Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Year End Stats

It's all about the data...

Hotel Keys = 48 

Audio Podcast Plays = 30,746 
(as per Soundcloud Stats)
Video Podcast Plays = 4,360 
(as per Vimeo)

Courses Taught = 53
Students Taught = 724

Books Finished = 22 
(amt. started is significantly higher)

Iced Venti Americano’s consumed = 422 (est.)
(Estimate is based on the formula 
IVAC= (Classes Taught x 2 Days/Class x 3/day) + (Weeks/yr x 2))

Ice Coffee to Book Ratio is 19 to 1 (ish)
Ice Coffee to Student Ratio is 1.7 to 1 (ish)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Student Q&A: Estimating Work for Contracts when your Agile Consultancy is Bidding Against Waterfall Competitors w/ Devin Hedge

In this podcast, LeadingAgile Enterprise Transformation Consultant, Devin Hedge joins Dave Prior to discuss a question from one of our recent CSM/CSPO students who wanted to know how to estimate work for contracts if the Agile consulting he works for is bidding against a waterfall organization that may be providing a more detailed bid.

If you’d like to get in touch with Devin with follow up questions you can reach him at:

Here are links to the resources Devin recommends for further information: Defense Acquisition University
Agile Contracts: Creating and Managing Successful Projects with Scrum

If you’d like to attend one of LeadingAgile’s CSM or CSPO classes, you can find a full list of upcoming classes here:

And if you have a question you’d like to submit for a podcast, just send us an audio file to use in an upcoming episode just send it to

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Student Q&A: Using Jira with an SDLC and Scrum - Derek Huether

This podcast features a question from one of the students in a recent LeadingAgile CSM class. Cheri (the student) asked for advice on how to use Jira with Scrum and her organization's SDLC. In the podcast LeadingAgile Principle Consultant, Derek Huether, offers advice on how to go about using/customizing Jira to work with Scrum and an existing SDLC.

Contacting Derek
If you'd like to reach Derek with follow up questions you can find him at:
EMail at

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Agilistocrats 2016 Retrospective

The Agilistocrats hold their 2016 Retrospective!

Maria Matarelli, Richard Cheng, Dhaval Panchal, and Dave Prior reflect on the year by and sharing their answers to a few questions about 2016:

1. What is the most valuable thing you learned this year?
2. What area of Agile are you most curious about or hopeful for in 2017?
3. What are you going to do differently in 2017?
4. What advice do you have for others as we head towards the new year?

Here are some links from the podcast

Growing Agile… Not Scaling - the article that Dhaval and Andrea Tomasini co-authored for InfoQ
Greek Hoplites
Agile Certified Leadership Training in Chicago

If you’d like to get in touch with any of the Agilistocrats, you can find them with the information below

Richard Cheng
Work: Excella

Maria Matarelli
Work: Formula Ink

Dhaval Panchal
Work: Agile42

Dave Prior
Work: LeadingAgile

Have an amazing New Year!!

DevOps not making you fast enough? Focus on Agile IT Operations w/ Devin Hedge

In this episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, Devin Hedge makes the case for focusing on Agile IT Operations in order to increase speed within your organization. If you’ve been considering working with (or have already adopted) DevOps, the information Devin shares in this interview may help you discover how your organizations Operations function is limiting your ability to increase flow.

Show Notes
01:08 Podcast Begins  - Introductions
01:36 Background on Devin
02:14 Topic Introduction: Agile IT Operations
02:49 The relationship between Agile IT Operations and DevOps
03:48 Why DevOps is picking up again
04:34 Our new problems are our old problems
05:29 It’s about awareness and maturity
06:37 An indicator that IT Ops is where you need to focus your attention in order to increase your speed
07:02 Speed creates dependencies
08:52 Why IT Operations is the bottleneck
10:18 Agile is not going to fix your lack of solid disaster recovery planning, but it may force you to acknowledge that you need to do something about it
11:41 Automating the process of server creation all the way through the system
15:02 How to get started with understanding what the issues actually are
16:46 What do we do with the folks who need something new to do after we automate?
18:22 An example of automated templates for virtual machine creation
20:12 Organizational Debt = Technical Administrative Debt
21:50 A case study in how Agile IT Operations can impact an organization
24:50 Not trusting the automation and not being able to see the ball moving at 90 mph
27:27 How do you maintain the situational awareness that can’t come from an algorithm set up to review logs?
30:37 It’s all about establishing and maintaining a “practice”
33:49 How do I get started with this? Where can I get more information on Agile IT Operations?
34:44 How Lean Practices and Value Stream Mapping can help you get started
36:55 How gaining visibility and awareness can help you establish yourself within the organization you work for
37:54 How does this work within the context of scaling to things like SAFe?
39:51 Failure is a gift - don’t blink!
41:34 How to reach Devin

Links from the podcast
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim
Additional titles by Gene Kim
LeadingAgile Basecamps

Contacting Devin
If you’d like to get in touch with Devin with follow up questions you can reach him at:

