Ep. 78 – Squirrels (Team Practices)


Released Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Hosts: Jason Tice, Natalie Simonsen, Matt Korwel, Lee McCauley and Craig Buchek


Episode 78 began with our 5 ThisAgileLife hosts (Lee, Craig, Natalie, Matt & Jason) playing a round-robin game to each share something they see people adopting agile doing that we believe could be improved – this is a game you could play with your team at your next retrospective.  The following ideas (all awesome podcast topics) were shared:

  • People trying to adopt too many practices at once (we called this the agile buffet)
  • Teams not having a good understanding of the project / product vision
  • Nobody on their team believing in the Prime Directive for Retrospectives
  • Struggling to maintain a good balance between individuals & interactions vs. processes & tools
  • Using change management vs. change leadership to adopt agile methods

Again these were all awesome ideas to discuss – the 5 hosts voted quickly to discuss the “agile buffet” problem shared by Lee.

We determined that sometimes teams adopt practices not knowing fully why to consider them and what specific value / benefit they provide to the team.  Teams can also fall victim to adopting multiple practices that ultimately support the same outcome which can slow things down.

In the middle of discussion about adopting practices, we briefly highlighted (and of course debated) the pros/cons of waiting to discuss challenges at a scheduled team retrospective vs. an on-demand improvement session (like a turn-around meeting).

Back on the agile buffet topic, we shared some ideas to help teams understand how best to measure improvements that are provided by adopting specific practices, and also provided some insights on what to do if management shows up with a nice “big picture” (since we know there are a few of those floating around out there) and asks that teams adopt all the practices in the big picture at the same time.

Lee concluded our discussion (since he shared the “agile buffet” idea in our initial round robin) challenging everyone to ask “why” specific practices are being used or considered, to conduct experiments to see which practices work best for your team, to ensure you know how measure any practices adopted are providing sufficient value, and that everyone out there can have this discussion on all this in their next team retrospective.







Ep. 77 – Sniffleupagus (Hardware)

Released Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 Hosts: John Sextro, Craig Buchek and Amos King Discussion Hardware The intersection between software and hardware on agile teams. How to manage long running hardware work. The frustrations of … [Continue reading]

Ep. 76 – Contrivance of Humans (#NoEstimates)

Released Sunday, March 15th, 2015 Hosts: John Sextro, Nate McKie and Lee McCauley Special Guest: Woody Zuill Discussion #NOESTIMATES Alternatives to estimates Link to article Woody wrote Twitter hashtag What it is, what it … [Continue reading]

Ep. 75 – Sass Factor (Managing Up)

Released Sunday, March 8th, 2015 Hosts: John Sextro, Craig Buchek and Jason Tice Special Guest: Natalie Simonsen Discussion Managing Up What is Managing Up - a Definition thanks to Wikipedia: Managing up and managing down is studied as … [Continue reading]

Ep. 74 – Perfect Rundown (Working the Board)

Released Sunday, March 1st, 2015 Hosts: Jason Tice, Nate McKie and Lee McCauley Discussion Note: Episode 74 was interrupted just after it got started by Lee’s “changing his headphone jack” experiment - you may hear a bit of line-noise (sounds … [Continue reading]

Ep. 73 – In a World (No BAs / No SMs)

Released Sunday, February 15th, 2015 Hosts: Amos King and John Sextro Discussion We don't need Scrum Masters and Business Analysts In the future agile teams will optimize around 2 roles, PO and Engineer.  Over the past 40 years large … [Continue reading]

Ep. 72 – Lawyer’s worst nightmare (Continuous Improvement)

Released Sunday, February 1st, 2015 Video Link Hosts: Jason Tice, John Sextro, Lee McCauley and Craig Buchek Discussion Topics contributed by Chris Morgan. Thank you! How much time is considered healthy for an agile team to spend improving … [Continue reading]

Ep. 71 – Woo, I Smell Somethin’ (Stories & Prioritization)

