Where I Work

Where I Work
http://www.leadingagile.com/

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer w/ Anderson Hummel

Last fall Anderson Diniz Hummel became a Certified Scrum Trainer. This means that he has been approved by the Scrum Alliance to teach Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. The journey to becoming a CST is never easy and never as quick as anyone would like and for Anderson, it was over three years from the time he first started working on it. (And this is after already having taught at the University level for a number of years.)

During the recent holidays Anderson and I had a conversation about what his journey to CST was like. We recorded this in hopes of helping offer some encouragement, advice and support for others who are headed down the path.



To help provide some background about the CST designation, according to the Scrum Alliance’s 2018 State of Scrum Report, there are over 500,000 certified practitioners of Scrum worldwide. Within that community, only 234 people are certified by the Scrum Alliance as being allowed to teach Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. So, it is a rare certification to have and many people who begin heading down the path do not have a great understanding of what to expect. Hopefully this interview will help with that.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:09 Podcast Begins - What’s up with Anderson
  • 01:56 Anderson’s background as a teacher and how that led to him applying for Certified Scrum Trainer
  • 03:10 How is teaching Certified Scrum classes different than teaching at the University level
  • 04:39 Anderson’s 3 year journey to become a Certified Scrum Trainer
  • 10:17 Being a CST is a lot more than just teaching Scrum correctly
  • 11:36 How Anderson went from failing art exams in school to excelling at creating art in his classes
  • 15:45 How big a role does experience working on Scrum teams play into teaching CSM and CSPO classes
  • 19:25 Anderson’s advice for coaches who want to become Certified Scrum Trainers
  • 25:20 Understanding how teaching all day impacts you as a human and planning recovery time
  • 27:32 A word of caution for new CSTs who try to book too many back to back classes
  • 29:32 Parting words of encouragement and advice for CST candidates
  • 32:25 Getting in touch with Anderson
  • 32:27 Interview Ends

ANDERSON's ARTWORK

CST CERTIFICATION

https://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications/trainers/cst-certification

CONTACTING ANDERSON

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/andersonhummel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anderson_hummel


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Challenging the Sprint - An Interview with John Cutler

John Cutler describes himself as a Product Development Nut. He’s deeply focused on Product Development with a Lean /Agile approach and finding ways to improve how we work. He posts his thoughts in Medium, and although he says he is not a professional blogger, he generates new content about twice a week. I really enjoy reading his posts because they always challenge me and push me into seeing things through a different perspective. 

A few weeks ago John posted an article called “Flow, Decoupling Cadences and Fixed Sprint Lengths” in which he challenged the idea of Sprint time boxes.  (There is a video version if you’d rather watch that). The article was thought provoking and left me with a number of questions. So I reached out to John and he was kind enough to let me pester him with my questions in a podcast.




Show Notes

  • 00:08 Interview Begins
  • 00:50 Some background on John
  • 04:31 Lessons John learned as a touring musician that help him work with teams and build new products
  • 07:46 Intentionally disrupting your flow in order to grow and learn
  • 08:47 Introduction of the main topic - Flow, Decoupling Cadences and Fixed Length Sprints
  • 11:48 Understand they why behind the practices you are applying and figuring out how to make them work for you
  • 13:30 What job do we hire the Sprint for? If you don’t know why you are using these time boxes, they may not be helping
  • 19:47 If you are failing Sprints, is it about the length of the Sprint or the size of the work? Get ridiculously uncomfortable.
  • 22:09 When you can’t get through it, go slower and do less. Blazing away at tempo is not going to help anyone
  • 23:29 Why brand new teams should start by going slower and doing less
  • 25:17 Is it that Scrum doesn’t work, or that people aren’t doing it right?
  • 30:02 Be intentional and understand why you are employing practices, and then figure out how you’ll know if they work
  • 32:27 What is your company hiring Agile to do?
  • 33:42 Know your audience
  • 38:00 Filling your Product Backlog with goals instead of features
  • 41:18 Visualizing dependencies in your backlog - WITH STRING!
  • 51:55 How to reach John
  • 52:36 John’s upcoming events and deliverables
  • 54:31 John’s writing process
  • 55:40 Podcast Ends


Links from the Podcast



Contacting John




Friday, December 22, 2017

Giora Morein - The State of Agile and Post-SAFeism

This episode of DrunkenPM Radio features a conversation with ThinkLouder’s Giora Morein. During this discussion Giora offers his take on how things have evolved within the Agile space over the past few years and some of the challenges we currently face. For example, if you are trying to use Scrum to build twice the work in half the time, how do you make sure that all the extra stuff you are building is the right stuff? And what if you run out of valuable things to build? Giora and I cover a lot of ground during the interview, which culminates in Giora breaking down life in the world of Post-SAFe-ism.



SHOW NOTES

00:08 Podcast Begins
00:50 An update on ThinkLouder
02:15 Taking greater ownership of your organization’s Agile Transformation
03:20 Pivoting from the “You want more agile, you need more coach” mindset
03:45 Why an experienced Agilist and an agile coach are not the same thing
08:48 Have we moved on to the “cleaning up after the party” stage of agile? Have the thought leaders moved on?
12:27 Have we moved on to a less dynamic stage of the agile conversation? What new ideas in agile is Giora paying the most attention to.
16:14 If you can do twice the work in half the time, how do you make sure the additional work you are doing is the right work?
17:27 The new thing…. the language of innovation
18:10 It’s easier to sell increased velocity/speed to IT than it is to sell transformation of an entire business
19:57  It has to start with “What’s the business driver?”
20:45 The only way Giora and I are going to end up with flying cars
22:32 Use Agile to figure out how to best meet the organization’s business drivers (getting deep in Oklahoma)
23:34 Building the wrong thing really fast is not helping anyone
24:13 Micro-maturation in Scaling
24:34 Post-SAFe-ism
25:45 How to reach Giora
26:29 Podcast Ends

CONTACTING

If you’d like to contact Giora directly, here are some ways to reach him:



Friday, December 15, 2017

Why Digital Transformation is More Important than Agile Transformation w/ Devin Hedge

In this interview Devin Hedge and I dig into some of the research he has been doing around the impact of Digital Transformation, how it impacts consumers and the role that things like Agile and Design Thinking play in helping companies move from an analog way of managing their work to a completely digital way of managing their work.


SHOW NOTES

  • 00:08 Interview Begins
  • 00:47 Introduction to the topic of Digital Transformation
  • 01:58 Defining Digital Transformation
  • 04:19 Is there conflict between digital transformation and the goal of having greater empathy for other humans
  • 05:38 Using the Apple Store as a way to dig into the digital vs. deep empathy connection
  • 08:03 Our addiction to the dopamine hit we get from our devices and our need to increase the hit
  • 09:48 Are we letting our desire for the “hit” drive decisions which lead to inefficient business practices? 
  • 10:39 How the articles in management magazines drive the pursuit of increasing the frequency and depth of the hit
  • 12:55 Hopper in the tunnels = Stickiness
  • 14:02 How are Design Thinking and Agile actually helping?
  • 18:45 Can developing a level of comfort with constant change also become an addictive hit?
  • 20:17 The constant influx of information can be valuable in some respects and have a deeply negative impact in others.
  • 24:45 Agile can provide a set of tools to hope us cope with change
  • 27:43 What are the challenges of creating a culture where change is the only constant?
  • 30:54 Devin wanders into Dangerous Territory!
  • 35:56 The tools and techniques we use are not destinations. They are ways to deliver more value faster. 
  • 37:25 Why we need a User Centric approach
  • 40:10 Summarizing the conversation 
  • 41:42 How to get in touch with Devin
  • 42:16 Podcast Ends

CONTACTING DEVIN



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) Deadline 12/31/17 - HOW TO EARN SEUs FAST!

The Scrum Alliance’s Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) designation is changing on Jan 1, 2018. If you meet the qualifications for the current version of CSP, applying before it expires on December 31, 2017 may provide you with a much easier path to the the practitioner level of certification offered by the Scrum Alliance.

You’ll find details on the current version of CSP here:
https://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications/practitioners/csp-certification

In order to quality for CSP there are a number of requirements that must be met including earning 70 Scrum Education Units (SEUs).

With the pending change, I have been recommending to all my CSM and CSPO students that they apply for CSP as soon as possible in order to beat the deadline. Many of them have come back with questions about how to earn the SEUs required for the CSP designation.

In this podcast, Scrum Alliance Director of Global Leaning and Assessment, Erika Massie and Scrum Alliance Learning Coordinator, Cody Wanberg break down the changes to the CSP certification, the timeline for the change AND we talk though different ways to attain the required SEU’s before the deadline.

It’s a short podcast, so no actual  show notes for this one. Just a few things to keep in mind…
  • In order to qualify for CSP before the change you must have your completed application submitted to the Scrum Alliance before it becomes 2018 in Denver.
  • Once you submit, the turnaround time you should expect is 8 weeks.

