It's Here: Video of My Agile is Better Than Your Agile at AgileIndy 2015

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It's Here: Video of My Agile is Better Than Your Agile at AgileIndy 2015

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was so excited to share my thoughts on where we are as a community in my talk for AgileIndy 2015 on April 17th. My talk included thoughts on extremism, my personal "agile" journey, and a few bad jokes. 

You can now get access to the full video plus the slides I used! Just sign up below, and I'll send you the link.

(Please note: I only gather emails for the purpose of understanding what topics are of interest, and sending the occasional - VERY occasional - email update.
I promise to never flood your email inbox or send you Lolcats. Unless you want them.)

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Using Lean Startup For Agile Adoption

While at AgileIndy 2015 today, I had the opportunity to hear someone who I respect immensely, Mike Cottmeyer of Leading Agile, speak about his thoughts on Agile Transformation. Mike really gets it, and expresses his thoughts on the matter eloquently and with such impact. 

While listening to him speak, I remembered this piece I wrote back in December 2014, and wanted to share it. It's not directly related to his talk, but there are some parallels and shared opinions.  

I play a lot in the space of Lean Startup, but I also come from an Agile/ agility background. When asked to write a piece for an e-book a few months ago, I thought - why don't I combine my backgrounds in these two things and talk about how to adopt agile using a lean startup approach? 

So I did. 

And here's what I wrote. I'd love your thoughts and feedback. Mike, thanks for inspiring me to post this!

What Can Lean Startup Teach Us About Agile Adoption?

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Agile Indy 2015: Things Are Getting Personal

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Agile Indy 2015: Things Are Getting Personal

This Friday, April 17th, I will be speaking at Agile Indy, which is an agile conference organized and held by the great agile community in Indianapolis. 

There are going to be some amazing speakers and agilists there who I have the honor of sharing the stage with.

My talk was inspired by a blog post I wrote a while back titled "My Agile Is Better Than Your Agile", and expands on my thoughts on the topic.

But why did I choose to speak About this topic?

Honestly, I believe we are at a point in the lifecycle of agility where a solid retrospective is in order. 

As part of my talk, I plan on talking about some of the ways extremism has impacted my personal life, and its impact on my personal journey and evolution of thought over time.

Although not as extreme, I hope this background helps shed some light on why the divisions that occur within and without the agile community are such a big deal to me. 

If you're going to be there, I hope you come say hi and share your thoughts with me on the talk. 

If not, I hope to have some video of the talk that I promise to post up afterwards. 

See you in Indy!

Follow the conference hashtag at #AgileIndy15, or the official conference Twitter account @AgileIndyConf. Thanks for your support!

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Webinar Announcement! But First, A Question

Yes, it's true!
I'm planning on doing my first webinar where I'll be the one running the show.

You know you want to be there.

But what is the webinar about, you say? 

Watch this (less than 1 minute) video for more info and a quick question.

Go ahead, I'll meet you under the video block in a few:

Tell Me What You Think

Which topic should my first webinar be on? Here are the options, once again:

a) "How My Getting My PMP Helped Me Be a Better Agilist (and Strategist!)" (Note: PMP = Project Management Professional certification)

b) "Business Agility: Why, What, Who, When, How"

I appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you!
(Just a quick a) or b) in the comments is more than sufficient.) 

Sign Up To Be The First To Know

Sign up below, and be the first to know when we finalize webinar logistics. Since spots are first-come first-serve, make sure you're at the front of the line!

Name *
Name

Thanks! 

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How to Figure Out Whether or Not You Should Pursue Your Product Idea (Lean Workshop Series: Part IV)

This is the fourth post in a series of posts answering questions we’ve received as part of our Hands-On With Lean workshops.

You can find the first three posts here:

1) How Do I Turn Ideas Into a Viable Product?

2) Prioritization: How Do I Prioritize Effectively So I Can Avoid Wasting Time & Money While Building My Product/ Startup?

3) How Do I Generate Product Ideas?

In this post, we’ll talk about how to determine whether to pursue or drop your product idea.

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Utah Code Camp 2015: Personal Productivity FTW

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Utah Code Camp 2015: Personal Productivity FTW

UtahCodeCamp

This Saturday, I will be speaking at Utah Code Camp, and no, I’m not talking about coding. (Because that would be bad for both the attendees and myself, I promise.)

What I am talking about is something that’s changed the way I get things done, both for my own work and business-related tasks, as well as tasks that relate to my personal and family life.

That’s why the title of this blog post says “Personal Productivity FTW” (i.e. For The Win), because this system will literally help you win AT LIFE. (Ok, maybe I’m a little excited about it, but you’ll see why when you come to the session.)

Over time, we humans have proven that we’ve got some real issues with buckling down and being (then staying) productive. Myself included. Oh yes, myself is so included.

