The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog

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Recent Posts

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) Deadline 12/31/17 - HOW TO EARN SEUs FAST!

Hacking Agile for Digital Agencies

Jurgen Appelo - How to Measure ScrumMaster Performance

Descaling the Enterprise w/ James Gifford

Jurgen Appelo - Agility Scales

Head First Agile with Andrew Stellman and Jenny Greene

Andrew Stellman and Jenny Greene are back with a new book “Head First Agile: A Brain Friendly Guide to Agile and the PMI-ACP Certification”, which offers a strong foundational understanding in the most widely used Agile practices. The book is also intended as a PMI-ACP Exam preparation resource, providing complete coverage of the material included on the certification exam. 

In this podcast, Jenny and Andrew explain why they wrote the book, how PMI-ACP has evolved and why reaching a level where you are no longer concerned about the tools you use to get work done are traditional or agile is a great place to be.

SHOW NOTES

  • 01:19 Interview Begins
  • 01:50 Background on Jenny and Andrew
  • 03:30 Who the book IS NOT for 
  • 04:48 Who is book IS for and how it can help you move beyond simply going through the motions
  • 06:29 The debate over principles vs. practices and it has impacted Andrew and Jenny’s approach
  • 11:55 If you are new to Agile of have no experience working with Agile practices, how can this book help?
  • 14:32 Why PMI-ACP prep is the secondary goal of this book. (And what the primary goal is.)
  • 16:05 How the PMI-ACP exam has evolved and how Jenny and Andrew approached the topics for this book
  • 19:23 How the authors ensured the book covers 100% of the material included on the PMI-ACP exam
  • 20:21 Is is harder for a PMP to learn Agile, or harder for an Agilist to learn traditional Project Management?
  • 21:40 Reaching the “Ri” level of project management where Agile vs. Waterfall is no longer a concern
  • 22:43 Agile has moved beyond software, even reaching into construction, and how the is impacting PMI’s approach to Agile
  • 24:46 Agile and the PMO: Is the PMO a dead man walking?
  • 26:10 Scaling Agile is large organizations
  • 27:44 What is the most dynamic/challenging area of Agile that we need to pay attention to?
  • 28:29 Getting in touch with Andrew and Jenny

THE BOOK

You can find “Head First Agile: A Brain Friendly Guide to Agile and the PMI-ACP Certification” here: https://www.amazon.com/Head-First-Agile/dp/1449314333/

CONTACTING THE AUTHORS

If you’d like to reach Jenny and Andrew, here is how to find them:

 

 

 

Posted on: November 09, 2017 11:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

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)

Mission Statements & Developing Cross Functional Teams w/ Celeste Giampetro

In this podcast, PebblePost’s VP of Marketing, Celeste Giampetro, talks with Dave about the importance of defining a good mission statement, why Marketing needs more generalists than specialists now, how to develop cross-functional teams, and leading with vulnerability. During the conversation, they also spent time discussing different leadership techniques that will help you get the most out of your team.

SHOW NOTES

00:08 Podcast TLDR 
01:44 Podcast Begins
02:11 Some background on Pebble Post and Celeste’s role there
03:31 Is having a mission statement or vision statement important?
04:03 What problem is Pebble Post solving and how are they solving it?
09:43 Why marketers need to focus on being more generalized than specialized.
11:49 When are you done being a startup?
12:58 How we ended up with so much specialization in the first place
13:48 How do you determine if your generalist actually has the focused skills you need.
15:09 How to find people who want to grow and then to mentor them
16:03 Leading with vulnerability and transparency
18:10 What value does a manager get from leading with vulnerability
19:42 An example of how leading with vulnerability and transparency backfired
20:31 The benefits of giving up the control and power; and how it can have a very positive impact on the organization
22:00 Making sure everyone knows the Mission and Vision Statement
22:18 Introducing cross-functionality into your team
24:08 Do Gen X and Millennials approach collaboration and cross-functionality differently?
25:18 What is the key to motivating people? “Can you extract from them their best work?” 
27:07 The importance of learning about the people on your team before you start trying to direct their behavior.
28:07 On Managing people - “It’s al about relationship building”
28:55 Agile at PebblePost
30:32 Getting in touch with Celeste


Contacting Celeste

Twitter https://twitter.com/stinapessa
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/celestegiampetro/
PebblePost http://pebblepost.com

Celeste’s Article

Step Aside, Specialist: Return Of The Marketing Generalist

Posted on: August 02, 2017 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
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