Here are a few of the ways you can earn SEUs…

  • Watch the CST facilitated webinars on the Scrum Alliance website. There are 19 of these and they are an hour each. If you watch  them all, you’ll earn 19 SEUs.
  • Watch the Scrum Foundations e-learning series to earn 1 SEU.
  • If you took a CSM or CSPO, each class is worth 16 SEUs. If you’ve taken both, that is 32. AND, if you’ve taken CSM or CSPO more than once, you get the 16 for each time you take the class.
  • During the interview, Cody and Erika explain that listening to something like the Agile Uprising’s Manifesto Author Review podcast series could be submitted under Category E - Independent Learning. You get 1 SEU for each hour of time spent listening. It is a great series and I highly recommend it. You an find it here.
  • There are a number of additional ways to earn SEUs and you can find that detailed on the Scrum Alliance site. https://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications/practitioners/csp-certification/ways-to-earn-seus

Additional Questions

If you have questions for the Scrum Alliance about the changes to CSP or SEU’s, send an email to support@scrumalliance.org with the subject line CSP Application Question

Monday, November 27, 2017

Jurgen Appelo - How to Measure ScrumMaster Performance

One of the questions I have been asked with increasing frequency in the Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes I teach is:

How do we measure the effectiveness of the ScrumMaster?

When this question is asked what people are often looking or is a way to evaluate ScrumMaster performance (separate from the Product Owner and the Developers). This is not an easy thing to do.

Whenever I have brought up this question with other folks who teach or coach Agile teams, the conversation always finds it way back to Jurgen Appelo’s work. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Jurgen on his new project AgilityScales. After the interview Jurgen was kind enough to let me also ask him the question about ScrumMaster performance.


Jurgen is an entrepreneur and management thought leader who focuses his work on helping organizations change how they approach work management in order to support greater business agility.  He is the CEO of Happy Melly,   co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe  network and the author of a number of books including “Managing for Happiness”

His latest project AgilityScales is focused on inventing the future of organizational Agility. You can learn more about it by checking out the Agility Scales website or by watching the interview we did on the topic.

If you’d like to lean more about Jurgen, here are some links to check out.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Descaling the Enterprise with James Gifford

Finding a way to scale Agile within the Enterprise has been a very popular topic in Agile for the past several years. With options like SAFe, LeSS, DAD and many others, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that your organization may simply not be structured in a way that can truly support the introduction of Agile.

In this interview, James Gifford took some time away from coaching and his work on the Agile Uprising to talk about why the conversation should really be about how “Descaling the Enterprise”.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:10 Podcast Begins
  • 00:44 The work James is doing now
  • 01:45 Finding a job that provides you with a lab where you can run experiments
  • 04:05 When you are coaching, how do you maintain the “child mind” when you walk in the door
  • 06:10 Do you need to be technical to be a good Agile Coach?
  • 07:41 What’s new at The Agile Uprising
  • 12:50 Descaling the Enterprise
  • 14:30 Making the argument for changing the dynamic of how we look at and structure companies 
  • 19:11 Have you ever seen anyone tasked with creating flow through the entire organization?
  • 23:17 Making the case for descaling OVER simply buying a scaling solution
  • 25:10 How long does it take to implement the cultural and organizational change a descaling approach requires?
  • 27:27 How do you convince the “C” level to buy into the upheaval a descaling approach will involve (over just buying the promise of a scaling solution.)
  • 29:51 Two leverage points: 1. Scaling didn’t work, but we want what it was supposed to give us, 2. your business is threatened and you need a better response
  • 30:50 How do you measure progress while you are descaling?
  • 36:36 If you want more on this topic, please let us know!
  • 37:00 How to contact James
  • 38:52 Podcast Ends

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

Agile Uprising Links
Coalition (The Message Board): https://coalition.agileuprising.com
Manifesto Author Review Podcasts: http://podcast.agileuprising.com/manifesto-author-review/
Lean Agile Intelligence
https://www.leanagileintelligence.com

CONTACTING JAMES

Email: james.gifford@scrummando.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scrummando
Web: http://scrummando.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scrummando/

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jurgen Appelo - Agility Scales



Jurgen Appelo, the man behind Managing for Happiness and Management 3.0, is working on a new project to provide organizations with a platform they can use to develop the ability to innovate at scale and foster an agile mindset that spans the enterprise.  Agility Scales aims to be the “Waze for work”. The idea is to provide a navigation tool, that will help organizations achieve business agility using crowd-sourced business processes with peer to peer guides with the end goal of developing better capabilities around innovation and increased productivity.

What makes this project even more unique is that it is being crowd-funded. Agility Scales is currently open to investors who want to get involved in developing this new platform.

In this interview Jurgen and I discuss the Agility Scales project and the reasons for being one of the first Agile thought leaders to take a crowd-funded approach to developing a tool to support business agility.


If you’d like to learn more about Agility Scales and how to invest in the project:
And if you’d like to learn more about Jurgen and his work:

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Head First Agile with Andrew Stellman and Jenny Greene

Andrew Stellman and Jenny Green are back with a new book “Head First Agile: A Brain Friendly Guide to Agile and the PMI-ACP Certification”, which offers a strong foundational understanding in the most widely used Agile practices. The book is also intended as a PMI-ACP Exam preparation resource, providing complete coverage of the material included on the certification exam. 

