like, we get some of the, we get some of those people reaching out to us to kind of relaunch that, that transformation, because this is the whole profitability, sustainability side of things. And knowing our audience would be different stories, then then a class where, you know, it’s Greenfield, and we’ve got, you know, sea level engagement, where they’re, they’ve got to lean agile leadership and, and really just kind of understand how to how to tell your stories. Um, let me go head on.
Bob Ternes 22:20
Yeah, no, and thanks for picking up on my verbal nonverbal cues. So there’s a really common use case that I think many SPCs bump into, which is that they’ve just received, they’re just on implementing, they’ve received their SPC certification. And now they’ve been asked to teach leading safe to a number of executives or leaders. Now, Rebecca, you mentioned something really important, which is that there’s kind of a veneer of stories, in my experience, leaders can are often going to punch through that veneer and ask very difficult questions. So really, as my own question, I get to bypass the q&a function. How would that new SPC and really the organization as a whole be successful in pulling off that leading safe class and satisfying the really the interests and those off curriculum questions of those leaders?
Phil Gardiner 23:10
I mean, that, to me is a pairing thing. I mean, that’s, it’s, you know, it’s, you know, with the work I do on the community side, not everybody can can bring in a consultant to help, right. And that’s just the fact that, you know, the fact of the, of the world we live in, if you have the ability to bring somebody in who’s experienced or, you know, if you’re in a large Fortune, Fortune five, fortune 10, and you’ve got other experienced SPCs that you can pair with, that’s always the best way to go to be there and, and pair up on that. However, if you can’t, you know, there’s things you can do for me my own career. I started by bugging people like Mark Richards and Eric Wilkie and others at a conference and getting, you know, asking for their stories. So when they came came time for me to teach my first class with executives, I better understood from learning from their story. So there’s ways you can prepare. But I will tell you, it’s a different experience teaching a group of executives than it is teaching, you know, a group of developers. Rebecca, what are your thoughts on that topic? Yeah,
Rebecca Davis 24:14
I mean, I’ll share that. I that when I first took my SPC, I was actually in an organization where I was hired in to do an Agile transformation. And it was a scaled company. And people were really unhappy. And I didn’t, I didn’t know what really to do. So I went and found SPC and I paid for it myself. And then I came back and you know, new shiny SPC. And so I decided I’m going to get my leaders to come in and teach them leading safe because that’s what I was just taught and I know how to do the pitch. And so I’m gonna get this to happen. And I did. So I think what I learned from that experience, um, Because a few things, one, I think your passion goes a long way. Right? So if you are already, if you truly believe that the company you’re in, either could be better. Or you believe in the mission of your organization, but you might not believe in the leadership of your organization. And you believe in that mission strongly enough that you want to make a change, like you personally are going to dig in and make a change that’s going to come through in your class. So at that point, like I didn’t have a lot of experience talking with a lot of executives, I’d owned a company myself before, but it wasn’t anywhere near that big. And what I did is spoke very much from the heart. So I watched all the enablement, I listened deeply and SBC glass, I asked questions all the time about what do you mean by this principle, because remember, the beginning of that class is principle based. So you don’t necessarily have to tell a lot of experience based stories, you’re helping people understand the logic that lives within Scaled Agile. So you get this great start, where kind of that’s handed to you, the thing that you’re teaching is logical, it’s pragmatic. There’s, there’s science behind it, there’s books behind it, you I definitely read, I literally read all the books that were referenced in the class before I taught it. And I use stories from there. And then by the time that the second day hit, I was just bringing me like, I’ve been in this organization, you guys see it, too, you see that your employees are unhappy you, you know, our retention numbers. And I think you all can make a difference. And I really want to partner with you to make a difference. So sometimes your own passion will get you by if you’ve also done the due diligence to like read the books, do the enablement study, so your environment and bring your personal belief that your company could actually be better.
