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  • This week Susan Parente and I had an extraordinary conversation about team leads in agile and leadership. In some cases, the role of a team leader is treated as if it were superfluous to requirements in other cases it is a tool to delegate work to people in an effort to subvert self-organization and when organizations get it right the role is a vehicle to unlocking the capabilities of teams.

    Contact Susan at parente.s3@gmail.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/susanparente

    Re-read Saturday News

    Week 3 of our re-read of Why Limit WIP: We Are Drowning In Work by Jim Benson talks about the thrill of getting things done. People with a lot of WIP look for more work, things they can grab and complete to feel good about themselves. I am as guilty as anyone else. Sometimes when items on my shortlist get stuck instead of breaking the items down into smaller chunks to progress the work I will grab a less valuable task and just do it so I can check something off. Susan Parente, who you just heard from in one of her great “Not A Scrumdamentalist” podcast columns described the same scenario.

    Remember to buy a copy and read along. Amazon Affiliate LInk: https://amzn.to/36Rq3p5

    Previous Entries

    Week 1: Preface, Foreword, Introduction, and Logistics https://bit.ly/3iDezbp

    Week 2: Processing and Memory https://bit.ly/3qYR4yg

    Week 3: Completion - https://bit.ly/3usMiLm

    Upcoming Events:

    Free Webinar

    When Prioritization Goes Bad

    https://www.greatpro.org/Webinar-Live-Register?id=1954

    April 19, 2022 11 AM EDT to 1230 EDT

    Special Call to Action

    If you are a team lead I need your help! I believe the TL role is the least understood and least talked about in agile. It is time to change that. I am working on testing a model of TL behaviors in agile. I need examples of REAL TL job descriptions to map into the model. The glittering generalities that you find on the web don’t match what really happens in the real world. I do not need anything sensitive like salary or product details. I will happily share the first cut of the model with anyone that helps and sponsor a virtual meeting to discuss the model with all participants.

    If you have a TL job description you can share please email me at tcagley@tomcagley.com

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week we will feature our interview with Matthew Stibbe. Matt and I discussed how leadership (or the lack thereof) contributes to projects in wide a range of environments (software and marketing).




  • This week we talked with Jardena London. We discussed her book Cultivating Transformations - A Leader's Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical. Being soulful sounds fluffy, but isn’t. It is critical for delivering lasting change.

    Jardena is a Business Transformation Consultant, Author, Keynote Speaker, and a Certified Facilitator of Dare to Lead; Brene Brown’s groundbreaking training program for organizations based on creating courageous workplaces. Jardena is also the Founder of Souls@Work.org which is focusing on leading a movement to create workplaces that nourish our souls and exude positive energy.

    Her recent book, Cultivating Transformations: A Leader’s Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical” has been described as “the book you buy and carry around with you everywhere.”

    Her most recent successes have been transforming a large legacy organization into a modern workplace with breakout results. She also speaks at corporate events and on stages worldwide on the positive effects of organizational transformation. Jardena has also served as co-founder and CEO of Rosetta Technology Group since 1997.

    Websites and Contact Information

    Cultivatingtransformations.com

    rosettaagile.com

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jardena/

    Upcoming Events:

    Free Webinar

    When Prioritization Goes Bad

    https://www.greatpro.org/Webinar-Live-Register?id=1954

    April 19, 2022 11 AM EDT to 1230 EDT

    Special Call to Action

    If you are a team lead I need your help! I believe the TL role is the least understood and least talked about in agile. It is time to change that. I am working on testing a model of TL behaviors in agile. I need examples of REAL TL job descriptions to map into the model. The glittering generalities that you find on the web don’t match what really happens in the real world. I do not need anything sensitive like salary or product details. I will happily share the first cut of the model with anyone that helps and sponsor a virtual meeting to discuss the model with all participants.

    If you have TL job description you can share please email me at tcagley@tomcagley.com

    Next SPaMCAST

    We are finally going to tackle the difference between prioritization and sequencing. Sequencing is the forgotten cousin of prioritization, HOWEVER, just because you know the priority isn’t enough because if you don't get the order right value will be lost.

    We will also have a visit from Susan “Not A Scrumdamentalist” Parente.

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  • We began the Re-Read Saturday feature in 2014 with a re-read of John Kotter’s classic Leading Change. The list of books we have re-read is quite long -- I am going to have to create a list. All that said, last week a person that regularly comments on the podcast indicated they really did not know what Re-Read Saturday was all about. So today to commemorate spring in the northern hemisphere (and the fact that it snowed) and the kick-off of the latest re-read (Why Limit WIP by Jim Benson) I am going to share an audio version of this week's entry. As we always say, buy a copy of the book and read Jim Benson’s Why Limit WiP (buy a copy using our Amazon Affiliate link https://amzn.to/3u6Feml get reading) along with us.

