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When Mike McCalla, President, and Founder of Lean Agile Intelligence was looking for feedback on some ideas he had around enterprise agile transformation, he posted his thoughts on LinkedIn and asked if he was oversimplifying what he had started referring to as Object-Oriented Data-Driven Change. One great thing about agile folks who spend time on …
 
This interview was originally recorded in video. You can find the video here: https://youtu.be/FGCiOhXYqwMIn April 2014, Derek Huether started leading a monthly Lean Coffee meeting for Agile Baltimore. Early in 2022, the group will hold its 100th Lean Coffee! In celebration of that, Derek joined me for an interview all about Lean Coffee - what is i…
 
Change is difficult. Figuring out what to change is often the hardest part. Whether you are looking for different outcomes within your organization, or you are simply trying to create a change in how you live your life, one of the first steps you need to take is to determine what it is you actually need to change to see different results.Braden Cun…
 
In this episode of the podcast Sustained Agility’s Eric Tucker, CST, joins Dave to talk about common sense and Agile. When it comes to adopting Agile practices and frameworks like Scrum, there are missteps people and organizations make that could be easily avoided if they would just use common sense. Eric has put together a talk highlighting some o…
 
Assumptions are often the Achilles heel of any development effort. These are the things we’ve unintentionally decided are true and unfortunately, far too often, our assumptions are wrong. If you’ve based the success of the work you are doing on incorrect assumptions… VERYBADTHINGS.But, if they are things we’ve unintentionally decided are true? How …
 
In this episode of the podcast, Agile Coach Dan Eberle is back to help me respond to a student question that is complicated, confusing, and more common than it should be…Ivan (not the person’s real name) explained the situation like this… Six Product Owners/Developers oversee 20 reports within the org. Each of the reports has a specialized role. Th…
 
In June of 2020, I posted an interview with Karim Harbott about his Business Agility Canvas. During the interview, he mentioned that he was working on a book, The 6 Enablers of Business Agility: How to Thrive in an Uncertain World. The book was released earlier this year and I recently started reading it. Karim does an excellent job of breaking dow…
 
Adam Weisbart is back and this time we’re taking on a tragically common problem. Teams who do not have clarity on how the organization defines value. This can happen for a variety of reasons. In some organizations it is simply an oversight… management has achieved clarity and alignment around what is valuable to the organization, but they have not …
 
Before the pandemic hit, one of my favorite parts of the summer was going to the Agile Conference and doing podcast interviews with the speakers and thought leaders who were there. Each year, one of the very best moments of each Agile Conference was when I would get to sit down and talk with Troy Magennis. It’s been two summers. I miss talking to T…
 
In a class recently, a student asked a question that caught me by surprise. He asked if Scrum Master was a necessary role. If the team was fully engaged in approaching the work with an Agile mindset, inspecting, and adapting from one Sprint to the next both with respect to the deliverable AND the way they work together, AND they were self-organizin…
 
This podcast is also available in video form. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/0-Mha3nv6G4The Responsibility Process is a system that provides you with tools that enable you to develop leadership skills by leading yourself first. Christopher Avery is now offering a 20-week Responsibility Immersion program where a small group of individuals wi…
 
In preparation for transforming the organization to Agile (or implementing some other significant organizational change), many companies will engage a third party to first assess how they are currently working, what the change would entail, and then they make recommendations on how to go about it. This can take anywhere from a few months to a few y…
 
In this episode of the podcast Colleen Johnson, CEO of ProKanban joins me to talk all about ProKanban. During the interview we cover how this new organization came about, the ProKanban Guide, the community they have been fostering, and ProKanban Certification. If you aren’t familiar with Kanban, it is another approach to getting work done that fits…
 
When your organization is getting started with Agile Transformation, one of the more challenging questions is how to track progress. For organizations that are accustomed to measuring things, it is easy to get lost in the swamp of distracting metrics that are interesting, but not particularly helpful, as opposed to ones that provide your organizati…
 
This week my guest is Scott Ambler. Scott is the Vice President and Chief Scientist of Disciplined Agile at the Project Management Institute. He’s is also the co-founder of Disciplined Agile (DA), the creator of the Agile Modeling method and Agile Data methods, and he is the author of a number of books that focus on software development and Agile. …
 
Changing behavior is never easy. Whether you are talking about changing a habit at an individual level, or organizationally, there is going to be a struggle and it is easy to get lost in the language of loss… I won’t eat dessert tonight. We won’t over-commit this Sprint.Committing yourself to introduce a new behavior that is a change from your norm…
 
