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Dependencies Are Killing Your Agility: Learn to Fight Back!

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Course Description

This is a full-day live instructor-led course that will change the way you think about and deal with dependencies within your organization. The course is taught in two 4-hour sessions on October 27-28, 2021. Each session will run from 9am to 1pm US Mountain Time .

Is this your situation?

  • Are you trying to adopt agile at scale and realize that dependencies among teams have made it nearly impossible to reliably and predictably get the work done? 
  • Is your flow frequently impeded because one team is waiting on another team? 
  • Are your results either failure or unacceptable delay costs because work is taking much longer than it should to complete? 


Then, it's Time to fight back!!!

This course is based on Ken Rubin’s years of experience helping companies of all sizes adopt agile at scale. This isn’t some theoretical course. You'll learn how to model and analyze your dependencies. You'll also learn practical strategies that you can combine to address your organization’s specific dependency issues. 

This also is not a course based on widely accepted dogma. For example, a common belief is that if we just re-organize ourselves “correctly” (say, organize 100% into feature teams) we can eliminate dependencies. This is a myth. Certainly creating feature teams can help, but attempting to eliminate all dependencies with feature teams when trying to do agile at scale is not practical. 

There are many other beliefs that cloud our minds when dealing with dependencies. Some organizations may believe that if they could just identify all of the dependencies upfront, they could manage them. Or if they just had a more detailed dependency-management process with awesome tool support, they could tame their dependencies. Yeah, no.

In this course you will learn:

  • What are dependencies and why are they important
  • That dependency problems scale exponentially, so solutions that work with small-scale dependency problems may break at larger-scale
  • The killer problem is asynchronicity (prioritization problems) that come from trying to coordinate dependencies across multiple teams
  • Viewing dependencies in isolation (within a subset of your organization) will fail to address the needs of end-to-end business agility
  • Why most companies need to change their unit of focus from projects to something more durable and business-focused like products, business capabilities, value streams, etc.
  • Why the common myths surrounding dependency management are just wrong
  • The difference between structural dependencies and instantiated dependencies and why this distinction is important
  • A specific, proven process for modeling and analyzing structural dependencies
  • 7 strategies improving structural dependencies: strive for cross-functional and T-shaped, create feature teams, establish communities of practice, organize into coordinated ecosystems, architect for "build using" (self service), establish team-to-team working agreements, balance system/portfolio WIP
  • The instantiated dependency management process
  • 5 techniques for identifying instantiated dependencies
  • 4 techniques for recording/visualizing instantiated dependencies
  • 6 techniques for coordinating instantiated dependencies
  • Multiple techniques for managing dependencies that have become blockers
  • The nuances of using dependency patterns through real world examples of large organizations applying multiple patterns at an organizational-wide level
  • Ways of combining patterns at scale to achieve better end-to-end flow


Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to actually do something about their organization’s dependency issues. If you are tired of living with the problems caused by dependencies, whether you are on a team or an executive at a company, you will walk away with actionable knowledge to improve your situation.

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We'll Address the 90% Flow Blockage Problem!

Does Your Company Have this Problem?

Full Agenda

Need more information to decide? Then download the complete agenda of this 6-hour class!

Course Agenda
Watch Intro Video

Example of Course Content

Dependency Permutation Math

A Sampling of Our Clients

Google Logo
Audible Logo
Fitbit Logo
JPMorgan Chase Logo
New York Times Logo
John Deere Logo
CNN Logo
Intel Logo
Microsoft Logo

Interested in bringing this class to your company?

Ken Rubin will teach this class or any of our classes at your company.

Whether you need agile training or coaching for senior leadership, work teams, or specific business units, we can help you get the upper hand on your dependency issues through a customized learning plan to meet your needs.

Meet Ken Rubin

Agile Author, Trainer, and Coach

Ken Rubin

Ken Rubin is the author of Amazon’s #1 best selling book Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process. As an agile thought leader, Ken founded Innolution where he helps organizations thrive through the application of agile principles in an effective and economically sensible way. He has coached over 200 companies ranging from startups to Fortune 10, and is an angel investor and mentor to numerous exciting startups. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, Ken has trained over 30,000 people in agile / Scrum as well as object-oriented technology. He was the first managing director of the worldwide Scrum Alliance, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming the world of work using Scrum.

