Tameka Moore had heard a lot about Agile practice at her company, which hooked her up with an Agile coach and also offered some company training in the Agile methodology.
But Moore, who describes herself as an avid lifelong learner, wanted to know more. She was looking for a course that would help her apply Agile techniques in her work and life and also ground her in the foundations and history of the methodology.
Purdue was among the first places she looked. She prepared for her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt with an online course through the University and even served as a beta tester for that course before it went fully live. She was comfortable with Purdue and trusted that Purdue’s online Agile certificate course would provide plenty of value – a key goal of Agile practice itself. That trust was not misplaced, she said.
"I almost feel like I should have paid more, the value is so good,” said Moore, a business support consultant in the finance and support operation at Roche, the world's largest biotech company.
The Agile method, which can be applied to almost any project or problem, takes an iterative approach by breaking projects into several stages, with consistent communication and collaboration among team members and stakeholders leading to continuous improvement at every stage and guiding the prioritization of tasks. The approach facilitates responding to issues as they arise. Changes made at the right time help deliver a quality outcome, on time and within budget, and minimize risks.
Moore often found herself engrossed and reading ahead in Purdue’s Agile course because she found that the material connected directly to her day-to-day work experiences. She wasted no time applying what she learned, as she learned it.
“I think that's very powerful,” she said. “You can look at it and say: 'I'm getting value from day one.'"
The structure of the course was well-designed for working professionals, as well as a mom of four like her, Moore said. Each week built on the last and covered a considerable, but not excessive, amount of substantive material.
"You don't feel like you're getting busy work," said Moore, whose master’s degree is in organizational management with specializations in project management, organizational leadership, and human resources.
She appreciated the books for the course (she keeps her Agile manual within easy reach at her desk now) and the course’s instructional videos, and she said instructor Rachel Lamb was great at answering questions and providing feedback.
Moore also praised the course’s focus on teams not as a collection of discreet roles but on how to be a more effective team member, each contributing to accomplishing what’s needed, with an emphasis, of course, on generating value with results fit for purpose.
Moore, who lives in Indianapolis, is now an Agile facilitator for her company and has created an Agile “mind-shifting” mini-course that her organization uses internationally.
Writer: Greg Kline, Communications Manager at Purdue Online, 765-494-8167, firstname.lastname@example.org