This episode of the Reluctant Agilist features an interview with Melissa Watts. Melissa works for Major League Baseball as a Technical Project Manager and acts in the capacity of ScrumMaster for a Scrum Team. During the interview, Melissa shares some of the experiences she has had working as a ScrumMaster over the last two years.
In this conversation, we explore things like how hard it can be to move from being a member of the Dev Team to being a ScrumMaster in addition to how to run experiments and find different ways to get the members of your Scrum Team to gel and reach that high-performing state we are all aiming towards.
Melissa and her team work in a very complex environment on a product that has to perform on a wide range of platforms and is not allowed to have any downtime. They are also faced with the added challenge of dealing with legacy systems and a significant amount of technical debt.
If you are working as a ScrumMaster or curious about what the job is like, this podcast offers real-life stories and examples of the day-to-day challenges of the job, how to work through them, and how to pick yourself up and put yourself back together at the end of one of the bad days.
If you'd like to contact Melissa with follow up questions:
" The state of our attention determines the state of our life"
This summer at Agile 2019, author Chris Bailey kicked off the conference with his keynote session “How to Manage Your Attention In a World of Distraction.” Chris has invested years of his life exploring productivity, distraction, and how to find the best possible use of the one thing no one has enough of—time. Chris shares his experiments and their results on his website ALifeOfProductivity.com and in his first book The Productivity Project, which recounts his first year of testing productivity hacks. His new book Hyperfocus explores understanding and managing our attentional space so we can be truly present and engaged (or hyperfocused) in work, as well as how “scatter focus” can enable us to be more creative and connect different ideas.
In this interview, Chris and I talk about his productivity experiments, what worked and what didn’t, and the critical role meditation plays in becoming more focused and engaged in the most important work.
Chris’s website: https://alifeofproductivity.com/
Chris’s Books on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2pFy4YV
Chris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chris_bailey
In August of 2019, The Project Management Institute announced that it had acquired Disciplined Agile. According to Mark Lines, who together with Scott Ambler created Disciplined Agile, " The Disciplined Agile approach recognizes that every organization is different, and within each organization, there are different ways of working. The Disciplined Agile approach meets you where you are and allows you to tailor solutions for the way that you and your organization need to work.”
The acquisition of DA is part of the PMI's continued effort to bring valuable tools and methods to the hands of people whose work involves management, enablement, support and delivery of projects and products.
In this episode of the podcast, Scott Ambler who co-created Disciplined Agile together with Mark Lines, shares his thoughts on what this change means for those who practice a Disciplined Agile approach, those who follow a more traditional approach and why the PMI and DA have so much to offer each other.
2019 PMI Global Congress
Mark Lines will be presenting at PMI Global Congress on Sunday, October 6 at 10:05 AM. Click here for more info
For a long time now I have held strongly to the opinion that there is no such thing as an Agile Project Manager. There are Project Managers and there are ScrumMasters but the value systems they serve are different and at odds. I am comfortable playing either role, but I cannot do them both at once. (That is based on personal experience as well as observation.)
When I saw that the PMI NY Chapter was going to have someone give a talk on Agile Project Management, I was skeptical, but I thought it would be worth checking out. Unfortunately, the event was sold out before I could get a ticket. Obviously, this is an important topic to the community.
Fortunately for me, Mike Anderson was willing to have a conversation with me about his presentation. That conversation had a huge impact on me and completely changed the way I felt about the topic of Agile Project Manager. Thanks to Mike, that opinion I mentioned above … not held so strongly anymore.
In this interview, Mike Anderson makes a logical, thoughtful case for what an Agile Project Manager is, why we need this role on our teams, and what stage of Agile Transformation you need to reach before you give this role a try. And this is not just theory—Mike is heading up the Agile Transformation effort at a company where they have successfully made the switch from Scrum Master to Agile Project Manager.
This could be the next step in the evolution of Project Management.
During the podcast Mike and I refer to the slide deck from his presentation at PMI NYC. You can find it here.
After you listen to the podcast, please share your thoughts on the topic in the comments area below.
Contacting Mike Anderson
If you'd like to reach out to Mike with follow up questions, you can reach him via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-anderson-03b62210/
Scrum Inc., CEO, JJ Sutherland’s new book The Scrum Fieldbook: A Master Class on Accelerating Performance, Getting Results and Defining the Future offers a compelling collection of stories breaking down what makes Scrum (and other forms of Agile) succeed or struggle in organizations. Drawing on his personal experience, as well as that of his colleagues at Scrum Inc., JJ offers a wide range of case studies on how individuals and organizations have been able to leverage agile practices to solve business problems and deliver value for their customers. In this interview JJ shares a few of those stories, makes the case for The Renaissance Enterprise, and explains why organizational refactoring is such a crucial part of Agile Transformation.
One thing students request in every single class I teach is “More Real World Examples”. JJ”s new book offers exactly that. If you are familiar with Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, you’ll have an idea of what makes this book stand out. JJ is not only the son of Jeff Sutherland, co-creator of Scrum, but he also worked as an award-winning news correspondent and producer at NPR before becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer. With a background that is deep in storytelling JJ has put together a collection of tales from the field that draw you in with the narrative while delivering tips you need to know on what it takes to make Scrum (and Agile) succeed (or fail) in your organization.