The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog


Recent Posts

The Mid Sprint Review w/ Dhaval Panchal at 2019 Scrum Gathering

The Art of Mentoring with Brandon Brown

Boozy Scrum with Alex Brown at 2019 Austin Scrum Gathering

The Language of Persuasion w/ Nic Sementa

Ilker Demirel - The Leadership Gift Program - NASG 2019

The Mid Sprint Review w/ Dhaval Panchal at 2019 Scrum Gathering

Many teams practicing Scrum adopt a mid-Sprint Review as a practice to help them ensure they are on track to deliver on their forecast by the end of the Sprint. For some teams, this involves holding an informal demo halfway through the Sprint to get feedback on the work they are doing. For other teams, the mid-Sprint review works differently and is used to provide transparency around a different set of issues.

This episode of The Reluctant Agilist was recorded at the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering in Austin, TX. In the interview, EvolveAgility Founder Dhaval Panchal and I talk through how he began using a mid-Sprint review to help the teams he is working with gain awareness of their level of confidence that they will meet their commitment for the Sprint. During the conversation you’ll hear Dhaval and I discuss how it works and why.

Here is a link to the Team Confidence Chart referenced during the podcast:


If you’d like to reach out to Dhaval directly, here is how you can reach him:


Posted on: July 16, 2019 10:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Art of Mentoring with Brandon Brown

One of the things a Project Manager and a ScrumMaster have in common is that at times, they are both called upon to act as a coach and act as a mentor. For anyone in a leadership role, creating clarity around the difference between the two can be challenging. And even for seasoned pros, knowing when to act as a mentor and when to act as a coach is not always easy. 

This podcast is about on mentoring and features Brandon Brown. Brandon has built a career that is deeply rooted in providing mentorship and serving others. His work focuses on creating, ensuring and sustaining safe places for young people to flourish so that they can, as he says, replace him. 

During the interview we dig into mentoring: what it is, how it is different from coaching, what it requires, and what the mentor and the mentee should expect from the relationship.

We also spend time during the beginning of the podcast discussing some of the work Brandon is currently doing around trauma for Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine. This is a subject we will be revisiting at a deeper level on an upcoming podcast. 

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



Posted on: July 11, 2019 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Boozy Scrum with Alex Brown at 2019 Austin Scrum Gathering

What kind of projects don’t fit with Agile? 

This is a very common question in the CSM and CSPO classes that I teach. My answer is always that while there are some types of work that are better suited to an Agile approach than others, it really comes down to the organization and the people involved. With the right mindset, an iterative approach that is focused on inspect and adapt can be valuable in pretty much any situation… including building a bar.

Alex Brown is the Founder and Principal at Glaessel Ventures, a Boston based firm that combines strategic consulting, agile training, and co-investment to help innovative companies of all sizes bring new products to market successfully.  

In this interview, recorded at the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering, Alex shares his story of “Boozy Scrum," or how he used Scrum to build a bar in his basement.  It offers a great case study of how Scrum can be used for personal projects that fall well outside the realm of technology. (Check below the podcast for pictures.)



Here is a before and after picture of Alex's bar

Contacting Alex

If you'd like to reach out to Alex to follow up with questions on his Boozy Scrum project, here is his contact info:


Posted on: July 08, 2019 10:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Language of Persuasion w/ Nic Sementa

Nic Sementa is man of many skills. He’s an Agilist, a Marketing Consultant, an Entrepreneur… he does Business Development, he’s a sales ninja, and he’s someone who spends a lot of time honing his skills in listening and communicating. 

This podcast began at the 2019 Scrum Gathering in Austin. Nic and I were talking and ended up on the topic of nonviolent communication. The conversation we had in Austin and Nic’s take on NVC and other communication practices was so compelling that I asked if we could pick up the topic during a podcast. 

For anyone who makes their living as a traditional PM or is involved with Agile and helping to support, motivate, and lead teams, studying different communication patterns and language techniques is a survival tactic. In this conversation with Nic Sementa, you’ll gain insights into several new communication tools, how and why they work, and how you can practice a language technique like NVC from a place that is both vulnerable and strong at the same time.

Nonviolent Communication Links


Nic’s Contact Info:

Posted on: July 02, 2019 12:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Ilker Demirel - The Leadership Gift Program - NASG 2019

At the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering, I had a chance to sit down with Ilker Demirel to talk about his involvement with The Leadership Gift Program and how it has transformed his life and his work helping individuals, teams, and organizations become “free, powerful, and at choice” and move from a mindset of scarcity to a mindset of abundance.

Ilker is a Certified Leadership Gift Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer. The Leadership Gift Program and the Responsibility Process were created by Christopher Avery. I’ve interviewed Christopher previously about his work and The Leadership Gift Program (click here).  I was excited to get the chance to spend time with Ilker because he is someone who has been working with the Responsibility Process for many years. The impact that it has had on him and his ability to communicate and interact with others is inspiring.

Links from the podcast

To Contact Ilker Demirel

Posted on: June 25, 2019 11:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Don't let school interfere with your education."

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