Project Management

The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog


Recent Posts

Agile for Non-Software Teams w/ Gil Broza

Understanding Trauma w/ Brandon Brown

The Power of Volunteering w/ Reese Schmit

2019 Retrospective - 10 Years as PMPs Working in Agile with Jesse Fewell

The Italian Dinner - How work flows from Release to Story to Task w/ Judy Neher, CST

Agile for Non-Software Teams w/ Gil Broza

Gil Broza is back with a brand new book that answers a question that is asked in every single class I teach.  

Can you use Agile outside of software?

The simple answer is yes. Agile practices are applied in a wide range of fields that are not IT related. What Gil has put together in his new book "Agile for Non-Software Teams: A Practical Guide for Your Journey" is a step-by-step guide to help you begin your non-software Agile journey, and in this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, Gil shares his reasons for writing the book, some of the key ideas and critical factors people should be considering before heading down this path, and when it is not a fit. 

Gil's Books

Contacting Gil

(if you have stories to share about using Agile outside of software, he'd love to hear from you)

Posted on: January 21, 2020 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Understanding Trauma w/ Brandon Brown

Regardless of whether you are a traditional PM or you are working in Agile, topics like emotional intelligence, creating safety and self-care are part of the current conversation about how we approach our work. This podcast presents another side of that discussion and focuses on how different experiences and events result in trauma that can leave lasting scars that we carry with us as we interact with others. Becoming more aware of different types of trauma, how it shows up in you as well as others, will help you become a more valuable and effective leader for your teams and organizations. 


In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, Brandon Brown is back to talk about trauma. Trauma takes many forms and it is something that all of us deal with, but we may not think about how it pertains to our day to day work. As we move through life, each of us experiences different things that have a lasting impact. Sometimes, these things are very obvious, sometimes they are more subtle, and sometimes we don’t realize how deeply they’ve impacted us until much later. 

As an example, if you’ve ever worked in an organization where you felt that your contribution was not valued or your ideas were not heard, the impact of this may stick with you long after the conditions are no longer in play. You may find, even years later, that you are still reacting to the unfortunate previous situation. Recognizing the trauma you’ve experienced in the past and finding ways to work through it will help you show up in a more open and present state for your co-workers and your team. And recognizing that others have had different, but equally significant experiences can help us offer more empathy to the people we are interacting with.  

If you'd like to reach out to Brandon with follow up questions, here is how you can reach him:


Posted on: January 13, 2020 10:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Power of Volunteering w/ Reese Schmit

It’s the start of a brand new year! And one of the best things you can do for yourself and your career is to start volunteering for a professional organization. By offering a little of your time, you can find a path into a community of passionate PMs and Agilists who can provide support, coaching and mentoring to you as you progress in your career.

In this episode of the podcast Agile Coach, Reese Schmit shares her story of how she got involved in helping out with Burning Flipside (an Austin, TX-based Burning Man event), how that led her to start volunteering for local Agile and User Groups and how that led her to become part of the team of folks who plan and run the Scrum Gathering. 

In the interview, Reese shares her experience of volunteering and how that work has not only helped her create valuable experiences for others but has also helped her develop a wide network of seasoned professionals in the Agile space and all the benefits that can provide. 

I have talked about this in previous podcasts but volunteering is one of the best investments you can make in your career. It is about giving back to your professional community, but it is also about finding the group of people who might be able to help you land your next gig. 

So why not start off 2020 by reaching out to a local group, PMI, the Scrum Alliance or the Agile Alliance and find a way to invest in yourself by giving back to the community.

Here are some links to help you get started

Contacting Reese

Posted on: January 07, 2020 01:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

2019 Retrospective - 10 Years as PMPs Working in Agile with Jesse Fewell

It has been 10 years since Jesse Fewell and I became Certified Scrum Trainers. We both came to it from backgrounds deeply rooted in traditional project management. We were both PMPs, which was something like a scarlet letter in the Agile community. Ten years… things have changed. 


In this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, Jesse Fewell and I close out 2019 with a retrospective of sorts, looking back at how things have evolved from a time where Agile and traditional project management were considered to be opposite approaches, to a place where practitioners are starting to understand how to use both for the benefit of our customers and clients. Jesse and I also look forward and share our opinions on where things are headed and what traditional and/or agile project managers need to focus on in order to stay relevant in the job market over the coming years.

Happy New Year! And thank you for listening!

Contacting Jesse Fewell

Posted on: December 30, 2019 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Italian Dinner - How work flows from Release to Story to Task w/ Judy Neher, CST

When I am teaching CSM and CSPO classes I frequently get questions from students who have trouble understanding how work flows from the release level down through product backlog items like User Stories on down to the task level. I do cover this in class but for some, it is not so easy to see. 

In hopes of resolving this, I asked Judy Neher, a fellow Certified Scrum Trainer, to help me work through a metaphor that I hope will provide clarity on how we take work from Releases to User Stories to Tasks, how they tie back to strategy and vision and how Epics and Themes fit in as well. 

If you'd like to reach out to Judy with follow up questions, here is her contact info:

Judy Neher

Posted on: December 27, 2019 01:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

"Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. But just as muscles grow flabby with disuse, so the bright imagination of a child pales in later years if he ceases to exercise it."

- Walt Disney