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The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog


Recent Posts

Ryan Ripley - Fixing your Scrum

Leadership is Language with David Marquet

Agile for Non-Software Teams w/ Gil Broza

Understanding Trauma w/ Brandon Brown

The Power of Volunteering w/ Reese Schmit

Ryan Ripley - Fixing your Scrum

Ryan Ripley wears many hats. He's a Professional Scrum Trainer, an Agile Coach, the creator of the Agile for Humans podcast, a blogger, a speaker, and now... author!

Last month, Ryan and Todd Miller released Fixing Your Scrum (, a book chock full of real-life stories from two seasoned Agile coaches who spend their days helping organizations, teams, and individuals find a better way to work. 

In this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, Ryan and I talk about the book, what motivated them to write it, and how it can help you figure out ways to address some of the issues you and your Scrum Team are facing. 

During the interview, Ryan and I also discuss what led him to become a Professional Scrum Trainer and why he finds teaching Scrum and Agile to be such a rewarding way to spend his days. 

If you haven't checked out Ryan's podcast Agile for Humans, that is something you definitely want to do.

Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller


Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller

Live in NYC

  • If you are going to be in NYC on February 20, 2020, Ryan and Todd will be speaking at the Agile NYC User Group.


Contacting Ryan

Posted on: February 17, 2020 09:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Leadership is Language with David Marquet

In 2013, David Marquet’s book Turn the Ship Around ( was published, introducing intent based leadership to people all over the world. Since then David has worked with thousands of companies, teams, and individuals and helped them transform the way they think about and engage with others. His new book Leadership Is Language ( )  digs even deeper into intent based leadership by focusing on the subtle ways in which the words we choose impact the message we are trying to send—how it is received and acted upon by others. 

In this interview, David and I talk about the new book and some of the key ideas he introduces in Leadership is Language. One of the concepts we focus on in the interview is blue work vs. red work, or, the thinking work we do that embraces variability and the execution work we do where we want to limit variability.  

As an added bonus, David shares a tip towards the end of the interview that is absolutely going to transform your ability to get people to arrive on time for events. 

Leadership is Language

Contacting David

If you’d like to reach David or learn more about Intent Based Leadership here are some links to get you started:


In addition to the book, David posts his “Leadership Nudges” on YouTube each week:
Leadership Nudges Videos:

Live Events

And if you’d like to see David in person, here are some of his upcoming events:

Posted on: February 03, 2020 11:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 (6)

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)

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato