Edward Kay, the Founder of Tall Projects, has been managing software and digital projects for over 14 years. A few months ago Edward posted an article on The Digital Project Manager called “Agency Agile: 10 Agile Methods for Agencies”. In this interview, Edward and I discuss his article, some of the key things you need to do in order to get agile to work in digital, and why Scrum may be the one thing that just won’t work in an agency model.
- 04:04 - Interview Begins
- 04:48 - Background on Edward and Tall Projects
- 05:55 - How Edward got started doing agile
- 06:31 - How Edward’s clients develop a desire to try Agile
- 09:11 - Are the clients who want to “Go Agile” aware of what that will require and willing to take the steps needed to implement the change?
- 11:25 - Where in the organization is agile getting started?
- 12:17 - Why the clients bring Edward in
- 13:34 - There is no one true way
- 14:50 - Critical challenges facing Digital Agencies trying to adopt Agile
- 16:32 - Understanding how to look at work across the portfolio
- 17:32 - Different ways of measuring work in agencies that are using Agile
- 20:07 - “Why don’t we just smoke crack at work?”
- 23:52 - Tracking Happiness
- 25:10 - Quantifying value and limiting WIP
- 28:26 - What is the client actually paying you for?
- 30:50 - Determining value at the project deliverable level
- 32:40 - Having a conversation about limiting WIP
- 35:38 - Getting the client to trust the practices agile team’s employ
- 36:16 - Multitasking is bad and doesn’t work… but it is still expected
- 37:45 - What Agile practices just do not work in an Agency model
- 38:49 - “The on system that is not well suited for Digital Agencies in Scrum”
- 41:15 - Kanban as an alternative for Digital Agencies
- 42:10 - What Agile tool/technique is the key to making it work in an Agency model?
- 43:17 - What is the piece that is missing when trying to make Agile fit in an Agency model?
- 44:18 - How to get in touch with Edward
Website - https://www.tallprojects.co.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/edwardkay or https://twitter.com/tallprojects
Edward’s article on The Digital Project Manager: Agency Agile: 10 Agile Methods For Agencies
CSM Training and the 2017 Digital PM Summit
For information on the Certified Scrum Master class being held right before the 2017 Digital PM Summit, click here. Special Discounts are available for conference attendees. Contact email@example.com for more information.
For information on the 2017 Digital PM Summit, click here.
Posted on: September 13, 2017 01:26 PM
Justin Handler is the Head of Accounts at O3 World, a Philadelphia based Digital Agency. O3 World has been integrating Agile practices into their workflow for the past few years and Justin has been leading that charge every step of the way. In this interview, Justin shares stories about what has worked for O3, some things that didn’t, and he offers advice for Digital Agencies that are moving down the path towards Agile.
Justin is also one of the folks heading up the Digital PM group in Philadelphia. If you’d like to learn more about the group, check out http://twitter.com/dpmphilly or https://www.meetup.com/DPM-Philly/
- 03:24 Interview begins
- 03:44 Background on Justin and his role at O3
- 06:48 How O3 got started with implementing Agile
- 08:00 O3’s first experiments with Agile estimation practices
- 09:40 What O3 tried that didn’t work and what they learned from it
- 11:57 Debating the value of a Daily Standup and O3’s alternative solution
- 14:15 Does the client get access to the Trello Board and Slack?
- 14:34 The key to making Agile practices work in an Agency
- 16:05 Fitting UX into Agile at O3
- 19:25 Involving Developers with UX work
- 20:03 Capturing and prioritizing requirements at O3
- 22:30 Development and UX working in parallel
- 23:27 Helping the client with adopting Agile (or not)
- 25:39 Changing the nature of the relationship with the client
- 27:14 Advice for agencies getting started with Agile
- 29:23 How to reach Justin
During the interview Justin references an article he wrote called “Agile In The Agency. Is It Possible?” You can find it here: http://www.thedigitalprojectmanager.com/managing-agile-projects-in-agency/
Posted on: August 22, 2017 06:59 AM
Darren Petersen is a Senior Technical Project Manager at Lullabot. He’s also incredibly knowledgeable about Agile. In this interview Darren and I discuss how Agile has been implemented at Lullabot. We dig into what works, what doesn’t, why he moved away from Story Points and all, and how Lullabot has been able to get dedicated teams in place.
