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