Friday, December 04, 2020

The Art of Coaching with Christine Converse and Ross Beurmann

Two of my colleagues from LeadingAgile, Christine Converse and Ross Beurmann join me for a conversation on the Art of Coaching. During the interview we discuss how paired coaching strengthens their ability to foster organizational change and help companies move towards business agility. We also explore the differences between coaching executives and coaching team members, how paired coaching works, and why it has become such a powerful approach for them. Along the way, they both offer lots of tips and techniques you can employ whether you are working as an Agile Coach or serving on a team trying to help them, and your organization raise its game with Agile. 

You can find the podcast here

ALSO, this podcast features a brand new theme song for the podcast that was created by Chris DeMakes. If the music or Chris’s voice sounds familiar, that’s because Chris is in the band Less Than Jake. He also has a podcast of his own where he interviews songwriters and producers about the art of creating great music. The podcast is called Chris DeMakes a Podcast and it is definitely worth checking out. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Improving Your Facilitation Skills w/ Tricia Broderick

How do you make the leap from being someone who can deliver a presentation to being someone who can meet a crowd, entertain them and take them someplace where they happen to learn something valuable along the way? I know lots of people who can stand up in front of a room (or share a screen) and get through a topic without saying anything wrong. I know far fewer people who can take a room, offer valuable information wrapped in stories, and stagecraft in a way that appears effortless. 

Tricia Broderick is an accomplished, well-known thought leader in the Agile community and a fellow Certified Scrum Trainer. She is currently offering a class in Impactful Training and Speaking and I reached out to her in hopes that she might be able to share some thoughts and tips on how a presenter/teacher can amp up their ability at delivering a compelling, valuable fun experience for the people attending their session or class.

You can find the interview here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Discussion on Changes to the 2020 Scrum Guide with Eric Tucker

The 2020 Scrum Guide is here. It's got changes which are subtle, but impactful. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by Certified Scrum Trainer, Eric Tucker. During the interview we explore some of the changes to the guide and try to offer insight into how these may help teams adopt Scrum and also some things to watch out for. 

You can find the podcast here.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Remote Forever with Molood Ceccarelli

While most of us have spent the past several months struggling to adjust to the new normal of being 100% remote, Molood Ceccarelli has not. In 2016, Molood realized that even though Agile coaches and thought leaders frequently talk about how important it is for all of us to be co-located, most of her work was remote and she’d been able to figure out how to work with agile teams. This realization inspired her to start Remote Forever and refocus her efforts 100% on helping people get better at working remotely.

In this episode of the podcast, Molood and I discuss some of the key things she has learned in developing her ability to work remotely, how she runs experiments to continue improving at working this way and how she stays inspired with the work she does. We also discuss the upcoming 2020 Remote Forever Summit. The Summit will take place from November 11-17, 2020. The summit is 100% online. Last year they had 10,000 attendees and you can attend this year for free!

Click here to check out my interview with Molood.

You can learn more about the 2020 Remote Forever Summit and register to attend here:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Johanna Rothman vs. The Pandemic

 Johanna Rothman is one of the most inspiring people I know. Usually she writes a book a year, but with the pandemic and all the chaos that has thrown into the mix, this year she wrote five.

In this interview on, Johanna and I discuss her new books and catch up on a wide range of topics including staying productive and inspired, leading and empowering people, how being distributed has changed under Covid-19, not losing your *** during the pandemic, and what it might mean for the working world if decide we don't actually need all those office buildings anymore.

You can find the interview and links to all her new books here.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Business Planning for Agile AND Traditional Time Horizons with Ross Beurmann

 In this interview with Ross Beurmann we dig into the topic of how to handle business planning when you've got both traditional (waterfall) and Agile work happening concurrently within the organization. 

Here is the interview -> Business Planning for Agile AND Traditional Time Horizons with Ross Beurmann

You can also hear an update on how Ross's son Tom is doing with his effort to enact lasting social change within his local government. If you missed that interview, you can find that one here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Making Your Non-Agile Experience Count w/ Merchi Reyes

Q: How do I get a job as a Project Manager, Product Owner, or ScrumMaster if I have no experience?

or more specifically....

Q: How do you go from Event Promoter to DJay to Tree Services worker to working at a consulting agency as a ScrumMaster/Product Owner?

Answer... listen to this fascinating interview with Merchi Reyes to find out.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

When they ask you to be ScrumMaster AND Product Owner...

In every class I teach, there are people who tasked with being ScrumMaster AND Product Owner at the same time for one team working on one product.

I have very strong feelings about this, and realizing that my responses to this situation are maybe not so flexible and not practical for everyone, I reached out on the Agile Uprising Discord channel if there were people who had succeeded in being SM and PO at the same time, AND if they would be willing to join me for a podcast and share some of their experiences around making the SM/PO gig work. 

This episode of the podcast features Andrew Leff, Chris Murman, and Mike Caddell. Over the course of the interview, we discuss the reasons why trying to be SM and PO at the same time is not advised, ways they found to survive it, and it some cases, actually make it work well.

