Where I Work

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Personal Accountability Teams at Agile 2017

TLDR

Join a new experiment being run at Agile 2017! Get the most you can out of the biggest Agile event of the year by signing up with a Personal Accountability Team. Stick around at the end of the First Timer Orientation if you’d like to get set up with a team that will meet Daily in Orlando.

 Personal Accountability Teams at Agile 2017

The Agile Alliance is running an experiment to help interested First Timers form small teams who will hold Daily Standups each day in Orlando to get the most value they can out of Agile 2017.

We are just a few weeks away from Agile 2017. With over 270 sessions throughout the week plus a wide variety of other non-session activities, sponsor events, random unofficial activities, hallway conversations, late night "networking" activities, etc. There are LOTS of options. There are, in fact, more options than you could possibly take advantage of.

For many years, I attended big multi-day conferences with the same approach: throw myself headlong into it on Day 1 and participate in everything I could. This worked.... for most of Day 1. It started to fade on Day 2 and by Day 3 of whatever conference I was attending, I hid in my room a lot, I'd sit in the back of a session I was only partly listening to while I did work and often, and mostly just waited for it to be over so I could go home to my family.  Needless to say, this was not a very effective approach.

Several years ago, I tried an experiment at SXSW where I got together with a small group of people each morning for a Daily Standup. It was my first time at SXSW and I was completely overwhelmed. When I initially proposed the experiment at the end of a session on Project Management, I was looking for 2 things:
  1. I wanted to have a group of people I could meet with each morning who would help ground me and who would listen to my goals for the day. For me, a big motivator on achieving those goals was knowing that I'd be facing the same people again the next morning.
  2. I was looking for support. I didn't know a single person at SXSW and I wanted to have a small base of people I could sync up with. I hoped that we'd share tip and talk about what we had learned during the previous day, and that the collaboration would help us all get a better experience out of our time in Austin.

It worked pretty well. I have been refining this practice at every conference I've attended since. More than anything else, this is what helps me maximize the value I get out of any conference I attend.
In practice, it works just like holding a Daily Scrum, except the questions are a little different:
  • What am I going to do today to get value out of my time here?
  • What progress did I make on my goals from yesterday?
  • What am I struggling with or what do I need help with here at the conference?

I think it is critical to keep in mind that "getting value" does not necessarily mean attending every session. Taking time for yourself, going for a walk, taking a nap before you head out in the evening, making sure you are eating right and hydrating... these are all as important as the conversations. With so much going on, it can be hard to give yourself permission to skip some stuff, but if you don't, you are going to miss a lot more.

This year at Agile 2017 the Agile Alliance is supporting an experiment in Personal Accountability Teams. If you would like to participate, all you need to do is to attend one of the First-Time Attendee Orientation Sessions being held at the start of the conference. As soon as the orientation is over we will walk over to the Open Jam, where we will help you find a small team you can meet with each day throughout the conference to support you and help you get the most value possible out of your time in Orlando.

If you'd like to know more, just reply to this post or attend one of the First-Time Attendee Orientation Sessions at Agile 2017.

AGILE 2017 First Time Attendee Orientation Sessions

Monday, July 24, 2017

Volunteering at Agile 2017

If you are involved with Agile, the biggest event of the year is the conference hosted each summer by the Agile Alliance. Agile 2017 kicks off on Sunday, August 6, 2017 and that means 2,500 Agilists will be descending on Orlando ready to pick up new techniques, share what they’ve learned and catch up with thought leaders and practitioners in the Agile space.

The conference is MASSIVE and it would not be possible without the Purple Shirt People who volunteer at the conference. In exchange for getting to attend the conference, the folks in the purple shirts are the ones who can help you navigate the week. Whether you are a first timer wondering where to go, or a seasoned veteran giving a talk, we all depend on the generosity of the folks who give their time to help make the conference happen.

In this podcast, Becky Hartman and Sarah Klarich share some details about volunteering at the conference, how it works, what you get in exchange for giving your time and how you can get more involved. If you are new to the conference, Becky and Sarah also share some tips on how to make it through the week and what to not miss.


SHOW NOTES


00:10 Podcast Begins
00:47 Background on Sarah and Becky
01:33 Getting involved with volunteering at the Agile Conference
02:58 How many people will be expected at Agile 2017
03:30 How many people are part of the Volunteer Team at Agile 2017
03:52 The time commitment and getting to see sessions at Agile 2017
05:13 The type of work the Purple Shirts are expected to do a the Agile Conference
06:19 The benefits of volunteering at the Agile Conference
10:18 Advice from Becky and Sarah on how to get the most out your week in Orlando
13:15 Tips for volunteers who are extroverts (like Becky)
14:05 Watch the Grandma comments!
14:18 Advice for introverts (like Sarah)
15:05 Get ready for Agile Therapy and some other new events at Agile 2017!
16:36 Dealing with FOMO at Agile 2017 (You can’t see it all - take care of yourself!)
17:40 Finding your conference wingperson
19:44 Sarah and Becky’s must see events at Agile 2017
21:36 How to get on the Agile 2017 Volunteer Wait List (or submit your name for next year)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Is PMP still worth it if I am doing Agile? - w/ Jesse Fewell

In each of my CSM and CSPO classes someone asks “Should I still get PMP?”

In this podcast I got the chance to check in with Jesse Fewell on the value of certification. Jesse and I have been friends since 2008 when we both started working on trying to find ways to get PMI to pay attention to Agile. We both come from a traditional background, have been heavily involved with PMI and now make a living teaching Scrum certification classes. 

