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

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)

Agile Coaching: Wisdom from Practitioners

In this podcast Michael de la Maza and Dhaval Panchal talk about their new book “Agile Coaching: Wisdom from Practitioners”. Michael and Dhaval are the co-editors of the book which is full of stories, tips, and advice from experienced, Agile coaches and trainers. In addition to talking about the book, Michael and Dhaval also share their own thoughts on topics around coaching and they offer advice for those who are headed down the coaching path.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • 01:28 Podcast Begins
  • 02:01 Who is the book for
  • 02:26 What misconceptions do clients have
    when an Agile coach walks in the door 
  • 03:52 How do you provide coaching in an organization that is not ready for it
  • 05:04 How do you (as a coach) coach yourself when you are trying to work with
    individuals that do not want your help
  • 07:12 Some tips for getting started with a coaching engagement
  • 10:27 What does it take to become an Agile coach
  • 13:17 What is the job of an Agile coach
  • 13:53 When the client wants to pay large sums for you to MAKE them agile
  • 19:06 When will we evolve past waterfall?
  • 23:41 Do you have to be an expert in Agile to be a good coach? What do you need to do before you can be qualified to be a coach?
  • 29:01 Are there people who should not be coaches?
  • 32:05 Getting in touch with Michael and Dhaval

THE BOOK

Agile Coaching:  Wisdom From Practitioners

http://amzn.to/2fEV31F

 

TO CONTACT MICHAEL

Michael Email: michael.delamaza@gmail.com

Michael Twitter: https://twitter.com/hearthealthyscr

 

TO CONTACT DHAVAL

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhavalpanchal/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dhavalpanchal

Posted on: September 29, 2017 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Johanna Rothman at Agile 2017 - Creating Your Successful Agile Project and 1 Day User Stories

In this Agile 2017 interview Johanna Rothman talks with Dave about her new book “Create Your Successful Agile Project Collaborate, Measure, Estimate and Deliver” and how teams that are struggling to make Scrum work may want to adopt an approach that focuses on continuous flow in order to deliver value for their customers with greater frequency.

The interview includes a conversation about working with User Stories that are sized to only take the team a single day to complete and how this may help teams that are struggling with estimation. Dave and Johanna’s also discuss her approach to writing (she averages about 1 book a year in addition to posting to her blog every few days) involves writing for just 15 minutes a day.

FOR MORE ON JOHANNA

Posted on: September 26, 2017 01:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Agile Coach to Agile Gamer - Peter Saddington

Peter Saddington, the founder of AgileScout.com, is an Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Trainer, Author, Entrepreneur and Scientist. On March 4, 2017 he put up a blog post on AgileScout.com announcing a new experiment he is running... on himself.  

Taking a step back from helping others adopt Agile, Peter is now using Agile to transform his life, and he's starting with his career. He's going from being a full time Agile Consultant to a full time professional video game player.  It might sound a bit insane, but his reasoning and research are sound. In this interview I got the chance to talk with Peter about his new experiment, why he's doing it and how he approaching transforming his life.

Click here to read Peter's manifesto: http://agilescout.com/time-for-change/
Click here to see Peter's video channel:  First15
Click here to follow Peter on Twitter
 

Posted on: March 14, 2017 10:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Being Agile vs. Doing Agile

In this podcast, Jessie Shternshus , Paul Hammond and I take a shot at addressing the question of whether organizations have become so focused by the need to “do” Agile that they may have lost the ability to actually “be” Agile. During the conversation we touch on a number of the key challenges organizations are facing and how these challenges are impacting individuals at the team level.

 

 

Show Notes 

00:45 Introduction to Jessie and Paul

02:00 The Topic(s): Do we need to return to a more simple version of it so that people can better understand/internalize the fundamental intent behind it and not simply get lost in dogma and going thru the motions? How do we help “them” figure out the “why”?

06:30 Does leadership need to deeply understand Agile to help support transition to Agile or can the organization succeed if they just want to “do Agile”?

08:48 Changing the conversation to help people approach Agile with a more open mindset?

10:48 Mapping organizational values to Agile Manifesto values

11:30 How to create hope (that things can improve) at an organization?

14:20 Taking the option to “Make a choice”

16:37 Advice for getting “Buy In”

18:03 How do we unfreeze the frozen middle?

20:08 Should leadership demonstrate vulnerability when trying to transition to Agile? (crickets)

20:46 How do I help my company become a place innovative, agile people will want to work?

22:47 You can’t put a band-aid on culture

23:56 What id you hire for the culture you want, and disappoint the new folks with what you have?

26:15 Has anyone’s Agile transformation ever gone fast enough? What is the pace of transition that you need?

27:17 Remember to acknowledge the positives

28:00 Advice for Senior Mgmt. on adopting Agile

32:36 Advice for Team Members who feel like Mgmt. doesn’t get it yet

36:30 How to reach Jessie and Paul

38:29 Close

Contacting Jessie and Paul

Jessie is the founder of The ImprovEffect. You can reach her at her site here: http://www.improveffect.com or via Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheImprovEffect. She also has a number of upcoming events which can be found here: http://www.improveffect.com/events/

 

Paul Hammond is is the Director European Product Development at eBay and can be reached via his website: http://phammond.com or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/phammond

Paul is also on the Board of the Agile Alliance. You can find more about the upcoming Agile Alliance Technical Conference here: https://www.agilealliance.org/agile-alliance-technical-conference-2017/

Posted on: November 21, 2016 09:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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