A podcast about Agile and Project Management
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
Catching up with Melissa Boggs
From 2019 to 2021 Melissa Boggs served as Co-CEO and Chief ScrumMaster for the Scrum Alliance. Earlier this year she stepped down from her Chief SM role and took on the position of Vice President of Business Agility at Sauce Labs. AFAIK, Melissa was the Chief ScrumMaster ever so I wanted to check in with her and see what she learned during her time in the role, what advice she could share for those headed down that path, and what new challenges she’s taken on since she started her new gig.
What is truly powerful about this interview is how open Melissa is about the things she learned about herself on this journey. She offers a great example of brave vulnerability and shows how, if you are in the business of helping others transform, you have to be willing to develop an inner sense of personal agility as well.
Links from the Podcast
- Russel Brand Interviews Brene Brown https://youtu.be/SM1ckkGwqZI
- Scrum Alliance Bio: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/profile/mboggs2
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-boggs/
- Twitter: twitter.com/hmngbirdagility
- Sauce Labs: https://saucelabs.com/
Coaching Stances with Dan Eberle
This episode features an interview with Dan Eberle. Dan is an Agile Coach, working at the New York Times and leading a few Agile-centric communities of practice. I recently attended a presentation Dan gave on Agile Coaching as part of Access Agile's Agile 20Reflect Festival (https://agile20reflect.org). Dan hit on some very impactful topics during the session so, I asked him to join me for an interview about different aspects of Agile Coaching. During the conversation, we discuss different coaching stances, how to develop your skill with employing them, how to measure your success as an Agile Coach, how being an internal coach differs from coaching at a consulting company, some tips for those moving towards a coaching role, and things to watch out for as you head down that path.
Agile-Lean-NYT: New York Times Agile Community of Practice https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/agile-lean-nyt-new-york-times-agile-community-of-practice
Insurgent Agility https://www.meetup.com/insurgent-agility/
Agile Coaching Ethics w Shane Hastie
If you’ve been working as a coach or a consultant for any length of time you have run into situations where you have to make a decision about what the “right” thing to do actually is. Sometimes, it is pretty obvious, sometimes, not so much. Some professional organizations have established standards that credentialed professionals promise to adhere to. The International Coaching Federation has the ICF Code of Ethics (https://coachingfederation.org/ethics/code-of-ethics), the Project Management Institute has a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (https://www.pmi.org/about/ethics/code). In January of 2020 the Agile Alliance launched the Agile Coaching Ethics Initiative. In January of 2021, they launched a draft of their Code of Ethical Conduct for Agile Coaching along with a set of scenarios to help clarify what is, and is not an appropriate response in a variety of complicated situations.
In this interview Agile Coaching Ethics Initiative Co-Chair, Shane Hastie joins me to talk about how the initiative came to be, how the code and the scenarios work, and how they hope Agile coaches and practitioners will begin to use it. They are also looking for feedback on the draft and scenarios, so if you’ve got time to check them out, feedback would be greatly appreciated.
You can find the Agile Coaching Ethics Initiative here:
You can share your feedback or scenarios here:
You can reach Shane Hastie here:
Culture & Methods Trends Report March 2021
If you'd like to check out the InfoQ Culture & Methods Trends Report March 2021 to read more about the difference between good remote work and bad remote work:
Agile Sustainability Conference
Shane is also giving a presentation on the Agile Coaching Ethics Initiative during the Agile Sustainability Conference which is being held virtually (hosted) in Singapore. The conference begins on April 15, 2021 and you can learn more about it here:
The Metrics Cookbook With Derek Huether
(You can find a video version of this interview here: https://youtu.be/MReNazZPvCc)
Derek Huether is back to talk about his new book “Metrics Cookbook”. Organizations love collecting metrics and creating reports. Some of those metrics are critical to understanding what is happening in the organization, but a lot of them are not critical and waste a lot of time and effort. Derek’s new book offers recipes (just like in a cookbook) for how to approach metrics so that you can make sure you are collecting the most valuable data and using it to drive results.
During the interview, Derek and I talk about why he wrote the book, how it can help, and then we walk through an example of how he collected specific metrics within an organization to help them understand which projects they needed to let go of in order to give the most critical endeavors a chance of survival.
Metrics Cookbook https://amzn.to/3uE8fo9