Contacting Dave
If you’d like to get in touch with Dave

For Information on LeadingAgile CSM and CSPO Classes
If you’d like to attend one of LeadingAgile’s CSM or CSPO classes, you can find a full list of upcoming classes here:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Inclusive Collaboration Experiments w/ Sallyann Freudenberg

In this podcast, Dr. Sallyann Freudenberg talks about her new book “The Inclusive Collaboration Experiments: A short book of activities about working with all kinds of minds” which she co-authored with Katherine Kirk. The book is part of a campaign that aims to promote, embrace, and celebrate neurodiversity in technology. Sallyann is an agile coach, consultant and trainer who focuses on psychology and collaboration. The Inclusive Collaboration Campaign is dedicated to the memory of Jean Tabaka.
Show Notes
00:00 Podcast Intro
00:35 Interview Intro, background on Sallyann and how she got started learning about Autism
02:39 The Inclusive Collaboration Experiments book
06:00 Being diagnosed autistic vs. exhibiting some characteristics that may be shared by those with Autism
07:48 Confusion about Introversion
08:49 The GOTO Conference in Berlin’s Quiet Room
10:47 The Silence Experiment and how it can be used to support the team
14:00 Supporting the more introverted members of your collaborative team
21:50 The Rules for Neuro-inclusivity Charter
25:30 Should teams strive for neurodiversity?
30:07 Where to find the book and how to reach Sallyann
31:25 Sallyann’s upcoming events
32:03 What is the most interesting thing Sallyann has learned this year
32:50 Closing
Links from the Podcast
Inclusive Collaboration on Twitter
Sallyann Freudenberg on Twitter
Katherine Kirk on Twitter
Sallyann’s Presentation from Lean Agile Scotland - Fish Climbing Trees
OOP 2017
Wardley Maps
Quiet by Susan Cain

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tips for New ScrumMasters with Richard Cheng

You’ve taken CSM Training and passed the Exam. Now what?
In this podcast Certified Scrum Trainers Richard Cheng and Dave Prior share their thoughts on most important things that Certified Scrum Master students can do to be successful Scrum Masters once they have completed the training and passed the CSM Assessment Exam. The podcast includes an exploration of why each of the recommendations is critical to making Scrum work and both Richard and Dave share examples from their experiences in the field working with teams who did, and did not have these practices in play.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast
Geoffrey Moore Vision Statement
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore
Roman Pichler’s website (where you can find the tools we mentioned)
Roman Pichler’s books

Contact Info
Richard Cheng
Works for Excella Consulting

Dave Prior
Works for LeadingAgile

The music featured in the podcast was downloaded from The Free Music Archive
Intro Song
Cash Rules by Ari de Niro. For more info: or
Outro Song
Cherry Skies  - The New Mystical Troubadours. Find them here:

Friday, December 09, 2016

Agilistocrats! - Saving Christmas with Scrum

Christmas is just around the corner and that means that Kim Brainard is VERY busy. In addition to her day job, her volunteer work as the co-chair of the upcoming 2017 Scrum Gathering, Kim is the founder of an organization that brings Christmas to seniors who might otherwise not have any way of participating in the holidays. Santa Pays it Forward is a non-profit Kim founded to provide seasonal cards, meals, holiday parties and other ways of celebrating the Christmas season to senior citizens who are living in group residences that do not have the financial support needed to provide it on their own. AND she’s using Scrum to make it all happen.

Normally, there would be show notes… but this is one you should just listen to all the way though. It’s an important story about how Agile practices are bringing about social change.
If you’d like to get involved with Santa Pays it Forward, they are looking for volunteers, they’d be happy to accept donations and the NEED someone to help build them a website. You can find more information on the org on Facebook at
Or you can email Santa directly at:

And if you’d like to get in touch with Kim, Richard or Dave, their contact info is...

Kim Brainard

Richard Cheng
Work: Excella

Dave Prior

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Rapid Start PMO - with PMI Fellow Philip Diab

PMI Fellow and former PMI Chair Philip Diab has developed a new program to help organizations get PMO’s up and running quickly. RapidStart PMO is an outcome driven approach that creates deliverables as it iterates towards understanding how the PMO can best serve the organization. And despite his stature in the PM community, Philip continues to be a practitioner, helping organizations get better at getting work done. He’s deeply wise and he’s has been kind enough to act as Yoda to me on numerous occasions throughout my career.  In this interview we discuss the profound impact volunteerism can have on your PM career, keys to success for PMOs and common mistakes many organizations make when starting up (or maintaining) PMOs.

