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.
- 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
- John's post "Flow, Decoupling Cadences and Fixed Length Sprints"
- LeanAgile US (February 26-28) http://leanagileus.com
- FlowState (application) http://hailoverman.com/flowstate