The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog


Recent Posts

Patrice Embry - Finessing Retrospective - 2018 Digital PM Summit

2018 Digital PM Summit - An Interview with Aaron Irizarry on Creating Personas

Agile 2018 Video Podcast Interviews (ALL OF THEM!)

LeSS 2018 Conference - Karim Harbott, Dhaval Panchal, Richard Cheng

Bas Vodde at the 3rd Annual Large Scale Scrum Conference

Patrice Embry - Finessing Retrospective - 2018 Digital PM Summit

Patrice Embry gave a lightning talk called “Finessing a Retrospective to Get Results” at the 2018 Digital PM Summit. After her talk Patrice and I had a chance to sit down and talk through some of the ideas she shared that you can use to hep you get more value out of the moments where you and your team stop to inspect and adapt how things are working on your project. The tips Patrice shares in the interview (and in her talk) will work for you whether you are holding a more traditional review (like a Post-Mortem or a Project Review), or if you are working with Agile and holding a Retrospective Meeting. (Including how to hold these meetings if you are working remotely.)

If you’d like to get in touch with Patrice with follow up questions, here is how you can reach her via her website:

Posted on: September 20, 2018 11:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

2018 Digital PM Summit - An Interview with Aaron Irizarry on Creating Personas

A few weeks ago the 2018 Digital PM Summit was held in Memphis. This is the 6th year the conference has been held and the Bureau of Digital put together another incredibly inspiring conference. The event focuses on helping PMs in who work in the Digital space amp up their ability to practice their craft. During the conference, Aaron Irizarry gave a presentation called “Laying the Groundwork: Building Foundations for High-Performing Teams”.  Aaron is currently working as a Design Director at Capital One.

After Aaron’s session we had the chance to sit down and record a podcast on how to create Personas. During the interview we talk about why personas are so important how to go about creating archetypes, personas, how to conduct proxy interviews, and how much detail you should include when you are putting them together.

Aaron is also the co-author of Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique.

If you’d like to get in touch with Aaron with additional questions or to hear more about his session at the Summit, you can reach him via Twitter at

Posted on: September 19, 2018 12:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Agile 2018 Video Podcast Interviews (ALL OF THEM!)

I was trying to post these one at a time, but it is taking me too long. There is some really good stuff in here and I'm very grateful to everyone who was willing to sit with me and let me ask them questions. (And to the amazing crew at LeadingAgile for making it happen.)

I hope you find them helpful as well. 

If you want more, and you are a member of the Agile Alliance, you should be able to view many of the presentations from the conference here

Agile 2018 Video Podcast Interviews

Day 1 Interviews - Johanna Rothman & Mark Kilby, Mike Cottmeyer, Erika Lenz and Michele Sliger, Ron Jeffries & Chet Hendrickson, Paul Argiry, Linda Rising, Diana Larsen, Bob Tarne

Day 2 Interviews -  Jeff Patton, Cass Van Gelder, Lyssa Adkins, Joe Vallone, Sarah Klarich and Pam Corbin, Dom Price (Keynote), David Bland

Day 3 Interviews - Troy Magennis (Keynote), Larry Maccherone, Dhaval Panchal, Dean Leffingwell, Dennis Stevens, Bernie Maloney, Becky Hartman, Peter Green, John Tanner

Day 4 Interviews - Cara Turner, John Miller, Esther Derby, Tricia Broderick, Laura Powers, Chris Sims, Scott Ambler, Olaf Lewitz, Natalie Warnert


Posted on: September 17, 2018 10:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

LeSS 2018 Conference - Karim Harbott, Dhaval Panchal, Richard Cheng

Karim Harbott led a session at the 2018 Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) Conference on Agility and Company Culture. In this episode, Karim shares some highlights from his session and then Dhaval Panchal, Richard Cheng and I talk through some of the challenges with trying to transform different aspects of company culture and the company value system in order to foster an environment that can support business agility.

Contacting Karim

Contacting Dhaval

Contacting Richard


Posted on: September 15, 2018 06:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Bas Vodde at the 3rd Annual Large Scale Scrum Conference

This week in New York City the Lower East Side is host to the 3rd Annual LeSS Conference. I stopped by the conference today and had the chance to sit down with Bas Vodde to talk about Large Scale Scrum and the annual event they hold to bring the coaches, trainers and practitioners of LeSS together. 

The LeSS Conference is not like a standard IT Conference. During the interview Bas explains how their approach to setting up and running the event focuses on letting the on-site attendees drive the content and work together to develop new tools, games, and techniques to help  the growth, adoption and practice of Large Scale Scrum.

If you aren’t familiar with LeSS, this interview will help you get an understanding of how this approach to scaling has a philosophy that aims to simplify things as much as possible in order to create greater understanding of what is blocking an organization from being able to truly adopt an agile approach to work. During the conversation we dig into what happens to the traditional portfolio and program view when you adopt LeSS and take a more product focused approach to work. We also discuss the difference between LeSS and LeSS Huge, which is designed to help organizations running upwards of 8 teams create products using agile. 



If you’d like to learn more about Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), including case studies, please check:

If you are having trouble finding someone to help you implement LeSS, send an email to

And if you’d like to reach out to Bas directly, send an email to

Posted on: September 13, 2018 04:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

"Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining."

- Jeff Raskin