Show Notes
00:00 Podcast begins - Dave introduces Philip
00:39 Philip talks a little about his background in Project Management and with PMI
01:22 How volunteering can help your career
04:30 Volunteering takes a lot of time and energy, but it gives back even more
06:20 PMO’s - How Philip got involved in working with PMO’s, what he learned from it and why he is so passionate about it
07:27 Yes - PMO’s are very exciting… but you have to be pretty deep with the PM geek
07:50 The work Philip has been doing to help organizations that want to start PMO’s to get them up and running quickly
08:43 The PMO as a service organization that helps projects succeed (as opposed to simply providing an auditor function
10:39 Philip’s explains S.E.R.V.E. - his five strategic principles for PMO’s 
13:41 The types of organization Philip works with and where they are in the PMO adoption lifecycle
15:41 A story about one of Philip’s favorite PMO projects
16:52 Philip’s optimism around his work “There is no room for cynicism in project management.”
18:05 What makes PMs successful and when the work moves beyond being about the project
19:01 Philip’s PM Origin Story - How to get the job when you have no experience and what happens afterwards
20:41 Giving yourself empowerment because of your knowledge and experience
21:30 “You can take charge and people will let you if what you are doing is the right thing for the organization.”
22:00 Why Rapid Start PMO exists and how it can help you build (or rebuild) your PMO
24:33 A step-by-step deliverable focused program
25:14 The main differentiator that that leads to success and five critical factors you need
27:05 Passion for the project and being the champion who motivates the team is critical, but what if the project you get is “just a pile of garbage” (Philip offers Dave some advice)
29:43 A strange definition of optimism
30:55 Making room in the PMO for experimentation
32:24 Common missteps made by organizations trying to start PMOs
35:22 What to do when you can’t don’t know (or can’t remember) why you have a PMO
37:37 How the course can help existing PMO’s
39:08 How to learn more about the course or get in touch with Philip
39:35 Philip’s new podcast “The Project Management Debate Podcast

You can learn more about Rapid Start PMO here:

You can reach Philip via his website:
Or his LinkedIn profile:
And you can find  “The Project Management Debate Podcast” on iTunes:  or SoundCloud 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Being Agile vs. Doing Agile w/ Jessie Shternshus and Paul Hammond

In this podcast, Jessie Shternshus , Paul Hammond and I take a shot at addressing the question of whether organizations have become so focused by the need to “do” Agile that they may have lost the ability to actually “be” Agile. During the conversation we touch on a number of the key challenges organizations are facing and how these challenges are impacting individuals at the team level.

Show Notes 
00:45 Introduction to Jessie and Paul
02:00 The Topic(s): Do we need to return to a more simple version of it so that people can better understand/internalize the fundamental intent behind it and not simply get lost in dogma and going thru the motions? How do we help “them” figure out the “why”?
06:30 Does leadership need to deeply understand Agile to help support transition to Agile or can the organization succeed if they just want to “do Agile”?
08:48 Changing the conversation to help people approach Agile with a more open mindset?
10:48 Mapping organizational values to Agile Manifesto values
11:30 How to create hope (that things can improve) at an organization?
14:20 Taking the option to “Make a choice”
16:37 Advice for getting “Buy In”
18:03 How do we unfreeze the frozen middle?
20:08 Should leadership demonstrate vulnerability when trying to transition to Agile? (crickets)
20:46 How do I help my company become a place innovative, agile people will want to work?
22:47 You can’t put a band-aid on culture
23:56 What id you hire for the culture you want, and disappoint the new folks with what you have?
26:15 Has anyone’s Agile transformation ever gone fast enough? What is the pace of transition that you need?
27:17 Remember to acknowledge the positives
28:00 Advice for Senior Mgmt. on adopting Agile
32:36 Advice for Team Members who feel like Mgmt. doesn’t get it yet
36:30 How to reach Jessie and Paul
38:29 Close

Contacting Jessie and Paul
Jessie is the founder of The ImprovEffect. You can reach her at her site here: or via Twitter: She also has a number of upcoming events which can be found here:

Paul Hammond is is the Director European Product Development at eBay and can be reached via his website: or on Twitter: Paul is also on the Board of the Agile Alliance. You can find more about the upcoming Agile Alliance Technical Conference here:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Forecasting Tools Based on Team Performance with Troy Magennis

In this special video podcast, FocusedObjective’s Troy Magennis provides a walk through of two important tools that can help you in understanding the impact of trying to inject work into your team’s backlog and in forecasting how much work your teams can achieve within a certain time frame.
In the first part of the video, Troy presented the Multiple Feature Cut Line Forecaster. When people in your organization start trying to add work into a team’s workflow, this tool will help you understand the impact of the added work and help you assess the impact of reprioritizing the work to deal with the additional work. If you need a way of showing management how their new requests are going to negatively impact your team’s ability to deliver, or if you just want to help them make smarter choices about what work they are adding to your plate, the walk thru presents a simple explanation of how this tool can be used to help your organization make smarter choices.

In the second part of the video (12:30), Troy presents the Multiple Team Forecaster. This tool will allow you to use historical data from multiple teams in your organization to understand their throughput, even though they are sizing and estimating work in completely different ways. This is especially valuable if you are working in an organization where you have multiple teams and you are considering standardizing their estimation process so that you can get a better sense of how they are doing with delivering work across the portfolio. You do not have to standardize on a specific method of estimation - let the teams do what they do. Using this tool you can look at how each team is delivering, based on historical data, to get a better sense of their ability to deliver a certain amount of work within a given time frame. 

