The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog

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Recent Posts

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

Reframing Technical Debt as Technical Health - with Declan Whelan

Test Driven Development and Mobbing for Non Developers

 

 

Summary: You don’t have to be a developer to use Test Driven Development and Mob Programming. Last week on Twitch Amitai Schlier & Troy Lightfoot led Dave Prior and Rachel Gertz (neither of who can program) through an exercise in remote pairing with TDD.

If you come from a PM background, you’ve probably heard developers talk about Test Driven Development and you may even get the basic idea behind it - build the test to prove something works, then build the thing that passes the test. 

You may also have heard about Mob Programming - the set of practices put together by Woody Zuill that takes the idea of pairing and extends it to the whole team. In mobbing, an entire team builds everything together. They share one keyboard and rotate the person typing at timed intervals. This allows them to develop cross-functionality, to learn from each other and, basically, QA as they go.

These are both topics I’ve been interested in for awhile, but I’ve never had an opportunity arise that gave me a chance to actually try them. 

But, last week I had the opportunity to participate in a unique experiment that not only let me learn more about each of these sets of practices, but gave me a 
Troy Lightfoot, from Agile Uprising set up a TDD & Mobbing workshop in Twitch. Myself and Rachel Gertz from Louder Than Ten were guided by Amitai Schleier, the creator of Agile in 3 Minutes podcast and Schmonz.com, who led us through an exercise in remote mobbing using TDD.  

The entire experience was a blast and I’ve developed a new found appreciation for the entire though process and discipline that goes into using Test Driven Development and trying to mob with a team. 

I’d encourage you to check out the video on your own, or with your team and maybe even try to replicate the experiment. I think this would work great as a team building exercise as well. Most of the time I felt like I was playing a board game with a bunch of friends. 

Posted on: May 22, 2017 03:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Jessie Shternshus - Improv, Safety, and “Yes, … and”

Jessie Shternshus is the founder of The Improv Effect and the author of “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today”. In her work, Jessie often incorporates improv techniques to help people tap into the things they need to become better communicators, team members and leaders. She also coaches organizations through Agile transition and cultural change. After recently completing my first improv class, and not feeling very confident that I “got it”, I had lots of questions. Jessie was kind enough to spend some time talking with me about my experience, the benefits improv can provide, what “yes, and…” really means, why it is important and the elements needed to create a safe space where people can thrive and be creative. 

SHOW NOTES

00:00 Podcast Intro
01:58  Interview Start
02:22 What Jessie has been up to lately
03:42 Jessie’s work coaching people to help them amp up their presentation skills
04:45 The Creative Courage Summit
05:58 Jessie’s Book “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today” 
06:17 Intro to the Improv Discussion
07:00 Dave’s fears about the safety provided by the improv framework
07:46 “I’m happy to tell you your being dumb”
08:22 How can you have an environment that is supportive AND critical
08:41 Dave missed some important pieces 
09:08 Learning from what makes you uncomfortable
10:04 It’s important to find the class that is right for you
11:50 How you establish a safe improv space
13:36 Safety comes from setting expectations, modeling behavior and getting to know people
16:12 Finding a way to use improv to build camaraderie with remote teams
18:20 Do you always have to “Yes, and…”
18:50 How “Yes, and” works, and the benefits it can bring
21:22 What skills improv can offer to individuals and teams working in an office setting
22:50 Advice from Jessie on how to pick the right class for you
25:19 Part of being creative involves tapping into your childlike self, but you have to feel safe going there
26:18 What if you can’t let go of everything and reach that childlike state? 
28:20 Being mindful of the things you are resisting
30:02 Getting in touch with Jessie

CONTACTING JESSIE

http://www.improveffect.com
https://www.facebook.com/improveffect/
https://twitter.com/TheImprovEffect

LINKS

Jessie’s Book: CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today http://amzn.to/2rhOxPk
The Creative Courage Summit: http://CreativeCourageSummit.live

My Video Podcast interview with Jessie at the 2015 Agile Conference: https://vimeo.com/135568636

Posted on: May 15, 2017 04:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

John Le Drew - The Creator of the Agile Path Podcast

There are lots of podcasts about Agile out there and each of them has something valuable to offer to the community. But a few weeks ago, a new kind of Agile podcast launched. John Le Drew is the creator of “The Agile Path”, a long form NPR style podcast… (think Serial for Agile). In this interview, John shares the story of how he ended up working on the podcast, what it was like creating it, some of his current projects as well as details about the process he follows in creating the podcasts and his favorite gear. 

If you are interested in podcasting, block out some time for this one, there is a lot of valuable stuff in here.

SHOW NOTES

00:01 Podcast Intro
00:52 Interview begins
01:19 John’s journey from whizkid geek hooligan to developer to Agile coach/podcaster
10:29 What inspired John to create The Agile Path and the sources that influenced his approach
11:45 Creating the soundscape for listeners
14:15 Finding the right music and getting permission to use it in a very bold way
17:53 The benefits of overcoming the fear of approaching people on your bookshelf
19:57 We should all strive to bring out our inner Woody
20:25 John’s editing process and the work he’s doing on future episodes
22:05 How John is integrating improv in his upcoming workshops and why that is relevant to the topic of safety
25:51 Dave asks John a question about how safety works in improv classes and how “Yes and…” is about accepting what comes to you without judgement and building on it
29:40 Imagine it like a sieve… find the gold
31:09 Paying attention and what that really means
34:28 Scripting it all out, then editing
39:18 Work on the next episode and the schedule John is aiming for
40:29 John’s favorite recording equipment
45:05 Wrapping Up

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

The Agile Path http://agilepath.fm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/agilepathfm
John’s upcoming speaking events and workshops: http://wisenoodle.me/speaking

Posted on: May 11, 2017 04:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scaling, Certification Changes & Top Scrum Alliance Initiatives

Lisa Hershman At SG2017 - Scaling, Certification Changes and Top Initiatives at the Scrum Alliance

Scrum Alliance Interim CEO Lisa Hershman shared some time at the 2017 Scrum Gathering in San Diego to talk about the top initiatives being worked on at the Scrum Alliance, including their partnership with Large Scale Scrum, changes to the certification programs and more.

 


 

Posted on: May 05, 2017 02:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gene Bounds at Scrum Gathering San Diego 2017

Making the transition to Agile is never easy for PMP’s. Once you re-wire your brain to think like a PM, letting go of all of that you have learned, and accepting a completely different way of working presents a lot of challenges.  A big part of what I try to do with these podcasts is to share stories of those who have successfully made the switch and what that transformation was like.

At the Scrum Gathering in San Diego a few weeks ago I got the chance to sit down with someone I’ve been hoping to interview about this topic for a long time.  Gene Bounds is the Chair of the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors. He is ALSO the former Chair of PMI. He comes from a background that is deeply steeped in the traditional space working on government projects, to someone who is now deeply invested in helping to grow the Agile community and change the world of work.

Because Gene has dedicated so much of his life to being in the service of others, first in the United States Air Force, then volunteering for PMI for many years, and now working with the Scrum Alliance, we also took some time in the interview to talk about the benefits that come from investing all that time volunteering.

You can find Gene here:

LinkedIn: " target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/eugene-bounds-82b70754/

Scrum Alliance: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/profile/ebounds

Posted on: May 03, 2017 02:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)
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