Where I Work

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Growing Up Agile - 2nd Gen Agilists

We’ve reached a stage in the evolution of work where some of the folks now entering the workforce were raised by professional Agile practitioners. This might not seem like a big deal, but consider that this is a generation that will not have to go through the process of unlearning all the dysfunctional practices that most of us had to let go of. These are folks who have been working in an agile way their whole lives and, because it is native to them, they are free from the cognitive dissonance most of us face when we move to a more Agile state. 

In this interview I am joined by Bria Johnson and Blake Halvorson. Both of them were raised by seasoned Agile practitioners. Bria and Blake used Agile throughout their schooling and entered the workforce already deep with knowledge of how it works. During the interview, we explore how they came to Agile, how they employed it in school, and how they’ve used it since leaving school. 

For me, one of the most powerful parts of the interview was when Bria and Blake explained how they approached their schoolwork in college. Their seemingly simple approach is so massively different from the way I managed my work in school—it left me very envious.


Contacting Bria and Blake

If you’d like to reach out to Bria or Blake with follow up questions, here is how you can reach them:


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What's New at the Scrum Alliance - from the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering


During the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering in Minneapolis, I had a chance to interview the Interim Co-CEOs of the Scrum Alliance: Shannon Carter, Renata Lerch, and Angie Stecovich. In addition to their new roles, they also serve as VP of Education, VP of Global Marketing and Communications, and Sr. Director of Finance, respectively. Shannon, Renata, and Angie explain how their roles have changed at the Scrum Alliance and how being part of an agile leadership team has prepared them for this. They also speak about all the new things happening at the Scrum Alliance.  

During the interview, they share details about a number of new initiatives at the Scrum Alliance (including how the certifications offered by the Scrum Alliance have changed over the last year and continue to evolve) as well as new benefits being offered to Certified Scrum Professionals (like free access to Comparative Agility, an online assessment tool that can be used to help organizations develop their agile capabilities).

By far, the biggest announcement the Scrum Alliance made during the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering was the partnership with Jeff Sutherland and Scrum Inc. to form a new organization called Scrum at Scale that is focused on helping large organizations transform to Agile. If you’d like to check out an interview with Jeff on the partnership, you can find it here: http://drunkenpm.blogspot.com/2018/04/jeff-sutherland-at-2018-global-scrum.html 


For more on the Scrum Alliance: https://www.scrumalliance.org






Monday, June 04, 2018

The Agile Heretic - An Interview with Jim Benson

Jim Benson has been involved with Agile since the very beginning. You may know him as creator of Personal Kanban,  as the co-creator of Lean Coffee, through his work as CEO of Modus Cooperandi, his books, or from the many awards he’s won for his work in applying Lean practices to knowledge work. 

After years watching Agile being misused, misunderstood, and seeing it “calcify and solidify because of commercialization”,  Jim’s new project The Agile Heretic is focused on calling attention to many of the things people are doing that are causing Agile to not work. In the videos and blog posts, Jim takes on a wide range of Agile related topics, he explores why things are off the rails and how to address them.

In this interview Jim and I talk through what led to him creating this series, his hopes for it and what he is looking forward to seeing in the future of Agile. We also touch on some specific topics (like why he doesn’t like Story Points) and he shares a bunch of great stories (like why a group of developers once passed the hat amongst themselves and smuggled him into their company after their organization deemed his ideas too dangerous to their way of working.




Note: During the podcast, Jim makes multiple references to the Kuhn Cycle, You can find some basic info on it here:  Kuhn Cycle: http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/KuhnCycle.htm

Agile Heretic Links - here are two places to get started:



Jim at Agile 2018

Jim will be leading a Stalwarts session at Agile 2018 called “Ask the Agile Heretic Almost Anything” You can find more about that here: https://agile2018.sched.com/event/EUEU/ask-the-agile-heretic-almost-anything-jim-benson-jim-benson


For more in Jim and his work:


Monday, May 28, 2018

David Hawks at the 2018 North American Scrum Gathering


David Hawks led two sessions at the 2018 North American Scrum Gathering. During the conference we had the chance to sit down and talk through some of the key ideas he was presenting in Minneapolis.

