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Agile for Non-Software Teams with Gil Broza

Gil Broza is back with a brand new book that answers a question that is asked in every single class I teach. Can you use Agile outside of software? The simple answer is yes. Agile practices are applied in a wide range of fields that are not IT related. What Gil has put together in his new book "Agile for Non-Software Teams: A Practical Guide for Your Journey" is a step-by-step guide to help you begin your non-software Agile journey, and in this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, Gil shares...


Understanding Trauma w Brandon Brown

TLDR Regardless of whether you are a traditional PM or you are working in Agile, topics like emotional intelligence, creating safety and self-care are part of the current conversation about how we approach our work. This podcast presents another side of that discussion and focuses on how different experiences and events result in trauma that can leave lasting scars that we carry with us as we interact with others. Becoming more aware of different types of trauma, how it shows up in you as...


The Power of Volunteering w Reese Schmit

It’s the start of a brand new year! And one of the best things you can do for yourself and your career is to start volunteering for a professional organization. By offering a little of your time, you can find a path into a community of passionate PMs and Agilists who can provide support, coaching and mentoring to you as you progress in your career. In this episode of the podcast Agile Coach, Reese Schmit shares her story of how she got involved in helping out with Burning Flipside (an...


2019 Retrospective - 10 Years as PMPs Working in Agile with Jesse Fewell

It has been 10 years since Jesse Fewell and I became Certified Scrum Trainers. We both came to it from backgrounds deeply rooted in traditional project management. We were both PMPs, which was something like a scarlet letter in the Agile community. Ten years… things have changed. In this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, Jesse Fewell and I close out 2019 with a retrospective of sorts, looking back at how things have evolved from a time where Agile and traditional project management were...


The Italian Dinner - How Work Flows from Release to Story to Task with Judy Neher CST

When I am teaching CSM and CSPO classes I frequently get questions from students who have trouble understanding how work flows from the release level down through product backlog items like User Stories on down to the task level. I do cover this in class but for some, it is not so easy to see. In hopes of resolving this, I asked Judy Neher, a fellow Certified Scrum Trainer, to help me work through a metaphor that I hope will provide clarity on how we take work from Releases to User Stories...


What to do when your team won't to talk In Retrospectives w Adam Weisbart

This episode features a student question and a special appearance by Adam Weisbart. I recently had a student in class who was struggling to get her team to participate during retrospectives. This is a fairly common problem for teams that are either trying to get the hang of how to run a retro, or teams that may have stuck with a particular tactic for so long that it has stopped working. I invited Adam Weisbart to join me for the podcast. If Adam's name sounds familiar, it may be because...


Using Improv to Improve Your Listening Skills w Jessie Shternshus

Jessie Shternshus founded The Improv Effect (https://improveffect.com) to help businesses reach their full potential by means of interpersonal-communication skills training. Her work includes leveraging tools and practices from improv to help individuals and organizations improve the way they interact and problem solve. Jessie is also the author of the book CTRLShift: 50 Games For 50 ****ing Days Like Today. (amzn.to/2Qy0eAi) In this interview, Jessie and I discuss ways in which improv...


Melissa Watts - Tips for ScrumMasters

This episode of the Reluctant Agilist features an interview with Melissa Watts. Melissa works for Major League Baseball as a Technical Project Manager and acts in the capacity of ScrumMaster for a Scrum Team. During the interview, Melissa shares some of the experiences she has had working as a ScrumMaster over the last two years. In this conversation, we explore things like how hard it can be to move from being a member of the Dev Team to being a ScrumMaster in addition to how to run...


Chris Bailey - Hyperfocus and Optimizing Your Productivity

"The state of our attention determines the state of our life" ~ Chris Bailey This summer at Agile 2019, author Chris Bailey kicked off the conference with his keynote session “How to Manage Your Attention In a World of Distraction.” Chris has invested years of his life exploring productivity, distraction, and how to find the best possible use of the one thing no one has enough of—time. Chris shares his experiments and their results on his website http://ALifeOfProductivity.com and in his...


Scott Ambler on PMI's Acquisition of Disciplined Agile

In August of 2019, The Project Management Institute announced that it had acquired Disciplined Agile. According to Mark Lines, who together with Scott Ambler created Disciplined Agile, " The Disciplined Agile approach recognizes that every organization is different, and within each organization, there are different ways of working. The Disciplined Agile approach meets you where you are and allows you to tailor solutions for the way that you and your organization need to work.” The...


Defining the Role of Agile Project Manager - w Mike Anderson

For a long time now I have held strongly to the opinion that there is no such thing as an Agile Project Manager. There are Project Managers and there are ScrumMasters but the value systems they serve are different and at odds. I am comfortable playing either role, but I cannot do them both at once. (That is based on personal experience as well as observation.) When I saw that the PMI NY Chapter was going to have someone give a talk on Agile Project Management, I was skeptical, but I thought...


The Scrum Fieldbook w JJ Sutherland

Scrum Inc, CEO, JJ Sutherland’s new book The Scrum Fieldbook: A Master Class on Accelerating Performance, Getting Results and Defining the Future offers a compelling collection of stories breaking down what makes Scrum (and other forms of Agile) succeed or struggle in organizations. Drawing on his personal experience, as well as that of his colleagues at Scrum Inc., JJ offers a wide range of case studies on how individuals and organizations have been able to leverage agile practices to solve...


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...