Thursday, April 04, 2019

Sprint Planning - How it works.. Why it works

This is a SoundNotes podcast that we just put up on LeadingAgile. The intent is to provide a basic foundational explanation of what Sprint Planning is, why it is so important, how it works, etc. (And why no one should be trying to do it before the Sprint starts.)

Click here to check it out

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

System of Delivery vs. System of Transformation

Click here for the podcast

When people talk about Agile, they often talk about the approach they are taking: Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, SAFe, LeSS, DAD, Nexus, etc. These and the other frameworks and methodologies that could be considered to fall under the Agile umbrella are Systems of Delivery because they are techniques for delivering.

There's often an assumption that if we adopt the System of Delivery, our organization will Transform to Agile. Sometimes this happens, but often, organizations need more than a System of Delivery. They need a way to go about helping their organization evolve into a state where it's capable of realizing the benefits of the various Systems of Delivery. This journey from your current state, into a state that's capable of fully leveraging the System of Delivery, may actually require a System of Transformation.

In this episode of SoundNotes, our CEO & Founder, Mike Cottmeyer spends some time with Dave digging into what a System of Transformation is, why this is different than a System of Delivery, how the two are connected, and why having a System of Transformation is such a critical part of your organization's ability to realize the benefits of taking an Agile approach to delivering work.

Click here for the podcast


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Insights from two days of Personal Kanban training w/ Amitai Schleier

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to take a Personal Kanban training with Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria. It was an incredibly insightful two days. 

Here is a post and podcast where Amitai Schleier and I talk about the class, what we learned from Jim and Tonianne, insights and takeaways from both the class and Personal Kanban in general,  and why we are both continually working on refining the systems we use to plan and manage our own work.

It was super cool to get to meet Amitai in person.  I had previously only met him virtually when he and Troy Lightfoot taught Rachel Gertz  and I how to do Mob Programming. If you'd like to check out that podcast, click here.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

How Buzzwords and Jargon Impact Your Team w/ Tyler Grant

I have a new episode of The Reluctant Agilist that features Tyler Grant in a conversation on how using buzzwords and jargon can negatively impact your team members and their ability to deliver.

You can find the podcast on my Reluctant Agilist blog on

What is the worth of a good Product Owner? w/ Tim Wise

Tim Wise and I responded to a question from a student who worked in an org that saw no benefit from having Product Owners. Tim and I talk through the likely impact, how to cope with not having a PO, and why an engaged Product Owner is so critical to your team's ability to deliver.

You can find the podcast interview on LinkedIn.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Reluctant Agilist - Student QA: Changing the Sprint Commitment / Failing Sprints w/ Eric Tucker

In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach, Eric Tucker, and I talk through two related questions that came from students in my classes:
  • What is the best way to inject defects into a sprint?
  • How do you reset expectations with stakeholders if you are going to fail a sprint?

During the interview Eric and talk about why adding/removing work from a sprint is generally not something you want to do, but what you should do if it is unavoidable. We also touch on what to do if the team discovers that they will not be able to deliver on their sprint forecast, why you want to make sure the stakeholders know ahead of time and what some other options might be. 

You can find the interview on my Reluctant Agilist blog on

How Do I Use Scrum on Data Warehouse Projects? w/ Dave Nicolette (3/14/19)

Dave Nicolette shared some time in this episode of SoundNotes to talk about how to use Agile practices when you are working on projects like enterprise data migrations.


Prioritizing the Work to Maximize Return w/ Dennis Stevens (3/7/19)

Part 3 of 3 of my interviews with Dennis Stevens on how to maximize the return produced by teams within the organization.


Coordinating Work with Agile and Waterfall Teams in a Mixed Environment w/ AJ Sanford (2/28/19)

This episode of SoundNotes features LeadingAgile's AJ Sanford. It came from a common question in CSM and CSPO classes. How do you coordinate work when you have waterfall and Agile teams within an organization that depend on each other. (2/28/19)

Designing an Organization that Manages Value w/ Mikkel Ladegaard (2/21/19)

LeadingAgile's Mikkel Ladegaard sat down for an interview about favor economies and how to establish clarity throughout the organization on what work takes priority and what work presents the greatest value for the business.