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7 Rules for Positive Productive Change w/ Esther Derby

Esther Derby has been helping individuals, teams, and organizations understand how to introduce and embrace change since she got her start as a software developer four decades ago. While she is possibly best known for the book “Agile Retrospectives,” which she co-authored with Diana Larsen, her list of accomplishments extends well beyond that. In her words, she draws on “four decades of experience leading, observing, and living organizational change.” She is wise and inspiring AND she has a...


Motivational Interviewing - Zach Stone

Zach Stone is an agile coach with a background that includes organizational change management, conflict transformation, and behavioral science. He leverages these experiences in his work helping organizations, teams, and individuals adopt an agile approach to work. One of the primary techniques in Zach’s toolbox is Motivational Interviewing. In this episode of the podcast, Zach explains what motivational interviewing is, how it works, and why it is such a powerful approach to helping...


The Core Agile Product Development Cycle w/ Urs Reupke

Urs Reupke is a Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach who works for the Hamburg-based Agile Consultancy It-Agile. A lot of Urs’s time and attention is focused on the work he does coaching management and providing leadership consulting as they move towards adopting a more Agile approach to work. One specific area Urs is passionate about is the Core Cycle of Agile Product Development. In this interview, Urs and I talk about what the Core Cycle of Agile Product Development is, why it is so...


The Mid Sprint Review - w/ Dhaval Panchal at SG2019

Many teams practicing Scrum adopt a mid-Sprint Review as a practice to help them ensure they are on track to deliver on their forecast by the end of the Sprint. For some teams, this involves holding an informal demo halfway through the Sprint to get feedback on the work they are doing. For other teams, the mid-Sprint review works differently and is used to provide transparency around a different set of issues. This episode of The Reluctant Agilist was recorded at the 2019 North American...


The Art of Mentoring with Brandon Brown

One of the things a Project Manager and a ScrumMaster have in common is that at times, they are both called upon to act as a coach and act as a mentor. For anyone in a leadership role, creating clarity around the difference between the two can be challenging. And even for seasoned pros, knowing when to act as a mentor and when to act as a coach is not always easy. This podcast is about on mentoring and features Brandon Brown. Brandon has built a career that is deeply rooted in providing...


Alex Brown - Boozy Scrum-SGAUS2019

What kind of projects don’t fit with Agile? This is a very common question in the CSM and CSPO classes that I teach. My answer is always that while there are some types of work that are better suited to an Agile approach than others, it really comes down to the organization and the people involved. With the right mindset, an iterative approach that is focused on inspect and adapt can be valuable in pretty much any situation… including building a bar. Alex Brown is the Founder and Principal...


The Language of Persuasion w/ Nic Sementa

Nic Sementa is man of many skills. He’s an Agilist, a Marketing Consultant, an Entrepreneur… he does Business Development, he’s a sales ninja, and he’s someone who spends a lot of time honing his skills in listening and communicating. This podcast began at the 2019 Scrum Gathering in Austin. Nic and I were talking and ended up on the topic of nonviolent communication. The conversation we had in Austin and Nic’s take on NVC and other communication practices was so compelling that I asked if...


Ilker Demirel - Leadership Gift - NASG2019

At the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering, I had a chance to sit down with Ilker Demirel to talk about his involvement with The Leadership Gift Program and how it has transformed his life and his work helping individuals, teams, and organizations become “free, powerful, and at choice” and move from a mindset of scarcity to a mindset of abundance. Ilker is a Certified Leadership Gift Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer. The Leadership Gift Program and the Responsibility Process were...


Jason Tanner Is On A Mission To Fix Your Daily Scrum!

The Daily Scrum is one of the simplest and most critical elements of Scrum. Unfortunately, for many, this event becomes a traditional status meeting that delivers little value. If your Development Team has lost its way with their Daily Scrum, this podcast is for you. Jason Tanner is the CEO and Co-Founder of Applied Frameworks, as well as a Certified Scrum Trainer and a Path to CSP Educator. During the 2019 North America Global Scrum Gathering in Austin, he was kind enough to block out some...


Carol McEwan - Scrum at Scale Update at NAGC-2019

At the 2019 North America Global Scrum Gathering, I had the chance to sit down with Carol McEwan, CEO and Chief Product Owner of Scrum at Scale, to talk about her new role and what has happened since the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. announced Scrum at Scale as a joint venture at last year’s Gathering. Carol took on the role of CEO/CPO of Scrum at Scale in March, but she previously served as the Managing Director of the Scrum Alliance. She has had a deep impact in the Scrum Community and in...


