This episode features a student question and a special appearance by Adam Weisbart.
I recently had a student in class who was struggling to get her team to participate during retrospectives. This is a fairly common problem for teams that are either trying to get the hang of how to run a retro, or teams that may have stuck with a particular tactic for so long that it has stopped working.
I invited Adam Weisbart to join me for the podcast. If Adam's name sounds familiar, it may be because you've taken a class from him, seen him speak at a conference, watched the video "Sh*t Bad Scrum Masters Say", or because you've used his Agile Adlibs or his retrospective facilitation kit, Recess. (We'll be spending time on those last two during the interview.)
If you've got teams that aren't fully engaging during your Retrospectives, you are not alone. This podcast has some ideas that should help you get that turned around.
Urs Reupke is a Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach who works for the Hamburg-based Agile Consultancy It-Agile. A lot of Urs’s time and attention is focused on the work he does coaching management and providing leadership consulting as they move towards adopting a more Agile approach to work.
If you’d like to contact Urs, here is how you can reach him
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
If you'd like to reach out to Alex to follow up with questions on his Boozy Scrum project, here is his contact info:
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:
Recorded live at the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering, this episode of The Reluctant Agilist features a conversation with Scrum Alliance Chief Product Owner Howard Sublett. During the course of the interview, Dave and Howard discuss Dan Pink’s opening keynote at the Scrum Gathering; the Scrum Alliance Labs and volunteer work that have been done to create a free library of material aimed at helping to develop a more mature and more highly-skilled agile coaching community; an update on how things are going with the recent shift in Scrum Alliance leadership moving to a Chief Scrum Master and Chief Scrum Product Owner instead of a traditional leadership model; and the video series Unscripted, which features updates from Howard and Melissa Boggs, the Scrum Alliance Chief Scrum Master.
Note from Dave: at 15:38, something really important in this interview happens. Howard refers to a question he asked Melissa during the first episode of Unscripted. The question was “How are WE doing as a LEADER?” It is a subtle thing, but language is a virus and words matter… “WE” is plural, while “LEADER” is singular. The way the question is encoded demonstrates a very subtle, but important aspect of an Agile mindset. Howard and Melissa have complimentary but different roles in the Scrum Alliance and the two of them together function as a single Leader.
Failure Bow: I got The Wonder Twins (Zan and Jana) a little confused during the interview. I have brought shame upon my family and apologize to any comic geeks who were listening. If you are not clear on who the Wonder Twins are: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Twins
Links from the Podcast
Contacting Howard Sublett