Where I Work

Where I Work

Friday, March 16, 2018

Agile in Supply Chain w/ Michael Tibbert and Dhaval Panchal

This podcast features Michael Tibbert and Dhaval Panchal helping me out with a question submitted by a student that focused on implementing Agile in a traditional supply chain organization. We also address the question of whether or not it is easier to implement Agile in a band new organization than it is in an existing one. 


If you’d like to reach Michael Tibbert, you can find him here:

If you’d like to reach out to Dhaval Panchal, he’s here:

And if you want to read more about the Parable of the Watermelon

(And in 2 weeks, when he gets his website sorted, that will be added here as well.)

If you have any questions about Agile or Scrum that you’d like addressed in a podcast, just send them to drunkenpm@Gmail.com or DM them to @drunkenpm

Monday, March 05, 2018

Scott Ambler - Disciplined Agile Framework

For large scale organizations that need to scale Agile, one of the biggest challenges is selecting the option that will fit best. In this interview Scott Ambler, co-creator of the Disciplined Agile framework offers explains the origin of DisciplinedAgile, what makes it different than the other scaling options  and how to handle some of the more common issues facing traditional orgs that are trying to adopt Agile and handle governance.


00:07 Interview Begins
00:35 Background on the Disciplined Agile Framework
01:34 The Origin of Disciplined Agile and what it was designed to help with
05:01 What drives organizations to want one common way to practice Agile 
06:13 How Disciplined Agile responds to the desire for one process to rule them all
08:36 If you support multiple approaches to development, how do you bring it all together from a governance perspective and how do you communicate with management about process and progress?
11:10 If you are going to govern, what should you actually be governing?
12:30 Do we really want the PMO to be in charge of governing all aspects of the work?
13:20 How Disciplined Agile looks at the bigger picture with respect to governance
15:55 Making room for someone who can watch how things are being measured and keeping track of performance
16:39 We do not want to inflict the same process on 50 different teams. We need to up our game and look at the full enterprise picture
17:24 Everything in the complex adaptive system impact everything else in the system
17:56 The difference between Disciplined Agile and the other options for scaling Agile
20:55 There is no such thing as a best practice… EVER
21:08 If you want to be effective, pick and choose the techniques that work for you
22:50 Teaching them how to make decisions on their own, rather than just prescribing a solution
23:15 Getting qualified, experienced coaches to help you adopt Disciplined Agile
25:19 How Disciplined Agile makes sure the people teaching it are experienced it and know what they are doing
26:42 The first step is not to park your brain at the door. Hire someone who has experience and knows what they are doing.
27:25 The legions of Agile coaches … a 4 day class does not make you an experienced expert
28:55 Avoiding the trap of hiring “experts” who have merely completed few days of training
30:20 Making the case to senior leadership for taking a more mindful approach, despite the additional risk and effort
31:36 If it took your organization decades to get into the state they are in now, it is not going to go away overnight
32:50 The investment is more than just dollars
34:44 No matter how good we are, there is always something more we can tweak to get better
35:12 Organizations need to wake up, observe and have an honest discussion - make the bigger picture obvious
36:47 If you want to get in touch with Scott
37:44 Scott’s upcoming speaking events
38:22 Interview Ends


Monday, February 19, 2018

How to Stop Treating People as Resources w/ Mika Trottier

If you'd prefer an audio version of the podcast, you can find it here.

In this interview, Mika Trottier and I talk through a subtle but significant shift that has to occur in the mindset of a traditional PM who is trying to adopt an Agile mindset. How do you flip that switch in your brain that thinks of the people who do work as resources and make them start thinking of them as people?

During the conversation, Mika and I also dig into some of the challenges facing introverts who become project managers and some of the coping mechanisms that have aided each of us.

If you’d like to get in touch with Mika, you can reach her via LinkedIn:

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.


  • 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





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.


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


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.


  • 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


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:

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”.


  • 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


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


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