Phil Gardiner 26:56
Yeah, and you know, there’s what that makes hearing your story there, it makes you think about, you know, my own first classes. And still to this day, I’m very transparent. You know, one of the there’s very few things that get me all riled up when it when it comes to pair teaching. And the number one is making stuff up. Right. And so I’ll piggyback on Rebecca’s story and give you some advice that, you know, you want to be confident, but at the same time, you’re you’re the person who’s introducing them, oftentimes to lean Agile values and principles, and the safe principles and what it means to be a lean, agile leader, and speak with transparency. If you don’t know something, it’s okay to say, hey, you know what, that’s a fantastic question. I don’t know. But when we come back tomorrow, I have a really good answer for you. Right? Or we can explore that together because you want to foster that curiosity. Right. If what happens when you put somebody passionate about Lean and Agile into a room of people, there’s going to be tough questions, but there’s also this energy that you get and and creating an environment where, where you’re, you’re fostering that curiosity. You know, look, we’re all in this together. Let’s figure it out together. You know, let’s, let’s move on to the next.
Bob Ternes 28:15
That’s a great segue to preparation tips and tricks. Absolutely. Start of the class. To be an amazing SPC to Rebecca’s point, you need amazing passion, and you really need to resolve the boys.
Phil Gardiner 28:26
Well that’s for preparation tips and tricks. The first one, I’m going to quote Rebecca here, actually prepare – prepare the material. That’s the big trip trick there is actually prepared, you want to share some of your, your preparation tips and tricks.
Rebecca Davis 28:43
Yeah, I don’t remember where I heard this. But there was somebody who said to me, and it stuck with me, when you teach a class, it’s like you’re inviting the whole class into your house for a dinner party. And so you need to really think about, like, what’s their environment going to be? What’s going to keep them engaged? How like, what am I serving up for them? What does it mean when they walk in the door and I welcome them what does it mean when they exit my house and they feel comfortable and I’ve you know, put their jacket back on or whatever. So I still look at it that way. And some of that is also like when I have a dinner party I also am like preparing my menu and coming up with how I’m going to serve something and trying new things. So for classes the way I translate that a little bit in physical environment or virtual environment, I never give up the the right to set up the classroom myself. So I don’t actually care if the tool is already set up for me I’m still gonna go through it all and make sure that it’s set up in the way that I feel comfortable with that. I feel like my learner’s are going to feel comfortable walking in or digitally walking into that environment. That they have everything they need. And then for myself, so Margarita, pairing a menu or a new dish. I don’t care how many times I’ve taught a class, I’m gonna listen to those enablement videos again, and I might not watch them, but my husband will know and probably tell you, if you ever meet him that every single time I do a class, I do laundry on the weekends, and I’m doing laundry while I’m listening to the enablement videos, and it’s like, boom, throughout our sound system throughout the entire house.
Phil Gardiner 30:21
He’s also an SPC, so he can benefit from areas
Rebecca Davis 30:25
now. Why wouldn’t you after listening to every neighborhood video, right? Um, but he. So that has helped me because those we tell stories and those enablement videos. And I mean, we now because now I make some of those enablement videos, but we really give tips and techniques. And so I really listened to those, if it’s something I haven’t taught in a while, and then I’ll reread books, because for me, I read a lot of books, all the timing, sometimes there’s so many that like, something’s gone in, and it’s exited the other side. So I’ll reread sections of books. And just really make sure that I’ve mentally prepared. So I’ll give it like the APM example. And I think this hits, maybe another section that we’re going to go into, but the first time I watched the APM class taught, Luke taught it. And yeah, I mean, it’s the last day of that class. And my brain was like leaking out of the sight of my ear. And I was so excited, because I knew there was so much in there that was really going to be a game changer. And slightly intimidated, because I just watched this guy, like very crisply answer every single question and really know that content. So I practice my butt off. Like I bought, like partnered with people. I partnered with people who had partnered with Luke. And then finally, like, after I taught it six times actually got to pair with Luke to teach it. And one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten in my entire life. He was like, this was actually like pairing with an equal Rebecca. I was like, Yeah, I felt so good. But it was because I really put in that prep. So I read a ton, I practiced a ton, I kept explaining things to people, like the areas of funding research and market research, I was weakened, I went and I followed market researchers around and asked to help them with their job. So you just got to put in the work. And then it does pay off. And it feels so good when it pays off.
