The Reluctant Agilist

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Recent Posts

How to Stop Treating People as Resources w/ Mika Trottier

Becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer w/ Anderson Hummel

Challenging the Sprint - An Interview with John Cutler

Giora Morein - The State of Agile and Post-SAFeism

Why Digital Transformation is More Important than Agile Transformation w/ Devin Hedge

How to Stop Treating People as Resources w/ Mika Trottier


If you'd prefer an audio version of the podcast, you can find it here. 

In this interview, Mika Trottier and I talk through a subtle but significant shift that has to occur in the mindset of a traditional PM who is trying to adopt an Agile mindset. How do you flip that switch in your brain that thinks of the people who do work as resources and make them start thinking of them as people?

During the conversation, Mika and I also dig into some of the challenges facing introverts who become project managers and some of the coping mechanisms that have aided each of us.

If you’d like to get in touch with Mika, you can reach her via LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mika-trottier-848a7525/

Posted on: February 17, 2018 12:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer w/ Anderson Hummel

Last fall Anderson Diniz Hummel became a Certified Scrum Trainer. This means that he has been approved by the Scrum Alliance to teach Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. The journey to becoming a CST is never easy and never as quick as anyone would like and for Anderson, it was over three years from the time he first started working on it. (And this is after already having taught at the University level for a number of years.)

During the recent holidays Anderson and I had a conversation about what his journey to CST was like. We recorded this in hopes of helping offer some encouragement, advice and support for others who are headed down the path.

 

 

To help provide some background about the CST designation, according to the Scrum Alliance’s 2018 State of Scrum Report, there are over 500,000 certified practitioners of Scrum worldwide. Within that community, only 234 people are certified by the Scrum Alliance as being allowed to teach Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. So, it is a rare certification to have and many people who begin heading down the path do not have a great understanding of what to expect. Hopefully this interview will help with that.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:09 Podcast Begins - What’s up with Anderson
  • 01:56 Anderson’s background as a teacher and how that led to him applying for Certified Scrum Trainer
  • 03:10 How is teaching Certified Scrum classes different than teaching at the University level
  • 04:39 Anderson’s 3 year journey to become a Certified Scrum Trainer
  • 10:17 Being a CST is a lot more than just teaching Scrum correctly
  • 11:36 How Anderson went from failing art exams in school to excelling at creating art in his classes
  • 15:45 How big a role does experience working on Scrum teams play into teaching CSM and CSPO classes
  • 19:25 Anderson’s advice for coaches who want to become Certified Scrum Trainers
  • 25:20 Understanding how teaching all day impacts you as a human and planning recovery time
  • 27:32 A word of caution for new CSTs who try to book too many back to back classes
  • 29:32 Parting words of encouragement and advice for CST candidates
  • 32:25 Getting in touch with Anderson
  • 22:27 Interview Ends

ANDERSON's ARTWORK

A sample from the CSPO class we co-taught

CST CERTIFICATION

https://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications/trainers/cst-certification

CONTACTING ANDERSON

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/andersonhummel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anderson_hummel
 
 

Posted on: January 31, 2018 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Challenging the Sprint - An Interview with John Cutler

John Cutler describes himself as a Product Development Nut. He’s deeply focused on Product Development with a Lean /Agile approach and finding ways to improve how we work. He posts his thoughts in Medium, and although he says he is not a professional blogger, he generates new content about twice a week. I really enjoy reading his posts because they always challenge me and push me into seeing things through a different perspective. 

 

A few weeks ago John posted an article called “Flow, Decoupling Cadences and Fixed Sprint Lengths” in which he challenged the idea of Sprint time boxes.  (There is a video version if you’d rather watch that). The article was thought provoking and left me with a number of questions. So I reached out to John and he was kind enough to let me pester him with my questions in a podcast.

 

 

