Agile for Executives

The 90-Minute Conversation

A personal and frank conversation with the founder of Agile


A rare opportunity for 12-16 executives to spend 90 minutes with Dr. Alistair Cockburn, the organizer and co-author of the Agile Manifesto. Dr. Cockburn is the pre-eminent expert in agile methodologies and project management.


Dr. Cockburn will address your pressing questions, discuss myths, hard truths, metrics and benefits of the agile approach.


Learn what to expect when agile works properly, and the cultural and leadership changes needed to get there. Set realistic expectations for the implementation of agile across the enterprise.

The Half-Day Workshop

An active and informative half-day briefing


Half a day in three parts:

  • Introductory talk to introduce themes and memes
  • Small-team activity to illustrate those
  • Round-table discussion to dig deeper


This workshop allows executives and senior managers to experience agile with their fellow execs, surface their specific topics and ask questions directly of one of the founders of the Agile movement.


The opening lecture catches everyone up on the original intention of the agile manifesto authors and the current state of the industry. Questions will allow participants to express their worries and hopes, and hear what should be expected.


The small-team activity allows the participants to experience some of the tension, excitement and rewards of working in an agile fashion. It anchors the ideas described.


The round-table discussion allows participants to revisit their questons, their worries, hopes and pose very specific questions local to their situation. It allows the participants to work together to propose ideas for their future.

The Full-Day Workshop

Deepening the discussion


An interactive workshop on agile development allowing executives and senior managers to ask questions directly of one of the founders of the agile movement.


The themes of the day are:

  • Myths, difficulties, truths, benefits
  • Improving collaboration
  • Deliver to learn versus deliver to earn
  • The secret of micro-improvements
  • Roundtable discussion applying the insights of the day.


Description of the day


This day is designed to make sure that problems and benefits are safely discussed and the latest techniques and insights are experienced, to give a full picture of true, and modern, agile development. Here are the key sections of the day:


Myths, Difficulties, Truths, Benefits


In this first section of the day, get first-hand access to one of the founders of the Agile movement, to get truths sorted from myths, and the difficulties frankly expressed along with the benefits. No-holds barred, all objections are addressed honestly, as a way to set up for what are realistic expectations for implementing agile across the organization.


Improving Collaboration


Collaboration is the magic dust of an organization: as collaboration improves, everything improves; as collaboration gets worse, everything gets worse. In the section we jointly examine the "movement of ideas between minds." Is it attitude or is it the mechanics? "Collaboration cards" are introduced to show ways to improve collaboration on a minute-by-minute level.


The Secret of Micro-Improvements


Asking people to make big changes is risky. Celebrating small improvements is both fun and effective. Based on lessons in recent psychology, we examine and practice three strategies for obtaining micro-improvements. The techniques shown in this section are perfectly general, and apply both to private life and to corporate goals.


Deliver to Learn versus Deliver to Earn


Slice each initiative thinly, grow results in stages. Get early feedback to maximize results, plus early return on investment. We use a simple business problem to illustrate both why early feedback and "pivot" moments are so important for achieving success, and also how staged delivery produces self-funding projects earlier. Essential math for every executive.


Closing Roundtable


Finally, recenter yourself as to what to expect from agile development, what is essential for success and what is just decorative commercialism. Identify an ally for your own preferred topic of focus, to work with in the upcoming weeks and months. Ask more questions of Dr. Cockburn, drawing on his thirty years of experience with these topics. Close with your personal insights from the day.

Course Properties


Executives and Senior Managers


90 Minutes, Half day, or Full day

In-person or Remote:

In-person or Remote


English, Español, Français

Who should attend:

Executives and senior managers who want to learn how it is when agile works properly, ask pointed questions directly to one of the creators of the movement.


The event is strictly sized at 15 people maximum to give the particpants the proper attention they deserve. 6-9 people is an ideal number to heighten the discussion.


None for the 90-minute conversation,

Heart of Agile Level A Certificate for the half- and full-day workshops

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