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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Nov 6, 2020

In celebration of the two-year anniversary of the podcast, Dan Neumann is joined by Sam Falco, co-founder of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. In the theme of continuous improvement, Dan and Sam take a look back on the last two years of the podcast and reflect on all that they’ve learned about podcasting and agility. They also invite on some of their favorite past guests and AgileThought colleagues to share their own biggest takeaways and lessons learned from the past two years on the theme of agility. Andrea Floyd, Agile Transformation Consultant; Adam Ulery, Senior Agile Coach; Quincy Jordan, Principal Transformation Consultant; Steven Granese, Managing Director of the Transform Practice; and Michael Guiler, Agile Consultant.


Key Takeaways

Andrea Floyd

Key lesson: the importance of the Agile mindset and an Agile culture coupled with any Agile journey

“What does it mean for us to be successful?” “What will that take from a mindset and culture perspective?” — Andrea Floyd

Tools and techniques: exercises around value stream mapping, understanding what value means to your customers and users, design-thinking techniques around customer journey mapping, good leadership, and commitment from the whole organization

Adam Ulery

Key lesson: the importance of having committed top-level leaders in an Agile transformation

The buy-in of leadership in a transformation is key (it makes the difference in creating real change or giving up)

Drawbacks that occur without leadership buy-in: change will only occur in small pockets at best, more than likely it will flounder and never transform the people and the way they work

Tools and techniques: in order for leaders to transform themselves they must be committed and willing, step out of their comfort zone, push through fears, and commit to change

In summary: it is important to have top-level leaders that are committed to the transformation and are committed to change

Quincy Jordan

Key lesson: Agile is Agile (it has transformed, evolved, and adapted over the years)

It used to be considered strictly for software development but has now been taken outside of IT; into HR, marketing, etc. The overall thinking has made a big splash in non-IT environments

A challenge with agility being adopted into non-IT environments: sometimes business and leadership have a misconception that agility is only IT so they believe it is not relevant to them

When agility ripples outside of IT, it can be really powerful

Michael Guiler

Key lesson: that the business side has really begun to take hold of agility

What has caused the shift from technology-driven agility to business-driven agility: the entire world has fundamentally begun to understand that agility is key (i.e. “We can’t just have really detail-oriented plans with a command and control structure and be able to compete in today’s world” — Michael Guiler)

Now, business wants to build an environment where they can really pivot on a dime and compete — and agility is the way to do that

Steven Granese

Key lesson: it is very difficult to define what agility is — especially with large organizations

There are a lot of different ideas and definitions about what agility is

It can be hard to define what problem the client is trying to solve and why agility would help them

How Steven has seen the problems that clients are trying to solve change over the years:

1) From a focus on speed (the speed with which they need to continuously adapt) to a focus on market changes (it’s the organizations that focus on market demands that are the ones having the most success)

2) There used to be more of a concern about leaning too much on tooling and automation but now it has become so good and there is so much more that is possible now due to the tools that are available

Sam Falco

Key lesson: Agility spreads beyond IT — even to a personal level 

“Even on a personal level, I have taken a lot of the principles and ideas — and even the practices of Scrum — into my own personal life. I use Scrum on a weekly basis; I do one-week sprints for myself.” — Sam Falco

Sam has lowered his personal work-in-progress limit from three to two and his throughput shot way up

He’s learned how to apply agility in all sorts of situations

Dan Neumann

Key lesson: the power of collaboration (specifically, the value of collaborating with people)

You can riff off each other if a client isn’t quite hearing what one of you is trying to say

Diversity of perspective is tremendously valuable (just like on any well-functioning team)


Mentioned in this Episode:

Steven Granese

Andrea Floyd

Adam Ulery

Quincy Jordan

Michael Guiler

The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done, by Stephen Denning

Eric Landes


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