The Reluctant Agilist

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Justin Handler - Implementing Agile in Digital At O3 World

Making Agile work in a Digital Agency w/ Darren Petersen

Agile 2017 - Agile Practice Guide w/ Johanna Rothman and Mike Griffiths

Making Agile work at Digital Agencies w/ Jack Skeels

Mission Statements & Developing Cross Functional Teams w/ Celeste Giampetro

Justin Handler - Implementing Agile in Digital At O3 World

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/

 

SHOW NOTES

  • 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

JUSTIN’S ARTICLE

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/

 

CONTACTING JUSTIN

Posted on: August 22, 2017 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Making Agile work in a Digital Agency w/ Darren Petersen

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.


SHOW NOTES

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

CONTACTING DARREN

Twitter https://twitter.com/dsayswhat
Email: darren.petersen@lullalbot.com
About: https://www.lullabot.com/about/darren-petersen
Lullabot https://www.lullabot.com

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 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Agile 2017 - Agile Practice Guide w/ Johanna Rothman and Mike Griffiths

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 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Making Agile work at Digital Agencies w/ Jack Skeels

TLDR

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.

SHOW NOTES

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

Contacting Jack

Website https://www.agencyagile.com
Blog: https://www.agencyagile.com/insights/
Medium: https://medium.com/@jackskeels
Twitter : https://twitter.com/agencyagile
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackaskeels/

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 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mission Statements & Developing Cross Functional Teams w/ Celeste Giampetro

In this podcast, PebblePost’s VP of Marketing, Celeste Giampetro, talks with Dave about the importance of defining a good mission statement, why Marketing needs more generalists than specialists now, how to develop cross-functional teams, and leading with vulnerability. During the conversation, they also spent time discussing different leadership techniques that will help you get the most out of your team.

SHOW NOTES

00:08 Podcast TLDR 
01:44 Podcast Begins
02:11 Some background on Pebble Post and Celeste’s role there
03:31 Is having a mission statement or vision statement important?
04:03 What problem is Pebble Post solving and how are they solving it?
09:43 Why marketers need to focus on being more generalized than specialized.
11:49 When are you done being a startup?
12:58 How we ended up with so much specialization in the first place
13:48 How do you determine if your generalist actually has the focused skills you need.
15:09 How to find people who want to grow and then to mentor them
16:03 Leading with vulnerability and transparency
18:10 What value does a manager get from leading with vulnerability
19:42 An example of how leading with vulnerability and transparency backfired
20:31 The benefits of giving up the control and power; and how it can have a very positive impact on the organization
22:00 Making sure everyone knows the Mission and Vision Statement
22:18 Introducing cross-functionality into your team
24:08 Do Gen X and Millennials approach collaboration and cross-functionality differently?
25:18 What is the key to motivating people? “Can you extract from them their best work?” 
27:07 The importance of learning about the people on your team before you start trying to direct their behavior.
28:07 On Managing people - “It’s al about relationship building”
28:55 Agile at PebblePost
30:32 Getting in touch with Celeste


Contacting Celeste

Twitter https://twitter.com/stinapessa
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/celestegiampetro/
PebblePost http://pebblepost.com

Celeste’s Article

Step Aside, Specialist: Return Of The Marketing Generalist

Posted on: August 02, 2017 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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