Last month, when DLE scholarships to a virtual Business Agility training program were announced, Sheryl Owen and Bryce DeVaughn quickly seized the opportunity.
The DLE duo are at different stages of their entrepreneurial adventures. Sheryl, a global sustainability expert in New York City, has plans to start a business this year, while Bryce co-founded a software venture two years ago called RiftPay, based in Dallas, Texas. Now, just a few weeks into their training program, they share a vibrant enthusiasm for learning and applying the dynamics of Business Agility for business success.
Notes Sheryl, “I was looking for a strategy to get my first client. Since starting this program, I have been doing a lot of market testing and changed my approach to the problem I am trying to solve. This program has helped me focus on the small steps that I needed to reach my first goal.”
Adds Bryce, “Before, I thought this program would be a general course of some sort to guide me on Agile and Scrum principles. But the way Simon is hands-on is very cool and surprising! We have learned a lot already from the way he has broken down what we were doing and provided us with a way to do it better!”
Simon, whom Bryce references, is Simon Holzapfel, Co-Founder of Teal Education Partners and Exec. Dir./Founder of Copper Beech Co. He serves on the Executive Board of Boston University’s Agile Innovation Lab, which coordinated the exclusive DLE scholarship offer.
Both Sheryl and Bryce have adjusted their work schedules to accommodate weekly, one-on-one Agile classes with Simon and individual study time. Bryce has invited Simon to sit in on business discussions and provide counsel on them.
They are actively using new work tools, like a Miro Board, which helps Sheryl keep track of all the business ideas and organizational tools for her startup and share her progress with Simon. “Each week, we walk through the work completed; if anything is unclear, Simon asks me to clarify what I mean and to adjust how it is communicated to potential clients,” she explains.
For Bryce, gaining proficiency of the new Azure DevOps process has improved how he is managing tasks for projects and products. He notes, “We have started to implement a better way of describing the work we do and attaching a value to each piece of work to better understand how long or how hard it is and if it is something to be done now or later.”
The Business Agility program runs through April 30. The program was developed by Soil of Commerce—a learning organization co-hosted by the Berkshire Innovation Center and Teal Education Partners, an agile consultancy based in Williamstown, MA.
The DLE Start Kit, specially designed by Simon, is a 60-day, self-paced program featuring a coach-supported introduction for learners and doers who want to learn how to practice business agility by learning the foundational tools, patterns and mindset of Agile to enhance their leadership practices.