Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Advice for a Wayward Scrum Master with Jeff Howey

Jeff Howey is back to help me out with a sort of a case study that came from a former student. The story involves a Scrum Master who seems to have seriously lost their way... or their copy of the Scrum Guide, or their understanding of servant leadership. Jeff and unpack the variety of issues and steps that could be taken to reset the role.

You can check out the podcast here.

Friday, December 08, 2023

Is Agile Delivering The Business Outcomes You Are Looking For? with Jessica Wolfe

Jessica Wolfe is back to discuss what kind of things organizations need to pay attention to and track in order to understand if their implementation of agile is actually providing them with the business results they are looking for. All too often organizations fall into the trap of simply thinking that doing the thing (agile) creates the desired change. This is not always the case. 

During the interview, Jessica shows how Lean Agile Intelligence can be used to figure out what you need to track and how it can show you that the problem you actually have may not be the problem you thought you had. 

You can find a video version of the podcast here.

You can find an audio version of the podcast here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Future of AI with Mark Kilby

The Agile Alliance is hosting a MiniCon on the Future of Artificial Intelligence on 12/8/23. As part of the event,  Mark Kilby, co-author of From Chaos to Successfully Distributed Agile Teams,  will be hosting a roundtable discussion with the speakers at the event to explore the ways AI is poised to impact how we work and what it will take to utilize it in an ethical and responsible way.  

I asked Mark to join me to discuss how he is using AI, why he is taking the time to get schooled up on this emerging technology, and where he thinks it is leading as we head into the future. 

You can find the podcast here: https://tinyurl.com/nhhnbte8

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Letting Go of Pure Agile with Andy Jordan

After seeing yet another verbal Agilista beat down on LinkedIn, my friend Andy Jordan wrote an article on Project Management.com called Letting Go of Pure Agile. I reached out to Andy and asked if he'd let me interview him about his post to try and dig a little deeper on what he sees happening in the Agile space, how it intersects with traditional project management, and the impact it is having in the job market.

It was also just great to catch up with Andy. He, Mark Price Perry and I used to do workshops for PMI on Redefining Your PMO. You can find links to more on that, Andy's original post, and our interview here: https://tinyurl.com/mr2u9jxv

Monday, November 06, 2023

The Agile Coach's Dilemma with Alan Dayley

With each new round of layoffs, the existential crisis facing the agile coaching community deepens. Alan Dayley joins me to discuss how the community is retrospecting on this moment and whether or not it is asking the right questions. 

You can find the interview here: https://tinyurl.com/4ttkd7nz

Friday, October 27, 2023

Louder Than Ten Goes Full CoOp!

Louder Than Ten is a Vancouver-based Project Management Training and Consulting company. L>10 was founded by Rachel and Travis Gertz, and for the past 14 years, everything they have done has been centered around fostering healthy and humane ways of working together and managing projects. There aren’t many organizations in the digital agency space that have taken the time to develop their own project management manifesto. It is truly a unique place and now, as they do, Rachel and Travis have cranked up the volume just a scosche higher by converting their company into a Worker Owned Cooperative. This means that new employees who join Louder than Ten will have an option to purchase a stake in the company and become an equal partner. This is a far cry from the sweatshop grind-it-out approach that many agencies take and it is definitely unique in the context of what is happening in the field of project management today. 

In this episode, Rachel and Travis join me to explain why they took this step to completely transform their company and how they went about doing it. 

You can find the video version of the interview here.

You can find the audio version of the interview here.

Also, as you can see from the picture above, they have some totally badass merch. If there is a project manager in your life, remember, the holidays are right around the corner.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

It's Not You, It's Me... Breaking up with my Personal Kanban Board

 On November 1st, Tim Nolan, Mark Kilby, and I will be kicking off a six-week Personal Kanban course for Modus Institute. We are all really looking forward to helping others get started with Personal Kanban and amp up their game when it comes to getting a better handle on all the things they are trying to do. It is a very powerful system, and it has taught me volumes about how to optimize my ability to show up for people and be productive. (You can learn more about the course here: https://tinyurl.com/PKClassNov1

One of the most powerful things about this approach is that it is not a static system. It is always waiting to teach you something new - if/when you are ready to hear it.

 It’s Not You, It’s Me

My Personal Kanban board and I just broke up. It’s the second time in six months. I thought we could make it work. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Now there is nothing but me, way too many things to do, and an REO Speedwagon playlist. 

You should have seen by the look in my eyes, baby

There was something missin'

You should have known by the tone of my voice, maybe

But you didn't listen

I’m not done with Personal Kanban - just that particular board layout.