David’s first session, “The Post Project Era: The Future of Agile,” looked at how a project-centric mindset can actually impede your ability to deliver value for your client.  In his second session, “Move Beyond User Stories: What’s Next,” David presented an approach to understanding requirements that goes beyond simply working with User Stories and involves forming hypotheses, designing and prioritizing experiments to test them, and then running the experiments to gain a deeper understanding of what the customer’s needs actually are and how to best solve them.

David is the founder and CEO of Agile Velocity, as well as a Certified Enterprise Coach and a Certified Scrum Trainer. If you’d like to learn more about David, check out AgileVelocity.com
You can also find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/austinagile.

And if you’d like to learn more about the Keep Austin Agile Conference, which took place on May 24, 2018, or Agile Austin, check out http://www.meetup.com/agileaustin/.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Billy McLaughlin - 2018 Global Scrum Gathering Keynote

The 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering kicked off with a keynote presentation that was incredibly unique and inspiring. Billy McLaughlin is a professional guitar player who spent his life working to reach a level of success most musicians only dream about. But just as he reached the top, the tools that got him there began working against him.



Billy suffers from focal dystonia. You may not be familiar with this condition, but for a professional guitar player, it is one of the the worst things that could possibly happen because it means you can’t do the one thing you have spent your life mastering.

While something like this might cause a lot of people to give up on their dreams and find something else to do, Billy found a different path. He learned to play the guitar left handed instead of right handed. (Just for frame of reference, imagine learning how to write again, using your opposite hand, but having to write everything backwards… what Billy had to do was harder than that.)

In this interview you’ll hear Billy explain what focal dystonia is, how it impacted him and how he worked through relearning to play guitar all over again.

The story is inspiring all on it’s own, but for me, there is something deeper in this story. In the interview you’ll hear Billy talk about the struggle of working through all the relearning and how he stayed motivated and kept at it. While it doesn’t touch the level of complexity that Billy had to work through, there are some parallels to what traditional PMs go through when they have to relearn how to do their jobs using Agile. For me, that journey felt like I was being forced to unlearn everything I had spent years trying to master, and then start over from scratch. Maintaining some level of motivation and not giving up hope was one of the hardest parts of the transformation. This is something Billy and I discuss in the interview, and for any of you who need inspiration from time to time, my hope is that his story will help.

There is contact info for Billy below, but if you’d like to check out his keynote presentations from other events, you can find them here.

Links from the Podcast 

Billy McLaughlin 



Focal Dystonia 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Christopher Avery and The Leadership Gift

Christopher Avery is the author of The Responsibility Process and Teamwork Is an Individual Skill. He’s also one of the most inspiring and impactful people I’ve ever had a chance to interview. The Responsibility Process is an approach to understanding how each of us takes ownership of our understanding, and response to the challenges we face. It includes techniques that provide clarity on how the internal narrative we all create shows the extent to which we are able to realize our role in, and the level of responsibility we are taking with the things we face.

In this interview Christopher and I talk about The Responsibility Process and how his online program The Leadership Gift, is designed to help people embrace the process and use it to ltransform themselves into more fully realized, present and engaged leaders.


Over the last 20 years, there are very few things I’ve read which have had as significant an impact on me as The Responsibility Process. I can’t recommend it enough. But, one word of caution… this book is very likely going to completely strip away your ability to stay in the mindset of someone who has been totally victimized by external forces.

In the next few weeks I am going to sign up to participate in The Leadership Gift and I’ll be posting periodically on how it is impacting me.

If you’d like to check out an additional video where Christopher explains the The Leadership Gift in greater detail, you can find it here: https://www.projectmanagement.com/videos/286574/Your-Agile-Leadership-Gift

Links:

To learn more about The Leadership Gift, go here: http://www.the.leadershipgift.com
To find Christoper’s books on Amazon, go here: https://amzn.to/2rzj5h1
For more on Christopher: https://www.christopheravery.com
To find Christopher on Twitter: https://twitter.com/christopheraver

For more on Noel Tichy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noel_Tichy

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jeff Sutherland at 2018 Global Scrum Gathering on the Scrum@Scale and Scrum Alliance partnership

Last week, at the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering, the Scrum Alliance and Scrum co-founder, Dr. Jeff Sutherland, announced the creation of a new joint venture to train, coach, and promote Scrum@Scale. Scrum@Scale is an extension of the Scrum Framework that is designed to deliver business Agility across an entire organization.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to to sit down with Jeff during the Scrum Gathering and ask some questions about his partnership with the Scrum Alliance, Scrum@Scale, and how it can help organizations achieve greater business Agility.