Jesse and I debate the answer to the PMP certification question and along the way, discuss our differing views on the value of PMI-ACP, CSM and CSPO certifications. These are things we don’t always see eye to eye on, so regardless of your viewpoint, there is sure to be something in here to help you see things from a different perspective. 

We also have a brief conversation about what do to about PMO’s in Agile organizations.



Note: You may hear some odd background noise. This time it isn't me slurping coffee … #blamethefidgittoys

Show Notes

00:08 Podcast Starts
00:34 An update on Jesse’s recent and upcoming Agile PMO sessions, VirtuallyAgile.com and his Certified Agile Leadership Training classes
07:53 Does PMP Certification still matter? And if you are working in Agile, do you still need it?
09:57 If you are a traditional PM, are you in danger of becoming unemployable if you do not have agile?
11:50 Can a traditional PM avoid the trap of thinking they “get” Agile before they actually do?
14:26 Jesse’s involvement with PMI-ACP, it’s evolution and current relevance
16:20 What can you expect of someone who has PMP or PMI-ACP Certification?
18:10 PMI and Agile Alliance collaboration and what we can expect to see from it
20:10 PMI is working with the Agile Alliance… “It’s like the X-Men and the Justice League tried to plan something together”
21:10 “Everyone has the same mission - improve outcomes and people doing their job well”
21:43 It’s not a “standard”, it’s a “guide”
22:07 How much Agile will be in the new (6th) edition of the PMBOK?
23:00 For the skeptics… there is good on both sides of PMI and the Agile Alliance working together
24:30 Understanding the distinction between the work done by PMI and the Agile Alliance (stabilize and align vs. disrupt)
26:42 Will there be a new Agile certification coming from PMI?
29:26 If you know a PMP trying to decide between taking a CSM or a PMI-ACP course and they need advice on what to take
32:42 Dave and Jesse debate whether getting PMP is still valuable for a CSM or CSPO
36:17 “Most Agile people are punching above their weight…”
39:18 What do we do about the PMO if our organization is adopting Agile?
44:22 Want more Jesse? Here is how to get it….
45:02 Interview Ends

Links references in the podcast:

The Hybrid PMO (part of Seminars World) http://bit.ly/2tbOvM5
Solving the PMO Paradox (at Agile 2017) http://bit.ly/2sJ8wJj

Certifications and Agile Organizations Mentioned in the Podcast

PMP Certification http://bit.ly/29NtawC
CSM Certification http://bit.ly/ZtotC1
CSPO Certification http://bit.ly/1HeXnC5
Certified Agile Leadership Certification https://www.scrumalliance.org/agile-leadership

Contacting Jesse


Contacting Dave



Friday, June 23, 2017

WTF is Cost of Delay?

At some point, seems like about 2 summers ago, it seemed like a lot of really smart people in Agile started talking about Cost of Delay as a great way to understand the relative value of work or projects within an organization. The problem I ran into was, whenever I asked about it, the people who explained it to me (who were always way smarter than me) would quickly leave me even more confused than I was when I started asking the question. For awhile I kind of let it go as "another one of those Agile things I just don't totally get" and resigned myself to just nodding my head when people talked about it. That approach was working pretty well, but it started to bug me that I was just kind of universally punting on the whole topic.

I am very fortunate to work at LeadingAgile where I have a lot of really smart colleagues who are open to letting me ask them lots of questions. So, I decided to take advantage of that and finally try to understand exactly WTF Cost of Delay actually is.  The result of those questions is 3 podcasts, which, if you listen to in order, should not only help you understand it at a conceptual level but also at a level where you can begin to practically apply it.

Each of these podcasts originally was posted on the LeadingAgile site. Links to the blog posts are listed below each podcast.

An Overview of Cost of Delay with Jim Hayden


Original blogpost


Calculating Cost of Delay with Marty Bradley


Original blogpost



"It's not a Math Problem" - Cost of Delay Part 3 with Dean Stevens


Original blogpost


Monday, June 19, 2017

Jimi Fosdick at SG2017 on going from PMP to CST

Fearless Agility’s Jimi Fosdick took some time out of during the 2017 Scrum Gathering in San Diego to let me interview him about what it was like to go from being a full on, old school, traditional PMP, to someone who spends his days helping individuals and organizations move to a more Agile way of working.

“It should feel counterintuitive awkward uncomfortable and maybe a little bit painful because anything that represents real change feels that way.”

Jimi is not your run of he mill PMP turned Agilist. His outspoken style, views and approach are unique, but the reason I was so psyched to get to do the interview was the fact that despite all that, Jimi still shows a lot of respect and empathy for traditional minded folks and the challenges they face in making the switch… because he went through it himself.
If you are trying to move from a traditional way of working to someone who has adopted and internalized Agile, there is a lot of good advice in this podcast.



