Agile Chicago Style Podcast

Helping UNLEASH the Agile Community on Chicago

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If you’ve been around Chicago long enough, at least in the Agile community, you would know that the company currently known as HERE (formerly NAVTEQ and then Nokia) has a great reputation for being an Agile organization through and through. The truth is, the Agile movement there started as an experiment – as most things in Agile should.

I tag along while Allen Rutzen and Jorgen Hesselberg describe the best example of a true Agile Transformation and an organizational Agile Mindset.

The ever-controversial Tom Mellor discusses the differences between ‘Being Agile’ and ‘Doing Agile.’ Tom talks quite a bit about Frederic Laloux’s organizational paradigms (categorized by a color spectrum), and gets us started down a road that leads to differences in what we are taught about the basic elements of Scrum – or at least what we thought we were taught.

Tom also qualifies and stands by his statement “I think the ScrumMaster was the worst thing ever created in Scrum” by answering the question “If you don’t have a ScrumMaster, how do you expect [a new Scrum Team] to become a team that practices Scrum?” — You have to listen to get his answer

I recently got the most wonderful opportunity to talk with a couple of legends in the Agile Community – Chet Hendrickson and Ron Jeffries! They’re partnering with Brian Levy to bring a 5-Day, dual certification, public CSD class to Chicago for the week of 14-18 March, 2016.

Ron, Chet and Brian discuss many of the XP Practices we grown to love and integrate into our Scrum implementations. Brian also adds a dash of SAFe to the conversation.The class, in downtown Chicago, combines a 3-day Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) class and a 2-Day SAFe ScrumXP class. Class attendees will be awarded the CSD via Scrum Alliance (assuming they already have other pre-requisites covered), and the Scaled Practitioner (SP) via Scaled Agile.

Just Matt and Rick

Matt Beam, new co-host of Agile Chicago Style Podcast

Join me as I query Jack Walser, of AIM Consulting, on DevOps. Before Jack spoke to the Agile Professional Learning Network (APLN – Chicago) in June, I didn’t have a great idea of what DevOps, in the Agile space, really was.

Jack breaks down the components of a DevOps environment needed to succeed.

In July 2015, Maria Matarelli and Harvey Wheaton presented the results of Scrum Alliance’s State of Scrum 2015 survey. The survey returned 4400+ responses that led to some very interesting results.

I was able to get Maria and Aakash Srinivasan (both veterans of this podcast) to discuss some of the more interesting analysis of these results.

Vivek and Rick discuss many different topics in this conversation ranging from Governance to Training certification, Agile industry diversity to Release Planning, etc. We briefly touch on our career goals of CST and CSC, and where we are at in our journeys.

Recently, I had a wonderful time talking with Angela Johnson about modifications to Scrum that make us cringe. Sprint 0 and Story Authors topped the list. Please give Angela’s article Are You Transforming the World of Work, or Confusing It? for more on these subjects.

Aakash Srinivasan is an Agile Coach and Trainer, in the Washington DC area, who speaks quite often at Agile events, conferences and Gatherings. Aakash and I sat down last month and talked about a great range of topics.

Besides name-dropping (Mike Cohn, Dhaval Panchal, Roger Brown, Catherine Louis, Maria Matarelli, Dave Prior, Mike Vizdos, Arlen Bankston, Tom Mellor), We actually talk about topics like why Agile Coaches are needed when ScrumMasters are intended to be the team coaches; ‘Pure Scrum’ vs Reality; DAD, Scrum, Scrumban, and Kanban comparisons and where/when they fit; training, co-training, and being CST candidates; Scrum Gatherings and Agile conferences.

In this episode, please excuse the hacked up sound quality. I didn’t realize it while Dave and I were speaking, but I entered into this discussion with preconceived ideas of what scaling Agile orgs meant, and it was well reflected in my part of the discussion. At times I derailed the conversation, and at others, I slowed Dave down from getting his point across. I believe I’ve been able to edit the audio back into a semblance of coherent conversation, almost simply by editing out some large portions of me talking. So, please enjoy Dr. Dave Sharrock speaking about scaling Agile organizations. It’s not necessarily all about making your Agile footprint bigger, ideally it’s about making it better (and then bigger later).

Mike Marchi, Agilist, and I (re)talk about his experiences in Scrum, XP, and Agile in general. Mike, VP and co-founder of Agile Professional Learning Network Chicago chapter, runs the gamut of all things Agile – books, Scrum Gatherings, team experiences, motivating teams, etc. Please listen for some great examples of real-life Scrum success stories, and a few funny stories too.

I sat down with Angela Druckman (CST) last week and discussed a few topics that greatly concern us both. Angela is a Certified Scrum Trainer, from the Pacific Northwest, who trains in several major markets in the USA, and abroad. She authored 30 Days to Better Agile, and is currently working on a new book about Agile Coaching. Her new book will be a companion to an Agile Coaching course that she plans on offering for the first time, this Spring.

Tune in to this episode of the Agile Chicago Style Podcast to hear what Angela calls Stealth Scrum, Progressive Independence, “The Homework”, and her arguments and opinions on Prioritized Backlogs vs. Ordered Backlogs, and Methodologies vs. Frameworks. And listen for one great quote from Angela “Good is the enemy of great.”

Maria Matarelli, president of Formula Ink, Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), and author, talks with me about her experience in a recent CSM class where she brought in Suzanne Oliver, of Heart of a Fighter, to act as a real-life Product Owner of/for her non-profit organization.

Maria’s idea to have the CSM class focus on a real non-IT organization to help them realize their goals, yielded some very interesting results. Listen to our conversation to learn more.