Project Management

Developing a PMO that is Actually Agile - Hearst Digital Media

From the The Reluctant Agilist Blog
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Agile is not easy. Many organizations struggle with trying to break free of their traditional work culture and finding their path to a different way of working. Along the way, many organizations give up, or slowly slide back into the old ways of working because making the transition is just too hard.

If you happen to work at one of those organizations, this episode should offer you something special to start off the new year. This episode offers HOPE.

Hearst Digital Media has been working on making the transition to Agile for the past few years. As you’ll hear in the interview, what they’ve achieved is a group that has adopted and adapted a variety of Agile practices and found a way of working that is not just a great example of how to make Agile work for your organization, but how you can establish a group in lieu of a traditional PMO that exists to support, nurture and continuously improve their approach in order to deliver value for their organization and their customers. 

This episode of The Reluctant Agilist features Michelle Dennis, Director of Product Management, and Jacquelyn Talpalar, Director of Agile Operations for Hearst Digital Media. During the conversation we talk through how they’ve evolved the approach Hearst Digital Media has taken in transitioning to Agile and how that approach has helped them scale from 3 Scrum-ish teams to 24 teams in four years. The group is serving over 1 billion customers a year and on-boarding new products at the rate of almost one a week. Their path was not an easy one and Jacquelyn and Michelle share some of the challenges they faced along the way and offer advice for those who are currently working on making the switch. If you are in need of a good example of how Agile can help you succeed and grow, this podcast should give you a nice boost. 

For me, this was a truly inspiring interview.  I hope you will enjoy it. 

Oh - and if you are looking for a gig at a place that has figured all this out… they’re hiring.

You can click on the images above to see a larger version or, if you’d like to download larger versions, you can find them all here.

If you’d like to contact Michelle Dennis:

If you’d like to contact Jacquelyn Talpalar:


Posted on: January 14, 2019 10:42 PM | Permalink

Comments (3)

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Thank you, Dave, (and Michell and Jacquelyn). And I appreciate the clickable images! I have bookmarked the interview to listen to on today's morning commute.

Thanks for sharing Dave, excellent insights.

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