Show Notes

  • 00:08 Interview Begins
  • 00:50 Some background on John
  • 04:31 Lessons John learned as a touring musician that help him work with teams and build new products
  • 07:46 Intentionally disrupting your flow in order to grow and learn
  • 08:47 Introduction of the main topic - Flow, Decoupling Cadences and Fixed Length Sprints
  • 11:48 Understand they why behind the practices you are applying and figuring out how to make them work for you
  • 13:30 What job do we hire the Sprint for? If you don’t know why you are using these time boxes, they may not be helping
  • 19:47 If you are failing Sprints, is it about the length of the Sprint or the size of the work? Get ridiculously uncomfortable.
  • 22:09 When you can’t get through it, go slower and do less. Blazing away at tempo is not going to help anyone
  • 23:29 Why brand new teams should start by going slower and doing less
  • 25:17 Is it that Scrum doesn’t work, or that people aren’t doing it right?
  • 30:02 Be intentional and understand why you are employing practices, and then figure out how you’ll know if they work
  • 32:27 What is your company hiring Agile to do?
  • 33:42 Know your audience
  • 38:00 Filling your Product Backlog with goals instead of features
  • 41:18 Visualizing dependencies in your backlog - WITH STRING!
  • 51:55 How to reach John
  • 52:36 John’s upcoming events and deliverables
  • 54:31 John’s writing process
  • 55:40 Podcast Ends

 

Links from the Podcast

 

Contacting John

Posted on: January 18, 2018 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Giora Morein - The State of Agile and Post-SAFeism

This episode of DrunkenPM Radio features a conversation with ThinkLouder’s Giora Morein. During this discussion Giora offers his take on how things have evolved within the Agile space over the past few years and some of the challenges we currently face. For example, if you are trying to use Scrum to build twice the work in half the time, how do you make sure that all the extra stuff you are building is the right stuff? And what if you run out of valuable things to build? Giora and I cover a lot of ground during the interview, which culminates in Giora breaking down life in the world of Post-SAFe-ism.

SHOW NOTES

00:08 Podcast Begins
00:50 An update on ThinkLouder
02:15 Taking greater ownership of your organization’s Agile Transformation
03:20 Pivoting from the “You want more agile, you need more coach” mindset
03:45 Why an experienced Agilist and an agile coach are not the same thing
08:48 Have we moved on to the “cleaning up after the party” stage of agile? Have the thought leaders moved on?
12:27 Have we moved on to a less dynamic stage of the agile conversation? What new ideas in agile is Giora paying the most attention to.
16:14 If you can do twice the work in half the time, how do you make sure the additional work you are doing is the right work?
17:27 The new thing…. the language of innovation
18:10 It’s easier to sell increased velocity/speed to IT than it is to sell transformation of an entire business
19:57 It has to start with “What’s the business driver?”
20:45 The only way Giora and I are going to end up with flying cars
22:32 Use Agile to figure out how to best meet the organization’s business drivers (getting deep in Oklahoma)
23:34 Building the wrong thing really fast is not helping anyone
24:13 Micro-maturation in Scaling
24:34 Post-SAFe-ism
25:45 How to reach Giora
26:29 Podcast Ends

CONTACTING GIORA

If you’d like to contact Giora directly, here are some ways to reach him:

Web: ThinkLouder.com
Email: gmorein@thinklouder.com
Twitter: twitter.com/gmorein

Posted on: December 22, 2017 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Why Digital Transformation is More Important than Agile Transformation w/ Devin Hedge

In this interview Devin Hedge and I dig into some of the research he has been doing around the impact of Digital Transformation, how it impacts consumers and the role that things like Agile and Design Thinking play in helping companies move from an analog way of managing their work to a completely digital way of managing their work.

 

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:08 Interview Begins
  • 00:47 Introduction to the topic of Digital Transformation
  • 01:58 Defining Digital Transformation
  • 04:19 Is there conflict between digital transformation and the goal of having greater empathy for other humans
  • 05:38 Using the Apple Store as a way to dig into the digital vs. deep empathy connection
  • 08:03 Our addiction to the dopamine hit we get from our devices and our need to increase the hit
  • 09:48 Are we letting our desire for the “hit” drive decisions which lead to inefficient business practices? 
  • 10:39 How the articles in management magazines drive the pursuit of increasing the frequency and depth of the hit
  • 12:55 Hopper in the tunnels = Stickiness
  • 14:02 How are Design Thinking and Agile actually helping?
  • 18:45 Can developing a level of comfort with constant change also become an addictive hit?
  • 20:17 The constant influx of information can be valuable in some respects and have a deeply negative impact in others.
  • 24:45 Agile can provide a set of tools to hope us cope with change
  • 27:43 What are the challenges of creating a culture where change is the only constant?
  • 30:54 Devin wanders into Dangerous Territory!
  • 35:56 The tools and techniques we use are not destinations. They are ways to deliver more value faster. 
  • 37:25 Why we need a User Centric approach
  • 40:10 Summarizing the conversation 
  • 41:42 How to get in touch with Devin
  • 42:16 Podcast Ends

CONTACTING DEVIN

 

Posted on: December 15, 2017 01:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)
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