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Agile Solutions for Greater Innovation

University System of Maryland via edX

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Overview

Innovation differentiates companies in the products produced, and the impact those products have on their customer’s lives.

In this course, you will learn how innovation and speed are tightly linked, and the benefits of better targeting and solutioning in achieving faster benefits delivery. Faster delivery leads to faster feedback for learning; and faster learning leads to higher quality solutions at speed. But beyond the emphasis on fast iterative development, you will also learn about the practices that create structure and space for innovation in Agile that are missing from traditional management. These paradigm shifts include:

  • Delivering business value, not technical scope with User Stories
  • Using Cross-functional teams and user stories to gather accurate requirements 
  • Leveraging constraints to derive creative capability solutions.
  • Applying Test-Driven Design (TDD) to deliver better designs with less designing
By following best practices of Agile, including timeboxes, constraint-based thinking processes, and empathetic problem solving, you’ll learn how to provide a sustainable innovation environment for your teams.

Syllabus

  • Week 1: The first week of Innovation revisits concepts of capability delivery from technical perspective; asking how do we achieve a project’s purpose to innovate? What are the risks and methods to be successful in delivering a defined output under uncertain conditions? Here the Theory of Constraints (TOC) is used to target innovation for maximum impact.
  • Week 2: The second week dives into the requirements gathering and validation process, and the science behind the most powerful requirement tool, a User Story, and how it forms the basis for Test-Drive Development (TDD).
  • Week 3: The third week looks at how adding constraints to solutioning unleashes creativity, luck, and productivity towards solving hard, uncertain problems.
  • Week 4: The fourth week culminates with the application of the TOC Thinking Processes, User Stories, and Constraints along with the use of the powerful system engineering solutioning techniques (isolation, absorption, acceleration, etc.) and tools like TRIZ.

Taught by

John Johnson

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