I stopped using a physical board a few months ago because I wasn’t always around it when I needed to make updates. It was also too small to hold all the stuff I needed to do. So I set everything up in Miro and used that as a Product Backlog, writing by hand the things I wanted to do each day in a little notebook I carry with me everywhere. What is in the notebook is a checklist (Jim is frowning) but I think of it more as the personal parallel of a Sprint Backlog. Items are color-coded by priority. For me, there is something about the effort required to handwrite stuff each day, plus shading them with a prioritization color that I find rewarding. It's like I am paying respect to the work item by writing it out by hand (#handspunproductivity). Also, I’m a project manager and I like checking things off a list. 

But lately, that hasn’t worked either. I have so much stuff in Miro and so much in the notebook, and all of a sudden I’m also capturing reminders in my phone. The whole system just kinda broke down and was failing to serve me. 

 On the flight back from Atlanta on Friday, I wrote down all the things I needed to do in my notebook. It took three pages. TMGDWIP!

This happens… to everyone… grab a towel and some salty snacks and DO NOT PANIC! It’s all ok. 

I had a system. It worked great for a time, but it was clearly time to “high school break up” with my board.

You played dead

But you never bled

Instead, you laid still in the grass

All coiled up and hissin' 

Imagine your Kanban board (or however you are visualizing your work) was someone you’d been trying to date. And you’ve hit the wall. The level of annoyance and irritation has overcome the fear of emotional discomfort that comes with the idea of separating from someone or something you’ve grown comfortable with. (Just because you are in pain does not mean you are uncomfortable.) It’s time for the “It’s not you, it’s me” conversation… because 100%, it is totally you. Your situation has changed and that board fits you like the pants you wore when you were 10 lbs. lighter.  

If you could sit down with your work - however you visualize it - and have an open, honest conversation about how that model is helping, how it is no longer helping, and (because it’s totally you…) what parts you are clinging to and can’t let go of it (just like that person you dated in high school). Gev from Modus has a sign on her board asking, “Dear Kanban, How are you lying to me today?” Mine has, “Dear Kanban, what are you shouting at me that I am completely refusing to hear?” Somewhere in the middle is the information you need to start over. 

Getting (re)started

Before you just launch into a new visualization of your work, take some time to be intentional about the next step. 

What problem are you trying to solve?


This is question #1. Is it too much WIP? Keeping track of everything? Do you just want to visualize everything so you can see what is on the table? Maybe a combination of all of that? Maybe you aren’t even sure what the question is yet and you need a model that will help you figure out how this system can teach you to be more efficient. Before you set up a new Kanban, understand what it needs to be able to do for you and design it to run an experiment to see if it can help solve that problem. It is not just about getting cards moved across a board. The system has to serve you and your understanding of how and why you work so that you can make truly intentional choices about what the next right step is.

For me, I’m at the point where I already know that any visualization is 100% going to show me I have too much going on. I’m also currently not ready to let go of any of it. So, my current quest is how to establish a prioritization technique I can hold in front of me and use it to drive my choices whenever it is time to take something new on. Visualizing it is important because you need to get it out of your head. The stress and cognitive load that come from trying to carry everything in your head is a real thing. It takes a toll. Externalize it so that you can understand what is in front of you and understand your options. 

Your boards will crash because they solved a problem that is different from the one you now face. That is part of growth and even though it can be a drag, it is totally normal. And keep in mind that no matter how long you do this stuff, the vigilance required for hyper-productivity takes a tool and each of us sometimes needs to just chill and watch Fboy Island for a bit. (It’s not gonna watch itself.)

On November 1st, Tim Nolan, Mark Kilby, and I will be kicking off a six-week Personal Kanban course for Modus Institute. If you are new to it, we can help get you started. If you are already using Personal Kanban, we can help you tune your system into a high-performing, WIP-limiting engine that will help you take greater agency with all the things that you do. Follow this link to learn more: https://tinyurl.com/PKClassNov1





Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The DrunkenPM Radio Monthly Newsletter

I've started a monthly newsletter!  The first issue is out and I'm including links to the podcasts I produce both on my own and for LeadingAgile, short articles, and tips to help with Agile, Project Management, and Personal Kanban. It will include odd bits of nonsense and musical recommendations as well. 

Click here to sign up for the DrunkenPM Radio Monthly Newsletter!