SHOW NOTES

01:40 - Interview begins
02:00 - Jimi’s work and his background
04:17 - Jimi’s experience of going moving from traditional PM work to Agile
06:35 - Advice from Jimi for those moving from traditional to Agile
07:46 - Knowing what you are arguing against, before you know what you are arguing for
09:30 - Embracing the crisis of faith
10:49 - Hyper-focus and the discipline required to make Scrum work
11:45 - The difference between a Project Manager and a ScrumMaster
14:44 - Why Scrum has no Meetings
16:47 - Jim’s work in the Enterprise
20:10 - Cargo Cult Scrum
20:30 - Advice for the PMO that exists in an organization transitioning to Agile
21:19 - Jimi (See the photo below for the more older and mellower Jimi)
24:44 - It’s more about people and change than governance
25:55 - If you have a time machine and could go back and meet Fredrick Taylor would you stop him?
26:42 - Breaking Gantt’s hands
26:55 - Finding Jimi


LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

Cargo Cults on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
Cargo Cult Video: https://youtu.be/qmlYe2KS0-Y

CONTACTING JIMI

Web: FearlessAgility http://www.fearlessagility.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fearlessagility
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FearlessAgility/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimifosdick/
Upcoming Events on the Scrum Alliance site: http://bit.ly/2srE7gU



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Parikshit Basrur and the Agile Transformation Playbook

Parikshit Basrur works in Sydney, Australia as a Management Consultant who focuses on leadership, strategy and execution. He comes from a strong traditional project management background but for the past few years he has been working in a senior leadership role within an organization that has been undergoing a transformation to Agile. This work, and Parikshit’s unique way of looking at managing work has led him to develop an Agile Transformation Playbook. In this interview, we discuss his approach to working with and transitioning to agile, the importance of focusing on culture, his take on the agile vs. traditional debate and his upcoming sessions at the Hindsight Forum where he will be giving a presentation on how to establish agile practices in a well-established business.


Show Notes

00:12 Interview begins
00:33 Background on Parikshit
01:52 Parikshit’s transition from waterfall to Agile
05:00 The difference between being Agile and doing Agile
07:15 Finding the right tools and delivering work
08:12 Speaking with Stakeholders Executives about Enterprise Transformation
12:03 Responding to the “WE HAVE TO SHIP NOW!” attitude and understanding WHY Agile?
17:15 Helping stakeholders appreciate how hard transformation can be
19:10 The McDonald’s Drive Thru version of Agile
22:30 Agile needs to be like air
23:35 Change your culture first… help them stay away from the candy on the table
27:40 Creating the desire for change
29:50 How the Agile Transformation Playbook differs from other transformation approaches
32:35 Where to find the Agile Transformation Playbook, seeing Parikshit’s upcoming presentations
33:15 Where to reach Parikshit
33:39 Interview Ends

To learn more about the Agile Transformation Playbook

Slideshare: http://bit.ly/2s0TKvy
Medium: http://bit.ly/2rlv3YD
YouTube: https://youtu.be/js96mF3X_fw

Parikshit’s upcoming sessions at the Hindsight Forum

HindSight Forum http://www.hindsightforum.com/events/
Melbourne - June 21, 2017
Sydney - June 22, 2017


Contacting Parikshit

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2rg8z06
Twitter: https://twitter.com/parikshitbasrur

Friday, June 09, 2017

Student QA: Design on the Scrum Team & Multiple Roles w/ Derek Huether

This post originally appeared on  LeadingAgile's Field Notes.
You can subscribe directly to these podcasts on SoundCloud or iTunes


Design and Cross Functional Teams (2:11 )

“Every time I hear you speak about cross-functional team I am not sure who these teams comprise of exactly. In my world the confusion here is most often related to design inputs. Any digital product will have a visual UI and thus its development will require design inputs. Do most of Leading Agile clients consider this a separate process that contributes to the readiness of stories for a technical Scrum team? Or do you normally assume designers are a part of a Scrum team?
In my view, the former creates waterfall-like dependencies and the latter gets in the way of confident estimations. So, even if both models are feasible, none of them seems ideal, because it leaves an are that has to be tightly managed.” Submitted by Sergey via Email


Multiple Roles - ScrumMaster & Product Owner for 3 Teams (8:20)

How do you deal with a manager who thinks you should be ScrumMaster for multiple teams AND Product Owner at the same time?

This question was submitted by a student in a CSPO class who allowed me to record the question being asked as long as I promised not to post the recording or identify the person by name. In order to honor that, I played the recording for Derek before hand, but in the podcast, what you’ll hear is me (Dave) relating the question.

The question shared by the student related to the fact that they are currently playing the role of ScrumMaster on three different teams and have also been asked to act as Product Owner for these teams. The person explained to their manager that the way Scrum is designed to work, a ScrumMaster is supposed to be dedicated to a single team, should definitely not be trying to support three teams and absolutely should not be playing the role of ScrumMaster and Product Owner at the same time. The manager responded by asking that the person give a detailed account what they are doing all day as a Scrum Master because the manager did not believe the person was too busy to be able to serve as ScrumMaster for three teams and Product Owner for as those teams as well.

Contacting Derek

You can reach Derek on the LeadingAgile site at www.leadingagile.com/guides/derek-huether/
On Twitter at twitter.com/derekhuether
Or on his personal site at www.derekhuether.com

Contacting Dave

You can reach Dave on the LeadingAgile site at www.leadingagile.com/guides/dave-prior/
On Twitter at twitter.com/mrsungo
Or on his personal site at: drunkenpm.net

Feedback/Questions

If you have comments on the podcast, or have questions for the LeadingAgile coaches that you’d like to have addressed in a future episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, you can reach Dave at dave.prior@leadingagile.com

LeadingAgile CSM and CSPO Classes

For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to: www.leadingagile.com/our-gear/training/
Use the discount code: LA_Podcast to receive a 15% discount on the class.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Catching Up...

