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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
148 Episodes
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. Links: PMI’s Agile Certifications: PMI Speaker Request: Agile Modeling method: Agile Data methods: Scott’s books: Contacting Scott Disciplined Agile Blog: Personal Website: Twitter: LinkedIn:
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 Contacting Braden LinkedIn:
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?” Contacting Sinikka Web: Even Better Podcast: LinkedIn: Twitter: Contacting Jeff Email: LinkedIn:
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, and a 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. Links - The Scrum Guide (November 2020) - 4 DX: - The Professional Product Owner: - TastyCupcakes: - Upcoming classes at Improving: - Improving's Virtual Events: - Ralph Jocham's Product Goal Canvas: Contacting Don - - LinkedIn: - Email: - Twitter:
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: (September 7, 2021 Release) - You can learn more about LIthespeed’s webinars here: Contacting Sanjiv - Web: - Lithespeed: - Podcast: Agile Caravansarai - LinkedIn: - Twitter:
TLDR - My podcast interview with 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 who were kind enough to share their time and wisdom with me. This interview with 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: - What is Scrum at - Ralph Jocham's Product Goal Canvas - The Professional Product Owner: Leveraging Scrum as a Competitive Advantage by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham Previous Interviews that involve Product Goal: - The Product Goal w/ Ryan Ripley: - Scrum Guide 2020: Scrum Artifacts w Chris Li: If you'd like to contact Dave West you can find him here: - Email: - LinkedIn: - - Twitter:
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 Contacting Melissa - Scrum Alliance Bio: - LinkedIn: - Twitter: - Sauce Labs:
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 ( 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. Contacting Dan: LinkedIn: Twitter: Meetup: Agile-Lean-NYT: New York Times Agile Community of Practice Insurgent Agility
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 (, the Project Management Institute has a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct ( 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: LinkedIn: InfoQ: ICAgile: Twitter: Email: 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:
(You can find a video version of this interview here: 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. Derek’s Book Metrics Cookbook Contacting Derek Web: LinkedIn: Twitter: Email:
This interview was originally recorded in July 2013 and posted to Projects at Work. The original blog post and posting of the recording were lost when P@W became part of Project BUT Johanna is brilliant and I learn a ton from her every time we talk. Also, Personal Kanban is REALLY important. So I found the original post and am reposting to fix the broken link on my index of Personal Kanban blog posts and podcast. (Which you can find here: This conversation centers around one of the topics in Johanna's book Manage Your Job Search ( and her article on how to use Personal Kanban for your Job Hunt ( If you'd like to learn more about Johanna, her work and her writing:
This is a completely unique version of the podcast. For the first time since 2008, I’m giving up control of the show and in this episode, Adam Weisbart interviews me about the session I’ll be leading at the Agile Virtual Summit [Bite-Size!], some of the changes in the new Scrum Guide, and iocane powder. The Agile Virtual Summit [Bite-Size!] takes place on March 31st. The event is Bite Size! because it is only 3 hours long (12 PM - 3 PM Eastern). I will be giving a presentation along with Tricia Broderick, Richard Lawrence, Nicole Spence-Goon, Dr. Dave Cornelius, and Heather Dunning. And the Keynote is being given by Lyssa Adkins, who you definitely do not want to miss. Also, it’s free! You can register for the event here:
The Scrum Guide got an update last November and one of the concepts introduced was the Product Goal. The Scrum Guide says: “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.” For some, myself included, taking that basic definition, extending it, and creating clarity on how the Product Goal fits in with other ways we talk about the Product Backlog has been challenging. So, I reached out for some help... In this episode of The Reluctant Agilist, I'm joined by Ryan Ripley. Ryan is the co-author of "Fixing Your Scrum", the co-host of the Agile for Humans podcast and he's also a Professional Scrum Trainer. During the conversation, Ryan and I dig into what exactly the Prout Goal is, how teams can use it to deliver value and how it fits in with some of the other aspects of the Product Backlog. If you'd like to check out the podcast Ryan and I recorded on his book Fixing Your Scrum you can find it here: Links from the Podcast: Agile for Humans Podcast Fixing Your Scrum Web: Email: Twitter:
Christine Converse and Ross Beurmann are back and this time we’re picking up the thread from something that came up during our previous interview. The title of the episode is Resistance to Change and the conversation centers around the problems we face when trying to create change within a team or organization. More specifically, we talk about how you can influence others to change when you have no authority, the people you are trying to help may have no desire to be helped. Whether you are working in an agile environment, a traditional organization, or something that is careening back and forth between the two, this interview is going to give you a lot to think about. CONTACTING CHRISTINE AND ROSS If you’d like to reach out to Christine or Ross, here are some ways to reach them: Christine Converse • LinkedIn: • Email: Ross Beurmann • LinkedIn: • Email: • (Ross has joined me on a few other podcasts. If you’d like to check them out you can find them here:
If you'd prefer to watch the video version of this interview you can find it here: Mark Hodgdon is Product and Project Manager at Aspirent, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm focusing on Data Analytics, Cloud Development, and Project Execution. His role is also often called on to serve as Scrum Master and Product Owner. He also manages and plays in a band and has a family with two kids recently out of college. When you put all this together, it results in a MASSIVE list of things that Mark needs to do. And he manages it all using Personal Kanban. In this special video podcast interview Mark and I talk through the different ways he is using Personal Kanban to manage all the things on his plate. Mark shares the different boards he uses to keep his work sorted and also shows what he has started doing to track performance metrics on his use of Personal Kanban. If you are looking for a great example of how Personal Kanban or agile practices can be used on a personal level or to manage non-work projects, or if you are looking to get started with agile and either don't have an opportunity at work or don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you’d like to learn more about Personal Kanban, here are some links: Web: Personal Kanban (Modus Cooperandi): Book: Personal Kanban: And if you’d like to contact Mark Gmail: Work Email:  Aspirent Website: And if you want to check out Mark’s band, Brewery Road Web:
In this very special video episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Jesse Fewell, whose new book Untapped Agility is full of insights, tips, and tactics that you can use to help gain support for your adoption of Agile. Jesse and I go way back. We worked together a lot during the initial phases of getting The Project Management Institute and the Scrum Alliance to talk back in 2009-2010. It was great to catch up with him and I highly recommend his new book.  If you would prefer a video version of this podcast you can find it here: You can find Jesse’s book here: You can contact Jesse here: Web: LinkedIn: Twitter:
When it comes to introducing change into an organization you will frequently hear people talk about how critical it is to change the culture. They’ll tell you that nothing will happen until you change the culture. They’ll start quoting Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Culture is definitely a concern, but it is not the ONLY concern. And it is definitely not an excuse for why organizational change is failing to take root. In this interview Dhaval Panchal and I explore the challenge of getting organizational change to stick, the impact of a culture that is not suited to the “new” organization, and some of the other facts that have an impact on changing the way people live, work, and think in a organization. Dhaval's Podcast Evolve Agility’s “Agile will fail because …” series of video case studies Contacting Dhaval Web: Twitter: LinkedIn: Email:
In this episode, I am joined by my friends Richard Cheng and Karim Harbott for a discussion about Business Agility. Business Agility is something people have been talking about for several years but it is one of those terms that can mean different things to different people. During my conversation with Karim and Richard, we discuss what Business Agility is, why nailing down a definition can be so tough, why it is so important and how you can get started with helping your organization take steps in enabling it. You can pre-order Karim’s upcoming book “The Six Enablers of Business Agility” here ( It will be out on June 1, 2021. Richard will be giving a free webinar called “The Perfect Product Owner” on February 17, 2021. You can find more information here ( Contacting Richard Web: Twitter: LinkedIn: Email: Contacting Karim Web: Twitter: LinkedIn: Email:
In November of 2020, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber released a new version of the Scrum Guide. The new version of the Guide introduces some important changes to how Scrum works. One specific area that changed was the Scrum Artifacts. In this episode of the podcast, I am joined by my good friend Chris Li. Chris is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and the Founder of SparkPlug Agility. During our conversation, Chris and I go deep on changes to the Scrum Artifacts. We cover what has changed, how the changes are likely to impact Scrum practitioners, and we share our thoughts on how the changes to the Scrum Guide may help and hurt. This interview is a follow-up to the one Eric Tucker and I did last fall that offered a wide-ranging review of changes to the Guide overall. Where that was more general this one is locked in specifically on the Scrum Artifacts. If you’d like to check out a copy of the new Scrum Guide you can find it here: If you’d like to contact Chris Li with follow up questions, here is the best way to reach him: Web: Email: LinkedIn: Twitter:
Modus Institute recently introduced its new Certification and Accreditation Programs in Lean-Agile Visual Management (LA-VM). This is something they have been working on developing for 12 years. In this episode of the podcast, Jim Benson joins me to discuss Modus’s new offerings. During the interview we discuss Systems Thinking and how it figures into the LA-VM program. Jim also explains why it took 12 years to develop, how each program works, and the tools that these programs will add to a knowledge worker’s arsenal. This podcast is available in both video and audio formats. If you’d like to contact Jim for additional information: Web: LinkedIn: Twitter: Medium: Jim’s music on Soundcloud: If you'd like to watch the video version of this interview, you can find it here: Vimeo: YouTube:
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