In this podcast, Jenny and Andrew explain why they wrote the book, how PMI-ACP has evolved and why reaching a level where you are no longer concerned about the tools you use to get work done are traditional or agile is a great place to be.



SHOW NOTES

  • 01:19 Interview Begins
  • 01:50 Background on Jenny and Andrew
  • 03:30 Who the book IS NOT for 
  • 04:48 Who is book IS for and how it can help you move beyond simply going through the motions
  • 06:29 The debate over principles vs. practices and it has impacted Andrew and Jenny’s approach
  • 11:55 If you are new to Agile of have no experience working with Agile practices, how can this book help?
  • 14:32 Why PMI-ACP prep is the secondary goal of this book. (And what the primary goal is.)
  • 16:05 How the PMI-ACP exam has evolved and how Jenny and Andrew approached the topics for this book
  • 19:23 How the authors ensured the book covers 100% of the material included on the PMI-ACP exam
  • 20:21 Is is harder for a PMP to learn Agile, or harder for an Agilist to learn traditional Project Management?
  • 21:40 Reaching the “Ri” level of project management where Agile vs. Waterfall is no longer a concern
  • 22:43 Agile has moved beyond software, even reaching into construction, and how the is impacting PMI’s approach to Agile
  • 24:46 Agile and the PMO: Is the PMO a dead man walking?
  • 26:10 Scaling Agile is large organizations
  • 27:44 What is the most dynamic/challenging area of Agile that we need to pay attention to?
  • 28:29 Getting in touch with Andrew and Jenny



THE BOOK

You can find “Head First Agile: A Brain Friendly Guide to Agile and the PMI-ACP Certification” here: https://www.amazon.com/Head-First-Agile/dp/1449314333/

CONTACTING ANDREW AND JENNY

If you’d like to reach Jenny and Andrew, here is how to find them:








Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Making Agile Work at HUGE Inc. w/ Lance Hammond and Robert Sfeir

In preparing for my How to Hack Agile for Digital Agencies at the 2017 Digital PM Summit I did a lot of  research and conducted a lot of interview. This conversation, with Lance Hammond and Robert Sfeir from HUGE Atlanta was the last one I did before the Summit. During this discussion Lance and Robert share many of the lessons they’ve learned in bringing Agile to HUGE and they provide clarity on what it takes to make Agile work in a Digital Agency.



SHOW NOTES

  • 00:08 Podcast Begins
  • 01:42 Some background on Robert and Lance
  • 03:17 How long HUGE has been working on introducing Agile
  • 04:40 Resistance from Design when switching to an Agile approach
  • 06:08 Why Kanban may be a better approach for Design
  • 07:39 How the Designers at HUGE approach their work without having all the requirements up front
  • 09:30 Establishing Vision up front with the client and prioritizing options with them
  • 10:33 The client needs to own the delivery from the very beginning and become part of the process
  • 11:50 Making the client your partner in the workflow and decision making process
  • 14:17 Why teaching the client how to work in Agile has to be an accepted cost 
  • 16:07 Why those with experience in Agile transformation can be so beneficial for Digital Agencies and what you need to watch out for
  • 17:52 Changing how the work gets funded 
  • 20:22 How to change your Statement of Work to support Agile practices
  • 21:47 Tips for convincing your client to want to use Agile to manage the work
  • 24:11 Caring and feeding of the client during an Agile project at a Digital Agency
  • 27:53 Should you include the client in the retrospective?
  • 28:46 Do you need to have cross-functional, stable teams that are each working on only one project?
  • 32:04 How long did it take HUGE to get to stable teams
  • 34:02 Use Lean metrics to find and remove waste
  • 34:20 How critical is it to move to a retainer (fund the team) model
  • 35:30 You have to know why you want Agile, which approach you’ll take, and what you want from it
  • 37:05 Scrum may have you thrashing for a bit before you switch to Kanban… and there is value in that
  • 37:49 Why you need to switch the entire Digital Agency over to an Agile approach (including sales)
  • 39:22: What is the hardest part about implementing/working with Agile in a Digital Agency
  • 42:32 Defining what you are willing (and not willing) to try changing, when you switch to an Agile approach
  • 44:30 How HUGE approaches estimating work
  • 48:40 Why it is so important to watch and learn (inspect) before you start trying to change things (adapt)
  • 50:45 Why Robert and Lance do not believe Scrum can work in a Digital Agency that wants Agile,  but why you need to try it first to unlock the value of Kanban
  • 53:00 Contacting Lance and Robert
  • 54:06 Podcast Ends

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST


HUGE
http://www.hugeinc.com/
Agile in Digital Agencies - Dave and Lance from the Atlanta Scrum User Group Meeting
https://www.pscp.tv/leadingagile/1YqxomWqrwMGv
(there is some static that persists until the interview begins at about 1 minute in)

CONTACTING LANCE


CONTACTING ROBERT