What People Are Saying

John Spangler

Senior Lean Coach FirstBank

Ken's knowledge and ability to explain core principles of Dependency Management is one of the best I've heard to date. He deals with the elephant in the Agile/Agility room; how to scale work to large complex enterprises where dependencies can't be eliminated for valid reasons. Rather than falling back on Frameworks solely, he identifies practical principles that can applied in a multiple of ways and frameworks, allowing practitioners to use the tools and concepts best suited for their context. This is an industry challenge and Ken is a thought-leader in dealing with this critical challenge and elegant in his explanation of that challenge.

Nik Louch

Software Engineering Director at Cambridge University Press

Excellent course presented by an obviously highly experienced practitioner. No magic bullets (if only!) but good coverage on how to better understand dependencies and their impact and great coverage of a variety of approaches to help tackle/better manage these and their impact. Highly recommended for organisations operating at scale and hitting challenges around dependencies.

Dan Alcalde

Senior Agile Practitioner at Zapier

I've always known that dependencies were costing the company but have struggled to express that cost; Ken's illustrations of the cost and some potential strategies to mitigate it are a great addition to my agile toolbox.

Scott Flores

Principal Product Operations Manager at VMware Carbon Black

Ken has a practical approach to providing great insights on Agile practices at scale. His classes are packed with relevant information that you can start using immediately.

Jeff Porter

Principal Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories

Ken Rubin delivered an impactful and information filled course talking about how dependencies get in a team's way and then how to get around them and through them.

Jean Gregory

Sr. Technical Project Manager at CommScope

Ken Rubin always seems to provide the right amount of content at the right time. His courses are always interactive and give the user options that are right for them based on how their team/organization is structured.

Susan Block

Sr. Lean/Agile Coach, The Vanguard Group

Right off the bat, Ken was clear about the mainstay focus of this course. It was about improving the structural dependencies that represent systemic challenges. The strategies he advocated were familiar but in tandem you realize how much more impact they can have in pursuit of organizational agility. This course offered a pragmatic approach that will infuse additional motivation and direction for our transformational efforts.

Yvette Worthington

VP, IT Service Delivery PMO at Bank of America

As always Ken brings clarity to complex concepts. Definitely will help me to transform my organization.

Damián Buonamico

Agile Coach, Organisational Coach, Facilitator, Trainer and Consultant

"Dependencies are your enemy". This course will cover everything you need to know about the dependencies issue in product development and will provide you with proven strategies to take action on it, based on the vast experience of Ken on the topic.

Ana Eva Lopez

Project Manager, SpyCloud

As part of a small company, the material in this class will help us avoid pitfalls and anti-patterns as we continue to grow and scale.

Got a Question?

Find your answer below

  • When is the class?

    This live instructor-led class will take place on Wednesday October 27 and Thursday October 28, 2021 from 9am to 1pm US Mountain Time each day.

  • Are their multi-person (group) discounts?

    Yes! Please reach out to us at learn@innolution.com for more information.

  • How is the course delivered?

    The course is delivered live (over Zoom) and instructor led by Ken Rubin.

  • What is the purpose of this "on-line course" if the event is live?

    The reason for having this on-line presence is to provide a repository for the class artifacts. For example, pre-class information and the class handout materials are stored here. And, post class, you will be able to download the annotated class slides and copies of all exercises you completed during the class.

  • What happens after I purchase this course?

    You will be enrolled in the live course. You will also have an account on this website that will give you access to all of the pre-class instructions and exercises.

  • Does this course qualify for continuing educational credit?

    Yes! Completing this course earns you 8 PDUs from the PMI and 8 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance (use Category "Learning").

  • Will the class be recorded?

    No, this class will not be recorded.

Date, Time or Other Problem?

Do October 27-28, 2021 or the class times not work for you?

We are happy to schedule additional public classes and at different times of day. Just let us know what dates and times work for you! Or is there another issue with this class that we can address that would enable you to enroll?

Ready to Fight Back?

Don't let your dependencies kill your agility!