Troy makes these and a number of other incredibly valuable tools free to the public. You can find them by going to or

If you’d like to learn more about the tools Troy has created, you can contact him via his website above, follow him on Twitter at  or you can see him present them in person. He is going to be holding a workshop on Forecasting Using Data in Austin, TX on November 17. You can find information about this event here:

He will also be appearing at a few local user group events:

Lean Kanban Meetup  - November 17 -

Agile at Scale User Group meet up - November 18 -

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

2016 Scrum Gathering Munich - The Agilistocrats!

An update from the 2016 Scrum Gathering in Munich featuring Maria Matarelli, Richard Cheng and Karim Harbott (with special guest Howard Sublett).


Monday, October 31, 2016

Having Empathy for your Project - with Patrice Colancecco Embry

This summer Patrice Colancecco Embry posted an article on The Digital Project Manager suggesting that project managers needed to show empathy not just towards team members and stakeholders, but towards the project itself.

In this interview Patrice and I dig in a little deeper on the idea of showing empathy for your project, why and how you'd go about doing that. They also get into the how important it is for the PM to show empathy for him/herself and when it is okay to totally hate the project.

If you'd like to check out Patrice's original article, you can find it here:

If you'd like to get in touch with Patrice, you can reach her via:
Her website

Friday, October 14, 2016

GET OFF MY LAWN! Getting better at working with Millennials!

Since entering the workforce, Millennials have gotten a bad rap. There is a long list of complaints levied against them… mostly by the crowd that falls into GenX and older. In this interview, Dave Prior and John Tanner from LeadingAgile are joined by Jenny Madursky, a Millennial who is a Project Manager at Huge. Dave is GenX and harbors a secret fear the internet will break and go away forever. John is in between the two (and would like you to get off his lawn) but self-identifies as being more on the Millennial side. During this podcast they explore the way Millennials approach working and collaboration. They dig into some of the stereotypes that crop up when people complain about Millennials and GenX, as well as how a Millennial’s view differs from the older crowd’s. In the final portion of the interview, the discussion turns towards what GenXers can do to be better prepared for working with Millennials in order to better support them.  

Show Notes
0:08 Interview Begins
00:42 Introductions
01:44 Jenny’s areas of focus in college are a secret weapon -  Mechanical Engineering & Theater Studies
03:18 Defining what we mean by Millennial
03:36 A Millennial explains Millennials (experience over stuff)
04:50 What is challenging about working with GenX
07:40 The changing relationship between employee and company
09:33 Get Mentors!
11:54 Building lasting relationships and networks though shared work experiences
12:34 Broad knowledge vs Deep knowledge
14:25 What can employers do to make the work place more enticing to Millennials?
17:17 Consumers of employers… who offers the best experience?
19:37 Do you need different skill sets to interact with different age groups?
21:42 How can older generations be better prepared to work with Millennials?
24:05 Sometimes the gift of feedback can be a tough thing to receive
26:27 Helping the other person be open to feedback (Shout out to Sally Elatta!)
30:10 Jenny asks John and Dave for their perception of working with Millennials
31:20 Curiosity perceived as arrogance “I’m still expecting the internet to just shut off one day..”
32:29 Positive dissonance in the workspace
34:04 Knowing when to contribute and when to listen
35:27 Why Jenny chose to make the switch from Program Manager to Project Manager
37:17 Applying Agile practices in a Digital Agency
40:27 Agile for the Millennial crowd… do we need a new Manifesto?
44:02 Closing

Reaching Jenny

Reaching John

Other Links from the Podcast

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jukka Lindstrom - The Transformation Will Be Digitized

One of the great benefits I have had through volunteering for the Scrum Alliance has been the opportunity to work with a long list of inspiring and brilliant people. At the top of that list is Jukka Lindstrom. Jukka is someone who’s approach to exploring and solving problems is so different from my own that I felt like every time we collaborated on something, I got better at what I was doing just by working with him.  A few years ago Jukka left his job as an Agile Coach and Trainer and started working full time with traditional organizations. At the start of 2016 he joined Cargotec to head up their Digital Transformation effort. If you think Agile Transition is hard, consider that it is only a small part of the transformation of digitizing a global organization with 11,000 people who are used to working in an analog world. 

In the first part of the interview Jukka and I talk about the work he’s been doing since leaving Reaktor and what it’s like trying to transform a company of 11,000 people to not just Agile, but a digitized way of working as well. Leaving the Agile Consulting world to go back into a traditional environment is a brave choice, but for Jukka, it presented an opportunity to test out what he had learned and see if he could help.  While it has provided him with great learning experiences, it has also come with some tough moments. In the second part of the interview we focus on how what that career transition has been like and how he has avoided getting trapped in the doldrums when he is faced with working in a more traditional environment. 