Phil Gardiner 32:32
And if you haven’t, you know, if you haven’t heard of the APM, or agile product management course, I had a similar reaction, you know, when I also was involved in the in the beta class, and work more in the background on that, but when, when I saw that it was what I literally said to Luke, and this is Luke Hohmman, who has created that class. And he’s he’s actually worked works here with us. He’s our Chief Innovation Officer here at Applied Frameworks. But I said, getting really good at POPM class, you’re riding your bike around the block, you’re like, check this out, no hands, right. And then along comes somebody, you hear this boot, this sonic boom, and a fighter jet lands in the street. And they like the cockpit opens and say, Hey, this is a PM, it is that big of a paradigm shift the depth of stuff in that class and, and that class is a tough one to teach. You know, one of the recommendations that I give for consultants is when it comes to the advanced classes, you’ve got the enablement, right, and nothing says you have to go take the class, but I’ll tell you that, that I, I express my appreciation when I teach LPM or when I teach APM. And I’ve got an SPC in the class and the public class, they don’t have to take this class, they’re choosing to take the class so that they can be better and able to teach it themselves. And so, you know, there there is a lot of stuff in there. You know, you mentioned your preparation and the tooling and things like that. If you are using safe collaborate for your for your classroom, you can you know, you can there’s nothing that says you can’t add some extra canvases in there, to really kind of pertain to gather more information to help get to connect with your audiences. You know, part of that that preparation is also don’t forget that Scaled Agile has moved away from being this transactional bio license company to really being a creating this community experience. And one of the things that sadly, I don’t see often happening all the time is you sign up for a class, you’ve got access to enablement videos. And so if you know right now there’s there’s currently no prerequisites posted for any safe class anymore. They’ve removed all of those. So you might teach an advanced class where somebody’s never heard of heard of Scrum or Kanban Well, these, this is where you can connect with your audience and suggest to them that they take some time to go through some of those, you know, the Agile basics elearning, and things like that there’s artifacts that they can go through. And it’s great to familiarize yourself with those those artifacts as well. Also, when the courseware kits are updated, there’s always release notes. And you know, even if you don’t have time to do laundry mean time to listen to the enablement, videos, again, you know, reading the release notes to see what’s been added and changed is pretty important, because these, these classes are updated more often than than once a year. A couple of the things here, for me, that I like to think about, especially when doing a private class, is, you know, your audience, there’s nothing that would prevent you from teaching the class over a longer time box. So you know, there’s a client I work with were part of my role is bringing out that they have a large number of Fortune five, they’ve got a large number of talented, extremely awesome internal SPCs that do training, but I’ll be able to come in from time to time and we’ll pair with them to, to co teach the class with with those individuals. And one of the things we look at is who’s coming to class? How many questions are they bringing? Why are you teaching this class? Are you taking this class because you want to check some boxes and get certain numbers are sight sidenote, probably not that that’s a decent leading indicator, but maybe not the outcome metric you’re looking for. Or you have a group of people that are you’re starting your lpm journey, and you want to bring a bunch of people and help everybody who’s involved in delivering these awesome solutions better understand LPM? Well, you’re gonna get a lot of questions. So maybe teach that class over, you know, three, seven hour days, instead of over two, eight hour days. So there’s things like that, that you can do or teaching leading safe over over two and a half days in a private setting. So there’s time and space for that. So knowing your audience, does that spark any thoughts for you, Rebecca, or Bob, if you’ve got comments as well.
Rebecca Davis 32:46
That’s that was a pretty good overview. Okay.