Links from the Podcast

If you’d like to read the press release on the joint venture, you can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/yc5z4w3p
Here is a link to the Scrum@Scale Guide
Here is a link to Jeff's latest book, "Scrum, The Art of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time".


Contacting Dr. Jeff Sutherland

If you’d like to contact Jeff you can reach him at:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hacking Agile for Digital Agencies at Scrum Gathering 2018

Thanks to everyone who attended my Hacking Agile for Digital Agencies yesterday at the 2018 Global Scrum Gathering in Minneapolis.

If you'd like to check out the slides or the Digital Agility Canvas, they can both be found here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/68ecmqh69zz75ds/AADosSXv2XwFpmlB58PFnKaBa?dl=0

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Scrum Gathering 2018 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Rick Brinkman

During the 2018 Scrum Gathering in Minneapolis, Dr. Rick Brinkman will be giving a keynote presentation called "Conscious Communication to Bring out the Best in People and Others". The presentation will introduce the crowd to Dr. Brinkman’s techniques for developing greater awareness of how to interpret the messages others are sending us and how we are bringing noise to the signal of the messages we are trying to transmit to others.



I had the chance to interview Dr. Rick about his work helping people develop stronger communication skills. In this interview we discuss ways to become more aware of how we each jam up the messages we are trying to send by letting buried emotions effect our tone, how to slow down and communicate with sincerity and what folks will learn by attending the closing keynote at the 2018 Scrum Gathering. Dr. Rick also offered some tips from his latest book "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand: Meet Less and Do More". (https://tinyurl.com/y9phwzeg)

Dr. Rick Brinkman has presented over 4,000 programs in 18 countries and is the author of a number of books including the international best seller “Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst” (https://tinyurl.com/yb5wgkmp) which has been translated to 25 different languages.

The Scrum Gathering 2018 Closing Keynote: Conscious Communication to Bring out the Best in People and Others will take place on Wednesday, April 18 at 3:45 PM in the main auditorium at the conference center. You can learn more about the conference here: https://www.scrumalliance.org/courses-events/events/global-scrum-gathering/2018/minneapolis-2018/home

For More Information on Rick Brinkman:
Web: https://www.drrickbrinkman.com
Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y9t2uc98

Friday, March 16, 2018

Agile in Supply Chain w/ Michael Tibbert and Dhaval Panchal


This podcast features Michael Tibbert and Dhaval Panchal helping me out with a question submitted by a student that focused on implementing Agile in a traditional supply chain organization. We also address the question of whether or not it is easier to implement Agile in a band new organization than it is in an existing one. 




CONTACT INFO

If you’d like to reach Michael Tibbert, you can find him here:

If you’d like to reach out to Dhaval Panchal, he’s here:

And if you want to read more about the Parable of the Watermelon

(And in 2 weeks, when he gets his website sorted, that will be added here as well.)

If you have any questions about Agile or Scrum that you’d like addressed in a podcast, just send them to drunkenpm@Gmail.com or DM them to @drunkenpm

Monday, March 05, 2018

Scott Ambler - Disciplined Agile Framework


For large scale organizations that need to scale Agile, one of the biggest challenges is selecting the option that will fit best. In this interview Scott Ambler, co-creator of the Disciplined Agile framework offers explains the origin of DisciplinedAgile, what makes it different than the other scaling options  and how to handle some of the more common issues facing traditional orgs that are trying to adopt Agile and handle governance.