How do I create change in my organization when I don’t have the authority to make it happen?Whether you are trying to kick off an Agile Transformation or introduce some other type of change that will impact your organization beyond your team and/or pay grade, creating change when you don’t feel empowered to do so is not an easy thing. My colleague …
 
In November of 2020, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland released an update to the Scrum Guide. One of the changes they introduced was the Product Goal. This is a change which, to me, seemed like a brilliant way to keep the Product Backlog focused on achieving a measurable outcome, but at the same time, it seemed at odds with how I had come to think a…
 
Sanjiv Augustine took a break from putting the finishing touches on his new book From PMO to VMO: Managing for Value Delivery to join me for an interview about Value Management Offices. “A Value Management Office is a cross-functional, cross-hierarchy and cross-silo team of teams.” This is a group with representation from across the organization. I…
 
TLDR - My podcast interview with Scrum.org CEO Dave West on the Product Goal - what is it, how do I work with it.In November 2020 Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber introduced a new version of the Scrum Guide. There are a number of changes they introduced to Scrum in the update, including the topic of Product Goal. Here is what the Scrum Guide says a…
 
From 2019 to 2021 Melissa Boggs served as Co-CEO and Chief ScrumMaster for the Scrum Alliance. Earlier this year she stepped down from her Chief SM role and took on the position of Vice President of Business Agility at Sauce Labs. AFAIK, Melissa was the Chief ScrumMaster ever so I wanted to check in with her and see what she learned during her time…
 
This episode features an interview with Dan Eberle. Dan is an Agile Coach, working at the New York Times and leading a few Agile-centric communities of practice. I recently attended a presentation Dan gave on Agile Coaching as part of Access Agile's Agile 20Reflect Festival (https://agile20reflect.org). Dan hit on some very impactful topics during …
 
If you’ve been working as a coach or a consultant for any length of time you have run into situations where you have to make a decision about what the “right” thing to do actually is. Sometimes, it is pretty obvious, sometimes, not so much. Some professional organizations have established standards that credentialed professionals promise to adhere …
 
(You can find a video version of this interview here: https://youtu.be/MReNazZPvCc)Derek Huether is back to talk about his new book “Metrics Cookbook”. Organizations love collecting metrics and creating reports. Some of those metrics are critical to understanding what is happening in the organization, but a lot of them are not critical and waste a …
 
This interview was originally recorded in July 2013 and posted to Projects at Work. The original blog post and posting of the recording were lost when P@W became part of Project Management.com.BUT Johanna is brilliant and I learn a ton from her every time we talk. Also, Personal Kanban is REALLY important. So I found the original post and am repost…
 
This is a completely unique version of the podcast. For the first time since 2008, I’m giving up control of the show and in this episode, Adam Weisbart interviews me about the session I’ll be leading at the Agile Virtual Summit [Bite-Size!], some of the changes in the new Scrum Guide, and iocane powder.The Agile Virtual Summit [Bite-Size!] takes pl…
 
The Scrum Guide got an update last November and one of the concepts introduced was the Product Goal. The Scrum Guide says:“The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The Product Goal is in the Product Backlog. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will …
 
Christine Converse and Ross Beurmann are back and this time we’re picking up the thread from something that came up during our previous interview. The title of the episode is Resistance to Change and the conversation centers around the problems we face when trying to create change within a team or organization. More specifically, we talk about how …
 
If you'd prefer to watch the video version of this interview you can find it here: https://vimeo.com/517256016Mark Hodgdon is Product and Project Manager at Aspirent, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm focusing on Data Analytics, Cloud Development, and Project Execution. His role is also often called on to serve as Scrum Master and Product…
 
In this very special video episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Jesse Fewell, whose new book Untapped Agility is full of insights, tips, and tactics that you can use to help gain support for your adoption of Agile. Jesse and I go way back. We worked together a lot during the initial phases of getting The Project Management Institute and the Scrum …
 
When it comes to introducing change into an organization you will frequently hear people talk about how critical it is to change the culture. They’ll tell you that nothing will happen until you change the culture. They’ll start quoting Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”Culture is definitely a concern, but it is not the ONLY conce…
 
In this episode, I am joined by my friends Richard Cheng and Karim Harbott for a discussion about Business Agility. Business Agility is something people have been talking about for several years but it is one of those terms that can mean different things to different people. During my conversation with Karim and Richard, we discuss what Business Ag…
 