Phil Gardiner 37:17
We’re looking at at at at our chat. And I know, we’re saying, hey, use the q&a, but I’m looking and I’ve got I’ve seen some some, I’d like to hear some experience or recommendations for teaching the more technical material. You know, Rick’s asked that I’ll tell you this. Rebecca, and I had an interesting chat last night about specialization. We’ll talk about that here in just a moment. But I’ve never taught Agile Software Engineering. And I don’t know if I ever will, because I’m not a coder. And with where I am on my personal journey, I don’t have time to go out there and learn to learn learn to code. And after talking to thought leaders like Ken Pugh, I’ll co teach with Ken and I can take care of day one, and maybe part of day two, but we start getting to hands on keyboards. I’m not your guy. And I’m okay with that. And so, when it comes to Agile Software Engineering, you know, it is a class that does require some expertise. And as Rebecca mentioned, if you can’t go out there and get that experience, or you don’t possess that experience, then, you know, you probably are finding yourself in a pairing situation. Do you have any thoughts on the technical classes? Yeah.
Rebecca Davis 38:31
So I just want to respond because you said the question, the person who’s asking the question said you do have a dev background. So I’ll share because you also brought up DevOps in, in your question. So the DevOps class, to me, I keep trying to struggle to come up with like, the best actual name for that class, because DevOps doesn’t encompass what that class really, really does for you. But when I teach the DevOps class, I actually bring every role from a trainer solution train together, if not the entire trainer solution train into that course, I really like to run it after the train has kicked off sometime in the first or second pie. Because what that class creates is a giant map of from concept all the way through delivery, and proven delivery, every single step along the way. So it creates a true value stream map with measurements about what is slowing you down. So it’s decreasing your flow. And the aha moments in that particular class are are some of the most monumental aha moments I’ve ever seen in my career. I actually ran it a few weeks ago with a full solution train at an organization. We had about 67 people on it and there was able to share like one moment out of many, but one of them a QA lead was like wait, I think you’re asking me to care about outcome measures, and I’m paid to care about Quality Measures. I’m not supposed to care about outcome measures. And the business owners were on the call they were they were doing the class as well, because you got everybody there. And I said, Hey, business owners? Can you unmute for a second? Do you care if your quality leads care about outcomes. And they’re like, not only do we care, but if you have any idea at all, to increase our outcomes, please talk to us. So there were always like moments where people didn’t realize that they had like trust and acceptance and the invitation to actually care about other areas of the value stream. And their actions at the end of it were just incredible. So I didn’t want to get out there, because the DevOps class I think, is underused, and has some of the biggest potential to create true, meaningful lasting flow based change inside of your organization, ASC, if you have a dev background, man, get on there, get out there and do that class. So get your SPC and take that enablement. What I’ve found personally is if you’re teaching it inside of your organization, go through the material, and find the areas where you feel like it would be better if you use your own cases of like architectural patterns or code cases. And build those into the modules rather than using the examples that we’ve given. It’s totally cool to do that. And in some cases, like for me, in my experience, if you’re teaching that class to a set of mobile developers, you want different examples. And if you’re teaching it to a set of system architects or system engineers, so really, again, think about your audience, think about your example, see if you can bring real stuff in. Also, my honest recommendation is take more time to do it than you think you need. Even when I’ve watched confu teach it, the amount of if you get the right attendees, the amount of questions that are deep and meaningful, you’re gonna need a little bit more time.
Phil Gardiner 42:00
Yeah, I can’t comment on ASC other than know that Ken and I have talked about it before, that’s on my bucket list. My safe journey bucket list is to co teach ASC with Ken one day, I totally agree on the DevOps piece. It’s funny, there’s some classes that I don’t call classes, like I call SAFe for teams a workshop to prepare you for PII planning, I call DevOps, a value stream mapping workshop, where you learn about DevOps as well, right. I mean, it’s, it’s so, you know, understand the, the kind of the goal of this, these classes, and I think that, like, we’ve never offered a public DevOps course, and I don’t know that we ever would, because that class is designed to get perspectives on your pipeline from everybody. And if you’ve got one person, it’s really hard to collaborate, you build a real value stream map. Anyway, site a separate separate topic. Let me let me keep moving ahead here. I know we, we’ve we’ve talked a little bit about about pairing briefly, you know, you share the story about Luke and I agree, you know, finding people who can help peer review, I want to talk a little bit about about playing to your strengths and becoming a specialist. This is one of those areas where, you know, understanding where you serve, can make a difference, right. So serving as an external consultant, there may be a value in specialization, whereas serving as a member of an internal lace for you know, for an 18 T or or fortune five company, you probably want to be more well rounded. What’s your take from an internal SPC perspective, Rebecca on on specialization.