Charlotte DiBartolomeo - The Red Kite Project - May 2019

Charlotte DiBartolomeo is the CEO and Founder of The Red Kite Project, an organization that provides resiliency training in high pressure industries. This work involves coaching, consulting, and training centered around how to dismantle dehumanizing systems, rebuild trusting relationships, and cope with burnout. As an example of this, The Red Kite Project worked with public transit bus drivers in Philadelphia who were trained in ways to cope with conflict, how to recognize and de-escalate...


Howard Sublett at the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering

Recorded live at the 2019 North American Global Scrum Gathering, this episode of The Reluctant Agilist features a conversation with Scrum Alliance Chief Product Owner Howard Sublett. During the course of the interview, Dave and Howard discuss Dan Pink’s opening keynote at the Scrum Gathering; the Scrum Alliance Labs and volunteer work that have been done to create a free library of material aimed at helping to develop a more mature and more highly-skilled agile coaching community; an update...


Probabilistic Forecasting with Troy Lightfoot

Trying to figure out when you will be ready to ship is incredibly challenging. Many Scrum teams track historic velocity, or story points completed in a Sprint, and then use the average number of points completed per Sprint as a way of making an educated guess as to when they could deliver when they’d expect to deliver a certain number of story points in the future. There are, however, many who feel that this approach is no better than just making a completely random guess, and there is...


The Perfect Product Owner w/ Richard Cheng, CST

What does it take to be a great Product Owner? On Wednesday, May 22nd at the North American Global Scrum Gathering, Certified Scrum Trainer Richard Cheng will be leading a session called The Perfect Product Owner. In this interview Richard and I discuss some of the material he will be exploring in his session, some of the organizational conditions needed to enable a Product Owner to deliver value for the organization, and some Product Owner anti-patterns to watch out for. Towards the end of...


Successful Distributed Agile Teams w/ Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby

This podcast features an interview with Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby about their new book "From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver" (https://tinyurl.com/yyrbhcrz). Distributed Teams present challenges for any group of people trying to work together. This is true in a traditional approach to project work, but maybe even more so in an Agile approach, where many of the frameworks are based on the idea of co-location. The challenges distributed teams face are...


Insights from two days of Personal Kanban training w/ Amitai Schleier

Insights from two days of Personal Kanban training w/ Amitai Schleier A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of taking a class put on by Modus Cooperandi called “Individual, Team, & Project Success: Personal Kanban" with Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria, authors of the book Personal Kanban. Even though personal kanban is a system I am very familiar with, I was psyched to be able to take the class because I was confident that spending two days with Jim and Toni was going to have a deep...


How Buzzwords and Jargon Impact Your Team w/ Tyler Grant

What we say matters. One of they keys to being a successful ScrumMaster is language. It’s not enough to just put the message out, you need to encode it in a way that allows it to be received and decoded in a way that will deliver the message you intended. Tyler Grant is a ScrumMaster who is concerned with how buzzwords and jargon can create divisions within teams, and is generally less precise than other, more technical language. These words often lead to poor communication habits,...


Reluctant Agilist - Student QA: Changing the Sprint Commitment/Failing Sprints w/ Eric Tucker

In this episode of the Reluctant Agilist, Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach, Eric Tucker, and I talk through two related questions that came from students in my classes: What is the best way to inject defects into a sprint? How do you reset expectations with stakeholders if you are going to fail a sprint? During the interview Eric and talk about why adding/removing work from a sprint is generally not something you want to do, but what you should do if it is unavoidable. We also touch...


Reluctant Agilist - Meet Chief Scrum Master Melissa Boggs!

Last fall the Scrum Alliance took the bold step of changing their leadership structure from a traditional model to one that was based around a Chief Product Owner and Chief Scrum Master. Even for an organization whose mission is to “change the world of work” this was a brave experiment to run because it has never been done before. Howard Sublett returned to the Scrum Alliance as Chief Product Owner and the search began for someone to take up the challenge of defining role of Chief...


How to earn Scrum Educational Units w/ TJay Gerber

If you’ve achieved a certification through the Scrum Alliance one of the things you need to do to maintain your certification is to renew it every two years. In order to do this you will have to earn Scrum Educational Units (SEUs). Two of the most common questions I get at the end of each Certified Scrum Master or Certified Scrum Product Owner class are “How many SEUs do I need to renew?” and “How do I earn SEUs?” The number of SEUs you have to earn depends on the level of certification(s)...