The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog

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Recent Posts

What's New at the Scrum Alliance - from the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering

The Agile Heretic - An Interview with Jim Benson

David Hawks at the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering

Billy McLaughlin - 2018 Global Scrum Gathering Keynote

Christopher Avery and The Leadership Gift

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 (6)

Making Agile work in a Digital Agency w/ Darren Petersen

Darren Petersen is a Senior Technical Project Manager at Lullabot. He’s also incredibly knowledgeable about Agile. In this interview Darren and I discuss how Agile has been implemented at Lullabot. We dig into what works, what doesn’t, why he moved away from Story Points and all, and how Lullabot has been able to get dedicated teams in place.

Note: During the interview Darren and I have a brief conversation about why it makes no sense to force yourself into the 

As a (some user)
I want to (some action)
so I can (some benefit) 

format just for the sake of using it. I promised to get him an official answer. You can find that here.


SHOW NOTES

00:08 Interview Begins
00:47 Background on Lullabot
01:33 Managing 50 distributed team members
03:04 Using social media tools to stay connected with remote staff
05:57 Using Agile at Lullabot for client work
12:02 Making the case for some upfront planning, before using Agile during Development
12:50 Taking on the cost of teaching Agile to the client (who doesn’t care about Agile)
14:22 The way Lullabot sets up Teams to use Agile for client work
15:22 How can a digital agency maintain the business with dedicated teams
20:35 How dedicated teams impact the staff members morale and performance at Lullabot
23:27 Teaching customers to write decent User Stories
28:07 Should you force yourself into a User Story format when it doesn’t make sense? *
29:32 Why Darren doesn’t like using Story Points
33:00 How did Darren get so deep with Agile and what drives him to keep learning about it
36:19 Getting in touch with Darren
37:01 Interview Ends

CONTACTING DARREN

Twitter https://twitter.com/dsayswhat
Email: darren.petersen@lullalbot.com
About: https://www.lullabot.com/about/darren-petersen
Lullabot https://www.lullabot.com

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST

User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn http://amzn.to/2vKv4JI
Troy Magennis & Focused Objective http://focusedobjective.com 
User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton http://amzn.to/2wckyOg
Agile Manifesto http://agilemanifesto.org
 

Posted on: August 17, 2017 06:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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