I haven't been very diligent about keeping this blog up to date with all the posts I do at LeadingAgile each week, so I'm going to start scheduling those into the blog and get things caught up. Until I am caught up, I'll be adding one every few days.

Also, since ProjectsatWork is not part of ProjectManagement.com, the P@W podcasts will soon be adjusted a bit to reflect that.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Savannah Rayat - Enhancing your life with Personal Agility

During the 2017 Heart of Agile Conference in Pittsburgh, Savannah Rayat gave a presentation called “Enhancing your life with Personal Agility”. During the session she explained how she has applied some basic Agile practices from Scrum and Kanban to refine and focus her approach to life, deciding what is most important to her, and managing teams. Savannah has also applied Agile in other non-IT areas. During the interview, we talk about some of the Scrum practices she has applied in working with her team of Realtors.

Show Notes

00:10 - Interview Begins
00:52 - Background on Savannah
01:42 - How Day-Trading fits in with being a Realtor/IT Professional
02:15 - How Savannah defines Personal Agility
04:44 - Savannah’s approach to Personal Kanban and her issue with deadlines
05:31 - The important of setting and maintaining WIP Limits
07:06 - Reducing your WIP to 3-4
10:00 - Preventing the backlash of cutting stuff our of your life
12:15 - Having affection for your interests
12:42 - Deciding what you can live without
14:29 - Long term and short term road mapping
15:48 - Savannah’s  Day to Day practice of Agile
18:50 - The need for slack
21:35 - The benefits of self-reflection and coping with the guilt of doing unplanned stuff
23:16 - Making the time for Personal Kanban
24:19  - Accountability Partners
25:33 - How to get started with using Personal Agility
27:44 - How Savannah uses Scrum to support collaboration on her Real Estate team
32:38 - Getting in touch with Savannah
34:39  - Interview Ends

Contacting Savannah 

on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/savannah-rayat-8942b8120/
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SavannahRayat
Savannah’s Realty site: http://rayatrealtygroup.com
Savannah’s Heart of Agile 2017 http://heartofagile.com/Session/enhancing-your-life-with-personal-agility/

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tracking Scrum Master Performance w/ Troy Lightfoot



Troy Lightfoot joins Dave Prior to respond to a recurring student question “How can I track the performance of a ScrumMaster using metrics which are different form the ones I use to track the performance of the team?” Using the LeanAgile Intelligence tool he co-authored, Troy walks Dave through a few options that can be used to collect data that could provide clarity on performance of an individual ScrumMaster.

For more information on LeanAgile Intelligence: https://www.leanagileintelligence.com/
You can follow Troy Lightfoot on Twitter at https://twitter.com/g4stroy
You can follow Dave Prior on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mrsungo

Monday, May 22, 2017

Test Driven Development and Mobbing for Non Developers

Summary: You don’t have to be a developer to use Test Driven Development and Mob Programming. Last week on Twitch Amitai Schlier & Troy Lightfoot led Dave Prior and Rachel Gertz (neither of who can program) through an exercise in remote pairing with TDD.




If you come from a PM background, you’ve probably heard developers talk about Test Driven Development and you may even get the basic idea behind it - build the test to prove something works, then build the thing that passes the test.

You may also have heard about Mob Programming - the set of practices put together by Woody Zuill that takes the idea of pairing and extends it to the whole team. In mobbing, an entire team builds everything together. They share one keyboard and rotate the person typing at timed intervals. This allows them to develop cross-functionality, to learn from each other and, basically, QA as they go.

These are both topics I’ve been interested in for awhile, but I’ve never had an opportunity arise that gave me a chance to actually try them.

But, last week I had the opportunity to participate in a unique experiment that not only let me learn more about each of these sets of practices, but gave me a
Troy Lightfoot, from Agile Uprising set up a TDD & Mobbing workshop in Twitch. Myself and Rachel Gertz from Louder Than Ten were guided by Amitai Schleier, the creator of Agile in 3 Minutes Podcast and Schmonz.com, who led us through an exercise in remote mobbing using TDD.

The entire experience was a blast and I’ve developed a new found appreciation for the entire though process and discipline that goes into using Test Driven Development and trying to mob with a team.

I’d encourage you to check out the video on your own, or with your team and maybe even try to replicate the experiment. I think this would work great as a team building exercise as well. Most of the time I felt like I was playing a board game with a bunch of friends.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jessie Shternshus - Improv, Safety, and “Yes, … and”

Jessie Shternshus is the founder of The Improv Effect and the author of “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today”. In her work, Jessie often incorporates improv techniques to help people tap into the things they need to become better communicators, team members and leaders. She also coaches organizations through Agile transition and cultural change. After recently completing my first improv class, and not feeling very confident that I “got it”, I had lots of questions. Jessie was kind enough to spend some time talking with me about my experience, the benefits improv can provide, what “yes, and…” really means, why it is important and the elements needed to create a safe space where people can thrive and be creative.



SHOW NOTES

00:00 Podcast Intro
01:58  Interview Start
02:22 What Jessie has been up to lately
03:42 Jessie’s work coaching people to help them amp up their presentation skills
04:45 The Creative Courage Summit
05:58 Jessie’s Book “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today”
06:17 Intro to the Improv Discussion
07:00 Dave’s fears about the safety provided by the improv framework
07:46 “I’m happy to tell you your being dumb”
08:22 How can you have an environment that is supportive AND critical
08:41 Dave missed some important pieces
09:08 Learning from what makes you uncomfortable
10:04 It’s important to find the class that is right for you
11:50 How you establish a safe improv space
13:36 Safety comes from setting expectations, modeling behavior and getting to know people
16:12 Finding a way to use improv to build camaraderie with remote teams
18:20 Do you always have to “Yes, and…”
18:50 How “Yes, and” works, and the benefits it can bring
21:22 What skills improv can offer to individuals and teams working in an office setting
22:50 Advice from Jessie on how to pick the right class for you
25:19 Part of being creative involves tapping into your childlike self, but you have to feel safe going there
26:18 What if you can’t let go of everything and reach that childlike state?
28:20 Being mindful of the things you are resisting
30:02 Getting in touch with Jessie

CONTACTING JESSIE

http://www.improveffect.com
https://www.facebook.com/improveffect/
https://twitter.com/TheImprovEffect

LINKS

Jessie’s Book: “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today” http://amzn.to/2rhOxPk
The Creative Courage Summit: http://CreativeCourageSummit.live
My Video Podcast interview with Jessie at the 2015 Agile Conference: https://vimeo.com/135568636







Thursday, May 11, 2017

John Le Drew - The Creator of the Agile Path Podcast

There are lots of podcasts about Agile out there and each of them has something valuable to offer to the community. But a few weeks ago, a new kind of Agile podcast launched. John Le Drew is the creator of “The Agile Path”, a long form NPR style podcast… (think Serial for Agile). In this interview, John shares the story of how he ended up working on the podcast, what it was like creating it, some of his current projects as well as details about the process he follows in creating the podcasts and his favorite gear.

If you are interested in podcasting, block out some time for this one, there is a lot of valuable stuff in here.



SHOW NOTES

00:01 Podcast Intro
00:52 Interview begins
01:19 John’s journey from whizkid geek hooligan to developer to Agile coach/podcaster
10:29 What inspired John to create The Agile Path and the sources that influenced his approach
11:45 Creating the soundscape for listeners
14:15 Finding the right music and getting permission to use it in a very bold way
17:53 The benefits of overcoming the fear of approaching people on your bookshelf
19:57 We should all strive to bring out our inner Woody
20:25 John’s editing process and the work he’s doing on future episodes
22:05 How John is integrating improv in his upcoming workshops and why that is relevant to the topic of safety
25:51 Dave asks John a question about how safety works in improv classes and how “Yes and…” is about accepting what comes to you without judgement and building on it
29:40 Imagine it like a sieve… find the gold
31:09 Paying attention and what that really means
34:28 Scripting it all out, then editing
39:18 Work on the next episode and the schedule John is aiming for
40:29 John’s favorite recording equipment
45:05 Wrapping Up


LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

The Agile Path http://agilepath.fm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/agilepathfm
John’s upcoming speaking events and workshops: http://wisenoodle.me/speaking

Friday, May 05, 2017

Lisa Hershman At SG2017 - Scaling, Certification Changes and Top Initiatives at the Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance Interim CEO Lisa Hershman shared some time at the 2017 Scrum Gathering in San Diego to talk about the top initiatives being worked on at the Scrum Alliance, including their partnership with Large Scale Scrum, changes to the certification programs and more.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Gene Bounds at the Scrum Gathering San Diego 2017


Making the transition to Agile is never easy for PMP’s. Once you re-wire your brain to think like a PM, letting go of all of that you have learned, and accepting a completely different way of working presents a lot of challenges.  A big part of what I try to do with these podcasts is to share stories of those who have successfully made the switch and what that transformation was like.

At the Scrum Gathering in San Diego a few weeks ago I got the chance to sit down with someone I’ve been hoping to interview about this topic for a long time.  Gene Bounds is the Chair of the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors. He is ALSO the former Chair of PMI. He comes from a background that is deeply steeped in the traditional space working on government projects, to someone who is now deeply invested in helping to grow the Agile community and change the world of work.

Because Gene has dedicated so much of his life to being in the service of others, first in the United States Air Force, then volunteering for PMI for many years, and now working with the Scrum Alliance, we also took some time in the interview to talk about the benefits that come from investing all that time volunteering.


You can find Gene here:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Personal Agility Canvas at Heart of Agile 2017

Here are slides from the Personal Agility Canvas session I led at the Heart of Agile 2017 in Pittsburgh on April 28, 2017.




And here is the actual Personal Agility Canvas worksheet that was used in the session.





Friday, March 31, 2017

Certified Agile Leadership Training with Olaf Lewitz

The Trust Artist, Olaf Lewitz, along with his partner, Christine Neidhardt, are gearing ready for their upcoming TrustTemenos Certified Agile Leadership trainings. Certified Agile Leadership trainings are a new, advanced level of training classes being offered through the Scrum Alliance. In this interview Olaf and I discuss the reason for his TrustTemenos CAL class, how it can help people become better Agile leaders, and the value of Certified Agile Leadership.

Safety is a very hot topic in the Agile space right now. During our conversation about safety, Olaf shared one of the most powerful things I have heard during an interview this year:

“When you talk to people about trust, it rises. When you talk to people about safety, they get scared.”

Every conversation I have with Olaf leaves me more aware and (I hope) a bit smarter than I was when it began. I hope you will get as much value from listening to this as I did from recording the conversation.

And you can find links to Olaf’s upcoming classes and events, as well as his contact info, below the show notes.



Show Notes


  • 00:07 Podcast Intro
  • 01:27 Begins
  • 01:57 An overview of Agile Leadership Training
  • 04:48 A skeptical response to the idea of Agile Leadership Training and Olaf’s response
  • 07:16 Developing a thinking model to understand what we need and how that drives our actions
  • 09:11 The power of metaphor in leadership and Dave’s aversion to boats
  • 11:03 Giving people tools to grow their awareness of how they show up
  • 11:34 These classes cover advanced leadership topics - not the basics
  • 12:16 “If you trust in yourself… you will still get beaten by people”
  • 13:05 Skepticism is an important part of any class and any transition
  • 13:32 It’s about being intentional and aware
  • 15:23 There is a specific type of learning that involves being uncomfortable because what you believe is challenged
  • 15:57 Extending the question of leadership beyond work and helping them understand more about their awareness and intention
  • 17:00 Olaf shares a story about his first experience working as a boss
  • 21:29 The advice Olaf about give his 29 year-old self about being a boss for the firs time
  • 22:23 It’s okay to ask for help
  • 24:05 A question about safety and what it means to create a safe space
  • 25:42 When you talk to people about trust, it rises, when you talk to people about safety, they get scared
  • 27:22 What is Certified Agile Leadership Training? What level of knowledge experience do you need to attend?
  • 28:08 What will CAL training do for a leader/manager in an Agile organization?
  • 29:28 Where to learn more about Olaf’s upcoming classes, where you can see him speak and how to get in touch with him if you have questions.



Links from the Podcast




Contacting Olaf


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Don Kim - I Think, Therefore I Plan


A few weeks ago Don Kim put up a blog post challenging the value of certifications. I reached out to Don in hopes of doing an interview about it and found out he’s also written a new book “I think Therefore I Plan”. In this interview we discuss the pros and cons of different certifications, taking an artisan approach to managing projects as well as Don’s new book.

You can find Don’s book here: http://amzn.to/2n7VEHu
You can find Don’s blog post about certifications here: http://bit.ly/2okDUZA


Show Notes:

00:07 Interview Start
00:30 What is a Human APEE
03:38 What is an Artisan approach to Project Management
05:15 Don’s Philosophy of Project Management
07:22 Trying to slow down and do less
08:21 Don explains his way of approaching project work and the reason for the book
10:56 How has the traditional vs. Agile debate changed over the past few years
12:53 Seeing the value in every project you work on  - regardless of how you got it
16:15 The downside of certifications
17:29 The positive aspects of certifications
18:03 There is more to project management training than just PMP certification
19:48 Making the case for the value certifications can provide and how it can be misunderstood
23:22 Does it make sense for people to want to have a way of gauging their professional achievement?
23:55 What Don expected from PMP certification and how he went deep with the Kerzner to get the most learning out of it (instead of just passing the test)
26:41 Is it the certification that is an issue, or the way people interpret it as an end point rather than a beginning
27:50 An overview of the approach Don’s book takes towards the art of Project Management
30:56 Where you can find Don’s book and how you can reach him with follow up questions
31:54 Podcast Ends

You can reach Don Kim on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donkim/

Feedback/Comments: drunkenpm@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Agile Coach to Agile Gamer - Peter Saddington

Peter Saddington, the founder of AgileScout.com, is an Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Trainer, Author, Entrepreneur and Scientist. On March 4, 2017 he put up a blog post on AgileScout.com announcing a new experiment he is running... on himself.

Taking a step back from helping others adopt Agile, Peter is now using Agile to transform his life, and he's starting with his career. He's going from being a full time Agile Consultant to a full time professional video game player.  It might sound a bit insane, but his reasoning and research are sound. In this interview I got the chance to talk with Peter about his new experiment, why he's doing it and how he approaching transforming his life.

You can read Peter's manifesto here:  https://agilescout.com/time-for-change/
You can find Peter's Videos here: https://First15.show
You can follow Peter on Twitter at https://twitter.com/first15tv


Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Heart of Agile Conference

I'm very psyched to be presenting at The Heart of Agile Conference in Pittsburgh, on April 27-28.

There are a ton of great people presenting and I'm very psyched to be able to be a part of it.

If you'd like to check out a recent interview I did with Alistair Cockburn on the Designing Quality of Life, you can find it here.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Scrum in School - A Case Study of Grandview Prep's Transformation

This podcast features an interview with two educators from Grandview Prep in Boca Raton, FL. Aileen Palmer and Susan Rose have been working with the Scrum Alliance, John Miller and Mike Vizdos to help the school implement Scrum for both the students and school administration. The interview explains how Scrum got started at Grandview, the impact it has had on the students, as well as the benefits and challenges they’ve experienced along the way.



Show Notes

01:16  Interview Begins
02:01 How Grandview Prep got interested in Scrum
04:59 Agile can be a lot easier for kids than adults
05:52 How Scrum has changed the way the students at Grandview collaborate
06:32 How the kids self-organize to make sure everyone is participating in the work
06:59 How teaching Scrum to a junior in high school impacts their ability to get work done and prepare for college
07:54 How visualizing the work is helping the students understand how to break work down into manageable pieces
08:35 Teaching students and teachers about how to break down the work and plan things out
10:20 Differences between how 1st graders and older kids are using Scrum at Grandview
11:17 The hardest parts of getting started with Scrum in school
13:17 Sometimes the transparency and seeing how much you have to do is overwhelming for adults
14:03 The struggle between Trello and Post-its
14:59 Student rankings and grading at Grandview - and how it has been impacted by Scrum
17:14 How using Scrum has improved the students and teachers ability to give and receive feedback
17:45 The reaction from parents/stakeholders to the introduction of Scrum at Grandview Prep
20:28 What Scrum means for the quiet kids who like to sit back and let others lead and drive the work
21:30 How will Grandview measure success to determine if/how Scrum is helping
22:33 The support Grandview Prep received from the Scrum Alliance 
23:14 Advice for educators who are interested in learning more or trying to implement it at their school 
24:39 How to get in touch with Susan and Aileen to learn more about Scrum at Grandview Prep
26:10 Wrap up
26:48 Podcast End

For more information


Grandview Prep Info and Contacts

Grandview Prep
http://Grandviewprep.net

Aileen Palmer 
apalmer@Grandviewprep.net 

Susan Rose
srose@Grandviewprep.net


Scrum Alliance Info and Contacts

Scrum Alliance
https://www.scrumalliance.org/

John Miller
agileclassrooms@gmail.com

Mike Vizdos
http://www.michaelvizdos.com/

Heather Leigh
hleigh@scrumalliance.org

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Should the PMO go away?

(Resposted from the LeadingAgile site)
The Project Management Office (PMO) has traditionally been responsible for providing governance over projects, programs and portfolios; ensuring projects are managed according the standards set forth by the PMO; and to provide reporting on progress to leadership. When Agile is introduced into an organization, along with new ways of tracking work, self-organizing teams and new ways of understanding priority, the value the PMO provides comes into question. In a recent blog post, LeadingAgile SVP and Executive Consultant Marty Bradley addressed the question “Should the PMO Go Away?” In this episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, Marty and Dave dig deeper on this topic and explore what PMO’s (and PMO Leaders) need to do in order to remain relevant to an organization transitioning to Agile.



Show Notes

00:08 Podcast Begins
00:35 What does a LeadingAgile Executive Coach actually do 
01:40 When the Executives say “Stop saying Agile.”, it’s actually a good thing.
3:05 Should the PMO go away? Who’s asking and why?
07:12 Why do we need a PMO and governance if the teams are supposed to be self organizing?
08:38 If we do not have trust, how can we have self-organization and Agility?
09:39 All night deployments and the impact of not trusting the team
10:43 When the people who “know better” create a system that fosters missed deadlines and failure, they create a very dysfunctional form of predictability
12:15 How the PMO can maintain its’ relevancy in an organization transitioning to Agile.
13:27 How do we maintain the necessary non-agile elements when we transition to Agile?
14:55 How can we have more empathy for the members of the PMO and the massive personal and career change they are facing in maintaining the stability of a traditional approach while supporting the change to Agile?
16:29 Changing the focus and the metrics used to track the work
17:10 The impact on Development Managers
18:12 Why would I want to eliminate the need for my own position (if we transition from waterfall to Agile)
18:42 Coping with transition: “This is my job,…I got a family…What am I supposed to do?”
19:55 Maintaining a balance between preserving the necessary domain knowledge and changing as fast as you can
20:29 What PMO Leaders need to know before the Agile transition team shows up - “Not everything needs to be perfect Agile.”
23:51 If I am in a PMO and I want to get up to speed and maintain my own relevancy, what do I need to learn? 
25:10 “I’d look at my company and figure out what is value in my company?” How do you define value?
27:02 Finding your organization’s own definition of value
27:46 Closeout

Contacting Marty


Contacting Dave


Related Links:

Feedback/Questions

If you have comments on the podcast, or have questions for the LeadingAgile coaches that you’d like to have addressed in a future episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, you can reach Dave at dave.prior@leadingagile.com

LeadingAgile CSM and CSPO Classes

For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to: www.leadingagile.com/our-gear/training/


Monday, January 30, 2017

Agile in 2017: Is Culture Really the Issue? w/ Mike Cottmeyer

(Reposted from the LeadingAgile site.)

2017 is here and Mike Cottmeyer is ready. In this episode of SoundNotes, the CEO of LeadingAgile shares his thoughts on the primary issues facing organizations as they continue working to transform. There are many who claim culture is the main issue, but is that really the impediment to Organizational Agility?
 
ShowNotes
  • 00:08 Interview Starts
  • 00:47 How do you lead change in large organizations?
  • 02:17 Is the biggest impediment to Agile really culture change? How do you do that at scale?
  • 03:00 What is getting in the way of culture?
  • 04:16 I can change my attitude and value system, but will the organization support that changed attitude and belief?
  • 04:51 The mindset shift is just the starting point
  • 07:15 How do you get 1,000 people to simultaneously have a mindset shift and then know what to go do
  • 07:42 Is the industry still stuck? How do we get past wanting Agile to being able to do Agile?
  • 08:12 A positive Agile culture has to be reinforced
  • 10:07 The difference between culture and the basic actions you should do
  • 11:29 Can you have the behavior without the culture system shift?
  • 13:29 Can you use the mechanics to reach a desired end state without worrying about becoming Agile?
  • 15:35 Where does Mike see the industry going in 2017?
  • 19:49 Does the organization really need to understand how Agile works or can someone coach the organization into an Agile state?
  • 22:02 How does the organization recognize the fundamentals of what needs to be changed to achieve Organizational Agility?
  • 24:18 Does having data that explains the problem help strengthen the case for change?
  • 25:10 Your organization is deeply flawed.
  • 26:41 How are we going to measure that the problem was indeed solved?
  • 28:07  The organizations are broken. Teaching them to want something is not enough. At some point you have to do the work.
  • 30:00 If we teach culture change will people really self organize in the presence of constraints
  • 31:19 Should everyone be more disruptive? Who designs the structure to support that?
  • 32:18 Is there a point where you need to be more directive to help people become more Agile?
  • 33:04 We are so myopically focused on self organization.
  • 34:02 If i am an executive with limited time to learn and research, what do I focus on?
  • 35:18 The problem is that people are overselling how Agile can work.
  • 38:35 Do you want to do Agile on a team, or do you want to become an Agile organization?
  • 39:08 How Agile do you need to be?
  • 43:57 The music Mike has been listening to lately and is looking forward to listening to.
  • 45:05 The one thing Mike wishes all the clients knew before he got into the room.
  • 46:41 Closeout
Books Mentioned in the Podcast
Music Mentioned in the Podcast