You can find the podcast here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Managing Up with Dhaval Panchal

Two similar common situations raised by students in class...

How can you be Product Owner when your boss keeps trying to do your job for you? How can you be ScrumMaster when the owner of the company keeps storming in demanding mid-sprint changes, additions, etc. And how do you manage the people who are higher up in the food chain than you are?

EvolveAgility Founder, Dhaval Panchal, joined me for a podcast to discuss these situations, how tricky they can be to navigate, and how you can "coach" your managers to behave in a way that helps, not hinders, your team's ability to deliver.

The podcast is here.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

What To Do When They Want To Know Cost Per Point w Troy Lightfoot

I had a student recently who was being asked to provide information cost per User Story Point. In this interview with Troy Lightfoot we discuss different strategies you might employ when responding to this request and why management asking for this is such a troubling sign. 

You can find the interview here

Sunday, July 26, 2020

When Sprint Planning Is Like Hunger Games with Meghan McInerny

“What advice do you have on structuring sprint planning meetings in an agency setting with different product owners and project teams (when each PM is 'competing' for the same development resources)?" 

That is the question I got during the Q&A portion of a webinar I did recently for The Bureau of Digital on how to make Sprint Planning work better.

In this episode of the podcast I am joined by  Meghan McInerny. We talk though the issues, risks, and opportunities that come with a “Hunger Games” approach to Sprint Planning and offer some advice on how to cope with and/or resolve the problem defined in the question above. 

Side Note: The webinar I did for the Bureau of Digital focused on the new version of my Sprint Capacity Calculator and how to get the most out of Sprint Planning. These webinars are normally available in a recorded format only to members of the Bureau, but they are very kind and have made this one public in case you’d like to check it out after listening to the podcast. You'll find it here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Practicing Agile at Home with Yvonne Marcus

Yvonne Marcus is on a mission to create positive home management solutions for every family and she’s using Agile to do it. In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, Yvonne and I discuss how and why she began an Agile transformation at home, how it has impacted life for her and her family, and how you can get started bringing Agile practices into your home and personal life. 

You can find the podcast here, along with links to her podcast that focuses on her work to bring Agile into people's homes. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Using Outcome Based Planning at Home to Effect Social Change

In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, you’ll hear the story of how a father helped his son use outcome-based planning to define his personal response to what happened to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter events that followed. 

Ross Beurmann is a seasoned Agile coach (and a co-worker of mine). His son Tom just graduated from high school. When Tom learned about what happened to George Floyd, he felt a need to respond. Attending a local march was definitely an option, but Ross brought some of his coaching experience to bear in the conversation. By working together to define the results his son was looking for and exploring ways to achieve that outcome, Ross and Tom were able to define a plan of action that has impacted local officials, law enforcement, and increased local interest and awareness. This set the stage for Tom to move forward with his efforts to establish lasting local change that will have a positive impact now and into the future.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sprint Capacity Calculator 2.0

I've updated the Sprint Capacity Calculator and I'll be posting a video on how to use it shortly. In the meantime, you can download it here.

I'm also going to be doing a demo of it during my "Getting Better at Sprint Planning" webinar which is being hosted by the Bureau of Digital today (6/25/20) at 2PM. If you'd like to attend, click here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Product Ownership and Online Education with Braden Cundiff

Braden Cundiff  works in the International Division of McGraw-Hill Education serving in a Product Ownership role for international education products. His work involves creating tools and products that are used in collaborative, educational environments all across the globe. He also has a background that includes teaching, agile coaching, and transformation. This allows him to offer a unique perspective on how to create an effective online environment for your teams. 

We also spend time at the start of the interview discussing something which is asked about in every Certified Scrum Product Owner class  I teach:  how to say "No".

Friday, June 12, 2020

Remote Possibilities with Kevin Hogan

Remote Possibilities is a new podcast focusing on eLearning and the future of educational technology. It's hosted by my good friend Kevin Hogan. He's deeply experienced in the field and has been posting at least one interview a week. This link is to his first episode - where Kevin interviewed me.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

The Business Agility Canvas with Karim Harbott

The transition to Agile is challenging for any organization. It’s even worse when you do not understand the strategic and business reasons behind the change. This is one of the primary reasons so many Agile transformations fail to achieve lasting change.

Karim is a seasoned Agile Trainer, Executive Coach, and a founding partner of Agile Centre. He also currently serves on the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors. He created The Business Agility Canvas to help organizations clarify the business drivers leading their change to Agile.

In this episode of the podcast, Karim explains the six enablers of business agility and how to use the Business Agility Canvas.

You can find the interview here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Disciplined Agile Training Event Recap with Tony Johnson

In part two of my interview with Crosswind PM's Tony Johnson,  Tony and I discuss his recent experience attending a PMI training on Disciplined Agile, PMI's overall approach with Agile and what that means for the larger PM and Agile communities.

You can find the interview here.

