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Agile and Project Management - DrunkenPM Radio
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Agile and Project Management - DrunkenPM Radio

Author: Dave Prior, Agile Trainer, Consultant and Project Manager

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A podcast about Agile and Project Management
222 Episodes
A few weeks ago I interviewed Gil Broza about his new book, “Deliver Better Results: How to Unlock Your Organization's Potential". The book was designed to quickly provide actionable practices that organizations can utilize to improve their value delivery system. It focuses on understanding the fitness for purpose of your system of delivery, and how to employ his ten strategies to improve your level of maturity. During my prep for the interview and during our conversation, there was one thing that was stuck in my head. None of this works without trust. How can a traditional, potentially toxic organization pivot into an approach that is mostly dependent on a certain level of trust? So, during our first interview, I asked Gil if he’d be open to a second conversation where we focus on the question “How do you build trust in an organizational system that does not have it? Gil was kind enough to agree and that is where this podcast began. If you’d like to check out our initial conversation you can find it here: Deliver Better Results: How to Unlock Your Organization's Potential
 You can purchase the book here: Gil has made the first chapter of the book available for download. It provides an executive-level summary of the 10 strategies and how they work as well as an assessment that readers can complete to determine the maturity level of their organization and select strategies to help them improve. You can download it for free here: Contacting Gil
 * Work:
 * LinkedIn: Dave's Upcoming Classes 
In the introduction to the podcast I mentioned a few of my upcoming classes: * A-CSPO February 29-March 1 * CSM Atlanta - March 4-5 -
 * CSPO Atlanta - March 6-7 -
 And you can find links to all of my upcoming classes here:
Gil Broza joins me for a podcast about his new book, “Deliver Better Results: How to Unlock Your Organization's Potential". During the interview, Gil and I discuss how he designed the book to quickly provide actionable practices that organizations can utilize to improve their value delivery system. Our conversation includes details on how to understand the fitness for purpose of your system of delivery, and how to employ his ten strategies to improve your level of maturity. The first chapter of the book provides an executive-level summary of the 10 strategies and how they work as well as an assessment that readers can complete to determine the maturity level of their organization and select strategies to help them improve. Gil has offered an electronic version of the first chapter to listeners of this podcast. Just follow this link: The Book You can purchase the book here: Other Podcasts About the Book During the podcast, I mentioned that I had listened to a few other interviews with Gil about the book. They are definitely worth checking out because each one focuses on a different aspect of the book. - Agile Uprising: - Tech Lead Journal: - SPAM: Contacting Gil Work: LinkedIn: Dave's Upcoming Classes In the introduction to the podcast I mentioned a few of my upcoming classes: A-CSPO February 29-March 1 CSM Atlanta - March 4-5 - CSPO Atlanta - March 6-7 - And you can find links to all of my upcoming classes here:
With the state of Agile as it is today, I find myself frequently wondering, “Is this the Darkest Agile Timeline”? Things have been getting a bit bleak lately in the Agile space. With the layoffs, the job market, and the fact that the business world has change fatigue and is tired of not getting what they expected from a way of working they’ve mostly only kinda half-done... Where’s the hope? For this podcast (and to find some hope), I reached out to George Schlitz because 1. George is way smarter than me and sees things I can only vaguely sense the shape of, and 2. His new company Adaptivity Group has a mission statement that includes “an unquenchable thirst for ‘better’" and "a fearlessness about the unknown” that kinda smelled like hope to me. During this interview, George and I discuss whether or not this is the darkest timeline, what that means, how we got here, where we can find hope, and what we can do to make things more better-er and think that little old ant can move that rubber tree plant. If you aren’t familiar with The Darkest Timeline, in the show Community there was a storyline where a random occurrence created multiple parallel timelines. A roll of the dice created six possible ways things could have gone… basically a six-sided multiverse. And one of the parallels created is THE DARKEST TIMELINE. It’s basically the Lemony Snicket timeline of worst case scenario where Captain Kirk is sporting his Van Dyke beard, Thomas Wayne is Batman instead of Bruce Wayne, it rains all the time, you miss every bus, never made that play in the big game, never asked that person to the prom, never got that promotion… you get the idea. During the podcast, George references his blog post on "Addicted to More" blog posts which can be found here: If you’d like to reach George you can find him here: Adaptivity Group: LinkedIn:
There seems to be a current trend where organizations that say they are doing PI planning or quarterly planning are making a decision for the teams about what must be delivered in the time box. The teams just accept the commitment because they either feel they do not have the agency to push back and say no to some of it or are too busy trying to finish up their last overcommitment to look at new work. So, they begin the new time box already behind and then assess the new work only to (shockingly) learn it is too much. Then they divide it up by the number of Sprints or weeks and that is how they plan out how to get it all done. Most of the time this results in developing a habitual practice of carrying work from one sprint to the next, continually trying to recover from the last overcommitment so they can get to work on the new overcommitment.   In this episode, The Agile Bear, Nigel Baker, joins me to sort through why this is happening, the harm it causes, and ways to fix it. Video Version If you'd prefer to view the video version of this interview: Contacting Nigel Linktree:
What do you do when your Scrum Master’s understanding of their role seems to be less about acting as a servant leader to the Scrum Team and more about making the team to work in a way that is most convenient for them? In this episode of the podcast, Jeff Howey joins me to talk through the real-life case of a Scrum Master who seems to have lost their way. Here are some of the concerns shared in the podcast: - Dev Team is offshore and holds a Daily Scrum before 8 AM in Scrum Master’s time zone. Scrum Master requires that they hold a second Daily Scrum to provide status to Scrum Master. - SM does not attend Sprint Planning. They require the PO to run it. - SM requires the PO to run the Retrospective. All topics must be submitted in advance of the meeting and must be positive comments (not negative). - Scrum Master does not like the way the Developers have set up their Task Board and requires that they change it to a format that works better for the Scrum Master. During the conversation, Jeff and I unpack these and a number of additional concerns, talk through how they are out of alignment with Scrum and the role of the Scrum Master, and discuss suggestions we'd offer to help reset the understanding of what it means to be a Scrum Master who acts as a servant leader for a Scrum Team. If you’d like to contact Jeff Howey. LinkedIn: Newsletter:
For the video version of this podcast: When an organization has taken the decision to switch an Agile way of working, they often get so caught up in trying to adopt the various practices and processes that they forget to stop and ask the question, “Is this providing the business outcome we need?” Remembering to keep that question top of mind is important. Knowing what to pay attention to and how to understand the answer is even more important. In this episode, Jessica Wolfe returns to the podcast so that we can discuss some of the things you might want to focus on, and how paying attention to areas that may be less obvious can give you greater insight into how agile is impacting your business and delivering the results you are looking for. As we work through the topic, Jessica shows how Lean Agile Intelligence can be used to help discover and interpret metrics you need to see so that you can understand how agile is impacting your organization. During the podcast Jessica was kind enough to offer a special 20% discount on an annual license to Lean Agile Intelligence if you purchase before the end of 2023. In order to get the discount go to and tell them you listened to the DrunkenPM podcast. This podcast was originally recorded using video. If you would like to check out that version so you can see the demo of Lean Agile Intelligence, click here: For more on Lean Agile Intelligence Web: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: Contacting Jessica LinkedIn:
On Friday, December 8, The Agile Alliance is hosting a MiniCon on the Future of Artificial Intelligence. During the event, Mark Kilby will be hosting a roundtable discussion with the speakers to explore the ways AI is poised to impact how we work and what it will take to utilize it in an ethical and responsible way. Mark joins me in this episode of the podcast to discuss why he made a conscious decision to get schooled up on AI, how he’s going about doing it, some of the key learnings he has had along the way, and his take on what the future of AI has to offer those of us work in the agile space and project management. The Future of AI MiniCon If you’d like to learn more about the Agile Alliance’s Future of AI MiniCon: Contacting Mark If you’d like to contact Mark: Distributed Teams And if you need some help with distributed teams, you should pick up a copy of From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams which Mark co-authored with Johanna Rothman. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
Agile is going through a lot of changes right now. The changes aren’t so much in what it is and how it works - that seems to be a bit stable at the moment. The changes stem more from how adopters feel about it, their ideas about much agile they need, what they need to achieve it, and what kind of support they want getting there. As the space works through these growing pains, many Agilists respond to discomfort they way they (unfortunately) have since the very beginning, by pointing figures at each other and saying “OM%G! CAN YOU BELIEVE THOSE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE AGILE?” It is a sad but true thing that baked deep into the culture of the agile community is this idea that the best way to prove that you are good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like you is by calling out the people who you think are not good enough, smart enough and doggone it… you get the idea. In response to one of these incidents that showed up in his LinkedIn Feed, Andy Jordan posted an article called “Letting Go of Pure Agile” (, making the case that whether or not you are truly Lean, or doing Scrum “right”, or whatever, doesn’t matter because the business cares about results and that is what we should all be focused on. I reached out to Andy to ask for an interview with the hope that we could dig a little deeper into his concerns over the purists, finding the right tools for the job, the current state of agile and project management, and, of course, how AI is impacting us. (It was also just great getting to catch up with him.) Andy, Mark Price-Perry, and I used to do workshops for PMI on Redefining your PMO. If you are curious about that you can learn more here: Andy’s Article: Letting Go of Pure Agile: Contacting Andy LinkedIn: Web:
With each new round of layoffs, the existential crisis facing the agile coaching community deepens. Alan Dayley joins me to discuss how the community is retrospecting on this moment and whether or not it is asking the right questions. Over the past year, a number of high-profile organizations have made a decision to let go of their agile coaches. The impact of that choice on those organizations will become apparent in time. The impact on the coaches, however, has been more immediate. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by Alan Dayley for a conversation about how the agile coaching community has responded to this existential crisis. With all the current conversations about whether or not Agile is dying, or how coaches could make the value they add more obvious to the organization, but there is very little discussion about the systems and environment that led to the decision to get rid of the coaches I'm the first place. What were these organizations trying to achieve and did they actually get it? Have they reached a level of agility that no longer requires the help of a coach? Is it just change fatigue? Alan and I dig into these topics throughout the conversation. This interview is also available in video. You can find that version here: Contacting Alan LinkedIn: X (formerly Twitter): Mastodon:
Louder Than Ten is a Vancouver-based Project Management Training and Consulting company. L>10 was founded by Rachel and Travis Gertz, and for the past 14 years, everything they have done has been centered around fostering healthy and humane ways of working together and managing projects. There aren’t many organizations in the digital agency space that have taken the time to develop their own project management manifesto. It is truly a unique place and now, as they do, Rachel and Travis have cranked up the volume just a scosche higher by converting their company into a Worker Owned Cooperative. This means that folks who have been working with them for a long time (like Abby Fretz: as well as new employees who join Louder than Ten will have an option to purchase a stake in the company and become an equal partner. This is a far cry from the sweatshop grind-it-out approach that many agencies take and it is definitely unique in the context of what is happening in the field of project management today. In this episode of the podcast, Rachel and Travis join me to talk about what led to this decision, why they made it, and what it means for the future of Louder Than Ten. This podcast was originally recorded with video. You can find that version here: If you’d like to learn more about how to turn a business into a worker owned coop, here are some links: Worker Cooperative - Wikipedia Entry: Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation: United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives: Democracy at Work: Contacting Rachel and Travis Web: Instagram: Rachel LinkedIn: Travis LinkedIn:
As long as there have been agile teams there has been the challenge of putting people together and getting them to actually be agile. You can send them off to a class and teach them Scrum or Kanban, or bring in team coaches, and that helps, but it doesn’t address one fundamental issue. Most people have not taken (or been given) the time they need to learn how to be agile in how they manage themselves as individuals. Michael Grill is a Product Owner and Head of Process and Methods in the Agile Practice at Knorr-Bremse, and they have taken steps to address this challenge of helping individuals adopt an agile mindset and practices in managing their day-to-day work by adopting Personal Kanban before they put them together on agile teams. In this interview Michael joins me to share how Knorr-Bremse came to make this choice and how it is deeply impacting their agile practice. First, you begin working with Personal Kanban, then you and your team members begin working together using PK, and then you adopt practices from Scrum, Kanban or other forms of agile, to get the work done. When Michael told me about the approach they had taken I was really excited to do the interview, because it just makes so much sense I was stunned that it had never occurred to me before. To add a little to the complexity, the work that Michael and his teams use agile to develop hardware like breaking systems for trains, and that adds a whole other dimension to how they incorporate agile. If you’d like to hear more about that, we covered it in a previous interview and there is link to it below as well as links to where you can learn more about Personal Kanban and even take a course in how to get started with it. Links:
 Using Agile to Develop Hardware with Michael Grill Personal Kanban site: Personal Kanban Training at Modus Institute: Lean Agile Visual Management Certification: My blog on Personal Kanban: Contacting Michael
Getting people to open up to one another and connect at work is not an easy thing. It wasn’t easy before the world went remote, and now that many of us are somewhere in the middle of being half remote and half in-person, it’s not getting any easier. But if we can get to know each other a little better and a little deeper, we will foster stronger connections. As we become more invested in one another, the work we do together will improve as a result. Together To Gather is a card game developed by Lia James from &Human and Jessie Shternshus from the Improv Effect to help leverage the power of great questions to inspire meaningful conversations. If you are looking for a really fun way to build deeper relationships with your team members or any group of people you interact with, you should definitely check out this interview. During our conversation, Jessie, Lia, and I talk about how and why the game works and discuss different use cases for it. You can even watch us play a few rounds and learn one of the reasons I was so bad at working in a recording studio. This interview was originally recorded using video. If you'd prefer to watch the video version, you can find it here: You can find more about Together To Gather Here: Web: Instagram: Connecting with Lia Web: LinkedIn: Instagram: Email: Connecting with Jessie Web: LinkedIn: Instagram: Email:
