[Review] – Mike Cohn’s eLearning Agile Videos

Online Agile Videos

Mike Cohn recently announced that he’s providing a kick butt online eLearning tool to learn all about Agile. I reached out to him to see what it’s all about and we kicked a few emails back and forth. Regardless, I went ahead and got my hands on it. That’s what AgileScout is here for: Do the heavy lifting for you :).

[Mountain Goat Software Online eLearning Agile Course] LINK

With so many Universities doing online learning these days, wouldn’t it be about time for Agile and Scrum Trainers to start offering online training tools? You’betcha. Who better to do it than Mike?

Here are my thoughts and experiences after a full 3.5 hours and taking all 9 of the tests:

Agile Topics Covered

  • Introduction
  • The Problem
  • Iteration Planning
  • Story Points & Ideal Days
  • Estimating the Product Backlog
  • Release Planning
  • Other Topics
  • Conclusion

I was captivated by the introduction video of a goat running around. Fantastic!

Review of Course Presentation

I couldn’t start this section without mentioning the quality of the videos. They are absolutely fantastic. We’re talking about:

  • A nice BIG video player @ 981 x 791 pixels
  • Professionally done transitions and video editing
  • Bright colors and contrast to each video
  • High-Def Resolution pictures and graphics
  • Plus a nice big view of the man himself at certain points

Review of Course Content

In terms of course content, the full narrative of the topics went smoothly from transition to transition. The course content outline was logical and there wasn’t any odd breaks from topic to topic. Mike spoke with clarity and conciseness (as expected) and it was very easy to understand exactly what he was talking about during each segment.

Each video is about 3-4 minutes long, with the longest being 8:40. This is nice because it breaks up the content into logical segments and enables you to watch at your own leisure, not feeling compelled to sit through 30 minute chunks at a time.

In my estimation, all the basics of Agile were covered (though a lot of the ideas are scrummy). It’s a healthy dive into Agile for noobs.

Review of Test Questions

Dude...

The test questions were solid… what I really mean is they were solidly from the content in the videos, almost word for word. What made some of the questions ‘tough’ were that there were extrapolations from what Mike said, and in turn, you had to put your thinking cap on to make sure you selected 3/4 of the options to get it right. Which is why on one of the tests I got 3/5 because I didn’t ‘choose’ all of the right choices (check box). Huh. It does hurt your ego a bit. What is super nice, though, is that when you get something wrong, you get hit with 2+ paragraphs on the correct answer and WHY. This is super helpful.

Another oddity around the questions was that in a couple sections, I found quiz questions that weren’t covered yet by what Mike had taught. For example: During the first planning eLearning section, I got a question on Sprint Planning, which isn’t covered until the next section. If you know anything about Agile, you’d still get it right… but it didn’t flow 100% with the content.

Maybe I’m just being picky…

AgileScout Bottom Line:

I Passed!

You have two purchase options:

  • [Streaming-only] License at $200 bones – *License expires after 6 months*
  • [Streaming + Download] at $300 bones – *My choice… cuz you get to keep the video*
  • These prices scale if you buy more licenses
This may just do the trick if you’re looking for an alternative to classroom training. Though, I would advise that you don’t go that route if you’re looking for a full experience. Agile, in my opinion is all about experiencing it. Gettin’ down and dirty into it. Understanding and seeing the team nuances and seeing the exercises and workshops and having those internal lightbulbs go off.

I would say, nothing beats hands-on training. But, if you don’t have that option, this might just be the next best resource.

For those that want a refresher, or those that want a quick introduction to Agile. This may just be your best bet. It isn’t cheap by the way, but do you have any other alternative?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time listening and watching Mike go at it. It was an enjoyable experience by and large. Thanks again Mike for putting together a top-notch professional video resource for the Agile community. Rock on!

So what do you think? Online Agile training for the win?

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Extra Course Details Below from Mountain Goat Software:
  • Based on the instructor’s years of teaching this course at locations worldwide, this eLearning course offers you all the benefits of in-person training but with the convenience of watching whenever and wherever you want, including on your iPad, iPhone or Android device.
  • All the important topics are covered–from iteration planning to release planning. You’ll learn about story points and ideal days and the advantages to each. You’ll leave knowing how to produce fixed-date, fixed-scope, and fixed-price plans you can be confident in as well as how to avoid anchoring and other common pitfalls. An ideal course for ScrumMasters, agile project managers, product owners, team leaders or anyone who needs to produce or understand a project plan.
  • After finishing the course, you will earn 4 PDUs that can be applied toward the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) or toward Scrum Alliance membership renewal.
  • Participants also earn valuable certificates of completion, which are available in a variety of sizes suitable for your personal website, resume or online profile. Certificates are also stored online within your profile at Mountain Goat Software and your page on our site can be used to showcase your participation in Mountain Goat Software’s online and in-person courses.

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[Have you made it this far down the blog post? Congrats. You get the easter eggs]

If you fail a quiz you get greeted by Mike Cohn’s version of a fail whale.

If you pass a quiz you get greeted by Mike Cohn’s resurrection Jesus goat.

2 Responses to “[Review] – Mike Cohn’s eLearning Agile Videos”

  1. Cindy T.
    February 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Wow I am glad I read to the bottom! Being a novice to the agile ways, I learned a lot just from this post. Good prices for the online training as well. Kudos!

    • peter
      February 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

      Hope it helps!

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