Reaching Mike If you’d like to know more about Mike, or reach him with follow up questions: http://bit.ly/2kvoOyo

Feedback/Questions/Reaching Dave If you have comments on the podcast, or have questions for the LeadingAgile coaches that you’d like to have addressed in a future episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, you can reach Dave at dave.prior@leadingagile.com

LeadingAgile CSM and CSPO Classes For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to: https://www.leadingagile.com/our-gear/training/

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Value of Not Productive Time - a Retrospective on Vacations w/ Derek Huether

Derek meets the ocean.

A Retrospective on Vacations

If you love your work and are very driven, the idea of “vacation” can be a daunting thing. In this episode of SoundNotes, Derek Huether and Dave Prior hold a retrospective on how they each coped with the challenge of non-productivity time over the holiday. If you count yourself among the vacation challenged, this conversation may provide insight into why you need to take the time, why you need to protect the time BUT why your version of taking a break to restore yourself doesn’t have to fit the standard definition of “vacation”.
 


Show Notes

  • 00:08 Podcast Begins
  • 00:17 Topic Intro - a Retrospective on taking vacation
  • 00:52 Derek explains why he took his first vacation in almost 2 years
  • 02:07 Pre-vacation anxiety
  • 03:12 If you get grumpy when you don’t have too much work to do “YOU NEED TO GET AWAY”
  • 03:52 When your sustainable pace is an unsustainable pace
  • 04:10 Some of us are wired a little weird and there is no “balance”
  • 05:11 Sometimes having too much to do can be a positive
  • 06:03 The dopamine rush of getting something done… how much sleep do you really need
  • 07:33 Debating the argument for getting “enough” sleep
  • 09:14 Derek’s Kanban board for vacation activities
  • 11:06 What Derek reads on the beach for relaxation (feel free to roll your eyes)
  • 12:00 How “the damn ocean and seagulls” prevented Derek from relaxing with his DevOps books on the beach and how the Beastie Boys saved the day
  • 13:20 If you are reading work related books on the beach, aren’t you still at work?
  • 14:10 When you take time off from work and your hobbies are work related
  • 15:48 Finding your own way to satisfy the need to unplug, take a break and get refreshed
  • 16:38 The restorative joy that comes from watching seagulls attack people
  • 17:08 Pomodoro Timer
  • 17:22 The weight of vacation guilt - for doing work, or for not really taking “vacation”
  • 18:20 Why would you want to go on vacation and be remorseful when it is supposed to be a reward
  • 19:14 Derek’s trick of reserving play time as a planned activity
  • 20:15 Having intentionality and discipline to carve out time for creative fun stuff
  • 20:48 Super not productive time may be recovery time and that is part of being productive
  • 21:30 Giving yourself permission to be not productive and then protecting that time
  • 21:55 What happens when YOU don’t respect your not productive time
  • 22:20 “I have to respect it” and take the time without carrying the guilt
  • 23:04 Dave’s resolution to get less done in 2017 and trying to create a small vacation every day
  • 23:45 Derek’s quiet time (with coffee)
  • 25:10 Meditation … it’s not about emptying your mind - it’s about not dancing with the thoughts that arise
  • 26:20 Derek’s version of meditation - post-its and coffee
  • 26:50 It’s a way of looking at your though and saying “yeah, but not right now”
  • 27:02 Wrap up thoughts, it’s okay to suck at vacation, it’s okay to not do stuff, protect the time with discipline, acknowledge that you derive and need the time, and don’t let other people tell you how much time you should take
  • 27:56 Podcast End


Links from the Podcast

Visible Ops Handbook http://amzn.to/2jzVqKM DevOps Handbook http://amzn.to/2iTX8FM Ariana Huffington "The Sleep Revolution" http://amzn.to/2k2ySik


Contacting Derek

You can reach Derek on the LeadingAgile site at https://www.leadingagile.com/guides/derek-huether/ On Twitter at https://twitter.com/derekhuether Or on his personal site at http://www.derekhuether.com


Contacting Dave

You can reach Dave on the LeadingAgile site at https://www.leadingagile.com/guides/dave-prior/ On Twitter at https://twitter.com/mrsungo Or on his personal site at: http://drunkenpm.net


Submitting Questions for Upcoming Coaching Q&A Podcasts

If you have Agile related questions you’d like us to discuss in an upcoming podcast, please send your question to Dave at dave.prior@leadingagile.com. You can send the question in the body of an email, or you can send an mp3 of wav of you asking the question and will include the recording in a podcast on your topic.


LeadingAgile CSM and CSPO Classes

For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to: www.leadingagile.com/our-gear/training/

Thursday, January 05, 2017