Lean-Agile at Mid-Scale: FLEX Essentials introduces FLow for Enterprise Transformation (FLEX) applied to the mid-scale. By the end of the course, students will have learned collaboratively and deeply the essential aspects of this principles-based approach to mid-scale transformations.

FLEX is not a packaged solution. Rather, it is a way of achieving transformation by looking at the dynamics in the organization, the challenges being faced, and the intentions to removing blockages. It offers a collection of practices that will assist with achieving those intentions. By looking at the patterns of challenge and success, you can create a step-wise, tailored approach for transformation in your organization. 

The goal of FLEX is business agility: the ability to realize value quickly, sustainably, predictably and with high value. It enables you to pivot efficiently based on what you are learning as well as what the marketplace is doing.

Each section in the course focuses on one aspect of FLEX. There are a set of readings and videos that cover the topic. Then there is an assignment that helps students learn by doing something with their associates. Students discuss what they have learned with other students in the course and with Net Objectives consultants. 

By the end of the course, students will have learned collaboratively and deeply the essential aspects of this principles-based approach to mid-scale transformation. 

For more information, see the FLEX Essentials course description

A complete learning environment to help you succeed in a Lean-Agile transformation

  • Expand your understanding

    Skills, behaviors, understanding, continuous improvement, and collaboration skills

  • Discussions

    Discussions with fellow students and instructors to compare ideas and share insights

  • Learn by doing

    Each week, an assignment helps you learn by trying a specific exercise within your own context.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Getting Started

  • 2

    Understanding Your Situation

    • Introduction
    • Introducing FLEX
    • Systems Thinking with Russ Ackoff
    • Flow: The Three Oiled Wheel Demonstration
    • Create Visibility
    • Understanding Your Situation: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 3

    Going from Concept to Realization

    • Introduction FREE PREVIEW
    • Business Agility
    • An Introduction to Minimum Business Increments
    • Value Stream Mapping
    • Value Stream Mapping: Getting to Root Cause
    • Sometimes, Agile Pilots Can Hurt a Transition
    • Going from Concept to Realization: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 4

    Transformation and Visibility of Work​

    • Introduction FREE PREVIEW
    • Guardrails
    • Visual Controls
    • Value Stream Impedance Scorecard
    • Mapping a Value Stream to a Kanban Board
    • Visibility of Work: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 5

    Starting with FLEX

    • Introduction
    • Starting with FLEX (Video)
    • Starting with FLEX: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 6

    For Whom Are You Creating Value?

    • Introduction FREE PREVIEW
    • The Agile Manifesto helped... but it's time to move on
    • Multiple Value Streams and Business Agility
    • For Whom Are You Creating Value: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 7

    Managing WIP

  • 8

    Sequencing MBIs

    • Introduction
    • Why Sequencing Work is Better than Prioritizing Work
    • Determining the order for working on MBIs (Video and Exercise)
    • Using the Bigger Context to Make Local Decisions
  • 9

    Aligning Teams and Helpful Roles

    • Introduction
    • The Art of Action: Why there is resistance (Book Summary)
    • Business Capabilities and Business Offerings: A business architecture perspective
    • Alignment and Defining What to Invest In
    • The Tactical Level: Dependency Mapping
    • Helpful Roles for Alignment: The ADM and TDM
    • Aligning Teams and Required Roles: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 10

    Using Test-First Thinking to Obtain Clear Requirements

    • Introduction
    • The Differences Between BDD, ATDD, and TDD
    • The Need to Improve Clarity of a Requirement
    • The Benefits of BDD
    • How to Start with BDD
    • The Cost-to-Benefit Ratio of BDD
    • Using Test-First Thinking to Obtain Clear Requirements (Homework and Discussion)
  • 11

    An Introduction to Team Agility

    • Introduction
    • The Dynamics of Team Agility
    • Team Agility: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 12

    Improving the Ecosystem: The People Side

    • Introduction
    • Focus on the Ecosystem
    • Growing People
    • Hope and Leadership
    • Approaches to Change
    • Improving the Ecosystem (The People Side): Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 13

    Improving the Ecosystem: The Structural / Technological Side

    • Introduction
    • The Nature of Resistance to Change
    • Gauging Change: Thinking Again Guided by the VSI Scorecard
    • Case Studies
    • Improving the Ecosystem (Structural / Technological Side): Assignment (Homework and Discussion
  • 14

    Shared Services and DevOps

    • Introduction
    • Review Your Understanding of the Value Stream
    • Thinking of a Kanban Board as a Value Stream Map
    • Including Shared Services and DevOps on a Kanban Board
    • Shared Services and DevOps: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)
  • 15

    Adapting FLEX to SAFe

    • Introduction
    • Managing for the Flow of Value
    • Seeing the Impact of a New Feature
    • Planning Events
    • ATDD to focus collaboration
    • Right-Sized Trains
    • Consistency Across Teams and Self-Organization
    • Scorecards for Transformation
    • Initial Team Training with ATDD
    • Adapting FLEX to SAFe: Assignment (Homework and Discussion)

Pricing options

Special pricing for groups of 10: Only $2000

Take a test drive

Try the sample lessons. Then enroll in the course to deepen your knowledge of transformation


Al Shalloway

CEO and Founder

Al Shalloway

Al  Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With over 40 years  of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product  portfolio management,  SAFe, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and  Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas. Al is a SAFe Program Consultant. He was the co-founder of Lean Kanban  University and the Lean Systems Society of which he is a former board  member. Al has developed training and coaching methods for Lean-Agile  that have helped Net Objectives' clients achieve long-term, sustainable  productivity gains. He is a popular speaker at prestigious conferences  worldwide. Al is the primary author of Design Patterns Explained, Essential Skills for the Agile Developer, Lean-Agile Software Development, the Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams, and The Leanban Primer. Al has worked in dozens of industries over his career. He has a  Masters in Computer Science from M.I.T. and a Masters in Mathematics  from Emory University.

Bonus material

Here is some free stuff you get with this course.

  • Free LinkedIn certification

    Showcase your achievement with certification linked to your personal LinkedIn account.

  • Premium content

    Get access to the Premium Content section of the Net Objectives portal including templates, discussion forums, and special articles.

What else you need to know

  • All courses taught by industry thought leaders and published authors.

  • Learn at your own pace.

  • Learn by doing in your own context.

  • Share ideas and insights with fellow students

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