Product Focus with Julee Everett

Julee Everett is a Professional Scrum Trainer with and one the Lean In Agile 100.

Here is the information Julee referenced from Teresa Torres and her Opportunity Solution Tree.

Product Owners being undeserved in the community. There is a ton of work that goes in to being a strategic product manager.

“Autonomy without alignment is still waste”

Is Agile Dead? Julee says it is. It's now just baked into business DNA. This is all about solving a problem for the user.

We mentioned our episode with Jonathan Yankvich. Did you miss that episode? Here's the link!

Do we really care about the terms that we use. So long as we focus on empiricism (TIA) and focusing on customers, do we care?

Speed of Trust and building a culture of trust when you deliver results

ProductCamp (GolfCoast)

Spikes and Diversity with Jim Sammons

Are Spikes worth doing? Are they are garbage practice? Here’s some of the requirements we came up with to make the most out our the complementary practice of Spikes:

  1. Time boxed

  2. Learning & or a Defined output (what does success look like?)

  3. Acceptance Criteria

Caveat: Beware of the spike really just becoming an excuse for the team's lack of proper refinement

A Coaching stance can be incredibly powerful and also very draining on the other person. Be sure to recognize the right time and place for it. Don't coach the person who isn't there -> focus on the person who is asking not the outsider.

The Business Round Table update about customer value

Have you been institutionalized?

Touch on Diveristy in the workplace. What is it we are after when thinking about diversity with our teams. Never seen the diversity Iceburg? Here is a google search for lots of different images that help visualize what we’re talking about.

Reach out to Jim on LinkedIn!

You're Doing it Wrong with Robb Pieper

Robb Pieper is the CEO of Responsive Advisors and a Professional Scrum Trainer with

How important is the increment? Glad you asked! We talk about the entire point of Scrum being to create an increment. If your team isn’t doing that consistently then this is the first thing you should be fixing.

Some of the Scrum guide is very literal while others serve more to guide.

What’s it take to be the Scrum Master vs. the Scrum Novice? What do they do all day? How do Agile Coaches tie in to all this?

When in an organizations growth does policy replace trust? Where do the cultural norms come from?

Need some book recommendations? How about The Goal, The Phoenix Project, Lean UX, Crossing the Chasm.

An Agile Mindset with Steve Denning

"Mindsets can be even more difficult to change then physical things"

Is this the end of Agile or is the future bright? What are the other options are on the table to consider? Or is it just easier to sit back and reminisce about the old days of developing software for 3 years without a release to find out it was all a waste of time?

The need for metrics to make sure you are building the right thing and having the outcomes you want. How we should be setting up the metrics we want before we even start building. After all, every experiment needs a hypothesis.

"Agile is the perfect set of tools for a bad manager"

Understanding how to leverage failure for long term success. Examples like Amazon's Fire phone and the Kindle opening the door for other hardware successes like Alexa. Intelligent decision making via intelligent use of data with a very specific set of metrics for each enhancement. What would be the real time measures that would tell us we're doing the right thing?

We talk a little bit about and their Evidence Based Management.

Think Like Amazon - John Rossman

"The problem isn't budgeting at all, the problem is all the other things surrounding it." If you don't have a process for developing strategy or planning then changing the budgeting process isn't going to save you. See Beyond Budgeting for more information.

Talk about certifications and where they fall into building the Agile mindset. Places like ICAgile, Agile Alliance and all offer these types of certifications but are they really what we are after?

The three laws that Steve discusses in his book The Age of Agile as the three most important things

  • Customer Delight

  • Small Teams

  • Network

Steve Denning is a keynote speaker, Author, and frequent contributor to Forbes.

Holacracy with Jonathan Yankovich

“Let's play a game. You tell me why I shouldn't hire you and I'll tell you why you shouldn't work here.”

Jonathan Yankovich is a management consultant with a specialty in Holacracy coaching and implementation. We dive deep into his interview experience at HolcracyOne. Talking about Organization fit and Role Fit. Flying out to a big house in NoWhere Pensylvania and contrasting that with some of the different interview styles like Menlo's approach to make your partner look better.