Precisely for this reason, a lot of really smart people have created systems for getting things done (ahem) that I just have not been able to stick with.
(I’d like to say “stick with in the long term”, but I wasn’t even able to stick with them in the short term. Just keeping it real here. Also, I blame myself, not the systems, since I know there are people out there who are able to implement some of these successfully.)

A couple of years ago, I decided that if I was going to be training and teaching people on how to get stuff done effectively within their teams and organizations, then I’d better be able to replicate those results somewhere where productivity and effectiveness really hit home. That somewhere was – take a wild guess: at home.

Yes, I decided to “eat my own dog food”, and although I never thought I would say this, boy does it taste good.

If I couldn’t use the systems I was teaching to achieve productivity in my own work and life, and then extend that to the members of my household, then how could I ask people to pay me to help them achieve the same thing in their jobs?

If you’re coming to Code Camp tomorrow, join me as I walk you through my story, and then learn (in just a few minutes) how you can nail this system for yourself, and maybe even for your team (your family is totally considered part of your team, BTW). 

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Hands-On Lean Workshop Recap

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Hands-On Lean Workshop Recap

This past Friday, we got really hands-on with lean.

LeanClass


The goal of our Get Hands-On With Lean workshop was to help attendees really grasp the concepts of lean thinking, validation, and lean product development.

Attendees included both entrepreneurs as well as people involved in product development within larger companies, and the energy was simply infectious.

We covered topics including

-       The origins of the Lean Startup movement

-       What is and is not an MVP

-       How to get your brain around the concept of experimentation and validation with minimal investment

-       Customer Development

-       And more!

Investor

We also had an investor from local VC firm Peak Capital Partners join us at the end of class, and tell us all about his perspective as an investor. Attendees got to have real one-on-one time with a VC, ask their burning questions, and create a new contact!

The best part of class, though, was when everyone broke up into teams, rolled their sleeves up, and started filling out sections of the lean canvas one at a time for an idea that was theirs.

After each section, we had great discussions about what people came up with, asked each other The Hard Questions, and helped refine each other’s ideas.

It was collaborative, it was valuable, and it was fun.

Take Action Now
(Really! According to the people who came to the class, you won't regret it!)


Do you or someone you know need help getting out of a rut, getting ideas for how to validate your or your organizations’ assumptions, or just want to understand how to come up with an experiment to validate ideas (before even thinking about building product)?
 
Then tell us (by filling out the form below). (Or tell them to tell us!) 

Name *
Name
Yes! I'm interested in attending your next Hands On With Lean Workshop!

We had so much fun that we’d love to do this again next month (and the month after, and the one after that!)

The Lean, Not Mean, Super Cool Team:

27Sprints & Zibtek

Special thanks to Holodeck SLC for sponsoring us by providing space, Ergonomux (new UX firm in SLC, Utah!) for providing lunch, and Beehive Startups and Silicon Slopes for helping us announce the event!) 

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Even Agilists Need Cool Threads On Their Bods

I've probably mentioned Adam Weisbart before somewhere on the Interwebs, but if you haven't heard me talk about him before, here goes: Adam is one of the smartest, most authentic, dedicated agilists I know. He is a Certified Scrum Trainer but so much more. He continually creates new challenges for himself, and is a well of ideas and creativity. 

One of Adam's recent ideas that I'm so excited about sharing with you is his new line of Agile Threads T-shirts. These shirts are funny, awesome, and just the thing you need to inject a little bit of fun in your day. (Check out the Pair Programming one, it just tickles my funny bone!)

Go order a shirt today, and be the coolest agilist (or just coolest kid) on the block! 

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Idea Generation: StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series - Part III

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Idea Generation: StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series - Part III

This is the third of a series of posts answering questions that were submitted at the Lean Workshop series conducted at StartSLC on 1/30 and 1/31 - you can find the first post here, and the second post here

StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series Part III: Idea Generation

Question: How do I cultivate product ideas?

I chose to answer this question next because just last week, I was at an event at Startup Ogden with a number of entrepreneurs and startup co-founders, where we discussed this exact topic.

The format of this event was an un-conference, where attendees discussed topics that they really cared about and that impacted them, including “How do I come up with product ideas?”


Idea Generation: Back to Basics

When discussing the topic of generating startup or product ideas, we tend to over-complicate the process.

My answer to this question is pretty straightforward and simple. Ready?

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StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series - Part II

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StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series - Part II

This is the second of a series of posts addressing questions that were submitted as part of the Lean Workshop series I conducted along with Cache Merrill at StartSLC on 1/30 and 1/31 - you can find the first post here.

Before jumping in to answer questions, I am excited to announce that Cache and I are conducting an extended, full-day workshop titled "Get Hands-On With Lean and Learn How to Drive Your Startup or Product" on March 6th, 2015!

