Agile Thinking for Students

Next week I’ll be starting a new university class on “Project Management”, I teach besides my day job and besides lectures on “Software Architecture and Design”, which I do for the winter term. Students are mainly technicians with different focus points, either pure informatics, geo or even business informatics. Part of the given scope is, that students have an option at the end of the lecture to do an IPMA level D certification. Well, what else? …

Having the chance to work with students is a pleasure. Most of them are already into business or run some business on their own besides their studies.  Today’s students will drive our work environments tomorrow. Now talking about project management its a great opportunity for me to introduce more than just the same old stuff.

So I will not only take the chance to provide them a big picture about a project as a potentially complex system. I will also introduce additional topics derived from my own job and experience, hopefully making them think the agile way. We will encounter for example …

    • The history of management innovation – from good old Taylor, Ford to complexity and new types of organizations, systems, tribes, those making a difference.
    • The idea of Agility and Lean thinking in knowledge work, referring to values and process models like Scrum and potentials of continuous improvement like one may to elevate with  Kanban.
    • Considering stakeholders by means of Personas and Storytelling
    • Elaborating compelling objectives by means of Design Thinking and Impact Mapping
    • The Lean Startup with its validated learning approach
    • Leadership aspects (respectively the “Management 3.0″ concept), which should help getting things really moving

Of course lessons will not only be one-way directed. It will be supplied with lots of exercises, group work, as good as it gets even a “training from the back of the room” style. And yes, I will introduce a happiness door and make direct and ongoing feedback a normal part of the lecture over the course of the semester.

Looking forward, interested about feedback and curious how important certification will be at the end of the semester to those students. Because for me teaching is more like learning about those you work with, how they react to input and what they make out of it.

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