Show Notes
00:09 Interview Begins
00:57 Jukka’s role at Cargotec and what the company does
02:37 The difference between Agile Transformation and Digital Transformation
07:36 The complexity of transformation at Cargotec
08:44 Why is this level of transformation so much harder than basic Agile transformation
10:10 The mindset shift
11:54 Placing a bet on technology when you don’t know exactly what you’ll be able to do with the result yet
13:00 transforming11,000 people … “that’s like 1,200-1,500 teams of people”
15:00 Where do you learn faster? Working in software or more traditional (manufacturing) companies
17:15 Becoming an Agile Bodhisattva
17:52 When you walk back into the waterfall, doesn’t it kinda suck? And how do you stay inspired?
19:45 Realizing that the reason you feel stuck is because you aren’t being true to yourself
22:37 How to avoid playing the victim and taking ownership of your own learning and joy
24:30 “I’m not having fun… why am I doing this?”
25:27 If you can’t find fun in what you’re doing, you’re doing the wrong thing
25:55 Things Jukka does outside of work that helps him stay engaged and learning while he is at work
27:00 MIT’s ULab

Some links from the interview 
Cargotec Website:
Singapore Cargo Port Timelapse Video
Leading from the Emerging Future by Otto Scharmer

If you’d like to contact Jukka

Thursday, September 29, 2016

LeadingAgile Podcast - Working with Distributed Teams with Jann Thomas and Adam Asch

Whether you are separated by one floor in the same building or thousands of miles, working with distributed teams is never an easy. But for most of us, it’s the reality of how we work now. In this podcast, LeadingAgile’s Jann Thomas and Adam Asch share tips for how to get better results from your distributed teams and remote team members.

Show Notes

08:00 Introductions
01:21 Topic Intro
02:22 What are the common issue you see with Distributed Teams
02:37 Making people aware of your schedule the you are remote
05:51 Understanding your own best way of working and dealing with it when it is not in sync with your team
08:11 Working with people in different time zones
10:06 The time zone problem
11:14 - Sending team members to a physical location to build rapport and knowledge transfer
12:17 Helping remote team members see themselves as part of a team instead of adversaries
13:25 Cultural Training
14:05 When you’re in the same building but on different floors
15:08 Meeting up in the middle
16:22 The importance of meeting up for the Daily Standup
17:28 They’re home, but are they actually “working”?
18:20 Working for a virtual company
19:13 Making intentional choices to stay connected to your team
20:00 Suggestions for the team members who don’t want to participate
22:21 Better technology for better communication
23:22 The SM  and PO working together to create a communicative, collaborative culture
25:10 Getting in touch with Jann and Adam for more tips

If you’d like to reach out to Jann or Adam with follow up questions here is how to contact them:

Jann Thomas

Adam Asch

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Alistair Cockburn - Designing Quality of Life

Writing the introduction to a podcast interview with Dr. Alistair Cockburn is not a simple thing. He is the co-author of the Agile Manifesto and the author of numerous books on Agile, Use Cases and Object Oriented Programming. There is also his work with Crystal and now with the Heart of Agile. He’s contributed a significant body of material around the topic of how we work. While this interview touches on most of the above, the primary focus of the interview is around a simple question with a complex answer: How can you design a lifestyle that is based on continually examining and enhancing the quality of your life.

The interview is a long one, but is filled with volumes of advice and wisdom on how to build a professional life that supports the level of quality you want to achieve in your personal life. The information will be especially valuable for anyone working on consulting. For those who are pressed for time, I’ve created detailed show notes below so you can jump to a specific portion if you need to and you can find them here: (because they exceed the text limit for a Soundcloud podcast).

If you would like to learn more about Alistair Cockburn, check out
If you’d like to follow Alistair on Twitter, you can find him at
If you’d like to learn more about Heart of Agile, check out
If you’d like to check out the Facebook Live conversation between Alistair and Nic Sementa, try