Monday, October 09, 2023

Using Personal Kanban to Start Agile Transformation with Michael Grill

Michael Grill is a Product Owner and Head of Process and Methods in the Agile Practice at Knorr-Bremse, and they have taken steps to address this challenge of helping individuals adopt an agile mindset and practices in managing their day-to-day work by adopting Personal Kanban before they put them together on agile teams. In this interview, Michael joins me to share how Knorr-Bremse came to make this choice and how it is deeply impacting their agile practice. First, you begin working with Personal Kanban, then you and your team members begin working together using PK, and then you adopt practices from Scrum, Kanban, or other forms of agile, to get the work done. 

You can find the podcast and links to learn more here.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Creating Connections with Together To Gather w Lia James and Jessie Shternshus

Together To Gather is a card game developed by Lia James from &Human and Jessie Shternshus from the Improv Effect to help leverage the power of great questions to inspire meaningful conversations. If you are looking for a really fun way to build deeper relationships with your team members or any group of people you interact with, you should definitely check out this interview. During our conversation, Jessie, Lia, and I talk about how and why the game works and discuss different use cases for it. You can even watch us play a few rounds and learn one of the reasons I was so bad at working in a recording studio.

You can watch a video of the interview here.

You can listen to an audio version of the interview here.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Can AI Replace a Scrum Master? with Zach Stone

Zach Stone joins me to explore how AI is going to impact the work of the Scrum Master and Scrum Team Members. 

  • Will the SM be replaced? 
  • What parts of the work can be offloaded onto AI? 
  • What can a Scrum Team member do to get ready for AI? 
  • Once AI fully arrives... what the hell am I going to do all day?

You can listen to the podcast here.

The transcript is here.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

What happens when the Agile people leave? w/ Jesse Fewell

In this episode of the podcast, Jesse Fewell joins me to discuss what happens in organizations that decide they no longer need or want the people who are helping them adopt agile? How do they reach this decision? What is the impact?  

The conversation came about as a result of a post that Jesse made on LinkedIn. He’s doing research on the topic and I asked him to join me to talk through some of the ideas. If you have stories to share, he’d love to hear from you. You can find his original LinkedIn post here: https://bit.ly/3EjRUf9

Towards the end of the podcast we also discuss a question that came up in one of my CSM/CSPO Lean Coffees: If you are hired as a Scrum Master into a mostly waterfall organization that still has traditional project managers, and the engineers are trying to treat you like a secretary, how do you establish your role and the value you can provide?

You can find the podcast here.

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Cultivating a Soulful Transformation Community w Jardena London

Jardena London joins the podcast to talk about the launch of the Transformational Leader Community that she has created to help foster a more soulful approach to organizational change. If you'd like to read more about Jardena's approach, you can also check out her book Cultivating Transformations: A Leader’s Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical 

The interview is available in video here: https://youtu.be/zOa4IZT_V2c

The interview is available in audio here: https://on.soundcloud.com/VwTsU

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Taking a Responsible Approach to AI with Snehal Talati

Snehal Talati joins Drunken PM Radio to talk about how to leverage Artificial Intelligence responsibly as we reimagine how it can help Agile.  Where everyone is in a mad scramble to develop their own AI app, Snehal has founded AIAgile.org to foster a conversation around four main goals:

  • Develop principles and practices for human-centric AI
  • Learn and share how AI augments Agile methods to serve people
  • Pioneer an adaptive, collaborative model for progress
  • Ensure diversity and ethics in creating new tech
You can find the interview here: https://bit.ly/3NRfSTi

Agile 2023 - Tuning Your Distributed Team with a Right Environment Exercise


At Agile 2023 Mark Kilby, Tim Nolan and I will be leading a session called Tuning Your Distributed Team with a Right Environment Exercise. The workshop is based on things we learned while we were working towards the Lean Agile Visual Management (LAVM) certification with Modus Institute. If you'll be at Agile 2023 and need something to do Tuesday afternoon (7/25/23) we'll be running the workshop from 2 PM to 5 PM in Lafayette 4. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 09, 2023

Successful Independent Consulting with Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman is one of my favorite people to interview and in this episode, she’s back to talk about her new book Successful Independent Consulting: Relationships That Focus on Mutual Benefit. The book is full of insights and practical tips not just for consultants but anyone looking to establish themself and make their presence known in their profession. The conversation also covers the book she published last year, Free Your Inner Nonfiction Writer: Educate, Influence, and Entertain Your Readers because a big part of making your presence known is making sure your voice is heard. 

Video: https://bit.ly/3PMRCV6

Audio: https://on.soundcloud.com/7AKm9

Monday, June 26, 2023

Tracking Flow Metrics w Atlassian Analytics

I've done a few podcasts recently on tracking flow metrics instead of velocity and why it is a better (but not perfect) way of estimating what will be done in the future.)