    The written version: https://bit.ly/3iDezbp

    This week we also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault, who brings his QA Corner to the podcast. Jeremy and I explored the difference between relative and absolute time.

    Upcoming Events:

    Free Webinar

    When Prioritization Goes Bad

    https://www.greatpro.org/Webinar-Live-Register?id=1954

    April 19, 2022 11 AM EDT to 1230 EDT

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week we will talk with Jardena London. We will discuss her book Cultivating Transformations - A Leader's Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical. We will also explore why being soulful in the workplace is critical for facilitating change.

  • This week we talk to Julianna Lamb, co-founder and CTO at Stytch about agile in start-ups, hybrid working, how to keep a product backlog under control, grow a business in the early 2020’s, and more.

    Julianna is the Co-Founder and CTO of Stytch, a platform for user infrastructure and passwordless authentication. She was previously a software engineer at Strava and Plaid and an early product hire at Very Good Security.

    Originally from Idaho, Julianna studied computer science and history at Stanford. A former professional figure skater, she started racing triathlons in college and is now an Ironman triathlete.

    Contact Data:

    Website: https://stytch.com/

    Twitter: juliannaelamb

    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/juliannaelamb

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Today we complete our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick touching on the Conclusion, Further Resources, and our concluding notes. Next week we will begin re-reading Jim Benson’s Why Limit WiP (buy a copy using our Amazon Affiliate link https://amzn.to/3u6Feml get reading) as we run a poll to select the next of books for the series.

    Agile Conversations: https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Previous Installments:

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Week 7 The Why Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3Jg6KE2

    Week 8 The Why Conversation (Part 2) https://bit.ly/34YAsPc

    Week 9 The Commitment Conversation - https://bit.ly/3pmaooj

    Week 10 The Accountability Conversation - https://bit.ly/3KCJXD1

    Week 11 Conclusion and More - https://bit.ly/3wlGSn8

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week, are sequencing and prioritization different sides to the same coin or are they different coins entirely. Is a keystone topic when wrestling with work entry.

    We will also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault and the QA Corner.



  • Organizational design often collides with getting work done; generating friction that causes all manner of problems. No one goes out of their way to make things difficult, however poor operating metaphors and one size fits all solutions are never optimal. There is a way for agile and team leaders to coexist, but can you take that path?

    Also this week, Jon M Quigley and his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column make time for the cast. In this installment, we talk about time (including a few time-related puns).

    Re-Read Saturday News

    The accountability conversation is the fifth and last conversation addressed in our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick. In Chapter 7 the authors define accountability as “being obligated to render an account of what you have done and why.” Next week we will cover the conclusions and some final thoughts. Then we will have a quick interlude re-reading Jim Benson’s Why Limit WiP while we run a poll to select the next books.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Week 7 The Why Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3Jg6KE2

    Week 8 The Why Conversation (Part 2) https://bit.ly/34YAsPc

    Week 9 The Commitment Conversation - https://bit.ly/3pmaooj

    Week 10 The Accountability Conversation - https://bit.ly/3KCJXD1

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week, Julianna Lamb, co-founder and CTO at STYTCH. We talked agile, start-ups, security, and more.

  • Today we speak with Prateek Joshi. Prateek and I talked about the definition of AI, machine learning, and an approach to using AI in the real world. AI is in your future and it won't be the Matrix or Skywarn (or will it).

    Prateek Joshi is the founder of Plutoshift and a published author of 13 books on AI. He has been featured in publications such as Forbes, CNBC, TechCrunch, and Bloomberg. You can visit www.prateekj.com to learn more about him.

    Plutoshift: https://plutoshift.com/

    Re-Read Saturday News

    We had a bit of home repair this week and I did not get the Week 10 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick completed (thanks to Laurie and Todd for use of their condo). We will be back next week.

    Buy a copy now! https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Week 7 The Why Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3Jg6KE2

    Week 8 The Why Conversation (Part 2) https://bit.ly/34YAsPc

    Week 9 The Commitment Conversation - https://bit.ly/3pmaooj

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week, we revisit the role of the team lead and the concept of self-organizing teams. Can they co-exist?

    We will also have a visit from Jon M Quigley who brings his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column to the podcast.

  • In SPaMCAST 692 we discuss Process Improvement as a phrase or perhaps even a mantra. Uttering the phrase evokes all sorts of baggage and cognitive biases that affect behaviors, not always for the better. What are the listeners of the Software Process and Measurement Cast to do?

