Project Management

The Reluctant Agilist

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About this Blog


Recent Posts

Obeyas and Agile in Film Making with Dan Eberle

An Abundance of Opportunity with Chris Li

Using Agile to Develop Hardware with Michael Grill

Remote Pairing On The Path To Certified Scrum Trainer

PODCAST TEAM UP! A Couple of Coaches and DrunkenPM on Metrics

Obeyas and Agile in Film Making with Dan Eberle

NOTE: If you would prefer to access an audio-only version of this podcast you can find it here:

Dan Eberle is a filmmaker AND an Agile Coach. He's been a guest of this podcast a few times in the past, but we've always centered the conversation around his work as an Agile Coach at the New York Times. 

This time, we're switching things up and Dan has joined me to discuss how agile and lean practices have influenced his practice of filmmaking. Specifically, we focus on the Obeya that Dan and his team utilize as they create films.

If the term "Obeya" seems unfamiliar...
"Conceptually akin to traditional “war rooms,” an Obeya will contain visually engaging charts and graphs depicting such information as program timing, milestones and progress-to-date and countermeasures to existing technical or scheduling issues." (Wikipedia

Whether you are making films, building software, or just trying to help your team get better organized, you'll get a lot of great ideas from this conversation on how to work with your team to design an obeya that will foster greater transparency and collaboration in the work you do.

If you would prefer to access an audio-only version of this podcast you can find it here:

Production Obeya Slideshow

Dan created a slideshow with screen grabs of his Production Obeya and examples of how he and his team visualize their production work. You can access it here:

Contacting Dan

Posted on: September 26, 2022 09:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Abundance of Opportunity with Chris Li

When a long-standing, traditional organization embarks on Agile Transformation, there can be a lot of things that impede the change. When a lot of those things are happening at once, it can seem even more daunting. The good news is that when that happens, some of the things blocking the change can be addressed fairly easily, but some things will be much harder to change. 

In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by my good friend and fellow CST, Chris Li and we talk through some challenges that were sent in by a student of mine. As we walk through the issues we discuss how severe each situation is and how we would each respond to it. 

Here are some of the challenges:
    •    PO can’t or won’t prioritize the backlog
    •    Team members are always taking on special side projects in the company
    •    The team is 35 people spread across several time zones - both on and off-shore
    •    Everyone is working on new products and also supporting up to 30 applications
    •    Everyone is expected to be at 100% utilization at all times.
    •    The Sprints are 4-5 weeks long (the size varies depending on the work to be done)
    •    One hour is allocated for Sprint Planning

There is obviously a lot to work through here. Chris and I did our best to hit all the points.

(An audio-only version of this interview can be found here:

Contacting Chris

Email: [email protected]

Posted on: September 17, 2022 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Using Agile to Develop Hardware with Michael Grill

Many people who are new to an agile way of working struggle to understand how practices like Scrum can be used if you are doing Research and Development. It can also be difficult to see how an agile approach can be applied if you are developing hardware. If you fall into either of those categories, this podcast should help get you sorted on how agile can be used in both R&D and the development of hardware. 

Michael Grill plays a dual role at Knorr-Bremse in Austria where he serves as both the Product Owner of Agile Practices and as a Product Owner for the research and development of brake magnets.  In this interview, Michael shares what led his team to want to try agile, some of the experiences they have had, and things they learned in adopting agile practices for their work developing brake magnets. If you are trying to find your way with implementing Scrum on a team that focuses on hardware, this is an episode you’ll definitely want to check out

drunkenpmradio · Using Agile to Develop Hardware with Michael Grill


Contacting Michael

Posted on: August 23, 2022 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Remote Pairing On The Path To Certified Scrum Trainer

This episode of the podcast features an interview that I’m hoping will serve as an example of how collaborating in a distributed model can lead to great things. Malene Jacobsen and Mario Melo both became Certified Scrum Trainers during the 2022 Scrum Gathering in Denver this past spring. The story of how they became Certified Scrum Trainers is the focus of our conversation. During the interview, you’ll hear how they worked together and supported one another while preparing for their in-person TAC panels. They were also part of a larger team of people who committed to work together until each of them had become a Certified Scrum Trainer. Their teamwork demonstrates how being separated by multiple time zones does not have to be a hindrance. 

If you are working as part of a distributed team or you are working towards becoming a Certified Scrum Trainer, this podcast offers an inspiring story that is chock full of tips to help you succeed with your geographically distributed team. 

You can find an audio-only version of this podcast here:

Links from the Podcast

Malene Jacobsen

Mario Melo

Posted on: August 09, 2022 11:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

PODCAST TEAM UP! A Couple of Coaches and DrunkenPM on Metrics

Christine Converse and Ross Beurmann (who host the podcast A Couple of Coaches) join me for a conversation/debate about metrics. During the podcast, we discuss what metrics help create clarity for the team on how well they are performing and what metrics help highlight areas that could be improved. We weigh the pros and cons of standard Scrum metrics, Kanban metrics, and share the ones we each find most valuable.  

If you are tracking certain metrics simply because Jira (or whatever tool you are using) tracks them, or someone else told you "THIS IS THE WAY," the question to answer is, if you were going to hire a metrics for your team, what job are we hiring the metrics to do?  

drunkenpmradio · PODCAST TEAM UP! A Couple of Coaches and DrunkenPM on Metrics

You can check out the podcast A Couple of Coaches here:


Apologies Sam Moore and Stax/Volt fans everywhere for using Sam as the underperforming team member in this discussion. Please listen to more Sam and Dave… it will be good for your soul.

Contacting Christine Converse

Contacting Ross Beurmann

Posted on: July 19, 2022 08:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"If you work on a lobster boat, sneaking up behind people and pinching them is probably a joke that gets old real fast."

- Jack Handey