Liftoff Training

Liftoff Agile Team Training with Diana Larsen and Michigan Technology Services

An Agile Workshop Created by the Co-author of Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams

Michigan Technology Services offers instructor-led Liftoff training, as well as other Agile and Scrum courses, through a partnership with Diana Larsen.

In a pre-Covid world our training would take place at our location in the Farmington Hills/Novi area, 20 miles outside of Detroit, or at your location anywhere around the world. Our Agile workshops and Agile coaching sessions are now offered online/virtually, reducing your need to travel.

While many educators fly into metro Detroit to deliver Scrum and Agile classes at a hotel, and then leave, our core group of trainers and coaches live here and support the local Agile community. We continue to sponsor regional Agile conferences and meetups. We have successfully run Agile Leadership, ScrumMaster and Product Owner courses for multiple teams from globally recognized organizations.

What is the Liftoff Training?

For millennia humans have watched birds, bats, and butterflies soaring. We longed for the weightlessness of flight. Yet, we stayed earthbound. Eventually, we learned about the effects of gravity how to overcome them. Now we defy gravity with a rocket liftoff at the start. Rockets give humans the force to overcome gravitational pull and boost ourselves skyward.

At the beginning of a team-based effort, weights keep team members earthbound. Lacking a clear, common purpose adds weight. Unclear communication channels and expectations add weight. Undefined working relationships and lack of trust add weight. Many other areas of ambiguity add to the team’s burden. How can they overcome this gravitational pull? How can they become “weightless” and produce success?

All kinds of knowledge work teams need that initial boost — a liftoff. A liftoff creates a force that overrides inertia. It dispels the burden. It creates the force that moves a team on the trajectory to successful high value delivery. During a Liftoff everyone associated with the product (or service) vision comes together. Through a Liftoff, formal and informal leaders inform, inspire, and align their teams. It’s an unexplored, often ignored, yet critical, Agile practice.

About this virtual Workshop

In this interactive workshop, Diana Larsen describes ways you can Liftoff your team. We’ll examine the essential elements of team chartering. We’ll share stories of launching real-life teams and create a plan for your team’s next Liftoff.

Diana co-authored Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams as well as Agile Retrospectives:Making Good Teams Great and other contributions to Agile thought.

Who Is This Workshop For?

Engineering and Product Management Leaders, including managers, product owners, coaches, scrum masters, team leads.

Minimum Requirements

This is not an introductory course on Agile concepts, Agile frameworks, or Agile Scaling frameworks. Participants should have some experience and/or training on foundational Agile concepts such as the Agile Manifesto, Agile Values and Principles, and implementation frameworks applicable to their organization (Scrum, SAFe, Kanban, etc,).

While it is not required to have any specific certifications, such as CSM, CSPO, or PSM I, attending a foundational course and having some experience with leading, guiding, or participating in Agile teams is recommended.

Workshop Outline (subject to change)

Day 1 (four hours):

Welcome, Opening & Introductions

The Why: Team Cohesion & High Value Delivery

Conditions for Success

Planning a Liftoff, pt 1

The Essential: Team Chartering

Start with Purpose: product vision, team mission, mission tests

Day 1 Next Steps + Q&A

Day 2 (four hours)

Opening & Day 1 Review

Focus on Alignment: simple rules, core members, working agreements

Discover Context: boundaries, resources, prospection

Living Liftoff

Day 2 Next Steps, Wrap Up + Q&A

Day 3

You (or your team) will also enjoy a private executive coaching session with Diana to review your Liftoff plan for your team.  The goal is to ensure that your specific needs are addressed and that confidential questions are answered.

Texts (recommended for purchase)

Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams, second edition by Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies

The Art of Agile Development, second edition by James Shore, with DianaLarsen, et al

Five Rules for Accelerated Learning by Willem Larsen and Diana Larsen

Diana Larsen will teach this workshop. In 2015 Diana Larsen co-founded Agile Fluency® Project* where she serves as Chief Connector and a principal coach, consultant, and mentor. AFP provides training, mentoring, and support for agile coaches, consultants, and leaders, Through the Agile Fluency Project’s programs, Diana shares the wisdom she’s gained in over 30 years of working with leaders, teams, and organizations.

Through her books, talks, and work with corporate clients, Diana has contributed to both foundations and extensions of Agile thought. Diana co-authored the books Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; and Five Rules for Accelerated Learning. Most recently she co-authored and offers a free eBook, The Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile, available on the website.

*Agile Fluency is a registered trademark of Agile Fluency Project. LLC

Additional Benefits of taking our Liftoff course

Participants are eligible for Scrum Educational and Professional Development Units


Dates for our next workshop will be in announced soon. 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST over 2 days, plus a follow-up session to be individually scheduled. The regular course fee is $ 795/student, but early enrollment will be $ 645/student.

Want a Liftoff workshop for your team? Anywhere in the world….

Private classes for groups are available upon request. Call 248-489-0408 for details.

Student Successes

Programs and Certifications