Where I Work

Where I Work
http://www.leadingagile.com/

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Edward Kay - Making Agile work in Digital

Edward Kay, the Founder of Tall Projects, has been managing software and digital projects for over 14 years. A few months ago Edward posted an article on The Digital Project Manager called “Agency Agile: 10 Agile Methods for Agencies”. In this interview, Edward and I discuss his article, some of the key things you need to do in order to get agile to work in digital, and why Scrum may be the one thing that just won’t work in an agency model.


SHOW NOTES 

04:04 - Interview Begins
04:48 - Background on Edward and Tall Projects
05:55 - How Edward got started doing agile
06:31 - How Edward’s clients develop a desire to try Agile
09:11 - Are the clients who want to “Go Agile” aware of what that will require and willing to take the steps needed to implement the change?
11:25 - Where in the organization is agile getting started?
12:17 - Why the clients bring Edward in
13:34 - There is no one true way
14:50 - Critical challenges facing Digital Agencies trying to adopt Agile
16:32 - Understanding how to look at work across the portfolio
17:32 - Different ways of measuring work in agencies that are using Agile
20:07 - “Why don’t we just smoke crack at work?”
23:52  - Tracking Happiness
25:10 -  Quantifying value and limiting WIP
28:26 - What is the client actually paying you for?
30:50  - Determining value at the project deliverable level
32:40 - Having a conversation about limiting WIP
35:38 - Getting the client to trust the practices agile team’s employ
36:16  - Multitasking is bad and doesn’t work… but it is still expected
37:45 - What Agile practices just do not work in an Agency model
38:49 - “The on system that is not well suited for Digital Agencies in Scrum”
41:15 - Kanban as an alternative for Digital Agencies
42:10 - What Agile tool/technique is the key to making it work in an Agency model?
43:17 - What is the piece that is missing when trying to make Agile fit in an Agency model?
44:18 - How to get in touch with Edward

CONTACTING EDWARD

Website - https://www.tallprojects.co.uk/
Email: edward@tallprojects.co.uk
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edwardkay/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/edwardkay or https://twitter.com/tallprojects
Edward’s article on The Digital Project Manager: Agency Agile: 10 Agile Methods For Agencies 

CSM Training and the 2017 Digital PM Summit

For information on the Certified Scrum Master class being held right before the 2017 Digital PM Summit, click here. Special Discounts are available for conference attendees. Contact training@leadingagile.com for more information.

For information on the 2017 Digital PM Summit, click here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Justin Handler - Implementing Agile in Digital At O3 World

Justin Handler is the Head of Accounts at O3 World, a Philadelphia based Digital Agency. O3 World has been integrating Agile practices into their workflow for the past few years and Justin has been leading that charge every step of the way. In this interview, Justin shares stories about what has worked for O3, some things that didn’t, and he offers advice for Digital Agencies that are moving down the path towards Agile.

Justin is also one of the folks heading up the Digital PM group in Philadelphia. If you’d like to learn more about the group, check out http://twitter.com/dpmphilly or https://www.meetup.com/DPM-Philly/





SHOW NOTES

  • 03:24 Interview begins 
  • 03:44 Background on Justin and his role at O3
  • 06:48 How O3 got started with implementing Agile
  • 08:00 O3’s first experiments with Agile estimation practices
  • 09:40 What O3 tried that didn’t work and what they learned from it
  • 11:57 Debating the value of a Daily Standup and O3’s alternative solution
  • 14:15 Does the client get access to the Trello Board and Slack?
  • 14:34 The key to making Agile practices work in an Agency
  • 16:05 Fitting UX into Agile at O3
  • 19:25 Involving Developers with UX work
  • 20:03 Capturing and prioritizing requirements at O3
  • 22:30 Development and UX working in parallel
  • 23:27 Helping the client with adopting Agile (or not)
  • 25:39 Changing the nature of the relationship with the client
  • 27:14 Advice for agencies getting started with Agile
  • 29:23 How to reach Justin

JUSTIN’S ARTICLE

During the interview Justin references an article he wrote called “Agile In The Agency. Is It Possible?” You can find it here: http://www.thedigitalprojectmanager.com/managing-agile-projects-in-agency/


CONTACTING JUSTIN


Twitter: @justinhandler

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Making Agile work in a Digital Agency w/ Darren Petersen

Darren Petersen is a Senior Technical Project Manager at Lullabot. He’s also incredibly knowledgeable about Agile. In this interview Darren and I discuss how Agile has been implemented at Lullabot. We dig into what works, what doesn’t, why he moved away from Story Points and all, and how Lullabot has been able to get dedicated teams in place.

Note: During the interview Darren and I have a brief conversation about why it makes no sense to force yourself into the

As a (some user)
I want to (some action)
so I can (some benefit) 

format just for the sake of using it. I promised to get him an official answer. You can find that here.


SHOW NOTES


00:08 Interview Begins
00:47 Background on Lullabot
01:33 Managing 50 distributed team members
03:04 Using social media tools to stay connected with remote staff
05:57 Using Agile at Lullabot for client work
12:02 Making the case for some upfront planning, before using Agile during Development
12:50 Taking on the cost of teaching Agile to the client (who doesn’t care about Agile)
14:22 The way Lullabot sets up Teams to use Agile for client work
15:22 How can a digital agency maintain the business with dedicated teams
20:35 How dedicated teams impact the staff members morale and performance at Lullabot
23:27 Teaching customers to write decent User Stories
28:07 Should you force yourself into a User Story format when it doesn’t make sense? *
29:32 Why Darren doesn’t like using Story Points
33:00 How did Darren get so deep with Agile and what drives him to keep learning about it
36:19 Getting in touch with Darren
37:01 Interview Ends


CONTACTING DARREN


Twitter https://twitter.com/dsayswhat
Email: darren.petersen@lullalbot.com
About: https://www.lullabot.com/about/darren-petersen
Lullabot https://www.lullabot.com

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST


User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn http://amzn.to/2vKv4JI
Troy Magennis & Focused Objective http://focusedobjective.com
User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton http://amzn.to/2wckyOg
Agile Manifesto http://agilemanifesto.org

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Agile 2017 - Mike Griffiths and Johanna Rothman on the PMI Agile Practice Guide

At Agile 2017 I had the chance to sit down with Johanna Rothman and Mike Griffiths to talk about the work they've been doing on the PMI Agile Practice Guide. Their work was part of a joint effort between the Agile Alliance and PMI and is intended to offer guidance for traditional PMs on how to begin applying Agile in their work. The PMI Agile Practice Guide will be released in September 2017.

For more video podcast interviews from Agile 2017, please follow @leadingagile or check out the LeadingAgile on YouTube.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Making Agile work at Digital Agencies w/ Jack Skeels

TLDR

Jack Skeels is the CEO and Founder of AgencyAgile. There are many organizations devoted to helping companies transform to agile, but AgencyAgile is the only one that is solely focused on helping Digital Agencies adopt Agile. In this interview Jack shares his thoughts on Agile and what makes it succeed or fail in a Digital Agency context.



SHOW NOTES

00:10 Interview Begins
00:40 Background on Jack and Agency Agile
01:24 How Jack ended up helping Digital Agencies adopt Agile
05:10 Trying out different types of Agile
06:10 Taking a job so you can run experiments in how to manage projects
08:12 You can’t make people trust
09:13 Jack’s initial questions for management: How much pain are you in? How much gain do you want?
09:52 What is the hardest part for a Digital Agency adopting Agile?
11:52 Transforming the agency AND their clients. Training is not enough
13:40 Do we need a new flavor of Agile tailored to Digital Agencies?
17:26 Does Agile actually make things work better? Are there actual business benefits?
18:38 How does AgencyAgile “sell” Agile to companies?
21:32 We need to stop disempower team members. They care as much as we do.
24:39 Can we actually get consistent cross-functional teams in an Agency?
25:22 Designing work stream teams of 25
26:07 Transforming the whole agency at once
27:31 Are there clients who are not ready to transform yet?
31:10 Letting go of learned behavior
32:30 What do we need for Agile to work in a Digital Agency?
33:19 Agile will work  when it becomes a management initiative NOT a Project Management Initiative
34:53 How you can learn more about the AgencyAgile approach
36:10 Books about Agile that Jack recommends
37:00 Jack response to “We can’t do Agile because we’re fixed bid.”
38:10 Advice from Jack for those who want to adopt Agile in a digital agency
39:07 Where you can learn more about Jack
40:11 Interview Ends

LINKS MENTIONED IN THE PODCAST

2017 Digital PM Summit: http://bureauofdigital.com/summits/digital-pm-2017/

BOOKS BY BAS VODDE AND CRAIG LARMAN


CONTACTING JACK

Website https://www.agencyagile.com
Blog: https://www.agencyagile.com/insights/
Medium: https://medium.com/@jackskeels
Twitter : https://twitter.com/agencyagile
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackaskeels/

If you are interested in this topic, please stay tuned for more. In preparation for a session I am leading at the 2017 Digital PM Summit, I have been doing lots of interviews about how to make Agile work in a digital environment.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Are Stretch Goals OK? w/ Tim Wise from LeadingAgile

This week's LeadingAgile SoundNotes features a conversation between myself and Tim Wise on Stretch Goals. I had a student ask about them in class last week and did not have time to get back to it before class ended.

Even if you have formed an opinion about Stretch Goals, I'd encourage you to check this podcast out. I tend to be pretty anti-stretch goals, but during the interview Tim suggested a type of stretch goal that would actually be a very positive thing for a team to commit to.

You can find the podcast here.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Mission Statements & Developing Cross Functional Teams w/ Celeste Giampetro

In this podcast, PebblePost’s VP of Marketing, Celeste Giampetro, talked 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/
Pebble Post http://pebblepost.com

CELESTE'S ARTICLE

Step Aside, Specialist: Return Of The Marketing Generalist 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Agile 2017 Preview - Laura Powers


Laura Powers is has a LOT going on. She’s got a new role as Co-CEO of RADTAC US, she got classes coming up AND she has sessions set for Agile 2017 and the Scrum Gathering in Dublin. In this podcast I had the chance to catch up with Laura and hear about all she has going on, and we got to dig into the sessions she’ll be presenting at Agile 2017 and the Scrum Gathering in Dublin.



SHOW NOTES

00:10 Interview Begins
01:03 Laura explains her new gig at Radtac US
02:15 Laura’s experience London following the recent attacks
02:56 Laura and Kim Brainard are giving some Training From the Back of the Room classes
05:03 Laura’s participation in the Women in Agile Event at Agile 2017
07:24 Laura’s talks at Agile 2017
07:48 What about The Power of Play?
14:12 The Difference between Culture and Climate
18:02 Laura’s upcoming session at the Scrum Gathering in Dublin and Say Yes to No!
19:50 Improv,  the “Yes, and” culture and the Power of No
25:25 Saying YES! to more things than you can possibly do and how to fix that
27:58 Laura’s advice for newcomers attending Agile 2017
31:34 Getting in touch with Laura

CONTACTING LAURA

Radtac https://www.radtac.co.uk/about-us/page/3/
Twitter https://twitter.com/laurapowers

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

LAURA’S PODCASTS

Agile Games http://agilegamespodcast.com
NLP Your Agile - Link will be updated soon

WOMEN IN AGILE

Women in Agile at Agile 2017
Date: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Time: 1-5 PM
Location: Orlando, FL - Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel (Agile2017)
https://www.agilealliance.org/women-in-agile-2017/


LAURA'S SESSIONS AT AGILE 2017

The Power of Play - Coaching Teams to Play at Work
Wednesday, August 9, 10:45 AM
http://sched.co/ATXu
It’s Not Just About Culture: Co-creating an Awesome Agile Climate in an Imperfect World
Thursday, August 10, 10:45 AM
http://sched.co/ATWv


Laura's Session at 2017 SCRUM GATHERING - DUBLIN

Say "Yes" to "No": The Power of the "No" in Agile
Tuesday, October 31, 11:00 AM
https://www.scrumalliance.org/sgdub


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Personal Accountability Teams at Agile 2017

TLDR

Join a new experiment being run at Agile 2017! Get the most you can out of the biggest Agile event of the year by signing up with a Personal Accountability Team. Stick around at the end of the First Timer Orientation if you’d like to get set up with a team that will meet Daily in Orlando.

 Personal Accountability Teams at Agile 2017

The Agile Alliance is running an experiment to help interested First Timers form small teams who will hold Daily Standups each day in Orlando to get the most value they can out of Agile 2017.

We are just a few weeks away from Agile 2017. With over 270 sessions throughout the week plus a wide variety of other non-session activities, sponsor events, random unofficial activities, hallway conversations, late night "networking" activities, etc. There are LOTS of options. There are, in fact, more options than you could possibly take advantage of.

For many years, I attended big multi-day conferences with the same approach: throw myself headlong into it on Day 1 and participate in everything I could. This worked.... for most of Day 1. It started to fade on Day 2 and by Day 3 of whatever conference I was attending, I hid in my room a lot, I'd sit in the back of a session I was only partly listening to while I did work and often, and mostly just waited for it to be over so I could go home to my family.  Needless to say, this was not a very effective approach.

Several years ago, I tried an experiment at SXSW where I got together with a small group of people each morning for a Daily Standup. It was my first time at SXSW and I was completely overwhelmed. When I initially proposed the experiment at the end of a session on Project Management, I was looking for 2 things:
  1. I wanted to have a group of people I could meet with each morning who would help ground me and who would listen to my goals for the day. For me, a big motivator on achieving those goals was knowing that I'd be facing the same people again the next morning.
  2. I was looking for support. I didn't know a single person at SXSW and I wanted to have a small base of people I could sync up with. I hoped that we'd share tip and talk about what we had learned during the previous day, and that the collaboration would help us all get a better experience out of our time in Austin.

It worked pretty well. I have been refining this practice at every conference I've attended since. More than anything else, this is what helps me maximize the value I get out of any conference I attend.
In practice, it works just like holding a Daily Scrum, except the questions are a little different:
  • What am I going to do today to get value out of my time here?
  • What progress did I make on my goals from yesterday?
  • What am I struggling with or what do I need help with here at the conference?

I think it is critical to keep in mind that "getting value" does not necessarily mean attending every session. Taking time for yourself, going for a walk, taking a nap before you head out in the evening, making sure you are eating right and hydrating... these are all as important as the conversations. With so much going on, it can be hard to give yourself permission to skip some stuff, but if you don't, you are going to miss a lot more.

This year at Agile 2017 the Agile Alliance is supporting an experiment in Personal Accountability Teams. If you would like to participate, all you need to do is to attend one of the First-Time Attendee Orientation Sessions being held at the start of the conference. As soon as the orientation is over we will walk over to the Open Jam, where we will help you find a small team you can meet with each day throughout the conference to support you and help you get the most value possible out of your time in Orlando.

If you'd like to know more, just reply to this post or attend one of the First-Time Attendee Orientation Sessions at Agile 2017.

AGILE 2017 First Time Attendee Orientation Sessions

Monday, July 24, 2017

Volunteering at Agile 2017

If you are involved with Agile, the biggest event of the year is the conference hosted each summer by the Agile Alliance. Agile 2017 kicks off on Sunday, August 6, 2017 and that means 2,500 Agilists will be descending on Orlando ready to pick up new techniques, share what they’ve learned and catch up with thought leaders and practitioners in the Agile space.

The conference is MASSIVE and it would not be possible without the Purple Shirt People who volunteer at the conference. In exchange for getting to attend the conference, the folks in the purple shirts are the ones who can help you navigate the week. Whether you are a first timer wondering where to go, or a seasoned veteran giving a talk, we all depend on the generosity of the folks who give their time to help make the conference happen.

In this podcast, Becky Hartman and Sarah Klarich share some details about volunteering at the conference, how it works, what you get in exchange for giving your time and how you can get more involved. If you are new to the conference, Becky and Sarah also share some tips on how to make it through the week and what to not miss.


SHOW NOTES


00:10 Podcast Begins
00:47 Background on Sarah and Becky
01:33 Getting involved with volunteering at the Agile Conference
02:58 How many people will be expected at Agile 2017
03:30 How many people are part of the Volunteer Team at Agile 2017
03:52 The time commitment and getting to see sessions at Agile 2017
05:13 The type of work the Purple Shirts are expected to do a the Agile Conference
06:19 The benefits of volunteering at the Agile Conference
10:18 Advice from Becky and Sarah on how to get the most out your week in Orlando
13:15 Tips for volunteers who are extroverts (like Becky)
14:05 Watch the Grandma comments!
14:18 Advice for introverts (like Sarah)
15:05 Get ready for Agile Therapy and some other new events at Agile 2017!
16:36 Dealing with FOMO at Agile 2017 (You can’t see it all - take care of yourself!)
17:40 Finding your conference wingperson
19:44 Sarah and Becky’s must see events at Agile 2017
21:36 How to get on the Agile 2017 Volunteer Wait List (or submit your name for next year)