Lean is a mindset that challenges us to look for ways to deliver value to our guest at faster speeds, with lower cost and better quality. Lean thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies, assets, and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers. All activities that do not add value are considered waste.

Agile originated with the Agile Manifesto, a document that outlines the values and principles of Agile Software Development. While Agile has it's roots in Software Development, Target has started applying the same values and principals to non-software work.

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Lean/Agile Offerings

Agile101 Training

During your transformational journey, you may identify a need to inform many people about why you are going to Agile and what it means, but putting them through a formal 2-day training can be overkill. For those that need to understand the high-level concepts without diving deep into the practices themselves, will find our Agile101 training to be a great alternative.

In addition to covering Agile, this training can also touch on the high-level principles and concepts of Product and DevOps if desired.

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The Target Journey

Over the last 5+ years, Target has gone through some massive changes, starting within IT and now throughout the entire organization. This story is an amazing one of grassroots efforts, leadership change, and complete shifts in mindsets.

The talk starts with covering where Target started and the reasons why we needed to change, followed by some of the tools and mindset that were foundational to the change. We also cover how we have and continue to measure success as well as the need for leadership and organizational support to allow for this change to take place. Finally, we wrap up with where we see our journey continuing and advice to others who are starting in their own journey.

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Agile Leadership Training

Most leaders have gone through leadership classes, but what does it mean to be an Agile leader? Is the leadership style you have in your organization going to get you the same results in an Agile environment? In our experience, leadership is one of the hardest and most important areas to transition to an Agile Mindset. Without Agile leadership, the journey can become very rough or stall out.

In addition to providing leaders with an understanding of Agile, the training provides clarity on what it means to lead an Agile team and how to lead through change.

This training provides a high-level introduction to Product and DevOps, but can go into more depth if requested.

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Save the World, Save Your Team

'Can you save humanity? You and your team are the only things standing in the way of deadly diseases that threaten the world. The fate of humanity is in your hands.'- description of 'Pandemic' from Z-Man Games

Game on! But can a game really teach me something about being Agile? How can a board game save my team?

In this interactive workshop, we'll explore how cooperative board gaming relates to the work of Agile teams. We'll dive head-first into the Agile nature of 'Pandemic' through gameplay in small groups and then retrospect to identify similarities and differences between cooperative board gaming and Agile team behaviors. We'll discover how the patterns observed during gameplay can be used to help identify possible dysfunction within your team. You will leave this session with the ability to use cooperative board gaming with your own teams to inspire new ways of thinking, shift mindsets, and increase team engagement.

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The Dojo - Implementing Immersive Learning Environment for Teams

Has your standard classroom curriculum provided the improvements you're seeking for your teams?

Based on the philosophy of Japanese places of learning, a Dojo - which literally means 'place of the way' - is a physical training facility for practitioners of martial arts. Throughout the centuries, these immersive learning environments have instilled the disciplines and skills for students to master their craft. The Target Dojo provides a similar immersive learning environment for teams to practice basic kata (actions) related to Product, Lean, Agile and DevOps practices and mindsets via Challenges, where Agile and Technical coaches work with teams to help them learn and refine their craft in a dedicated space.

In this presentation, we’ll share with you why Target pursued creating a Dojo for Product, Lean, Agile and DevOps learning, how it evolved over its 3.5 years, the outcomes and success that teams take back with them, and the behavior changes this learning style has impressed on the culture of our organization. We will also talk through the mechanics, physical environment, coaching investment, process, and other tactics of implementing a Dojo in your company.

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Agile Team Training

Quickly getting teams started on the Agile journey is important in any transformation but conveying a whole new mindset and helping people get started on changing their behaviors is no simple task. Agile Team Training is meant to get teams up to speed on operating as an Agile team and thinking in a new way about how they operate.

Teams go through the class together so that they are able to discuss and decide how they are going to transition to an Agile way of working that they can start now. This is a collaboration between everyone on the team (product owner, scrum master, developers, user experience, etc.) so they come to an understanding, hear the same message, and are able to hit the ground running.

This training provides a high-level introduction to Product and DevOps, but can go into more depth if requested.

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May I Help You Find Something - A Journey of Enterprise Business Agility
Are you ready for your Enterprise Agility journey? Let’s take a look! Becoming Agile and getting to Enterprise Agility is a journey of incremental progress where, as with other journeys, you’ll explore, discover, experiment, and learn - at your own pace and in a way that's right for your Enterprise.

In this presentation, we’ll travel together through journeys taken by Target Marketing business teams that are becoming Agile. We’ll join them as they progress from Team and Product Agility into Strategic Agility and enter into Enterprise Agility as we envision it. We’ll see teams operating in various frameworks including Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban (hybrid), and experimental groups forming practice squads and guilds to deliver what’s new and next for Target Guests.

Anchoring to the Agile Values and Principles, these teams are developing empathetic, trusting, and collaborative relationships within their teams and across organizational pyramids. We'll see how delivering valuable outcomes early, often, and beyond expectations helps drive engagement with Executive Leadership. And we'll share some of the signals that indicate that your Enterprise is advancing toward Business Agility such as our Coach-in-Training experiment that enables teams to continue along their learning journey once they've skilled up in our internal immersive learning environment.