In November of 2020, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber released a new version of the Scrum Guide. The new version of the Guide introduces some important changes to how Scrum works. One specific area that changed was the Scrum Artifacts. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by my good friend Chris Li. Chris is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) a…
 
Modus Institute recently introduced its new Certification and Accreditation Programs in Lean-Agile Visual Management (LA-VM). This is something they have been working on developing for 12 years. In this episode of the podcast, Jim Benson joins me to discuss Modus’s new offerings. During the interview we discuss Systems Thinking and how it figures i…
 
Coaching people through an Agile transformation is a complicated thing. People within the organization may want the promise they see Agile offering, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to fight against the change every step of the way. Nobody likes change. It’s uncomfortable and scary and it’s sometimes it’s so much easier to just say, “Yes, th…
 
How do you make the leap from being someone who can deliver a presentation to being someone who can meet a crowd, entertain them and take them someplace where they happen to learn something valuable along the way? I know lots of people who can stand up in front of a room (or share a screen) and get through a topic without saying anything wrong. I k…
 
The 2020 version of the Scrum Guide has been released (https://www.scrumguides.org) and it introduces some subtle, but impactful changes. This update to the document that explains the Scrum Framework as it is defined by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, was introduced during a live event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Scrum. If you’d like to c…
 
While most of us have spent the past several months struggling to adjust to the new normal of being 100% remote, Molood Ceccarelli has not. In 2016, Molood realized that even though Agile coaches and thought leaders frequently talk about how important it is for all of us to be co-located, most of her work was remote and she’d been able to figure ou…
 
Johanna Rothman is a force of nature. Every year, in addition to her work teaching, coaching, blogging, and speaking, she writes a book. Well, most years. This year there is a pandemic. Johanna has written five!I think if you are lucky, you can find people in your industry that you look up to, people who inspire you to dig in a little harder and ri…
 
When organizations begin adopting Agile, there are a number of business areas outside the teams that also have to change in order to create systems that can support this new way of working. Navigating this is always challenging, but it becomes even tougher when you need to have traditional (waterfall) and Agile work happening concurrently. This epi…
 
Q: How do I get a job as a Project Manager, Product Owner, or ScrumMaster if I have no experience?This is a question I get asked almost weekly. People are looking for their first gig or trying to figure out what to say in an interview, or just convince themselves they are qualified to do the job. One of the biggest elements of getting your first gi…
 
In Scrum, everyone is supposed to have one job. You get to be a ScrumMaster, a Product Owner, or a Development Team member. Each team member of the Scrum Team is supposed to be able to totally focus on the role they play. However, in many organizations, they ask people to play more than one role. You might be SM/PO, SM/Dev, or PO/Dev, or in my case…
 
Being a Product Owner is not easy. You are responsible for the success of the product. You have to create enough work to keep up to 9 people busy, stay 2-3 Sprints ahead of them and at the same time, stay completely in sync with the business and constantly be learning more about the customer. It’s a lot. But what happens when you are the PO, and yo…
 
What do you do when they start asking for cost per point? This issue often arrives wrapped in requests that are pure in their intent and seem to be reasonable requests from the business… How much are we spending each month and how many points are we delivering for that spend?or Since we are now estimating work in User Story Points, we need to be ab…
 
“What advice do you have on structuring sprint planning meetings in an agency setting with different product owners and project teams (when each PM is 'competing' for the same development resources)?" That is the question I got during the Q&A portion of a webinar I did recently for The Bureau of Digital. This is a scenario where you have an agency …
 
Practicing Agile at Home with Yvonne MarcusYvonne Marcus is on a mission to create positive home management solutions for every family and she’s using Agile to do it. In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, Yvonne and I discuss how and why she began an Agile transformation at home, how it has impacted life for her and her family, and how you can …
 
In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, you’ll hear the story of how a father helped his son use outcome-based planning to define his personal response to what happened to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter events that followed. Ross Beurmann is a seasoned Agile coach (and a co-worker of mine). His son Tom just graduated from high school. Wh…
 
Since the Covid-19 Quarantining began, we’ve all had to adjust to our work-life taking place 100% online. Whether you are working in a traditional environment or in Agile, this change has impacted your teams’ ability to engage, learn, and collaborate online. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by Braden Cundiff who works in the Internationa…
 
The transition to Agile is challenging for any organization. It’s even worse when you do not understand the strategic and business reasons behind the change. This is one of the primary reasons so many Agile transformations fail to achieve lasting change. “There is little alignment on what it means to be agile and even less around what it takes to a…
 
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