SHOW NOTES

00:07 Interview Begins
00:35 Background on the Disciplined Agile Framework
01:34 The Origin of Disciplined Agile and what it was designed to help with
05:01 What drives organizations to want one common way to practice Agile 
06:13 How Disciplined Agile responds to the desire for one process to rule them all
08:36 If you support multiple approaches to development, how do you bring it all together from a governance perspective and how do you communicate with management about process and progress?
11:10 If you are going to govern, what should you actually be governing?
12:30 Do we really want the PMO to be in charge of governing all aspects of the work?
13:20 How Disciplined Agile looks at the bigger picture with respect to governance
15:55 Making room for someone who can watch how things are being measured and keeping track of performance
16:39 We do not want to inflict the same process on 50 different teams. We need to up our game and look at the full enterprise picture
17:24 Everything in the complex adaptive system impact everything else in the system
17:56 The difference between Disciplined Agile and the other options for scaling Agile
20:55 There is no such thing as a best practice… EVER
21:08 If you want to be effective, pick and choose the techniques that work for you
22:50 Teaching them how to make decisions on their own, rather than just prescribing a solution
23:15 Getting qualified, experienced coaches to help you adopt Disciplined Agile
25:19 How Disciplined Agile makes sure the people teaching it are experienced it and know what they are doing
26:42 The first step is not to park your brain at the door. Hire someone who has experience and knows what they are doing.
27:25 The legions of Agile coaches … a 4 day class does not make you an experienced expert
28:55 Avoiding the trap of hiring “experts” who have merely completed few days of training
30:20 Making the case to senior leadership for taking a more mindful approach, despite the additional risk and effort
31:36 If it took your organization decades to get into the state they are in now, it is not going to go away overnight
32:50 The investment is more than just dollars
34:44 No matter how good we are, there is always something more we can tweak to get better
35:12 Organizations need to wake up, observe and have an honest discussion - make the bigger picture obvious
36:47 If you want to get in touch with Scott
37:44 Scott’s upcoming speaking events
38:22 Interview Ends


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SCOTT AMBLER AND DISCIPLINED AGILE


Monday, February 19, 2018

How to Stop Treating People as Resources w/ Mika Trottier




If you'd prefer an audio version of the podcast, you can find it here.

In this interview, Mika Trottier and I talk through a subtle but significant shift that has to occur in the mindset of a traditional PM who is trying to adopt an Agile mindset. How do you flip that switch in your brain that thinks of the people who do work as resources and make them start thinking of them as people?

During the conversation, Mika and I also dig into some of the challenges facing introverts who become project managers and some of the coping mechanisms that have aided each of us.

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer w/ Anderson Hummel

Last fall Anderson Diniz Hummel became a Certified Scrum Trainer. This means that he has been approved by the Scrum Alliance to teach Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. The journey to becoming a CST is never easy and never as quick as anyone would like and for Anderson, it was over three years from the time he first started working on it. (And this is after already having taught at the University level for a number of years.)

During the recent holidays Anderson and I had a conversation about what his journey to CST was like. We recorded this in hopes of helping offer some encouragement, advice and support for others who are headed down the path.



To help provide some background about the CST designation, according to the Scrum Alliance’s 2018 State of Scrum Report, there are over 500,000 certified practitioners of Scrum worldwide. Within that community, only 234 people are certified by the Scrum Alliance as being allowed to teach Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. So, it is a rare certification to have and many people who begin heading down the path do not have a great understanding of what to expect. Hopefully this interview will help with that.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:09 Podcast Begins - What’s up with Anderson
  • 01:56 Anderson’s background as a teacher and how that led to him applying for Certified Scrum Trainer
  • 03:10 How is teaching Certified Scrum classes different than teaching at the University level
  • 04:39 Anderson’s 3 year journey to become a Certified Scrum Trainer
  • 10:17 Being a CST is a lot more than just teaching Scrum correctly
  • 11:36 How Anderson went from failing art exams in school to excelling at creating art in his classes
  • 15:45 How big a role does experience working on Scrum teams play into teaching CSM and CSPO classes
  • 19:25 Anderson’s advice for coaches who want to become Certified Scrum Trainers
  • 25:20 Understanding how teaching all day impacts you as a human and planning recovery time
  • 27:32 A word of caution for new CSTs who try to book too many back to back classes
  • 29:32 Parting words of encouragement and advice for CST candidates
  • 32:25 Getting in touch with Anderson
  • 32:27 Interview Ends

ANDERSON's ARTWORK

CST CERTIFICATION

https://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications/trainers/cst-certification

CONTACTING ANDERSON

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/andersonhummel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anderson_hummel


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Challenging the Sprint - An Interview with John Cutler

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.




Show Notes

  • 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



Contacting John