The Reluctant Agilist

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Recent Posts

Jurgen Appelo - How to Measure ScrumMaster Performance

Descaling the Enterprise w/ James Gifford

Jurgen Appelo - Agility Scales

Head First Agile with Andrew Stellman and Jenny Greene

Making Agile Work at HUGE Inc. w/ Lance Hammond and Robert Sfeir

Jurgen Appelo - How to Measure ScrumMaster Performance

One of the questions I have been asked with increasing frequency in the Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes I teach is:

How do we measure the effectiveness of the ScrumMaster?

When this question is asked what people are often looking or is a way to evaluate ScrumMaster performance (separate from the Product Owner and the Developers). This is not an easy thing to do.

Whenever I have brought up this question with other folks who teach or coach Agile teams, the conversation always finds it way back to Jurgen Appelo’s work. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Jurgen on his new project AgilityScales. After the interview Jurgen was kind enough to let me also ask him the question about ScrumMaster performance. 

 

Jurgen is an entrepreneur and management thought leader who focuses his work on helping organizations change how they approach work management in order to support greater business agility.  He is the CEO of Happy Melly,   co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe  network and the author of a number of books including “Managing for Happiness”

His latest project AgilityScales is focused on inventing the future of organizational Agility. You can learn more about it by checking out the Agility Scales website or by watching the interview we did on the topic.

If you’d like to lean more about Jurgen, here are some links to check out.

 

 

 

Posted on: November 27, 2017 11:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Descaling the Enterprise w/ James Gifford

Finding a way to scale Agile within the Enterprise has been a very popular topic in Agile for the past several years. With options like SAFe, LeSS, DAD and many others, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that your organization may simply not be structured in a way that can truly support the introduction of Agile. 

In this interview, James Gifford took some time away from coaching and his work on the Agile Uprising to talk about why the conversation should really be about how “Descaling the Enterprise”.


SHOW NOTES

  • 00:10 Podcast Begins
  • 00:44 The work James is doing now
  • 01:45 Finding a job that provides you with a lab where you can run experiments
  • 04:05 When you are coaching, how do you maintain the “child mind” when you walk in the door
  • 06:10 Do you need to be technical to be a good Agile Coach?
  • 07:41 What’s new at The Agile Uprising
  • 12:50 Descaling the Enterprise
  • 14:30 Making the argument for changing the dynamic of how we look at and structure companies 
  • 19:11 Have you ever seen anyone tasked with creating flow through the entire organization?
  • 23:17 Making the case for descaling OVER simply buying a scaling solution
  • 25:10 How long does it take to implement the cultural and organizational change a descaling approach requires?
  • 27:27 How do you convince the “C” level to buy into the upheaval a descaling approach will involve (over just buying the promise of a scaling solution.)
  • 29:51 Two leverage points: 1. Scaling didn’t work, but we want what it was supposed to give us, 2. your business is threatened and you need a better response
  • 30:50 How do you measure progress while you are descaling?
  • 36:36 If you want more on this topic, please let us know!
  • 37:00 How to contact James
  • 38:52 Podcast Ends


LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

Agile Uprising Links
Coalition (The Message Board): https://coalition.agileuprising.com
Manifesto Author Review Podcasts: http://podcast.agileuprising.com/manifesto-author-review/

Lean Agile Intelligence
https://www.leanagileintelligence.com


CONTACTING JAMES

Email: james.gifford@scrummando.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/scrummando
Web: http://scrummando.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scrummando/

Posted on: November 20, 2017 05:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Jurgen Appelo - Agility Scales

Jurgen Appelo, the man behind Managing for Happiness and Management 3.0, is working on a new project to provide organizations with a platform they can use to develop the ability to innovate at scale and foster an agile mindset that spans the enterprise.  Agility Scales aims to be the “Waze for work”. The idea is to provide a navigation tool, that will help organizations achieve business agility using crowd-sourced business processes with peer to peer guides with the end goal of developing better capabilities around innovation and increased productivity.

What makes this project even more unique is that it is being crowd-funded. Agility Scales is currently open to investors who want to get involved in developing this new platform. 

In this interview Jurgen and I discuss the Agility Scales project and the reasons for being one of the first Agile thought leaders to take a crowd-funded approach to developing a tool to support business agility.

If you’d like to learn more about Agility Scales and how to invest in the project:

And if you’d like to learn more about Jurgen and his work:

Posted on: November 15, 2017 09:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Head First Agile with Andrew Stellman and Jenny Greene

Andrew Stellman and Jenny Greene are back with a new book “Head First Agile: A Brain Friendly Guide to Agile and the PMI-ACP Certification”, which offers a strong foundational understanding in the most widely used Agile practices. The book is also intended as a PMI-ACP Exam preparation resource, providing complete coverage of the material included on the certification exam. 