Note: During the interview Darren and I have a brief conversation about why it makes no sense to force yourself into the
As a (some user)
I want to (some action)
so I can (some benefit)
format just for the sake of using it. I promised to get him an official answer. You can find that here.
00:08 Interview Begins
00:47 Background on Lullabot
01:33 Managing 50 distributed team members
03:04 Using social media tools to stay connected with remote staff
05:57 Using Agile at Lullabot for client work
12:02 Making the case for some upfront planning, before using Agile during Development
12:50 Taking on the cost of teaching Agile to the client (who doesn’t care about Agile)
14:22 The way Lullabot sets up Teams to use Agile for client work
15:22 How can a digital agency maintain the business with dedicated teams
20:35 How dedicated teams impact the staff members morale and performance at Lullabot
23:27 Teaching customers to write decent User Stories
28:07 Should you force yourself into a User Story format when it doesn’t make sense? *
29:32 Why Darren doesn’t like using Story Points
33:00 How did Darren get so deep with Agile and what drives him to keep learning about it
36:19 Getting in touch with Darren
37:01 Interview Ends
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST
User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn http://amzn.to/2vKv4JI
Troy Magennis & Focused Objective http://focusedobjective.com
User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton http://amzn.to/2wckyOg
Agile Manifesto http://agilemanifesto.org
Posted on: August 17, 2017 06:00 AM
At Agile 2017, Johanna Rothman and Mike Griffiths sat down with Dave to talk about the work they've been doing on the PMI Agile Practice Guide. Their work was part of a joint effort between the Agile Alliance and PMI and is intended to offer guidance for traditional PMs on how to begin applying Agile in their work. The PMI Agile Practice Guide will be released in September 2017.
For more video podcast interviews from Agile 2017, please follow @leadingagile or check out the LeadingAgile on YouTube.
Posted on: August 16, 2017 11:00 AM
Jack Skeels is the CEO and Founder of AgencyAgile. There are many organizations devoted to helping companies transform to agile, but AgencyAgile is the only one that is solely focused on helping Digital Agencies adopt Agile. In this interview Jack shares his thoughts on Agile and what makes it succeed or fail in a Digital Agency context.
00:10 Interview Begins
00:40 Background on Jack and Agency Agile
01:24 How Jack ended up helping Digital Agencies adopt Agile
05:10 Trying out different types of Agile
06:10 Taking a job so you can run experiments in how to manage projects
08:12 You can’t make people trust
09:13 Jack’s initial questions for management: How much pain are you in? How much gain do you want?
09:52 What is the hardest part for a Digital Agency adopting Agile?
11:52 Transforming the agency AND their clients. Training is not enough
13:40 Do we need a new flavor of Agile tailored to Digital Agencies?
17:26 Does Agile actually make things work better? Are there actual business benefits?
18:38 How does AgencyAgile “sell” Agile to companies?
21:32 We need to stop disempower team members. They care as much as we do.
24:39 Can we actually get consistent cross-functional teams in an Agency?
25:22 Designing work stream teams of 25
26:07 Transforming the whole agency at once
27:31 Are there clients who are not ready to transform yet?
31:10 Letting go of learned behavior
32:30 What do we need for Agile to work in a Digital Agency?
33:19 Agile will work when it becomes a management initiative NOT a Project Management Initiative
34:53 How you can learn more about the AgencyAgile approach
36:10 Books about Agile that Jack recommends
37:00 Jack response to “We can’t do Agile because we’re fixed bid.”
38:10 Advice from Jack for those who want to adopt Agile in a digital agency
39:07 Where you can learn more about Jack
40:11 Interview Ends
Links Mentioned in the Podcast
2017 Digital PM Summit: http://bureauofdigital.com/summits/digital-pm-2017/
Books by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman
Twitter : https://twitter.com/agencyagile
If you are interested in this topic, please stay tuned for more. In preparation for a session I am leading at the 2017 Digital PM Summit, I have been doing lots of interviews about how to make Agile work in a digital environment.
Posted on: August 14, 2017 03:24 PM