Show Notes
00:08 Interview Starts
01:10 Topic Introduction - Designing your life with intention to create quality of life
02:27 Overview of the trajectory of Alistair’s professional life and consulting background
02:58 Alistair’s advice for maintaining quality of life as a consultant
03:44 The jobs you can’t take if you want to maintain quality of life (especially if your focus is family)
05:11 How do you become an old married consultant? If consulting is so great, why do people quit?
05:41 Rule #1 Limiting your travel / Manage your budget
06:40 Resigning from the full time travel gig and making sure they can’t make an example of you
09:10 The smart way to look for a new job
09:44 How much you need to have saved to look for a new consulting gig
10:56 Why you need to pace yourself during the job search
11:22 Getting published and planning to be in the rejection business
13:28 Coping with the ego blow of getting your soul rejected
14:24 Applying this advice to getting new clients
15:14 Landing the first consulting gig teaching about Object Oriented Design
16:08 How do you survive the first days as a consultant?
16:53 Driving for lifestyle
17:43 Consciously making choices for the lifestyle you want to achieve
18:22 Asking yourself “Does this enhance the quality of my life or not?” and applying it to all aspects of your life
19:27 Celebrating the things you do choose to do
19:50 The infinite potential workload vs. the finite number of plates you can juggle
21:22 The number of things you can’t get around to is infinite (no matter how much you do)
22:31 Do less to get more joy/quality/everything
22:45 Bookshelves, kids and divorce
23:10 18 years of being a married consultant
23:55 Do five things with job instead of 15 things with less joy - and learning to be conscious of your choices.
24:15 Going to the buffet
25:25 “The amount of food I did not touch was infinite”
25:48 Practicing “I would have everything, but if I just have this, I can have the best of the best
26:00 Budgets - Figuring out how much you need to put food on the table, how much for gravy and how much you need to declare greed and quit for the rest of the year.
28:15 Setting an upper limit for how much you want to make and staging work with financial goals
28:45 Knowing when “anything else in my life is more important than the next job”
29:25 What you need to live - take your base number, multiply by 2.5 and find your greed limit
30:10 When you hit the greed limit, do you actually have to stop (even if you don’t want to)?
31:05 Not operating from fear - if you are getting on the plane… why?
32:00 Teaching yourself to say no, limiting travel and limiting conferences
32:40 When they call, and they want ONLY you, and they offer gobs of money…
34:05 Saying “Yes” when you should say “No”
34:35 Establishing a writing practice
35:10 A question about maintaining routine while traveling
36:00 Alistair’s life/phase changes
36:50 More advice on how to maintain a healthy life/marriage when you are a traveling consultant - set up a rhythm
38:40 Self-care while traveling (Alistair and Nic Sementa on FB live)
39:10 Life in the hotel
39:50 Air BnB so you can cook and maintain a healthy diet while traveling
41:17 Recap on maintaining diet while traveling
41:40 Alistair’s phase change - moving to France to practice his French
42:45 A brand new life in Brisbane playing volleyball for Christmas
44:14 In case you are thinking “My life can’t do that…”
44:57 How to get a job working in Zurich at IBM Research… but taking a chance and applying
47:31 Writing the Agile Manifesto in Snowbird, why it worked and why it was different than many other attempts to try and write something that would change the world
48:43 What made the running of the workshop in Snowbird so good? Generous Listening
49:10 Seventeen Alpha-types who all chose to be quiet and listen
50:18 “I’m Steve Mellor, I’m a spy”
52:46 Recap of Alistair’s tips in the interview so far
  • 50% travel cap
  • 1/2 week travel every week
  • Set max and min income target
  • When you hit max target, anything is more important than the next gig
  • Write some books to fill up the home time
  • 2 conferences a year
  • Drip feed for the clients
  • The only thing that makes things impossible is not being willing to take a chance
  • Generous listening
  • Constantly pursue areas of interest that improve quality of life
55:16 living below the poverty line and being okay with your quality of life
55:43 The three income levels according to Alistair Cockburn and understanding how much you need to feel survive or feel wealthy
59:46 Radical Simplification
60:38 The Heart of Agile, Shu Ha Ri and Kokoro
62:20 Living an improvised lifestyle
62:55 Agile has become over decorated
63:05 Scrum has become Shu level and it was designed at Ri level
63:32 The Heart of Agile - Collaborate, Deliver, Reflect and Improve
64:40 Kokoro - Heart of Essence
65:20 The top of performance is Ri, transitioning to teaching is Kokoro or Radical Simplification
66:25 The new lifestyle - looking for radical simplification in everything
67:08 Maximizing your freedom through simplification
71:34 Do you need someone at Ri or Kokoro to be guided towards simplification?
72:30 Can you transform to Heart of Agile at the organizational level?
73:20 Questioning collaboration across the organization to set a baseline you can use for transformation to Heart of Agile
74:44 If you move the needle on the collaboration, everything improves
75:31 Going back to the basics of being able to deliver incrementally
76:28 You don’t need a specialist, just people who are open
76:42 The next Heart of Agile Conference - Pittsburgh in April 2017
77:47 Wrapping up

Friday, September 09, 2016

Agile 2016 - Lyssa Adkins - Agilists as Agents of Social Revolution

Agile 2016 - Lyssa Adkins - Agilists as Agents of Social Evolution from LeadingAgile on Vimeo.

Lyssa Adkins, Co-Founder and President at Agile Coaching Institute, led a two-part Audacious Salon session at Agile 2016 that focused on the idea of Agilists being Agents of Social Evolution. In this interview Lyssa shares the background work that led her to this great question and the work that she has been doing to explore it further, along with developing a deeper understanding of what mission we, as Agents of Social Evolution are called to, and what our responsibility is towards the people and systems we interact with.