In this podcast, Jenny and Andrew explain why they wrote the book, how PMI-ACP has evolved and why reaching a level where you are no longer concerned about the tools you use to get work done are traditional or agile is a great place to be.

SHOW NOTES

  • 01:19 Interview Begins
  • 01:50 Background on Jenny and Andrew
  • 03:30 Who the book IS NOT for 
  • 04:48 Who is book IS for and how it can help you move beyond simply going through the motions
  • 06:29 The debate over principles vs. practices and it has impacted Andrew and Jenny’s approach
  • 11:55 If you are new to Agile of have no experience working with Agile practices, how can this book help?
  • 14:32 Why PMI-ACP prep is the secondary goal of this book. (And what the primary goal is.)
  • 16:05 How the PMI-ACP exam has evolved and how Jenny and Andrew approached the topics for this book
  • 19:23 How the authors ensured the book covers 100% of the material included on the PMI-ACP exam
  • 20:21 Is is harder for a PMP to learn Agile, or harder for an Agilist to learn traditional Project Management?
  • 21:40 Reaching the “Ri” level of project management where Agile vs. Waterfall is no longer a concern
  • 22:43 Agile has moved beyond software, even reaching into construction, and how the is impacting PMI’s approach to Agile
  • 24:46 Agile and the PMO: Is the PMO a dead man walking?
  • 26:10 Scaling Agile is large organizations
  • 27:44 What is the most dynamic/challenging area of Agile that we need to pay attention to?
  • 28:29 Getting in touch with Andrew and Jenny

THE BOOK

You can find “Head First Agile: A Brain Friendly Guide to Agile and the PMI-ACP Certification” here: https://www.amazon.com/Head-First-Agile/dp/1449314333/

CONTACTING THE AUTHORS

If you’d like to reach Jenny and Andrew, here is how to find them:

 

 

 

Posted on: November 09, 2017 11:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Making Agile Work at HUGE Inc. w/ Lance Hammond and Robert Sfeir

In preparing for my How to Hack Agile for Digital Agencies at the 2017 Digital PM Summit I did a lot of  research and conducted a lot of interview. This conversation, with Lance Hammond and Robert Sfeir from HUGE Atlanta was the last one I did before the Summit. During this discussion Lance and Robert share many of the lessons they’ve learned in bringing Agile to HUGE and they provide clarity on what it takes to make Agile work in a Digital Agency.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:08 Podcast Begins
  • 01:42 Some background on Robert and Lance
  • 03:17 How long HUGE has been working on introducing Agile
  • 04:40 Resistance from Design when switching to an Agile approach
  • 06:08 Why Kanban may be a better approach for Design
  • 07:39 How the Designers at HUGE approach their work without having all the requirements up front
  • 09:30 Establishing Vision up front with the client and prioritizing options with them
  • 10:33 The client needs to own the delivery from the very beginning and become part of the process
  • 11:50 Making the client your partner in the workflow and decision making process
  • 14:17 Why teaching the client how to work in Agile has to be an accepted cost 
  • 16:07 Why those with experience in Agile transformation can be so beneficial for Digital Agencies and what you need to watch out for
  • 17:52 Changing how the work gets funded 
  • 20:22 How to change your Statement of Work to support Agile practices
  • 21:47 Tips for convincing your client to want to use Agile to manage the work
  • 24:11 Caring and feeding of the client during an Agile project at a Digital Agency
  • 27:53 Should you include the client in the retrospective?
  • 28:46 Do you need to have cross-functional, stable teams that are each working on only one project?
  • 32:04 How long did it take HUGE to get to stable teams
  • 34:02 Use Lean metrics to find and remove waste
  • 34:20 How critical is it to move to a retainer (fund the team) model
  • 35:30 You have to know why you want Agile, which approach you’ll take, and what you want from it
  • 37:05 Scrum may have you thrashing for a bit before you switch to Kanban… and there is value in that
  • 37:49 Why you need to switch the entire Digital Agency over to an Agile approach (including sales)
  • 39:22: What is the hardest part about implementing/working with Agile in a Digital Agency
  • 42:32 Defining what you are willing (and not willing) to try changing, when you switch to an Agile approach
  • 44:30 How HUGE approaches estimating work
  • 48:40 Why it is so important to watch and learn (inspect) before you start trying to change things (adapt)
  • 50:45 Why Robert and Lance do not believe Scrum can work in a Digital Agency that wants Agile,  but why you need to try it first to unlock the value of Kanban
  • 53:00 Contacting Lance and Robert
  • 54:06 Podcast Ends

 

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

 

HUGE

http://www.hugeinc.com/

Agile in Digital Agencies - Dave and Lance from the Atlanta Scrum User Group Meeting

https://www.pscp.tv/leadingagile/1YqxomWqrwMGv

(there is some static that persists until the interview begins at about 1 minute in)

 

CONTACTING LANCE

 

CONTACTING ROBERT

Posted on: November 01, 2017 08:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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