Being a leader in an industry means having trend-setting strategies, leadership and products that adapt to change, and making guest-centric decisions. Today’s industry leaders must be agile – ultimately across their Enterprise. Tom Diedrich and Chris Diller, Lead Agile Coaches at Target, will share stories of Marketing teams’ journeys and outline an ongoing approach in pursuit of Enterprise Business Agility at a large corporation.
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Target's Journey from Project to Product Funding
Going from a project-based organization to a product-based organization is not an easy task. It requires your whole organization to change how they think about prioritization, work definition, organizational structures, and, of course, funding. Target moved its IT organization to product-based several years ago, and has seen some great success.

This presentation will give you an overview of how Target moved to a product-based organization, and dive deeper into the funding model behind it. You will learn the motivators behind going to product, how Target figures out what products to start, stop, or continue to invest in, as well as the benefits and learnings so far. Be sure to bring your questions as there will be opportunities for Q&A.
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Greasing the Gears – Calibrating for Enterprise Business Agility
Unleashing Enterprise Business Agility (EBA) requires routine maintenance and long-term investments in areas such as architecture and product management; combined with ongoing investment in coaching and training of lean-agile principles to empowered teams.

We will share stories behind Target’s journey and what it takes to grease the gears for Enterprise Business Agility at a large corporation, such as tuning Team Agility, Product Agility, Strategic Agility, and Operational Agility.
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Experiment Gone Right! (TDD Mobbing Workshop)

Imagine the ideal solution - sleek, intuitive, maintainable. Imagine the model team - cross-functional, customer focused, value driven. Now add a dose of reality. Deadlines are looming, shared understanding is deprioritized, distractions are rampant, corners are cut, maximize output (not outcomes) is emphasized. How are you suppose to continuously improve towards either of those visions, let alone both? In short, it's a journey, and you need to figure out a way to take that first step.

The Target Dojo (immersive learning environment) has harnessed the power of test-driven development (TDD) and mob programming (mobbing) into a journey jump-starting workshop. The workshop promotes the mindset behind the practices, prioritizes practical application using a team's work vs. static examples/exercises, and reinforces frequent, quality deliverables and stable, high-performing teams as the backbone to a healthy product.

This session will cover the following:

  • How we engage and obtain buy-in from the entire team (developers, product owners, scrum masters, and leaders) to try TDD and mobbing
  • An overview of the experimentation we did with the workshop and its format (over a year of inspecting, iterating, and improving)
  • Details and approach of the workshop (consultation meeting, prep activities, metrics, agenda, facilitation techniques, etc.)
  • The ongoing grassroots (e.g. Product Management Community of Practice) and leader (e.g. Leader Chats) mechanisms to generate continued interest and support
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Bring your coach(es) into Target to be immersed with our coaching staff in the daily operations and coaching of teams in Target’s Dojo. The engagement includes dedicated time with our coaches, observing our coaches in the Dojo, talking to leaders throughout the company. A variety of topics can be tailored to the specific struggles your company may have.

We recommend shadowing with our team prior to setting up an immersive learning experience or starting coaching in your organization, so that your coaching team can be better prepared to lead at your organization right from the start.

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Dojo to Go

Trying to sell your leadership on setting up a full immersive learning experience can be a hard sell. Rather than trying to convince them, show them how much it can help. Let us bring our Dojo to you and have an experience like none other. Target coaches will come to you and provide you with the Dojo experience right at your location for one of your teams.

Dojo to Go will not only show your leadership how great an immersive learning experience can be, but it will also give your coaches an opportunity to observe how to facilitate an experience while giving one team an experience of a lifetime.

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On-Site Coaching

Visiting Target's location and shadowing coaches is a great way to learn, but sometimes you need a little extra help back in your space to implement what you learn, or you need a new and different perspective for some of your current activities. Whether it is attempting to skill up your coaches, coaching teams, working with leadership, or a variety of other activities, our coaches can assist you with your coaching needs.

Having one or more of Target's experienced coaches available on-site can be rewarding experience for all those involved. Every coaching experience is different and can be customized to your specific requests.

In alignment with our overall philosophy, we typically limit these engagements to about 2 consecutive weeks or less. The reason for this is that we believe in building self-sustaining organizations versus relying on our coaches. During the on-site coaching, we will skill up your coaches, leaders, etc. to handle future coaching needs within your own organization.

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Coaching Q&A

So, you already have coaching set up or are thinking of starting a team of coaches, but you have questions about where to start, what works or doesn't work at a large organization, and a million other questions. How do you get pointed in the right direction? Instead of jumping into a big engagement, what if you could talk to people who have gone through what you are going through now, and get some answers to those questions?

Coaching Q&A is meant to help you through those questions. When you have questions, simply let us know and we will connect you with coaches, leaders, experts within Target to answer your questions. Whether it is Product, Agile, Software Engineering, Architecture, Role Definition, organizational hierarchy & structure, or a slew of other topics, get connected with people who can share their experiences from their journeys and help get you pointed in the right direction.

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