    We also have a visit from Tony TImbol who brings his “To Tell A Story” column to the Podcast. We dive headlong into the tangled world of user stories and agile requirements. Tony also announces his new ebook on agile requirements.

    Get your own copy! https://bit.ly/3plyiAu

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 9 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick is about commitment. Over the years I have observed that there are some people who are very committed to adopting a new way of working, some people that pay lip service, and others who flat-out resist. This is obviously a continuum.

    Update on last week’s experiment:

    I was not able to leverage the concepts of joint design directly. I did use coherence busting techniques again (we are back to situational context). I am going to try again this week and I am also going to experiment with calculating the ratio of defined important words to total important words in conversations that people are trying to generate commitment.

    Amazon Affiliate Link https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Week 7 The Why Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3Jg6KE2

    Week 8 The Why Conversation (Part 2) https://bit.ly/34YAsPc

    Week 9 The Commitment Conversation - https://bit.ly/3pmaooj

    Next SPaMCAST

    More AI with a conversation with Prateek Joshi. Mr. Joshi and I talked about the definition of AI, machine learning, and how to test AI (this was just the tip of the iceberg). AI is in your future and it won't be the Matrix or Skywarn (or will it).

  • In SPaMCAST 69, Kevin McKeel talks about using neurolinguistics to aid in software estimation tools. Is this the end of the world for the software estimating profession or the beginning of a golden age? Probably both, listen and draw your own conclusions.

    Kevin’s Bio

    Mr. Kevin McKeel has over 25 years of experience in software cost estimation. He is a CCEA and SAFe Architect and received the prestigious 2021 Technical Achievement of the Year award from ICEAA related to the research of automated software sizing using AI and NLP. Mr. McKeel holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (Finance, ‘89) from James Madison University and a Master’s in Business Administration (Decision Systems, ’92) from The George Washington University.

    LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/kevin-mckeel-2457235

    Website: logapps.com

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 8 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick concludes our read of Chapter 5 addressing the ‘Why Conversation’. This week we spent time tackling the concepts of joint design and urging organizations to train team leads in decision making. They are not second class citizens

    My experiment of the week:

    Last week I proposed the experiment of creating a position-interest chart during the week. I actually used the technique to help frame an essay for the Software Process and Measurement Podcast within 12 hours of proposing the experiment. I also used the ideas in the approach to reframing several discussions (looking for the positions behind stated positions) during the week.

    This week I will try to find a scenario to apply the concepts of joint design (no eggs will be harmed).

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Week 7 The Why Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3Jg6KE2

    Week 8 The Why Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34YAsPc

    Next SPaMCAST

    What would you call a person with little training, a lot of responsibility, and little to no real authority? This is not a Dad Joke. I suggest the answer is often a team lead.

    Also, Mr. Tony Timbol is back to talk about user stories in his To Tell A Story column.

  • This week we revisit the age-old statements, “I don't want to be measured” and its alter ego, “management will use metrics against me.” While often stated as if they are questions, both are positions. We weave in two recent techniques from our Re-read of Agile Conversations to consider the interests behind the statements

    Also, Jeremy Berriault weighs in on the need for testing strategies in agile on this edition of this QA Corner.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 7 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick begins Chapter 5 addressing the ‘Why Conversation’. Like the ‘Fear Conversation’, we will approach this in two parts; focusing this week on two areas, positions and interests, and inquiry and advocacy. We will tackle joint design next week.

    My experiment of the week:

    I set out to create a fear matrix – that sounds like a movie title. I failed, BUT more importantly, I was able to use the fear matrix approach as a structure for a retrospective. It worked well. The idea of exposing and mitigating fears shifted perspectives nicely. Interestingly, what was hard was tying the fears and mitigations to an espoused norm. In conversations afterward, it became apparent that it is hard to admit that your behavior is or was at odds with the norms of the team and organization. It will be worth another conversation to make sure the link is clear.

    Next week, I am going to explore building a position-interest chart.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Week 7 The Why Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3Jg6KE2

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week Kevin McKeel will visit the SPaMCAST to talk about AI and software estimation tools. Is this the end of the world for the software estimating profession or the beginning of a golden age?

  • Prabhjot Singh and I talk about AI using AI to improve the flow of work and the delivery of value. AI, however you define it, is in your future. You need to be ready!

    Mr. Singh’s bio:

    Prabhjot Singh is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple for-profit, social enterprise, and non-profit ventures. He serves as President and CEO of Pyze, the most recent company he founded to enable the world’s largest enterprises to improve business operations through AI-driven Process Intelligence and Analytics. He has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and product management. He previously co-founded Pixatel Systems, a social enterprise that utilizes mobile computing to deploy apps and e-Learning solutions to millions of users.

