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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...


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...