If you'd like to check out the first part of the interview, which explores some of the upcoming changes to the PMBOK and how that will impact the PMP Exam, you can find that here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Agile Virtual Summit w/ Adam Weisbart

The Agile Virtual Summit is taking place on June 1-5. It's being run by Adam Weisbart and he's put together an amazing line up of though leaders from the Agile community (and beyond).  In this interview Adam and I talked about the podcast, why he put it together and why it is happening sooner than originally planned.  The list of speakers includes Diana Larsen, Lyssa Adkins, Jim Benson, Clinton Keith, Ronica Roth, and more.

During the conversation Adam and I also discussed some of the challenges we've both been working through as we transition to providing training 100% online. So, if you are struggling with getting your folks to engage (and keeping their attention), this interview should provide some help.



Thursday, April 30, 2020

Remote Faciitation Best Practices and Anitpatterns with Mark Kilby

The impact of Covid-19 and the Corona Virus on how we interact with co-workers and teams is unlike anything we've seen before. Yes, you might have had some remote team members or been part of a distributed team, but we've never had a global situation where everyone had to work from home.

And it has made the easy things difficult and some of the difficult things easy.

Mark Kilby, is the co-author of the book From Chaos to Successfully Distributed Agile Teams, which he pair wrote with Johanna Rothman. In this episode of the podcast, Mark and talk about some of the things we've been learning about how to successfully engage in this new way and also, some of the things we've done, and seen others do, that bring on the sound of the sad trombone.

You can find the interview here.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Updates to the PMBOK with Tony Johnson

This is the first part of a two-part interview with Tony Johnson from Crosswind Learning. In this part of the interview Tony and I discuss the upcoming 7th edition of the PMBOK, the changes it will introduce, how the material has been reorganized and the inclusion of Agile. The changes to the standard are significant, and this is also going to have a big impact on the PMP exam, which we also discuss in the interview.
You can find the interview here.

(And make sure to check back for Part 2 where Tony and I discuss the recent Disciplined Agile training sessions he went through.)

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Working in Quarantine - What We Learned - Week 1

Jessica Wolfe, Derek Huether and I recorded a Zoom call talking about what we learned after our first week of working under quarantine. This was recorded on 3/29 and we're going to try to make it a semi-regular thing. We're posting it on Derek's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Getting Better at Saying No with Tim Wise

One of the hardest parts about being a good Product Owner is saying "No" all the time. No matter how much experience you have, or what your reasoning is, telling people you aren't going to give them what they want is never easy. 

My friend and colleague, Tim Wise, joined me for a podcast where talk all about how to get better at saying No to people.

You can find the interview here.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Chief Scrum Master & Chief Product Owner - Checking in with Melissa Boggs and Howard Sublett

It's been a little over a year since the Scrum Alliance reorganized around an organizational structure that is headed up by a Chief Scrum Master (Melissa Boggs) and a Chief Product Owner (Howard Sublett). In this episode of the podcast I had a chance to catch up with them and find out about what they've learned, the impact of additional changes to support a more Agile approach to work and what to expect at the upcoming 2020 North American Global Scrum Gathering in New York City this May.

You can find the podcast here:

Monday, February 17, 2020

Ryan Ripley - Fixing Your Scrum

Fixing Your Scrum is a new book by Ryan Ripley creator of the Agile for Humans podcast, and Todd Miller. It is full or real-life stories with practical advice from two seasoned professional Agile Coaches.

You can check out my interview with Ryan on the Reluctant Agilist Podcast here:

Monday, February 03, 2020

Leadership is Language with L. David Marquet

Leadership is Language is the new book by L. David Marquet it out now. If you read Turn the Ship Around and are working on your approach to Intent Based Leadership, this book is going to have a massive impact on your ability to communicate more effectively. 

David was kind enough to let me interview him about the book. You can find the interview on The Reluctant Agilist ->

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Agile for Non-Software Teams w/ Gil Broza

Gil Broza is back with a brand new book called "Agile for Non-Software Teams: A Practical Guide for Your Journey".  If you've got questions about how to get started with Agile in a non-software environment, this book offers guidance on how to get started, and how to progress through transformation.

I got the chance to interview Gil about the book and some tips for those headed down this path. You can find the podcast on The Reluctant Agilist blog.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Understanding Trauma w/ Brandon Brown

Regardless of whether you are a traditional PM or you are working in Agile, topics like emotional intelligence, creating safety and self-care are part of the current conversation about how we approach our work. This podcast presents another side of that discussion and focuses on how different experiences and events result in trauma that can leave lasting scars that we carry with us as we interact with others. Becoming more aware of different types of trauma, how it shows up in you as well as others, will help you become a more valuable and effective leader for your teams and organizations.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

The Power of Volunteering w/ Reese Schmit

Kicking off 2020 with a podcast about the power of volunteering and how it can be one of the very best ways to invest in your career.

In this episode of the podcast Agile Coach, Reese Schmit shares her story of how she got involved in helping out with Burning Flipside (an Austin, TX-based Burning Man event), how that led her to start volunteering for local Agile and User Groups and how that led her to become part of the team of folks who plan and run the Scrum Gathering.