Rebecca Davis 43:45
And so, there are SPCs internally who have full time roles. So you might be in SPC use and RTE or SPC as a scrum master. Or you might be an SPC. Like for me, I used to run a lease. So a lot of the SPC is that reported to me, a lot of the job that I actually built out for them was to do consistent teaching as well as consistent coaching. And for those who your job was actually consistent teaching and consistent coaching, I really pushed for trying to build up the acumen to teach multiple classes instead of being a specialist and one in particular, because on my own personal journey, I found when I took that time really learned all the different roles and by the time I actually taught every single safe class and again, I’m gonna go back to like, that means due diligence so getting the experience and all the roles the like, people like the one of the people on the call, I think it asked me like, how do you how do you always have these answers that like build this big connected map? And that’s why is actually taking the time In a study all of them and teach all of them helped me like Mentally take the framework and build all these connections in my head. So if I would get a question about a team, I could say like, whoa, well, that question is actually sourced from like, this lpm level and the here’s the map for that, right. Um, so I think it made me stronger, I’m hoping to help the people that report to me become stronger. By pushing them not to specialize. They’re always going to, there’s always going to be something that you particularly have more passionate about than another thing. And I truly believe in that. So if you’re a big passion is me. And I just want to make the best possible teams, because teams are the energy and life source for the whole organization. I applaud that every single day. But I do ask that if that is your specialty, and that’s the thing that you’re really amazing at, then please, please, please pair with other people who it’s not their specialty. Because the whole point is making the system stronger, has a whole including SPC community stronger.
Phil Gardiner 45:59
That’s a great point. Yeah. And you know, and, you know, I think Bob mentioned the Phil’s known for LPM, you know, and it’s, it’s, that’s a passion area. For me. It’s also one where I kind of stumbled into it I, my first I seen two or three implementations where there was literally an army of Scrum team coaches, and they stand up all these teams, and then still don’t deliver any more value of their customer. And so I found that, that engaging the leaders and really focusing on the APM, and the lpm side of things, you end up delivering more value, not just sooner, but more value and the customers care about. And that’s kind of where my head goes, when it comes to specialization. I believe as an SPC, all of the core courses are ones that, you know, to Rebecca’s point, you need to be able to teach all the classes and teach them well. And teaching teaching po pm and teaching at scrum master. And teaching DevOps and teaching safe for teams and teaching leading safe gives you this well rounded understanding of a central safe, you won’t learn enough about what it takes to coach product owners and product managers just from leading safe, right, and you want to be able to if you’re serving a transformation or serving as a consultant, you want to understand it. But then you get into the you get into the specialized courses. When I say specialized courses, I’m thinking ASE. Architect, LPM, APM. Right. And with those those more advanced classes, there’s, there’s real work needed, right? If you want to teach APM, and you’ve never been involved in product management, you have to factor in, you’ve got to journey there to be able to do that. And it might be difficult for you to be a specialist and be you know, you do a masterclass level course in ASC and a masterclass course in in lpm and an APM. Right. And so, when I talk about specialization, personally, I’m just talking about following your passion. You know, one of the things that I believe is missing in the market today is, there’s not a lot of people out there that have that I’ve met personally, that have deep experience with sustainable success with lpm. There’s just not enough opportunities out there to change the way a company looks at strategy and investment funding, for example, right. And so it’s also one of those areas where it’s hard to get that experience, you know, to be able to say, hey, we’re, you’ve brought me in to help you with with, with your, with your strategy, and looking at moving the needle to a new way of working here in the portfolio space, can I bring these three people along to watch? Right, it’s really difficult to make those opportunities, especially in the consulting world, and the internal world that may be more viable. But all that to say that, you know, pairing with people, even if it’s just, you know, like, like, I’ll occasionally drop in and, and teach the lpm module inside leading safe. And I’ll do that once or twice for a newer SPC. And then that SPC may teach it with, you know, will work in the background to find some