    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/psinghsf

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/psinghSF

    Company Website: https://www.pyze.com/

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 6 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick continues on Chapter 4: The Fear Conversation. We discussed two of the three major concepts in Chapter 4 last week, but we did not consider the fear conversation and more specifically the fear chart. Many years ago I worked with a manager, Rich Hisrich at BancSystems/EDS. I was the QA manager at the site. It was through my interaction with RIch that I learned the value of whiteboards and visualization. The fear chart is a visualization tool I can see having great value.

    My experiment of the week:

    I am going to double down and commit to creating a fear chart. Whether an opportunity for a fear conversation presents itself, we shall see.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Week 6 The Fear Conversation (Part 2) - https://bit.ly/34lLON4

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week we continue an essay refining how we are using Flow Metrics in 2022 to … manage flow (surprise) rather than micromanaging tasks or kidding ourselves with relative sizing techniques.

    We will also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault and his QA Corner.

  • Continuous improvement through inspecting and adapting is a core tenant of an agile mindset, which dovetails well with every executive’s need to deliver the most value possible. Measurement is an important tool to help teams and organizations ask the right questions at the right time. Flow metrics, not burndowns and velocity, need to be a big part of any IT organization's approach to measurement.

    We also have a visit from Jon M Quigley who brings his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column to the podcast. Jon discusses the complicated relationship between time, work entry, and promises.

    Have you checked out The Open Transformation Playbooks Martin Foster discussed last week? If not, you are missing something important. https://transformationplaybooks.org/

    The Open Transformation Playbooks is an initiative to build an open, remixable, body of knowledge for agile organizational transformation.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 5 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick tackles Chapter 4: The Fear Conversation. Fear has a significant impact on what we think and how we behave. The changes that fear drives don’t stop at the individual, the behavior changes ripple through organizations.

    My experiment of the week:

    Update on last week’s experiment. I was able to use some of the ideas from the trust conversation this week. I actually used the statement, “the story I am telling myself is . . .” in a real conversation twice. The first time it felt contrived; it is much easier to state something as fact than to admit it might not be true. For both conversations, I had created a conversation analysis sheet to record the conversation. I need conversation analysis practice. Also, both conversations would have gone better with a copy of the trust ladder close at hand.

    This week’s experiment. I would like to try to generate a fear chart and have a fear conversation. I am still considering what type of job aids will be most useful.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week Prabhjot Singh and I talk about AI. If you are a developer or entrepreneur, AI (however you define it) is in your future. You need to be ready! Mr. Singh is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple for-profit, social enterprise, and non-profit ventures. He serves as President and CEO of Pyze.

    Continuous improvement through inspecting and adapting is a core tenant of an agile mindset, which dovetails well with every executive’s need to deliver the most value possible. Measurement is an important tool to help teams and organizations ask the right questions at the right time. Flow metrics, not burndowns and velocity, need to be a big part of any IT organization's approach to measurement.

    We also have a visit from Jon M Quigley who brings his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column to the podcast. Jon discusses the complicated relationship between time, work entry, and promises.

    Have you checked out The Open Transformation Playbooks Martin Foster discussed last week? If not, you are missing something important. https://transformationplaybooks.org/

    The Open Transformation Playbooks is an initiative to build an open, remixable, body of knowledge for agile organizational transformation.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 5 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick tackles Chapter 4: The Fear Conversation. Fear has a significant impact on what we think and how we behave. The changes that fear drives don’t stop at the individual, the behavior changes ripple through organizations.

    My experiment of the week:

    Update on last week’s experiment. I was able to use some of the ideas from the trust conversation this week. I actually used the statement, “the story I am telling myself is . . .” in a real conversation twice. The first time it felt contrived; it is much easier to state something as fact than to admit it might not be true. For both conversations, I had created a conversation analysis sheet to record the conversation. I need conversation analysis practice. Also, both conversations would have gone better with a copy of the trust ladder close at hand.

    This week’s experiment. I would like to try to generate a fear chart and have a fear conversation. I am still considering what type of job aids will be most useful.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Week 5 The Fear Conversation (Part 1) - https://bit.ly/3gahSpt

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week Prabhjot Singh and I talk about AI. If you are a developer or entrepreneur, AI (however you define it) is in your future. You need to be ready! Mr. Singh is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple for-profit, social enterprise, and non-profit ventures. He serves as President and CEO of Pyze.