In this episode, Derek Huether and Sam Tsubota from Atlassian demonstrate how to pull that info straight from Atlassian Analytics.

The interview will work best in video

But there is an audio version too

Monday, June 19, 2023

The Art of War with Gary Gagliardi

In the classes I teach and the podcasts I record I talk frequently about how deeply Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has impacted the way I understand the opportunities that show up in my life. Once you get past the title, you can begin to understand how it is really a book about collaboration. I have MANY translations of the Art of War in my apartment but none of them have reshaped my brain as profoundly as the ones by Gary Gagliardi. His book The Amazing Secrets of Sun Tzu's The Art of War: The Mysteries of History's Most Powerful Strategy helped me to understand the work on a completely different level and was the basis for my Five Measures Canvas tool.

And, he is the guest on this episode of the podcast!!!!

You can listen to the interview here.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Investing in Business Strategy NOT IT Strategy with Ross Beurmann

Ross Beurmann, is back! This time he takes us on an exploration into how the way we fund IT projects impacts how we work and the outcome that work delivers. Drawing inspiration from his thought-provoking LinkedIn post, Ross advocates for making intentional decisions about how we fund IT projects and products,  ensuring their separation between operations IT projects and strategic IT projects. Discover how this distinction can impact the outcomes of our work, shaping priorities, staffing decisions, and resource allocation. 

You can find the podcast here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Decision Sprints with Atif Rafiq

Atif Rafiq joins me for an interview to discuss how Decision Sprints can help you break through the cycle of endless meetings, indecision,  and stalled progress by leveraging his problem-solving technique for upstream work where innovation is driven through the power of collaborative teams.

You can find the podcast here.

Monday, May 01, 2023

Agile and AI with Marty Bradley

 "🚨 Ready to unlock the full potential of #AI? 🤖💥 Listen in as Marty Bradley joins Dave Prior for an eye-opening conversation on how AI is already transforming the way we work and lead! From new job opportunities to game-changing skills, this podcast is a must-listen! 🎧 #FutureOfWork" 
(Description generated by ChatGPT)

The podcast can be found here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

When Your Leadership Can't Agree - Featuring Mike Vizdos

Mike Vizdos joins me for this conversation that focuses on what to do when you are competing for resources with other Product Owners in your organization and management will not (or can not) create clarity on what the company's strategic priorities are.

Mike and I also discuss his work coaching senior leadership, how Patrick Lencioni's First Team concept has become such a vital part of his approach, and the work Mike has been doing with ImplementingScrum.ai.

You can find the podcast here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Agile Coaching Skills - Certified Facilitator with Anu Smalley

In this episode, I am joined by Anu Smalley who is here to talk about the new Scrum Alliance certification: Agile Coaching Skills - Certified Facilitator (ACS-CF). During the interview Anu and I discuss who the certification is for, the skills you develop while earning the certification, and what to expect from someone who has this certification. 

Anu also offers a discount on her upcoming classes for anyone who is interested. 

You can find the podcast here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Building Trust and Connection In Your Team with Cozy Juicy Real

Looking for a great way to help your distributed/remote team members connect on a deeper level? Cozy Juicy Real may be just what you are looking for. This interview is with Jed and Sophia Lazar, creators of the game Cozy Juicy Real. During the interview, you'll see how the game works as the three of us play a few rounds and discuss why and how it can be such an effective way to build connections.

You can find the video version of the interview here: https://bit.ly/3JJOynW

You can find the audio version of the interview here: https://on.soundcloud.com/KXkdk

(I recommend the video version so you can see us play the game.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

PMI Board Chair Jennifer Tharp - Staying Relevant and Finding Joy

PMI Chair Jennifer Tharp joins this episode to talk about how to stay relevant, find joy, and design ways to stay excited about work.

During the conversation we talk about:

  • What is the best movie about project management
  • What fictional character best represents your inner project manager
  • Has the profession of Project Management at an inflection point
  • What you need to do in order to stay current and relevant as our profession evolves
  • How to find ways to keep finding things to keep yourself excited and interested about working in this field
  • The importance of play in work
  • How to come up with ideas for a presentation to give at a conference
  • Why you might not want to work in the field you are most passionate about
  • How to make the most of being a remote worker
  • Finding joy in the work you do
You can find the podcast here: https://bit.ly/42wcHqT

Monday, March 13, 2023

The Future of Project Management with Howard Sublett

This week I am joined by Howard Sublett. Howard is the former CEO of the Scrum Alliance, a good friend,  and someone who has been working in the Agile space for a very long time. During our interview, we talk about where Agile and project management are headed and exactly how dystopian is the future going to be?