way to get them to, you know, observe or be part of a participatory budgeting event, or walk them through a real world scenario Kanban flow for for a real customer, so that they can start having some of their own stories. So I’ll pause there anything to add, Rebecca, otherwise, I want to just kind of go with our last topic, really cultivating engagement. I think it’s a really important one, right? It’s key, you know, for me, it’s demonstrating the values. I’m i I’m overly transparent in my public classes and my private classes. I’ll tell stories about you know, for example, I’ll tell stories about mistakes I made, you know, and as an sp CT, I found that people were taking the implementing safe class. They’re like, whoa, this guy’s he’s an sp CT and he’s teaching this class, but he’s also made mistakes and he’s talking about it. Is it okay to talk about mistakes? Right? So really kind of living those those values and principles in how you how you teach can help create better engagement and get people to open up and be vulnerable. And I think that’s really important. You know, and that you know that that passion, the good and the bad is so critical. What are your What are your thoughts on on making learning fun and, and getting engagement going? Yeah,
Rebecca Davis 50:30
I mean, I love teaching because it is really fun. And I like it when everybody has fun with me. So for me, it’s gonna sound really silly after you just shared so seriously, but I always bring dad jokes to every single training. So like, right now it’s winter thing. It’s wintertime, so you could bring like elf based dad jokes, share one. Now you’re gonna put me on the spot. Yes, I can. Okay, so what is an elves favorite way to take pictures. I’m a dad, and I don’t know elfies. And then you all laugh and everybody has a good time. So I that’s my little hidden tip. So really like to have some fun things happen. Like if people are coming back from breaks, like last person in the room, might have to do the Macarena with me at the front of the room or read out in a different way the next time. So I like to bring some fun in like really silly ways, because I do think work should have a lot of joy and fun within it. And we do serious things. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time doing it. And then as far as just general engagement goes, I like mixing up the breakouts sometimes. So there are certain activities that to me. Just it’s better to do them in pairs. And so like split people out in different ways than you and not keep them consistently on the same group all the time. As well as I like to set an icebreaker every single day. So at the kickoff of each of the days have some sort of a question that they they ask each other. Like, Bob, what was the very first job you ever had?
Phil Gardiner 52:20
Was it Bob?
Bob Ternes 52:21
It was a paperboy?
Rebecca Davis 52:23
No, I worked at Toys R Us shocking, huh?
Phil Gardiner 52:26
I mopped floors for a Sack and Save. There you go. You know, it’s interesting. You talked about, you know a little bit about earlier about don’t just show up to teach, right. There’s a gentleman named Bryan Vaughn that I’ve taught probably 50 classes with. And when we teach, we’re, we’re, we don’t do this thing where I’m silent while you’re teaching lesson two, right? We’re chiming in to each other back and forth and handing off and, and there’s a flow that state that we get into that. That can seem off putting to other other people, other people who who may teach with us, because it’s like, wow, you’ve been doing this for a long time. And where do I fit into that equation? You know, what are your thoughts on breaking up the class, I personally don’t like to go lesson by lesson I like to at least go, you know, section by section and then have permission to be able to collaborate and talk. What are your thoughts on that?
Rebecca Davis 53:29
Yeah, for me, it usually depends on on what I’m trying what I’m doing with my pairing. So if I’m pairing me, somebody has taught the class a lot before it’s really fun to mix it up quite a bit. If I’m pairing by intention, because I’m trying to help out a new brand new SPC to really learn and grow, then I usually have a conversation ahead of class about like, what would you be the most comfortable with? And, and make it all about, like, their comfort? Would you feel more comfortable? If you took a full lesson? Would you feel more comfortable? If I like are you comfortable? If I chime in? Would you rather I wait. So I like to have that conversation. But if you’re if you’re trading with somebody when you both know the material, like actually we’re doing in class today, sometimes we all just the class, right? This week is virtual, but we’ll all stand in front of the camera and just have a conversation with each other while we’re teaching or bring them aside and be like, Hey, this isn’t this like, Hey, I know you have an experience here. So yeah, I think the class is there to learn from from you guys and your stories just as much as from the content that we put together inside of the slides. So anything you can do to make those stories come to life and is really helpful.