If you’d like to learn more about Lyssa and the work she is doing at the Agile Coaching Institute, check out

And you can follow Lyssa on Twitter at

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

How to Write a User Story for Marketing w/ Nic Sementa and Alistair Cockburn

Nic Sementa from the Agile Marketing Academy joins me in this podcast to share his thoughts on how to craft User Stories that will work for marketing. Nic's thoughts and opinions on this topic are heavily influenced by his marketing background, which, as he points out in the interview, is a little unique since most of the conversations on the topic are led by agile practitioners.
During the interview Alistair Cockburn joined in the conversation to offer his expert advice and guidance on the subject. Alistair is one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, the creator of the Crystal methods, leading voice on Use Cases and the man behind the Heart of Agile. (There is lots more - you can find it all here.)

Show Notes:
00:38 Nic’s background and the challenges faced by Marketing that Agile could help with
4:27 Putting Agile together with Marketing
5:52 User Stories from a Marketers perspective
6:52 The historical challenges involved with “marketing” to the customer as opposed to engaging directly with the customer to find out what they need
8:00 How coercing your customer to buy leads to the marketing equivalent of technical debt
8:50 Googling Agile Marketing
9:20 The corporate world is high school with ashtrays
10:00 Why marketing needs a new language framework for Agile
10:57 Apology to the Band Geeks (which Dave is)
11:30 Revenue impact of implementing Agile Marketing Techniques
11:52 How User Stories change in Agile Marketing
12:33 Personas and more
13:33 Developing a deeper understanding of the User and his/her pain points
14:03 MadMen in Reverse is not going to help you understand the “ideal customer”
15:14 Marketing Research
16:10 There is no such thing as offline marketing
17:52 Recap of the Marketing User Story Guidance
18:57 Let’s get al Skynet with this thing!
20:00 Special Guest Alistair Cockburn on Agile Marketing User Stories
25:55 Abstract thinkers vs. concrete thinkers
28:05 Alistair’s visual grammar version of User Stories
35:33 Where to learn more about the Agile Marketing Academy and how to reach Nic

Some Links:
For more on the Agile Marketing Academy you can go to their Certification site or send them an email.

You can reach Nic on Twitter @nicsementa

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Agile 2016 - Michael Spayd & Michele Madore on Trans4mation

Michael Spayd and Michele Madore stopped by to chat about their new company Trans4mation which focuses on helping executive leadership migrate from a traditional way of leading/working into an approach that is more deeply rooted in Agile.

You can learn more about the work Michael and Michele are doing by going to, or by reaching out to them using the information below.

Michele Madore

Twitter: @t4_agile

Michael Spayd

Twitter: @mspayd

Monday, August 08, 2016

Agile 2016 - Johanna Rothman on Agile Program Management

Click here to watch the video.

Johanna Rothman stopped by the LeadingAgile Podcasting Room during Agile 2016 to talk with about her conference sessions: Growing Servant Leadership and Agile Program Management.

Getting to chat with Johanna is always one of the highlights of the Agile Conference.  You can learn more about her on her website.

Or follow her on twitter: @johannarothman

Or pick up her new book Agile and Lean Program Management.

Johanna is also participating in some of PMI's Building the Hybrid the PMO Workshops.

Click here to watch the video.

Agile 2016 - Woody Zuill Interview

Click here to watch the video.

Woody Zuill was at Agile 2016 to provide an update on The State of No Estimates. He also sat in the hot seat to take questions from the crowd during a Stalwarts session.

Woody is the creator of No Estimates and Mob Programming. He is a very inspiring thought leader in the Agile space. Listen in as Dave and Woody discuss his Agile 2016 sessions and upcoming public events. From there, Woody shares some practical questions about how No Estimates actually works and why it can be valuable.

To learn more about Woody, where he will be speaking or the work he is doing, check out his website. You also can follow him on Twitter, or pick up his new book Mob Programming. The illustrations in his book were done by his wife Andrea, who also has a new book out titled, Wolf Camp.

To hear a longer, more in depth interview with Woody that covers his background and how folk music led him towards software, you can find that here.

Click here to watch the video.

Agile 2016 - Gil Broza Interview

Click here to watch the video

My Agile 2016 interview with Gil Broza about his session, "How to Get Your Whole Team Talking". Gil's session offered participants a variety of experiences to help them feel safe interacting with one another in meetings. He also provided several thinking tools to support the development of strong communication. Dave and Gil discuss his session, additional techniques for running effective meetings as well as Gil's most recent book, The Agile Mindset.

To get in touch with Gil, you can reach him on his website 3pVantage, or via Twitter @gilbroza.

Click here to watch the video

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Agile 2016 - Video Interview with Mike Cottmeyer on Enterprise Transformation

When I joined LeadingAgile a little over a year ago, one of the things that tipped the scale for me was the approach that Mike Cottmeyer had come up with for approaching Agile Transformation. Rather than the standard "we take you from the sucky misery you wallow in now to a magical land of agile wonderment", Mike's approach - with the compass and the basecamps, allows the organization to take small steps along the journey, transforming in stages. It also allows you to stop along the way if/when that makes business sense. This might be implied in the approach other organization's take (I'm sure they'll say it is if you ask them), but I was/am a big fan of the way it is articulated by my co-workers at LeadingAgile.