You can check out the podcast here.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

(Re)Start Your Team Using Modus REE with Erich Hahn

Erich Hahn joins me to talk through the experience he and his team had in working through the Modus Right Environment Exercises (REE).  If your team is struggling and can't seem to get beyond simply working together and  becoming a high-performing team with a shared understanding of how they work, why they work, and how they can show up and support one another every day, this podcast offers a case study of how they can begin to develop the type of connection they need to rise and thrive together.

You can find the video version here: https://bit.ly/3JhN5Xg

You can find the audio version here: https://on.soundcloud.com/vCBCm

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Artificial Intelligence and Project Management with Ricardo Vargas

PMI Fellow Ricardo Vargas and Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez recently had an article published in Harvard Business Review called: How AI Will Transform Project Management. It is a very interesting read and you can find it here: https://hbr.org/2023/02/how-ai-will-transform-project-management

After reading it I had a lot of questions so I reached out to Ricardo and asked if he would be willing to do an interview. He was kind enough to share some time to answer my questions and dig a little deeper into how prioject management is changing as a result of Artificial Intelligence, and how AI is going to completely redefine the role of the PM in the very near future. 

You can find a video version of the interview here

You can find an audio version of the interview here

Monday, February 13, 2023

Sprint Goals and Sprint Planning with Chris Li

Chris Li is back for a conversation about Sprint Goals. While Chris and I both agree they are critical, we approach creating them very differently. If you are trying to get your head around when and how to create a Sprint Goal that can work for your team, you'll get plenty of ideas from this conversation.

Video Version

Audio Version

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Lead Without Blame with Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick joins me to discuss Lead Without Blame, the book she co-wrote with Diana Larsen. If you are looking for ways to help your team raise their game, there is a lot the book, and this interview has to offer. 

You can find the video version of the interview here: https://bit.ly/3GwO2rg 
You can find the audio version of the interview here: https://sbit.ly/3YdZbFl

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

In Defense of Frederick Taylor with Christine Li

In this episode, I am joined by a very special guest, Christine Li, for a conversation I have been waiting to record for quite a while now. 

I am closing in on 30 years of work in Project Management and for most of that time, I, like many of you, have been talking smack about Frederick Taylor. My opinions were based on the things I learned from others along the way and were (obviously) deeply informed by moving from traditional PM over to Agile. As far as I was concerned, this guy was the birth of work misery. But, I had never actually taken the time to read The Principles of Scientific Management... so I did. I was amazed at how completely off the mark I was. Yes, there are some obvious glaring issues with how he separates the workers from the thinkers, but there is also a ton of really good stuff in there and a lot that comes pretty close to an agile mindset.

After reading it, I was at a lunch and happened to mention my newfound Taylor Fanboy-ness and Christine Li showed up like Yoda, deep with the PM history geek. She took me to school and that is where this conversation starts. 


My hope is that even if you think Frederick Taylor is the Sauron of Project Management, you’ll give this a listen. Maybe it will challenge your understanding of him and his work. Maybe it will (I hope) entice you to read his work. And even if you’ve read his work and can see the good in it, the things Christine shares will level up your understanding as well. 

You can find the podcast here.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Story Points are Good AND Evil with Ryan Ripley

 A few weeks ago Ryan Ripley posted a tweet about Story Points...

And as soon as I saw it I reached out to him to ask if we could do a podcast discussing his post. I come to this topic as someone for fought against Story Points for about four years when I started working on Agile teams. Now, I can't imagine not using them.  I  teach Story Points in my CSM classes because I think that when used effectively they can be incredibly valuable to a Scrum Team. I also agree with Ryan's views on this topic

This podcast is the two of us debating the value of Story Points, when and how they can be used for good, and when, as Ryan often says, Story Points are trash.

Video version

Audio version

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Value Stream Management with Derek Huether

Derek Huether is back for this episode and we’re focusing on Value Stream Management. Value Stream Mapping is about understanding all the steps from the inception of an idea to putting something valuable in a customer's hands, and using that information to optimize the flow of value through the system. But, within a business, you will have many value streams and we need to understand how best to coordinate those streams to optimize the overall value generated by the company across multiple value streams. If your brain is wired for traditional project management, you could think of this as creating a system that optimizes a portfolio management level view of all the value streams in the org.

Monday, January 02, 2023

Improving Value Delivery In Your Organization with Gil Broza

Gil Broza joins me to provide a walkthru of Square, a new tool he has developed that will help you assess product development in your organization and determine what improvements will have the biggest impact on your ability to deliver value. 

You can find the interview here.