We will be focusing on hands-on, thought-provoking activities, and we plan on having a special guest that will be announced soon! Register before 2/18 and get an earlybird discount - bring your team and learn how to achieve your goals together. 

Prioritization: StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series Part II: 

How do I prioritize effectively so that I am not wasting money and time while validating or building my product?

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StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series - Part I

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StartSLC Lean Workshop Q&A Series - Part I

This weekend, I had the distinct pleasure and honor (I've always wanted to say that) of presenting two startup-related workshops at the inaugural StartSLC event in Salt Lake City, Utah.

StartSLC is the largest startup festival to have ever taken place in Utah so far, and it was buzzing with a number of panels, workshops, hackathons, pitch competitions, and a startup awards ceremony.

The two workshops I presented, which were sponsored by the Women Tech Council, were titled:
1) Get Hands-On With Lean (Co-presented with Cache Merrill of Zibtek), and
2) Startup Metrics: How to Measure and Drive Your Startup

When I present a session, I like to gather questions and specific areas people want to learn about before we get started, so I can target the presentation to their needs.
I then try to address any remaining questions after the presentation, so everyone can benefit from the answers.

For these two sessions, I wanted to articulate my answers to the questions that we gathered here on the blog, just in case there was anything we weren't able to get to, and also as a way to share some of the Q&A with those who weren't able to attend. 

The answers will come in a series of posts, with this post being the first in the series.

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My Agile is Better Than Your Agile

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My Agile is Better Than Your Agile

This blog post started with a tweet.

Truthfully though, it started a long time before the tweet.

If you've been anywhere near the Internet lately, you've likely seen some of this going around:

"Many product owners are just project managers who took on the role, and have no clue about what makes a product successful."

"AGILE PROJECT MANAGER?! I would never apply to be a job titled Agile Project Manager."

"He's not a scrum master. He's just a glorified project manager." 

And, from my own mouth, years and much shame ago, "Who cares about mapping your BRD (Business Requirements Document) to user stories? The whole exercise is useless."

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How to Kill Your Organization's Wish List

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How to Kill Your Organization's Wish List

I bet your company or organization has a "wish list". 

I was recently working with a client who was burdened with the task of figuring out how to clean up her organization's "wish list", which had been growing for years.
After discussing how the wish list "worked" (i.e. it DIDN'T work for anyone), it was obvious that she needed a radical approach for going through and cleaning up the list. 

If you've ever been in her shoes, this post is for you.

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Announcing Lean Innovation Labs for YOU

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Announcing Lean Innovation Labs for YOU

Are you a CTO/ CIO/ CMO/ CEO looking to implement an "innovation lab" to launch new products or experiment with new ideas in your company?

Maybe you've already implemented this concept within your organization, but it's just not working out the way you had envisioned.

Or maybe, your team is simply too busy working on existing products and projects, and there is just no way to pull them into working on something new anytime before Q3 of 2025. 

We want to help. And we know we can. 

Who We Are

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Business Agility: A Case Study in Forward-Thinking Businesses

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Business Agility: A Case Study in Forward-Thinking Businesses

In case you haven't seen it in action, the Ball Point Game is a game that allows participants hands-on practice with implementing agile values and principles. The picture above is one I took yesterday, while running an agility training for a team of leaders, managers, and overall impressive group of people yesterday. I can safely say that I've never seen a team organize and figure out a strategy , learn from their experiments, and improve as quickly as this group did. Kudos, team!

Why Businesses Need to Understand Agility

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Learning Organizations: In It To Win It

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Learning Organizations: In It To Win It

We live in a dynamic, sometimes overwhelming business environment.

Companies compete to be first-to-market, best-to-market, as dynamic as the market, and mostly, to keep up with the market.

Buying patterns are changing, customers want more faster, and technology trends are in and out like fashion. 

Now, more than ever, organizations must have a strong focus on purposeful learning in order to be successful. They must become learning organizations.

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Product Owner Training in Salt Lake City (and Promo Code!)

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Product Owner Training in Salt Lake City (and Promo Code!)

I know you want me to tell you about the promo code. 

First, you have to listen to a little story. 

My Personal Agile Transformation

Some people come into your life and change everything. It may start in a subtle way, kind of like that butterfly flapping its wings. One thing leads to another, events just seem to unfold, and the domino effect takes over. Then, before you know it, you're living a different life. 

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Hala-ween Giveaway!

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Hala-ween Giveaway!

It's Halloween! (A.k.a Halaween, if you live in my world.)

A perfect opportunity to give stuff away. Or, in other words, give back to the entrepreneurial and tech communities that I so love. (And since we're on the Hala theme, I'm calling it Hala-back Days.)

This year, I'm giving back by giving away my time. 

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