Agile Pain Point Solutions (APPS) Series

For years, the David J Anderson School of Management has had truly elegant solutions to the problems faced with Agile implementations, but they haven’t been easily accessible – buried inside our Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) 5-day training. Now, we are making these Agile Pain Point Solutions (APPS) available in easy to consume 1-day classes, specifically to address the problems and challenges our customers have been reporting to us for a decade. If you are a product owner, or involved in Agile planning for your organization, then the APPS series will give you the skills to be successful and to deliver true organizational agility.

Agile Pain Point Solutions (APPS) Series is collection of 1-day classes that cut straight to the challenges people have been reporting to us for over a decade. Offering simple, yet powerful answers, each class gives you new skills and insights with which to address an aspect of Agile adoption that is poorly addressed in conventional literature.

“As a business, we measure the wrong things and our culture isn’t suitable for Agile adoption, how can we fix it?”
“We struggle to write small, fine-grained requirements, can you help us get better at it?”
“Prioritization is painful, time-consuming and stressful. We have a huge backlog. Can you help us get better at prioritizing?”
“We struggle to scale Agile because of dependencies. How can we identify them earlier and manage our capacity better? Dependency management feels like ‘Big Planning Up-front’”
“We aren’t good at estimating; can you help us get better at it?”

Are these familiar problems to you? Do you find your Agile advisors lay the blame with you? If only you followed established guidance better, harder, with greater diligence and intensity, then all would be well? The answers to these challenges always seem to be more elaborate, detailed, intense, and frustrating – big expensive meetings, more and more collaborators to coordinate, more detail, more complicated equations, more-and-more time: it all feels like you are going backwards, further and further from true agility.

Five 1-day Courses

Instructor: David J Anderson

Learning objectives

  • Understand that all products or services have design, implementation and service delivery elements
  • Learn how to identify and describe the design, implementation and service delivery elements
  • Understand how to recognize and define or describe a customer purpose
  • Learn how to segment your market based on customer purpose and that individual customers can occupy multiple segments based on their context and specific purpose given their circumstances
  • Understand the two ways of learning your customers’ purposes: customer narrative relayed from frontline staff – “flying visually”; and using the F4P Card market research tool – “flying on instruments”
  • Understand the 4 types of metrics: Fitness Criteria (used to select your product or service in the market); general health indicators; improvement drivers and vanity metrics
  • Understand that only fitness criteria are key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Learn how to correctly classify metrics
  • Understand how to set objectives for each type of metric: fitness criteria have thresholds of acceptable performance and over serving; general health indicators have a range; improvement drivers have a target; while vanity metrics have an emotional need that may need addressed culturally and organizationally
  • Understand the 4 commonly recurring types of fitness criteria: Lead Time; Quality; Safety & Conformance; and Affordability
  • Recognize the 3 aspects of lead time (or time-to-market) as timeliness, predictability and duration, and learn how to describe them and when and how to recognize which is applicable
  • Understand the difference between functional and non-function requirements
  • Learn how to describe and specify requirements in a measurable fashion
  • Learn that price and affordability can be both an absolute independent variable, and a relative non-independent variable that changes with quality and lead time depending on the risks and purpose a customer has when consuming your product or service
  • Learn how to construct customer questionnaires to solicit customer purpose and fitness criteria and levels of satisfaction
  • Learn how to report F4P Card surveys using the Fitness Box Score method
  • Learn why a “Net Fitness Score” is not a desirable concept and should be avoided
  • Learn how to analyze survey results and understand whether individual segments are underserved, appropriately served and “fit”, or over served
  • Learn how to classify segments into desirable and undesirable and how to take actions to improve or switch off segments that are underserved
  • Learn and understand how segments can overlap and affect each other and how to avoid taking action for one segment that might damage adoption, sales or revenue in another segment
  • Understand how Fit for Purpose integrates together with Net Promoter Score, Jobs To Be Done, Balanced Scorecard, OKRs,  Goal-Directed Design/Personas

Who Should Attend?

This class is for executives and decision makers who set strategy and choose the portfolio of products and services offered. It is appropriate for anyone performing the following functions: strategic planning; strategic marketing; market research; product management; product design; service design; product ownership; and portfolio management.

This class is useful for anyone who wants to understand how to set metrics in order to drive appropriate, congruent, aligned behavior in an organization and for those who wish to drive product and service improvement.


There are no specific prerequisites for this class. It is recommended that attendees have a business background or a role in marketing, strategic planning or portfolio management. A business degree or formal qualification in business is not necessary but attendees with such a background may find the contrasts with familiar material to be either interest or challenging. Prior knowledge or experience with Net Promoter Score, Jobs to be Done, Balanced Scorecard, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) or Goal-Directed Design may also enhance the learning experience but is certainly not required.

Kanban University® Certification

Students will receive a certificate of completion recognizing participation in the class.

Class Materials

All students will receive a read only student edit of the classroom presentation file.