And last week, at Agile 2016, Mike gave a presentation on "An Executive’s Step-by-Step Guide to Leading Large-Scale Agile Transformation" to over 400 people. I had the chance to sit down with Mike and interview him after his session.

If you'd like to see the slides from his session, you can find them here.

And if you'd like to see any of the other video interviews from last week, you can find them here.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Project Managers, Stress and PTSD

On the Digital PM Slack channel there was some discussion recently about Project Managers' having PTSD. In this podcast, Carson Pierce, Senior PM at DDB Edmonton; Registered Psychologist, Dr. Krista Pierce (who is also Caron's wife); and I got the chance to discuss the topic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the stress PMs' experience at work and the relationship between the two.

Show Notes:
Krista and Carson Introductions 0:15
Introduction to the topic of Mental Health and Project Management 1:58
The Stress Project Managers Experience vs. actual PTSD 3:30
Living with failure but expecting success 5:30
Are we making too much of it 6:19
We are a dysfunctional bunch 8:00
The role experience plays in helping you cope 9:55
Lacking self-awareness 12:40
How to cope with being assertive 13:42
Bringing the bad news and being at ease15:58
Role playing the tough conversations18:26
Personal risk management 19:39
Recommendations for coping with the stress of being a PM 21:00
Setting boundaries for yourself (and sticking with them) 24:15
Carving out the self-care space  and finding balance 25:55
Mindfulness 28:42
Talking with your client (and team) about personal boundaries 29:49
Owning the burden you choose to carry 32:32
Letting go of the things you can do (Inbox 1,708) 33:03
Parting advice for coping with stress 36:45
Getting in touch with Carson and Krista 39:50
The Digital PM Summit 2016 40:28

Contact Info:
Getting in touch with Carson and Krista
Kristi can be reached at
Carson can be reached at or via email at
If you'd like access to the Digital PM Slack Channel, just email Carson
The site for the 2015 Digital PM Summit  can be found here:

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Interviews with Keynotes from Agile 2016

At Agile 2016, Adam Asch, Devin Hedge and I got to spend the week doing video podcasts with speakers and though leaders for LeadingAgile. The keynote presentations will eventually be posted to the Agile Alliance website and will be available to members, but while you are waiting... here are the interviews we did with them last week in Atlanta.

Jurgen Appelo, the CEO of HappyMelly, kicked the week off with his keynote on Managing Happiness. During the interview I got the chance to dig a little deeper on some of the specific tools (like personal maps) that he discussed during his session. If you don't want to wait for the Agile Alliance, you can also check out a previous version of Jurgen's talk here: TedX, or pick up his book here.
LeadingAgile Live - Jurgen Apello from LeadingAgile on Vimeo.

Devin Hedge got a chance to sit down with Industrial Logic CEO and Wednesday keynote Joshua Kerievsky to ask him questions about his keynote on Modern Agile and what changes he believes are necessary for the next step in Agile evolution. You can learn more about Modern Agile here.

Our last interview of the week was with closing keynote Carrie Kish. Unfortunately we missed her talk Leadership for Genius Tribes because we were still in the Hyatt basement doing interviews, but this conversation was one of the most fun and inspiring of the week for me. Carrie is the CEO of CultureSync and has a podcast called LeadershipUnleashed.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Live Video Podcast Interviews from Agile 2016!

I'm doing live podcast interviews from Agile 2016 all week long for LeadingAgile.

The live interviews will be showing up on LeadingAgile's Facebook site here.

And you can watch HD versions on Vimeo here.

The Agilistocrats on Agile 2016

The Agilistocrats on Agile 2016! If you are attending for the first time or aren't sure what sessions to attend, we've got you covered. Maria Matarelli, Richard Cheng, Dhaval Panchal and Dave Prior share their pics for which sessions to check out and how to survive the week in Atlanta at Agile 2016.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Agile Governance at eVestment - a more Agile approach to PMO with Liana Dore

In this episode of SoundNotes, Liana Dore, the Agile Governance Lead for eVestment explains why eVestment chose to establish a group focused on Agile Governance instead of a traditional PMO. Liana explains how Agile Governance works at eVestment, what she does day to day and the positive impact it has had on the Agile teams.

Show Notes:

Intro and background on eVestment 1:48
What is an Agile Governance Lead 3:30
Making the choice to establish Agile Governance instead of a traditional PMO 3:56
What does an Agile Governance Lead do all day 5:02
How Agile Governance works differently than a traditional PMO 7:40
The benefits of training the team all at once 13:30
Understanding Team Health in an Agile organization 16:05
Creating a space for the teams to thrive 18:44
Establishing an entrepreneurial culture that can scale 20:43
Agile Governance is not about control. It has to be light touch 23:32
How to get in touch with Liana 24:35

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