Values in an organization and what comes after that. What transcends values?

Rolling out Holacracy starting with roles and what matches your current reality within your organization.

Get the basics with Jonathan's app

j @ teal . dog

User Experience with Rachel Krause

“Any time you write a user story if you find yourself kind of prescribing the solution in your user story it’s probably to descriptive... Think about the problem you’re actually trying to solve.”

Rachel Krause is a User Experience Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Rachel on a number of products in the past with previous clients and is a rockstar in working UX in an Agile environment.

In this episode we explore cultural differences across the world in teamwork and collaboration, the difficulty and power of feedback, Agile retrospectives and the power of authenticity. Empathy also comes up quite a few times throughout the episode. We wrap up talking about Dark Patterns (so dark, so scary!). Also UX with your Product & Team metrics. How do you validate value delivery?

@rachelkrau on Twitter

On Nielsen Normal Group teaching the following courses:

  • Being a UX Leader: Essential Skills for Any UX Practitioner

  • Generating Big Ideas with Design Thinking

  • Lean UX and Agile

  • Storytelling Throughout the UX Process

Thoughts on LeSS with the Jeffs

A good friend of the show, Tom Henricksen, is putting on the Agile Online Summit. They’ve opened up the call for speakers. Be sure to check out the site for more information.

Also, Jeff and I have been accepted to talk at The Fall Experiment. We’re going to give our Building Resilient Teams talk which is a ton of fun and a little bit different. Tickets should be going on sale soon so be sure to check out the site.

I just wrapped up LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) training in Chicago with Craig Larman and it was amazing. I can’t understate the number of revelations and light bulb moments I had over the three days. It was incredibly enlightening, depressing and eye opening all at the same time.

Holacracy and Agile Infrastructure with Bradley Clerkin

We jump into the conversation with Bradley Clerkin, the CTO of Breakfree Solutions, on his experiences implementing Holacracy at a previous organization and deep dive into DevOps and see how it ultimately helps your organization’s Agility.

Having worked directly with Bradley and many of the team members from Breakfree Solutions Jeff and I can speak first hand to their execution. Visit their site to learn more. Be sure to check out the blog post Bradley recently put out and you can find Bradley on LinkedIn.

Hopefully some of the discussion around Halocracy peaked your interest as we’ll be having a trainer on the show soon. Be sure to check out the site to learn more.

Product Ownership with Beth Jagodinsky

Beth Jagodinsky works as a Product Owner and People Manager at Centare and previously a prjoect lead with Groupon. Both Jeff and I have worked with her on numerous projects and she is incredibly skilled at bringing products to the market.

In addition to covering Product Owner contributions we also mentioned a little bit about The 4 Disciplines of Execution. This has been a really intriguing read - so much much so that we’ll likely be doing an episode about it - and we recommend giving it a read.

Also, we mentioned the Naval podcasts. Really great thought provoking stuff that we recommend you give a listen.

Super Powers of Product Ownership

Thanks to the Milwaukee Product Brew meetup for recording our last presentation on the Super Power of Product Ownership.

Here is the link to the Focused Objective website that has lots of great data analytics tools. Here is a link directly to the throughput forecasting tool we talk about in the presentation (Monte Carlo simulation). Additional details on how to use the tool can be found inside the XLS sheet as well as on the site.

Troy Magennis gave an awesome keynote at Agile Alliance last year where we got some of the information we shared in our presentation. We would highly recommend watching it.

The second half of the presentation, which centers around understanding and measuring value, talks about the Minimum Viable Product which comes from Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It’s a great read and helps build the entrepreneurial mindset that all Product Owners should be looking to cultivate with themselves and their teams.

Have any feedback? Shoot us an email at

Highlights from May Conferences

Coming out of PMI PDD in Madison, IBADD in Iowa and Centare's Agile Camp in Milwaukee we talk about some of the big take away ideas. BONUS: Here is a fun clip of Jeff & Chad stepping outside the comfort zone at IBADD