I’ve been interested in process, so I attended this month’s Bay Area Learning Design Meetup that showcased LinkedIn’s work on Agile using Scrum for learning design. It was very nice of them to share the specifics of their process, and while there were more details than time permitted to cover, it was a great beginning to understand the differences.
Basically, a backlog is kept of potential new projects. They’re prioritized and a subset is chosen as the basis of the sprint and put on the board. Then for two weeks they work on hitting the elements on the board, with a daily standup meeting to present where they’re at and synchronize. At the end they demo to the stakeholders and reflect. As part of the reflection, they’re supposed to change something for the next iteration.
There’re different roles: a project owner who’s the ‘client’ in a sense (and a relation to who may be the end client). There is a Scrum master who’s responsible for facilitating the group through the steps, and then the team, which should be small but at least represent all the necessary roles to execute whatever is being accomplished.
When I asked about scope, they said that they’ve found they can do about 100 story points (which are empirical) in a sprint, and they may distribute that across some elearning, some job aids, whatever. They didn’t seem too eager to try to quantify that relative to other known metrics, and I understand it’s hard, particularly in the time they had. Here’s the Mindmap:
Allen Interactions also discussed their SAM project (which I know and like), but the mind map didn’t match too well to their usual diagram (only briefly shown at the end), and I ran out of time trying to remedy. It’s better just to look at the diagram ;).
Belinda Parmar addressed the critical question of women in tech in a poignant way, pointing out that the small stuff is important: language, imagery, context. She concluded with small actions including new job description language and better female involvement in product development.
Beau Lotto gave a very interesting keynote that built from perceptual phenomena to a lovely message on learning.
Neil deGrasse Tyson opened this year’s DevLearn conference. A clear crowd favorite, folks lined up to get in (despite the huge room). In a engaging, funny, and poignant talk, he made a great case for science and learning.
Kris Duggan spoke on gamification at the Bay Area Learning Design & Technology MeetUp. He talked about some successes at his Badging role and then his new initiative bringing gamification more intrinsically into organizations. He proposed five Goal Science rules that resonated with other principles I’ve heard for good organizations.
Karen McGrane evangelized good content architecture (a topic near to my heart), in a witty and clear keynote. With amusing examples and quotes, she brought out just how key it is to move beyond hard wired, designed content and start working on rule-driven combinations from structured chunks. Great stuff!
Larry Irving kicked off the mLearnCon with an inspiring talk about the ways in which technology can disrupt education. His ideas about VOOCs and nanodegrees were intriguing, and wish he’d talked more about adaptive learning. A great kickoff to the event.
General Stan McChrystal gave an inspiring and insightful talk about adapting to change, based upon his experience.
Arianna Huffington kicked off ASTD’s international conference with a very engaging presentation covering the four pillars to thrive. Alternately funny and wise, it was a great start.
Neil Jacobstein gave the keynote for the special Future of Talent event sponsored by SAP and hosted by the Churchill Club. In a wide ranging and inspiring talk, Neil covered how new technologies, models, and methods provide opportunities to transcend our problems and create a world worth living in.