Agile for Non-Profits Getting started

Agile is a teamwork and project management philosophy focused on continuous learning, adaptation and improvement. It began in the geeky world of tech and software development, but has since spread to Fortune 500 companiessocial enterprisesgovernment and non-profit management circles (though mostly as a buzzword that’s often talked about, but seldom actually practised).

Why agile for non-profits? Because a handful of proven agile techniques (like running great team retrospectives) can offer the biggest return on team productivity and happiness with the least effort. It’s like a set of small yoga adjustments that can help your team run more smoothly, especially around:

  • surfacing small improvements quickly
  • stronger co-ordination and prioritizing
  • greater clarity and alignment around shared goals
  • reducing email and meetings
  • boosting engagement, team health and momentum
  • + other potential benefits.

This page focuses on the easiest way for non-profits to get started with their first Agile Training and Working Session. There’s much more background on what agile is all about here, including articles from the Harvard Business ReviewStanford Social Innovation Review and others.

What’s the easiest way to get started?

It’s easy to begin with a facilitated 90-minute introductory hands-on session for your team — beginning with a quick overview of “Agile for Non-Profits” best practises, followed by a fun and practical team-building exercise that generates ideas and discussion quickly. (Here’s a sample agenda.) 

Why?

The goal: explore some simple ideas for strengthening your teamwork together. Surface what’s most relevant to your team right now, then consider a few agile tools and strategies as potential solutions.

How?

Through an introductory session facilitated by Matt Thompson, an agile trainer, writer and former Senior Director at the Mozilla Foundation. He’ll share a quick overview of “agile for non-profits” best practises, walk you through your first team retrospective, and facilitate the group discussion.

When & Where?

This session takes 90 minutes. It takes place via online videoconference, and uses a simple online tool for sharing notes. You don’t need to do anything to prepare. (All participants will need a laptop — though we won’t spend the entire time using it.)

What will your team come away with? 

  • An overview of agile planning and execution for non-profits. With an emphasis on how team retrospectives can boost happiness and results.
  • A simple tool and team process you might decide to keep using.
  • Some interesting research and best practises. Around the recurring patterns of high-performing teams.

Book it

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