Released Sunday, Janury 11th, 2015 Hosts: Jason Tice, John Sextro and Amos King Discussion Topics contributed by Rich Thorn and Firoj Shaikh. Thank you! Driving teams to small stories Cards “Twitter sized” stories Constrain to ½ day … [Continue reading]

Ep. 70 – Horrible Waste of Space (Open Space Floor Plans)

Released Sunday, Janury 11th, 2015 Hosts: Jason Tice, John Sextro and Amos King Discussion People that responded to my email Marcelo Magallon - prefers the semi-private partitions Rich Thorn - cave and common design is the right way to go. … [Continue reading]

Ep. 69 – Wookiees and Cookies (Ops. Review & Incentives)

Released Sunday, December 28th, 2014. Hosts: Jason Tice, Craig Buchek and Amos King Discussion Raising our Podcast Assurance - Thanks for listening to help us raise our podcast assurance level - episode 69 was recorded without assistance from … [Continue reading]

Ep. 68 – Just Dance Jason (Collaboration)


Released Sunday, December 14th, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro, Craig Buchek, Nate McKie and Jason Tice Discussion Let’s talk about collaboration in a large group, and what happens to a group’s ability to build / maintain a mental model as it becomes … [Continue reading]

Ep. 67 – Death by Charts (Code Coverage)

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Released Sunday, November 23rd, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro, Lee McCauley and Jason Tice Discussion The holy practice of measuring code coverage: http://www.stickyminds.com/article/code-coverage-silver-bullet Without code coverage, how do … [Continue reading]

Ep. 66 – Standups

Released Sunday, November 16th, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro Discussion Life Emailing listeners Contacted 11 listeners, only heard back from Rob Park Effective standups Purpose all about communication and commitment not … [Continue reading]

Ep. 65 – Checklists (Education & Code Reviews)

Released Sunday, November 2nd, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro, Craig Buchek, Jason Tice Discussion College/University what they should teach? Code Reviews Do you need to do code reviews when pairing? How much time should you spend on a code … [Continue reading]

Ep. 64 – Anything that is Sacred is Not Agile (Scrum)

Released Sunday, October 5th, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro, Amos King, Craig Buchek, Lee McCauley, Jason Tice Discussion Why Scrum Should Basically Just Die in a Fire by Giles Bowkett The estimation process in Scrum, planning poker combined with … [Continue reading]

Episode 63 – A Team of A-Holes (Servant Leadership)

Released Sunday, September 21st, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro, Amos King, Craig Buchek, Lee McCauley Discussion Demystifying Servant Leadership What is it, really? A concept centuries old that was described with this term by Robert Greenleaf … [Continue reading]

Episode 62 – Death Rattle

Released Sunday, September 14th, 2014. Hosts: John Sextro, Amos King, Craig Buchek Discussion What to do if agility starts to fail? How do you know when things begin to fail? What can you do to stay motivated? What can you do to … [Continue reading]

Episode 61 – I’m Still Being a Jerk (Bullying in the Workplace)

Released Sunday, September 7th, 2014. Hosts: Jason Tice, John Sextro, Amos King, Craig Buchek Discussion Bullying in the workplace Tice's kindergarten metaphor Self-managing work environments and teams Role as a … [Continue reading]

Episode 60 – Wine Will Fix My Problems (Following Through on your Retros)

Released Sunday, August 31, 2014. Hosts: Jason Tice, Lee McCauley, John Sextro, Amos King Discussion Episode 56 call out for info on how you capture your retro notes Evernote Bring things up at standup every day Limit the number of … [Continue reading]

Episode 59 – Center of Amos Excellence (Writing Stories)

Released Sunday, August 24, 2014. Hosts: Jason Tice, Lee McCauley, John Sextro, Amos King Discussion Writing great stories So to get things started about writing great stories, let’s talk about WHO writes them? What’s the lifecycle of a … [Continue reading]