The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog

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Recent Posts

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

Bob Tarne - Agile and Design Thinking

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)

Savannah Rayat - Enhancing your life with Personal Agility

During the 2017 Heart of Agile Conference in Pittsburgh, Savannah Rayat gave a presentation called “Enhancing your life with Personal Agility”. During the session she explained how she has applied some basic Agile practices from Scrum and Kanban to refine and focus her approach to life, deciding what is most important to her, and managing teams. Savannah has also applied Agile in other non-IT areas. During the interview, we talk about some of the Scrum practices she has applied in working with her team of Realtors. 

Show Notes

00:10 - Interview Begins
00:52 - Background on Savannah
01:42 - How Day-Trading fits in with being a Realtor/IT Professional
02:15 - How Savannah defines Personal Agility
04:44 - Savannah’s approach to Personal Kanban and her issue with deadlines
05:31 - The important of setting and maintaining WIP Limits
07:06 - Reducing your WIP to 3-4 
10:00 - Preventing the backlash of cutting stuff our of your life
12:15 - Having affection for your interests
12:42 - Deciding what you can live without
14:29 - Long term and short term road mapping
15:48 - Savannah’s  Day to Day practice of Agile
18:50 - The need for slack
21:35 - The benefits of self-reflection and coping with the guilt of doing unplanned stuff
23:16 - Making the time for Personal Kanban
24:19  - Accountability Partners
25:33 - How to get started with using Personal Agility
27:44 - How Savannah uses Scrum to support collaboration on her Real Estate team
32:38 - Getting in touch with Savannah
34:39  - Interview Ends

Contacting Savannah 

on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/savannah-rayat-8942b8120/
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SavannahRayat
Savannah’s Realty site: http://rayatrealtygroup.com
Savannah’s Heart of Agile 2017 http://heartofagile.com/Session/enhancing-your-life-with-personal-agility/


 

Posted on: June 06, 2017 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

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 (1)

Certified Agile Leadership Training with Olaf Lewitz

The Trust Artist, Olaf Lewitz, along with his partner, Christine Neidhardt, are gearing ready for their upcoming TrustTemenos Certified Agile Leadership trainings. Certified Agile Leadership trainings are a new, advanced level of training classes being offered through the Scrum Alliance. In this interview Olaf and I discuss the reason for his TrustTemenos CAL class, how it can help people become better Agile leaders, and the value of Certified Agile Leadership.

Safety is a very hot topic in the Agile space right now. During our conversation about safety, Olaf shared one of the most powerful things I have heard during an interview this year: 

“When you talk to people about trust, it rises. When you talk to people about safety, they get scared.”

Every conversation I have with Olaf leaves me more aware and (I hope) a bit smarter than I was when it began. I hope you will get as much value from listening to this as I did from recording the conversation. 

And you can find links to Olaf’s upcoming classes and events, as well as his contact info, below the show notes.

 

 

Show Notes

00:07 Podcast Intro

01:27 Begins

01:57 An overview of Agile Leadership Training

04:48 A skeptical response to the idea of Agile Leadership Training and Olaf’s response

07:16 Developing a thinking model to understand what we need and how that drives our actions

09:11 The power of metaphor in leadership and Dave’s aversion to boats

11:03 Giving people tools to grow their awareness of how they show up

11:34 These classes cover advanced leadership topics - not the basics

12:16 “If you trust in yourself… you will still get beaten by people”

13:05 Skepticism is an important part of any class and any transition

13:32 It’s about being intentional and aware

15:23 There is a specific type of learning that involves being uncomfortable because what you believe is challenged

15:57 Extending the question of leadership beyond work and helping them understand more about their awareness and intention

17:00 Olaf shares a story about his first experience working as a boss

21:29 The advice Olaf about give his 29 year-old self about being a boss for the firs time

22:23 It’s okay to ask for help

24:05 A question about safety and what it means to create a safe space

25:42 When you talk to people about trust, it rises, when you talk to people about safety, they get scared

27:22 What is Certified Agile Leadership Training? What level of knowledge experience do you need to attend?

28:08 What will CAL training do for a leader/manager in an Agile organization?

29:28 Where to learn more about Olaf’s upcoming classes, where you can see him speak and how to get in touch with him if you have questions.

 

Links from the Podcast

Showing Up - the book written by Olaf and Christine https://leanpub.com/showingup

TrustTemenos Leadership Academy: https://trusttemenos.de

Upcoming CAL Trainings - https://trusttemenos.de/certified-agile-leadership-cal1/

Olaf’s session at the 2017 Scrum Gathering San Diego is called: Product Owner: Mapping Dramas and Dreams and it will be held in the Harbor Island 1 room on Monday, April 10 from 1 PM until 2:15 PM For more info on the Scrum Gathering: https://www.scrumalliance.org/sgcal

Contacting Olaf

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OlafLewitz

Website: http://trustartist.com

Posted on: March 30, 2017 09:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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