Phil Gardiner 54:44
Awesome. I gotta tell you I’m I’m sitting here waiting for a video where indeed is the last person to walk back into the class. And you and him are doing the Macarena. That would be pretty awesome to see. Can’t you know is that is that what happens in Boulder stays in Boulder.
Rebecca Davis 55:00
He was with meme at Summit this last year during my talk,
Phil Gardiner 55:05
I did not know that. That’s pretty awesome.
Rebecca Davis 55:08
He is in the audience, but the audience danced and he was dancing too.
Phil Gardiner 55:12
I sadly was the scheduling gods were not kind and my talk was up against two of my SAFe heroes, Cheryl Croupe. And you. And I think I had 37 people come by and apologize for not coming to my talk, because they got a two for one down the hall. And now it was dancing, too. So dancing,
Rebecca Davis 55:31
it’s hard to beat when you blast music out of your conference.
Phil Gardiner 55:37
That’s awesome. So we have one more question in the q&a. What are the books materials to read to start training additional safe materials? For me, I always will say that, you know, you can go Google the SP CT reading list. You know, that’s, that’s the stuff that SP CTs are, you no need to read, there’s always a great start there. You can also look at key articles in the framework. And sometimes books are cited as sources there. And then finally, there’s their suggested reading that’s oftentimes within the courseware itself. I just I gotta say it’s been a it’s been a wonderful chat with you, Rebecca, and thank you for sharing all your, your tips and tricks. You know, I I still haven’t taught a class with Rebecca myself yet, but maybe someday, who knows?
Rebecca Davis 56:27
Amazing dancing to Britney with me, we’ll just have to figure that out. One day,
Phil Gardiner 56:30
I’ll tell you that I got lots of pins and plates in my body, but I have. I have I have danced in my in my past. And I actually speaking of dad jokes. I was a dad joke at a morning talk show, where I got back backstage passes for my wife and daughter because it was their dream to meet these hosts. By dancing, being that audience Dance Dance Off audience winner. And it really, yeah, my knees. Were killing me for months afterwards, because I don’t move like I did when I was in my 20s. But yeah, I’ll take you up on that dancing to maybe not Britney, but dancing in class sometime. All right, next summit. There we go. Bob, any parting thoughts to close us out, I know that we’ll get this video posted. And I think I will tell you that it’s not confirmed for January yet. But my hope for January is to be is to have our series be. I’m an SPC and I lead a transformation. And I’m talking to some people who are out there employees of companies that are actually actively leading a transformation and having them on the I want to say on the show because it is starting to feel like a like a little talk show where we bring a guest or guests or two on and just talk about a topic so thank you so much everybody for listening and Rebecca for for you joining us already.
Bob Ternes 57:57
Yeah, that’s that’s pretty much it. I just was musing that whereas people at the summit had to choose between you guys we get a two for one right here. So I wanted to give a special thanks to both Phil and then also our guests. Today Rebecca, I was so impressed but if how thorough you are as a change agent, your emphasis on preparation with the passion and and personal investment you bring to your change, the empathy and finally the joy that you brought to today’s session as well as things that you do in the community. So thank you so much, and thanks to everybody who attended. Look for this recording and please join us for for our next webinar in this series. Thanks, everybody. Thanks all.
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As leader of Applied Frameworks’ SAFe Practice, Phil is responsible for large-scale transformations and guiding change agents as they learn to apply the Scaled Agile Framework. Phil is a Certified SAFe Program Consultant Trainer® (SPCT), one of less than 100 people who hold this certification globally. Read Full Bio