A podcast about Agile and Project Management
Disciplined Agile Certifications at PMI with Scott Ambler
This week my guest is Scott Ambler. Scott is the Vice President and Chief Scientist of Disciplined Agile at the Project Management Institute. He’s is also the co-founder of Disciplined Agile (DA), the creator of the Agile Modeling method and Agile Data methods, and he is the author of a number of books that focus on software development and Agile. (See links below.)
In this episode of the podcast, Scott and I discuss how PMI’s efforts in support of Agile have evolved since August 2019 when PMI acquired Disciplined Agile and Alan Shalloway’s FLEX. We also discuss how the PMBOK is evolving, and we dig into the Project Management Institute’s new Agile certification programs: what they focus on, who they are aimed at, and how they are different from the other Agile certifications.
PMI’s Agile Certifications: https://www.pmi.org/certifications/agile-certifications
PMI Speaker Request: https://www.pmi.org/about/press-media/speaking-engagements
Agile Modeling method: http://agilemodeling.com
Agile Data methods: http://agiledata.org
Scott’s books: http://www.ambysoft.com/books/
Disciplined Agile Blog: https://www.projectmanagement.com/blogs/611075/Disciplined-Agile
Personal Website: http://www.ambysoft.com
Flipping Options to Change Behavior w Braden Cundiff
Changing behavior is never easy. Whether you are talking about changing a habit at an individual level, or organizationally, there is going to be a struggle and it is easy to get lost in the language of loss…
I won’t eat dessert tonight.
We won’t over-commit this Sprint.
Committing yourself to introduce a new behavior that is a change from your normal habits can be even more daunting because it not only demands you stop doing what you’ve been doing, but you have a new thing you have to do at the same time.
I will get up early and exercise before work.
We will break down all our work into increments that can be delivered in 3 days or less.
Change is demanding.
Braden Cundiff has developed a set of practices designed to FLIP the way we approach change and create a greater opportunity for a successful and sustained change. This approach involves reframing how we look at change and creating a scenario where it is easier to say Yes to the change than it is to say No.
In this episode of the podcast, Braden explains his Flip model for creating change, why it works, how it works, what the model is based on, and how you can get started using it.
Read Flip: Architectonics of Project to Products https://leanpub.com/flip
Driving Change When You Don't Have Agency w Sinikka Waugh
How do I create change in my organization when I don’t have the authority to make it happen?
Whether you are trying to kick off an Agile Transformation or introduce some other type of change that will impact your organization beyond your team and/or pay grade, creating change when you don’t feel empowered to do so is not an easy thing.
My colleague Jeff Howey and I frequently get questions around this topic in the classes we teach so we invited Sinnika Waugh to join us and share some ideas about ways to initiate change when your inner voice, (or the org chart), is telling you that ain’t your gig.
Sinikka Waugh is the Founder of Your Clear Next Step, an organization that provides training, coaching, and support to organizations and individuals with the ultimate goal of offering people a better workday so that when that day is over they are better prepared to truly show up and co-create a better experience at home and in their communities. She is also a PMP and the former VP of Marketing and Communications for the Central Iowa PMI Chapter.
In this episode of the podcast, Sinikka joins Jeff Howey and me to help address the question of “How do I create change when I lack agency?”
Even Better Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/4pQoHG1EfT8mqExSIOOmXb
Understanding the Product Goal w Don McGreal
In November of 2020, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland released an update to the Scrum Guide. One of the changes they introduced was the Product Goal. This is a change which, to me, seemed like a brilliant way to keep the Product Backlog focused on achieving a measurable outcome, but at the same time, it seemed at odds with how I had come to think about and work with a Product Backlog. For the past few months, I’ve been speaking with Agile and Scrum thought leaders in podcast interviews, trying to get my head around the concept. All of the conversations have helped me deepen my understanding of this topic, but the ones I have had with Don McGreal reshaped how I understand the way that the Product Goal impacts my entire understanding of a Product Backlog and how to work with it.
Don McGreal is the VP of Learning Solutions at Improving, the co-Author of The Professional Product Owner book, the co-founder of TastyCupcakes.org, and a Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer. He’s also a really nice guy and he was kind enough to spend some time talking with me about the Product Goal.
In this interview, Don shares how 4DX has impacts his approach to Product Ownership, working with the Product Backlog, and how it fits with the Product Goal serving as a measurable step towards achieving the Product Vision. As Don and I continue the discussion we explore some of the choices that Product Goal is going to force you to make about how you work with a Product Backlog. For example: If the Scrum Team is focused on one Product Goal at a time, and all the work in the Product Backlog should serve the Product Goal, what do we do with technical debt?