  • Today we begin Year 16 with an interview, discussion, conversation -- call it what you like -- with Martin Foster. We covered a ton of ground, including whether the goal of any organization should be to be more agile and the 2021 Business Agility Report. During one segment we discussed the statement, “the impediments are the path.” A wonderful and thought-provoking start to Year 16!

    ANNOUNCING:

    The Open Transformation Playbooks: https://transformationplaybooks.org/

    A (very new) initiative to build an open, remixable, body of knowledge for agile organizational transformation. To accompany this episode Martin and TeamForm have launched the first tranche of content.

    Martin’s Contact Information:

    2021 Business Agility Report: https://bit.ly/3GXfzBJ

    TeamForm: https://www.teamform.co/

    Email: martin@orchestrated.io

    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/martinfoster

    Martin’s Bio

    Martin is a senior consultant at TeamForm. His passion is working with organizations that are transforming themselves to cross-functional team structures, with all the nuances, benefits, and challenges that this brings. With his past experience as a product owner and engineer, he enjoys bringing data into the people conversation.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 4 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick tackles Chapter 3: The Trust Conversation. Trust is a requirement for people to work together toward a common goal. Misters Squirrel and Fredrick define trust as aligned stories.

    My experiment of the week:

    First an update on my experiment from last week. I found that I need to create a job aid for conversational analysis in order to practice the R’s from Chapter 2. I must admit that not preparing for conversational analysis creates a scenario where I am looking back and trying to remember conversations, which makes them more susceptible to bias.

    This week I am going to create a job aid for trust conversations, then find two or three scenarios to practice. Practice will include the R’s from Chapter 2.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Week 4: The Trust Conversation - https://bit.ly/3ApUrSk

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week our first essay of Year 16 with thoughts on flow metrics and why focusing on flow is powerful, important, and causes people to run around like their hair is on fire. Hopefully, we can dampen the blaze down a bit.

  • Today marks the end of year 15 on the Software Process and Measurement Cast, and we are closing the year with pitchfork and torches. We discussed the world of knowledge work in 2022. Leadership, principles, value, and values take center stage. Panels like this make me want to do panels every week!

    The panelists (other than myself) are:

    Jeremy Berriault https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-berriault-mba/ Web: https://berriaultandassociates.com/

    Jon M Quigley linkedin.com/in/jonmquigley Web: https://www.valuetransform.com/product-development-tools/

    Kevin Rush linkedin.com/in/kezrush Twitter: @Kezrush

    Chris Hurney linkedin.com/in/chrishurney Web: https://www.inspiradoconsulting.com/ Twitter: chris_hurney

    Participating in spirit (they were on part one last week)

    Susan Parente Susan Parente linkedin.com/in/susanparente Twitter: @TechRiskManager

    Jeremy Willets linkedin.com/in/jeremywillets Blog: https://www.jeremywillets.com/

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 3 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick tackles Chapter 2, Improving Your Conversations. Chapter 2 begins the heavy lifting of improving conversations. This is a chapter I strongly suggest reading at least twice while you are putting the ideas into practice. The authors spend the first part of the chapter building a case for why conversations are so powerful. The authors state that through conversation “we are able to create and believe in shared fictions.” There is a ton to think about and practice!

    My experiment of the week:

    First an update on my conversation experiment from last week. Last week I wanted to review my conversations to determine if I was correctly assessing scenarios using the Cynefin Framework. There was at least one conversation where I misjudged the complexity. Whereas the participants viewed the scenario being discussed to be complicated (the solution being a framework or best practices), I viewed the scenario as complex or possibly chaotic. The differences in mental models made the conversation tense and ungratifying. In my mind, my failure was not recognizing the issue until I was reviewing the conversation after the fact (one of the Four Rs in Chapter 2). I think a better approach, for me, will be to assess the complexity of the scenario before the conversion in the future. Perhaps a form of conversational premortem.

    This week I am going to use the conversational analysis process on two or three different types of hard conversations – my weeks are always interesting. One of the areas I am interested in contemplating is whether different kinds of conversations have different question ratios.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Week 3: Improving Your Conversations - https://bit.ly/3ty0nYe

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week we have an interview with Martin Foster. Mr. Foster and I wrestle with the question, “Why don’t most agile transformations deliver tangible business value?” A valuable start to year 16 and 2022!

  • One of the fun parts of programming the Software Process and Measurement Cast is getting diverse groups of people together to chat. In this edition of the podcast, Jon M Quigley, Jeremy Willets, Jeremy Berriault, Kevin Rush, Susan Parente, and myself convened to discuss what we learned about work in 2021. The last few years have been extraordinary -- both good and bad. When you live in times like these it is incumbent on all of us to learn from them.

    The panelists (other than myself) are:

    Jeremy Berriault https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-berriault-mba/ Web: https://berriaultandassociates.com/

    Susan Parente linkedin.com/in/susanparente Web: http://www.s3-tec.com/

    Jon M Quigley linkedin.com/in/jonmquigley Web: https://www.valuetransform.com/product-development-tools/

    Kevin Rush linkedin.com/in/kezrush Twitter: @Kezrush

    Jeremy Willets linkedin.com/in/jeremywillets Blog: https://www.jeremywillets.com/

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Week 2 of our re-read of Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick tackles Chapter 1, Escaping the Software Factory. The idea that software development and maintenance fit a factory model in which people are fungible and that processes are deterministic is a thing in 2021 (as it was when this book was written). I have always been hard-pressed to buy the factory/manufacturing model. I have worked on an assembly line. One of the jobs I had was building tires for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company at their plant in Memphis. That job was one of the reasons I made sure I went to university. Whether the assembly line model was truly appropriate even for tire manufacturing would be interesting to debate (the plant is gone, no amount of scientific management could save it). At the very least, software development and maintenance are better served by team-based collaborative approaches. Words like team-based and collaboration require communication (something that did not happen on the assembly line, except when we had union meetings) so that rigid processes and micromanagement can be minimized.

    My experiment of the week:

    I originally planned to begin experimenting with the ideas from Agile Conversations with Chapter 2; however, Chapter 1 reminded me of the need to take a mindset-centered approach to change and to incorporate the ideas from Cynefin. I will review my decisions this week to assess whether I am getting lazy and assuming that situations are more deterministic than complex, and therefore not putting myself in the right place to collaborate.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55 (Affiliate Link)

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction - https://bit.ly/3EZspxT

    Week 2: Escaping The Software Factory - https://bit.ly/3HIlivg

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week features a second panel discussion with some of the same people (and a new mixer) with a focus on hopes and aspirations for 2022 and beyond. Next week will spike the ball on year 15 of the Software Process and Measurement Cast.

  • SPaMCAST 684 posts on January 2nd, 2022. The new year evokes both retrospection and expectations for the future. 2021 was quite the year; SPaMCAST 635 marked the beginning of our 15th year of publishing with a conversation with Johanna Rothman (SPaMCAST 635 - Practical Ways to Manage, A Conversation with Johanna Rothman). That was our most downloaded cast of 2021. In late August I lost a podcast . . . (a summer rerun), SPaMCAST 668 has attained the status of the Lost Show. Somehow while I was backpacking on Isle Royale the preprogrammed show failed to post. I have a backup but it is more fun to have a lost cast. I will rectify the situation at some point when I stop being amused. The year ended with my 12-year-old mixer going to the electronics recycler. The new mixer should be delivered soon. Even with all of the hassle, I have been able to do three great interviews and two related panel discussions that will round out year 15 and kick-off year 16. That’s the long way to say that even though I am struggling through a website issue and a switchover of hardware, I am currently planning years 16 and 17.

    Happy New Year, and now back to our regularly scheduled programming with Tony Timbol and his To Tell A Story column. This installment tackles product owners and work entry.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Starting a re-read is a great way to start the new year. Today we start into Agile Conversations by Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick by charting the predicted course of the re-read and touching on the introduction. The version of the book I am reading is the paperback version copyrighted 2020 by IT Revolution. The book consists of an introduction, seven numbered chapters, a conclusion, and 20 pages of end matter. All of this is over 223 pages.

    It is my intent to cover this book over 9 weeks using the chapters as pacing. This book has similarities with Monotasking by Staffan Nöteberg in that this book demands action. Therefore like that re-read, as we get to chapter 2 I will begin identifying how I will experiment with the knowledge each chapter delivers. As I have discovered over the years reading technical and self-improvement books, if you do not experiment with ideas they fade quickly regardless of their value.

    https://amzn.to/3vEjr55

    Week 1: Logistics and Introduction -

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week features part 1 of a 2 part panel discussion (both parts have slightly different participants), discussing the world of knowledge work circa 2021 and pontifications about the shape of work in 2022.

  • Ben Woznicki and I talk about the book and ideas inside the covers of Team Topologies. Ben provides a great deal of advice on creating teams that are fit for purpose. Ben and I have worked together, hosted a video podcast together, and more -- it is a great conversation.

    Ben is an Organizational Health Coach: Helping you deliver sooner, with higher confidence, and more consistency.

    Ben has 10 years of experience with all facets of technical and business agility and organizational transformation. He collaborates with, trains, mentors, and coaches at all levels to smooth the transition to Lean and Agile ways of delivering value. And aligns transformation efforts to organizational objectives so everyone is on the same page.

    Contact Information
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benwoz/

    Email: b@benwoz.com

    Re-Read Saturday News

    We have just completed our re-read of Project to Product ( https://amzn.to/2WzvPac - Amazon Affiliate link). Next week we begin our re-read of Agile Conversations: Transform Your Conversations, Transform Your Culture https://amzn.to/3sfK55q (affiliate link).

    Catch up on previous installments:

    Week 1: Foreword and Introduction - https://bit.ly/39gIt0A

    Week 2: Age of Software - https://bit.ly/2XYvqyI

    Week 3: From Project to Product - https://bit.ly/3mhwJBb

    Week 4: Introducing The Flow Framework - https://bit.ly/3lqJTwd

    Week 5: Capturing Flow Metrics - https://bit.ly/3GjCffC

    Week 6: Connecting to Business Results - https://bit.ly/3BTROqQ

    Week 7: Tracking Disruptions -https://bit.ly/3neIs5h

    Week 8: The Ground Truth of Enterprise Tool Networks -

    https://bit.ly/3DHO5OU

    Week 9: Specialized Tools and the Value Stream - https://bit.ly/332OuhC

    Week 10:Value Stream Management - https://bit.ly/3ESfhv2

    Week 11: The Conclusion - https://bit.ly/3e5d83c

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week we begin 2022 with a reflection on the economic rationale for breaking work down into smaller pieces. We will also have a visit from Tony Timbol and his To Tell A Story Column.

  • At the end of the year, planning and prioritization take center stage. We can only really prioritize work, needs, and dreams that are within our span of control. That does not stop people from trying to prioritize work that is not theirs to prioritize.

    We also have a visit from Susan Parente who brings her I’m Not A Scrumdamentalist column to the cast. This month we talk about getting leadership right. It is possible!

    Re-Read Saturday News

    As 2021 comes to a close we bring our re-read of Project to Product to a close as well (buy a copy and dive into the book https://amzn.to/2WzvPac - Amazon Affiliate link). The conclusion of the book brings the discussion back as a reflection on the turning point of the Age of Software.

    Catch up on previous installments:

    Week 1: Foreword and Introduction - https://bit.ly/39gIt0A

    Week 2: Age of Software - https://bit.ly/2XYvqyI

    Week 3: From Project to Product - https://bit.ly/3mhwJBb

    Week 4: Introducing The Flow Framework - https://bit.ly/3lqJTwd

    Week 5: Capturing Flow Metrics - https://bit.ly/3GjCffC

    Week 6: Connecting to Business Results - https://bit.ly/3BTROqQ

    Week 7: Tracking Disruptions -https://bit.ly/3neIs5h

    Week 8: The Ground Truth of Enterprise Tool Networks -

    https://bit.ly/3DHO5OU

    Week 9: Specialized Tools and the Value Stream - https://bit.ly/332OuhC

    Week 10:Value Stream Management - https://bit.ly/3ESfhv2

    Week 11: The Conclusion - https://bit.ly/3e5d83c

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week, we will have a special show. Ben Wozniki and I talked about team topologies (the idea and the book). Ben and I have worked together, hosted a video podcast together, and more -- this was more of a conversation than an interview.

  • This week we touch on a topic that is near and dear to my heart, work entry, with an essay titled Prioritization Without Control of Work Entry. I am tempted to suggest that without control over what you can say yes to, the whole idea of prioritization is a farce. The answer is more complicated, but only a little.

    We also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault who brings his QA Corner to the cast. This week we discuss measuring testing -- it is more than just pass/fail.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Chapter 9 of Project to Product (buy a copy and re-read the book with us https://amzn.to/2WzvPac Amazon Affiliate Link) ties the three layers of the author’s model together and exposes the third epiphany from his visit to the BMW plant that has been the central plot element of the book. The chapter puts all the parts together. But instead of relating how he connects the infrastructure, I want to focus on how important it is to generate an end-to-end view of work for any software-intensive product.

    Catch up on previous installments:

    Week 1: Foreword and Introduction - https://bit.ly/39gIt0A

    Week 2: Age of Software - https://bit.ly/2XYvqyI

    Week 3: From Project to Product - https://bit.ly/3mhwJBb

    Week 4: Introducing The Flow Framework - https://bit.ly/3lqJTwd

    Week 5: Capturing Flow Metrics - https://bit.ly/3GjCffC

    Week 6: Connecting to Business Results - https://bit.ly/3BTROqQ

    Week 7: Tracking Disruptions -https://bit.ly/3neIs5h

    Week 8: The Ground Truth of Enterprise Tool Networks -

    https://bit.ly/3DHO5OU

    Week 9: Specialized Tools and the Value Stream - https://bit.ly/332OuhC

    Week 10:Value Stream Management - https://bit.ly/3ESfhv2

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week, more on work entry and prioritization (it is at the top of my priority list unless I don’t have control over my work entry).

    We will also spend time with Susan Parente and her I Not A Scrumdamentalist column.

  • This week Mauricio Aguiar and Christine Green join me to discuss the state and future of Software Measurement. Mauricio, Christine, and I are all recent Past Presidents of the International Function Point Users Group (the largest international software measurement association). The conversation is both provocative and enlightening.

    Note, the audio of my voice is a little muffled but the important parts of the conversation come from Christine’s and Mauricio’s lips. I know what the issue was and have added a step to my interview checklist.

    Bios

    Mauricio Aguiar is the founder of TI Metricas, a leading software measurement company based in Brazil. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

    Mauricio was elected President of the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) for 2005-2007 and also for 2017-2019, after serving on the IFPUG Board since 2000. Mauricio was involved with the implementation of function point analysis and metrics programs in many Brazilian and multinational organizations. As a second career, he now does pro-bono work as a hypnotherapist.

    Christine is the founder of IP by Green, senior consultant, and past president of IFPUG.



    Re-Read Saturday News

    This week, Chapter 8 of Project to Product https://amzn.to/2WzvPac (Amazon Affiliate Link). The chapter is titled Specialized Tools and the Value Stream. I was presented with a scenario this week in which product, UX, development, testing, and security operated within their own boundaries with their own goals and tools — silos. Chapter 8 has something to say about the impact of silos.

    Catch up on previous installments:

    Week 1: Foreword and Introduction - https://bit.ly/39gIt0A

    Week 2: Age of Software - https://bit.ly/2XYvqyI

    Week 3: From Project to Product - https://bit.ly/3mhwJBb

    Week 4: Introducing The Flow Framework - https://bit.ly/3lqJTwd

    Week 5: Capturing Flow Metrics - https://bit.ly/3GjCffC

    Week 6: Connecting to Business Results - https://bit.ly/3BTROqQ

    Week 7: Tracking Disruptions -https://bit.ly/3neIs5h

    Week 8: The Ground Truth of Enterprise Tool Networks -

    https://bit.ly/3DHO5OU

    Week 9: Specialized Tools and the Value Stream - https://bit.ly/332OuhC

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week we will continue our exploration of the team lead’s role in agile frameworks. As with anything that involves humans and hierarchies the role is not straightforward.

    We will also return to the QA Corner to visit Jeremy Berriault

  • As we begin counting down to the end of the year, I would like to consider the team lead’s role. It is a nearly ubiquitous role in organizations, but is almost never talked about in agile frameworks. We begin our journey into the role by establishing three examples to help understand how the role is practiced and why it can generate friction if not addressed when adopting frameworks.

    We also have a visit from Jon M Quigley who brings his Alpha and Omega of Product Development column to the cast. This week we talk about the idea of descoping and its role in work entry. Done early, descoping is a tool while done after you have made commitments it makes a tool out of you.

    Re-Read Saturday News

    Nearly 30 hours of driving, Thanksgiving, and far too few hours with a large part of my extended family kept me from completing the re-read of Chapter 8 of Project to Product https://amzn.to/2WzvPac (Amazon Affiliate Link). We will be back next week to talk about the problems caused by role and tool disconnection across the value chain (silos).

    Catch up on previous installments:

    Week 1: Foreword and Introduction - https://bit.ly/39gIt0A

    Week 2: Age of Software - https://bit.ly/2XYvqyI

    Week 3: From Project to Product - https://bit.ly/3mhwJBb

    Week 4: Introducing The Flow Framework - https://bit.ly/3lqJTwd

    Week 5: Capturing Flow Metrics - https://bit.ly/3GjCffC

    Week 6: Connecting to Business Results - https://bit.ly/3BTROqQ

    Week 7: Tracking Disruptions -https://bit.ly/3neIs5h

    Week 8: The Ground Truth of Enterprise Tool Networks -

    https://bit.ly/3DHO5OU

    Next SPaMCAST

    Next week Mauricio Aguliar and Christine Green join me to discuss the state and future of Software Measurement. Mauricio, Christine, and I are all recent Past Presidents of the International Function Point Users Group (the largest international software measurement association). The conversation will be provocative and enlightening.