AI is everywhere now. You can’t have a conversation that involves the future of work without heading down the rabbit hole of how Chat GPT and tools like it are changing the workspace. For some, it is a very exciting time. For others, it is scary as hell because it is so hard to figure out how it will impact our work. In this interview, Zach Stone is back for a chat about the following questions: - What parts of the work we do on Scrum Teams will be augmented or replaced by AI? - How do we prepare for that? - After AI takes over parts of the job, what are we supposed to do and how will we keep adding value? During our conversation, Zach shares what he’s learned while pursuing answers to these questions, as well as his thoughts on what we need to do to prepare for our work in the not too distant future and what we’ll need to do in order to stay valuable and relevant to our teams and organizations. Transcript - A transcript of the interview can be found here: Links from the podcast - Interview with Zach on his team in Ukraine: - Agile Coaching Skills - Certified Facilitator (ACS-CF): - Jira Insights: - AI For Everyone (the AI course Zach recommended): - Study: Prefrontal Cortex In Jazz Musicians Winds Down When Improvising - AI Decision Assistant ChatBot for Software Release Planning and Optimized Resource Allocation - Chat GPT: Contacting Zach - LinkedIn:
Times are weird in the land of Agile. More and more big companies are letting go of the people they’ve brought on to help them adopt agile practices, or replacing their Scrum Masters with Technical Program Managers, or creating a homegrown version of Agile by taking an established framework and bailing on the practices they don’t like. Is this just business accepting that what they’ve been trying to do for the past 10+ years was just too hard, have they achieved a level of agility that they are happy with, or have they decided to place different bets on what it will take to carry them into the future? In this episode of the podcast, Jesse Fewell joins me to explore different ideas about what is happening, why it is happening, and what this means for people who’ve spent years trying to establish a career in agile.  The conversation came about as a result of a post Jesse made on LinkedIn. He’s doing research on the topic and I asked him to join me to talk through some of the ideas. If you have stories to share, he’d love to hear from you. You can find his original LinkedIn post here: Towards the end of the podcast we also discuss a question that came up in one of my CSM/CSPO Lean Coffees: If you are hired as a Scrum Master into a mostly waterfall organization that still has traditional project managers, and the engineers are trying to treat you like a secretary, how do you establish your role and the value you can provide? Contacting Jesse Untapped Agility on Amazon: Untapped Agility Website: Jesse’s Site: Jesse’s YouTube Channel: LinkedIn: Email:
Jardena London is on a mission. After spending years helping organizations transform, adopt agile, and achieve business agility she realized there was something missing. Soul. Yes, change was happening, but at what expense? Were people any more able to bring their whole selves to work, authentically show up, rise to the challenge of the day, and fully contribute themselves to the work? Mostly, not so much. And that is what led her to shift her focus to helping create soulful transformation within an organization. This led to a book “Cultivating Transformations: A Leader’s Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical” and her newly launched community Transformational Leader Community which is the primary focus of our conversation. During this interview, we talk about what Jardena means by “soulful”, how it is different from what many people experience during their normal work, and how the change has to occur on three levels, the me, the we, and the system. If you'd prefer to watch a video of this interview Join the Transformational Leader Community Read Jardena’s book Cultivating Transformations: A Leader’s Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical Links from the interview - 5 Steps to Soul - Inner Workings - Pixar short about happiness at work - Brave New Work - Aaron Dignan - The Responsibility Process - Christopher Avery - 4 Stages to Psychological Safety - Tim Clark Contacting Jardena - - -
Agile 2023 is almost here! Mark Kilby, Tim Nolan, and I are putting the final touches on our session Tuning Your Distributed Team with a Right Environment Exercise. We are looking forward to sharing some of the things we learned in Modus Cooperandi’s Lean Agile Visual Management Certification program. The workshop will be held at Agile 2023 on Tuesday, July 25th from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This video gives an overview of our workshop and some of the key concepts we will be covering with the participants. If you are attending the conference for the first time, it can be a rough week so we've also got tips for how to get the most out of the conference and how to best survive the week. This was originally recorded in video. You can find that version here:
Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the Agile and Project Management space has become a conversation most of us are now having daily. There are a number of products already on the market and more coming every hour. In the same way that several years ago everyone had an app, now everyone wants to have a product leveraging AI. Snehal Talati, the AI Agile guy, has an app he’s been working on, but he’s also working on something bigger… the question of how we will use AI, responsibly, to not just replicate the things we can already do, but help us advance the way we understand and approach work. In this interview, Snehal joins me to talk about This is a community he has founded to start a conversation with four goals: - Develop principles and practices for human-centric AI - Learn and share how AI augments Agile methods to serve people - Pioneer an adaptive, collaborative model for progress - Ensure diversity and ethics in creating new tech During our conversation we talk about where AI is headed, what is happening to the job market, and how we can “reimagine agile” in a way that leverages the power of AI and Agile Principles to create another revolution in the world of work. Note: Towards the end of the interview Snehal generously offers a 10% discount on a course but unfortunately I did not finish editing the interview until after the course had run. Instead, he's offering a 10% discount on his ChatGPT Agile Mastery Workshop Series. All you have to do to receive the discount is use the promo code drunkenpm when you sign up here: Links from the podcast: AI Agile: Agile GPT: ChatGPT: Socratic: Contacting Snehal: Web: LinkedIn:
Johanna Rothman is one of my favorite people to interview and in this episode, she’s back to talk about her new book Successful Independent Consulting: Relationships That Focus on Mutual Benefit. The book is full of insights and practical tips not just for consultants but anyone looking to establish themself and make their presence known in their profession. The conversation also covers the book she published last year, Free Your Inner Nonfiction Writer: Educate, Influence, and Entertain Your Readers because a big part of making your presence known is making sure your voice is heard. What's great about Johanna's books is that they are full of practical answers to the questions you show up with. But in reading Successful Independent Consulting I found it was also addressing the questions I hadn't figured out how to articulate yet, and the questions I didn't realize I was hiding from. She sent me an ebook version of Successful Independent Consulting to prep for the interview, and I was making so many notes in my Kindle that I had to order a hard copy as well, just so I could keep it all straight. During the interview, she shares some stories and examples of the challenges she faced in consulting and how she has overcome them. Whether you work in consulting or are just trying to carve out a space for yourself in the company you work for, you'll get a lot of value out of this conversation and her new book. I can't recommend the book enough. The advice she shares is already having a deep impact on how I approach my work. This podcast is also available in a video format: The Books: Successful Independent Consulting: Relationships That Focus on Mutual Benefit Free Your Inner Nonfiction Writer: Educate, Influence, and Entertain Your Readers Contacting Johanna Web: Amazon: Leanpub: LinkedIn:
I’ve done several podcast interviews over the past few months about Flow Metrics. These podcasts are all pretty much aligned around the fact that if you want metrics you can rely on to predict what to expect from your teams in the future, nothing is perfect, but flow metrics are better than velocity. Since most of the people I meet while I am coaching, or teaching use Jira, I reached out to a friend at Atlassian to learn more about how to get this data. Here’s the best part… if you are using Jira, the system is probably already capturing the data for you, you just need an easy way to get at it… and this podcast Derek Huether and Sam Tsubota will show you just how easy it is to get at the information you need to understand more about you team’s flow. (This podcast was originally recorded in video. If you'd like to watch that version you can find it here: ) If you’d like to check out the other podcasts I’ve done recently on flow metrics: Story Points are Good AND Evil with Ryan Ripley Enabling Change with Data Modeling and Forecasting (with Troy Magennis) For more on Atlassian Analytics: If you’d like to contact Derek or Sam Derek Huether LinkedIn: Web: Twitter: Amazon: Sam Tsubota LinkedIn:
In the classes I teach and the podcasts I record I talk frequently about how deeply Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has impacted the way I understand the opportunities that show up in my life. Once you get past the title, you can begin to understand how it is really a book about collaboration. I have MANY translations of the Art of War in my apartment but none of them have reshaped my brain as profoundly as the ones by Gary Gagliardi. His book The Amazing Secrets of Sun Tzu's The Art of War: The Mysteries of History's Most Powerful Strategy helped me to understand the work on a completely different level and was the basis for my Five Meaasures Canvas tool. And, he is the guest on this episode of the podcast!!!! If you are a fan of the Art of War or are curious about how a book called The Art of War could actually be about collaboration, this podcast is for you. I also want to say that I am so grateful to Gary for being willing to share his time with me and tolerate my questions. He definitely took me to school during this interview. I hope you will enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it. Links from the Interview The Amazing Secrets of Sun Tzu's The Art of War Contacting Gary Gagliardi Amazon Author Page: LinkedIn: Web: and SubStack: Email:
Comments (1)

James Siverson

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