If you are trying to get your head around Product Goal, this interview is going to pose some important questions that require you to reconsider how your team (and your organization) works with a Product Backlog, what jobs you are hiring it to do, and how to be disciplined, but not dogmatic in your practice of Scrum.
- The Scrum Guide (November 2020) https://scrumguides.org
- 4 DX: https://www.franklincovey.com/the-4-disciplines/
- The Professional Product Owner: https://amzn.to/3eVXkkV
- TastyCupcakes: https://www.tastycupcakes.org
- Upcoming classes at Improving: https://improving.com/training
- Improving's Virtual Events: https://improving.com/virtual-events
- Ralph Jocham's Product Goal Canvas: https://effectiveagile.com/download/productgoalcanvas/
- Improving.com: https://improving.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donmcgreal/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/donmcgreal
Value Management Office w Sanjiv Augustine
Sanjiv Augustine took a break from putting the finishing touches on his new book From PMO to VMO: Managing for Value Delivery to join me for an interview about Value Management Offices.
“A Value Management Office is a cross-functional, cross-hierarchy and cross-silo team of teams.” This is a group with representation from across the organization. It is comprised of individuals who act as “linking pins” that work together to help the organization achieve business agility.
During the interview, Sanjiv breaks down how this group advocates for all levels of the organization and can develop a more holistic view of how to help the organization shift towards a more adaptable, self-aware approach to work where voices from all parts of the company have a shared voice in achieving strategic goals.
Sanjiv also shares a message of hope for any project managers out there who are “running for their lives” and see agile as a threat to their livelihood. There is still a lot of work to do, possibly even more so if your organization is moving towards agile.
Links from the Podcast
- You can Preorder Sanjiv’s book From PMO to VMO: Managing for Value Delivery here: https://amzn.to/3heKUFZ (September 7, 2021 Release)
- You can learn more about LIthespeed’s webinars here: https://lithespeed.com/toolbox/
- Web: https://www.sanjivaugustine.com
- Lithespeed: https://lithespeed.com
- Podcast: Agile Caravansarai http://agilecaravanserai.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjivaugustine/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/saugustine
Product Goal with Dave West
TLDR - My podcast interview with Scrum.org CEO Dave West on the Product Goal - what is it, how do I work with it.
In November 2020 Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber introduced a new version of the Scrum Guide. There are a number of changes they introduced to Scrum in the update, including the topic of Product Goal.
Here is what the Scrum Guide says about Product Goal:
“The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The Product Goal is in the Product Backlog. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will fulfill the Product Goal.
A product is a vehicle to deliver value. It has a clear boundary, known stakeholders, well-defined users, or customers. A product could be a service, a physical product, or something more abstract.
The Product Goal is the long-term objective for the Scrum Team. They must fulfill (or abandon) one objective before taking on the next.”
Initially, I found this mildly at odds with respect to how I tend to think of the Product Backlog - as a set of options... all the things we could do. And the more I tried to understand it, the more I felt it slipping through my fingers.
I've raised my concerns about the Product Goal in a few other interviews recently, but I got to a point where I knew I needed help getting my head around it. So I reached out and I am deeply indebted to the folks from Scrum.org who were kind enough to share their time and wisdom with me.
This interview with Scrum.org CEO, Dave West, is one in a series of podcasts I am going to post on the topic. Dave not only helped me get a better understanding of the concept, but he challenged me with something towards the end of the interview that helped me shake off my dogmatic blues and re-embrace the idea of Scrum being a framework that is meant to be adapted.
Links from the podcast
- The Scrum Guide: https://scrumguides.org
- What is Scrum at Scrum.org https://www.scrum.org/resources/what-is-scrum
- Ralph Jocham's Product Goal Canvas https://bit.ly/3eRu519
- The Professional Product Owner: Leveraging Scrum as a Competitive Advantage by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham https://amzn.to/33c2n9Z
Previous Interviews that involve Product Goal:
- The Product Goal w/ Ryan Ripley: https://soundcloud.com/drunkenpmradio/the-product-goal-w-ryan-ripley
- Scrum Guide 2020: Scrum Artifacts w Chris Li: https://soundcloud.com/drunkenpmradio/scrum-guide-2020-scrum-artifacts-w-chris-li
If you'd like to contact Dave West you can find him here:
- Email: Dave.West@Scrum.org
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidjustinwest/
- Scrum.org: https://www.scrum.org/scrumorg-staff
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidJWest