Mervin Chiang – In Conversations with Craig Smith

A short video conversation I had with Mervin Chiang from Procensol for his “In Conversations” series.

Agile master Craig Smith in conversation with Mervin Chiang on all things “Agile in Business”. Craig, Director of the Agile Alliance and Unbound DNA is one of Australia’s premier Agile trainers, coaches and practitioners and a significant contributor to the Agile community.

You can watch the conversation on YouTube.

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Agile Amped: Craig Smith Turns Kitchen Nightmares Into Coaching Gold at Agile 2016

Amped-Banner-2016_Blog-ImageIt was an honour to be asked by the folks at Solutions IQ to be interviewed for their Agile Amped podcast that they were recording this year at Agile 2016 in Atlanta. The interview with Mike Alexander was focussed around my talk “Coaching Nightmares: Insights we can Learn from Gordon Ramsay“. My colleague Renee Troughton was also scheduled for this interview but was unable to attend.

“Coaching can be a very lonely role, because you’re the one dealing with the dysfunctions,” said Craig Smith, an Agile coach from Brisbane, Australia. For this reason and many others, Craig set out to try to improve the overall coaching experience. Craig was collaborating with a colleague on this one night when he saw an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares”. Craig was instantly struck by Gordon’s “coaching” style, and the gears went to work. In his Agile2016 session “Coaching Nightmares: Insights We Can Learn from Gordon Ramsay”, Craig shows snippets of Gordon Ramsay at work in the kitchen and asks participants, “What can we learn from this? As a coach, what would I do?”

One of the big things about Ramsay’s style is that he calls it like it is because he has no stake in the game. However, coaches may resist the urge to do that, maybe because they are tied to the company or are working for a consultancy that would rather they not. But, Craig says, “In order to get people to really change, we need to call it [like it is].”

SolutionsIQ’s Mike Alexander hosts at Agile2016 in Atlanta, GA.

 

Episode 79: Vomit Value with Jim Benson

The Agile Revolution Podcast

14491375311_22bf182a39_zAt Agile Australia 2014 in Melbourne, Jim Benson of Personal Kanban fame takes some time to talk with Craig, Renee, Tony and (a very silent) Kim Ballestrin and along the way they talk about:

  • early work implementing David J. Anderson’s Agile Management which resulted in Jim focussing on the person (Personal Kanban) and David focussing on the organisation (Kanban method) – two different viewpoints on the same solution set
  • XP, Scrum, Kanban method and Personal Kanban exemplify the people who created them
  • The Oath of Non Allegiance
  • Scrum vs Kanban
  • Why Limit WIP and Why Plans Fail books out now and working on an upcoming book about meetings
  • Individuals and interactions is redundant – relevant in 2001 to shake people out of complacency
  • Agile is anti-manager
  • Agile in knowledge work
  • WIP limits and avoiding “death flow”
  • Vomit Value – user stories with spurious and arbitrary value in a…

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Episode 76: Agile Australia 2014 Vox Pop #1

The Agile Revolution Podcast

AgileAus2014At Agile Australia 2014 in Melbourne, Craig and Tony grabbed the microphone and scoured the conference foyer in one of the breaks looking for interesting people in the Australian Agile community to ask them about what they are working on and their views of the conference.

The people they harassed include:

  • Maxime Groenewoud – Project Manager, enjoyed hearing about new practices including microservices architecture
  • Nigel Dalton – CXO at REA Group, Agile Australia advisor, highlight of the conference was an Ellen DeGeneres moment getting a selfie with Brant Cooper, excited to hear about holocracy at Zappos, at REA have been disrupting through bringing virtual reality to real estate, “there is one innovative startup in real estate in Australia each week!”
  • Steve Lawrence – Agile Coach and Agile Australia stream chair – has been watching the scaled agile debate and the learnings allowing us to take the message into the business
  • Paul Detheridge –…

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Episode 75: Agile Expedition with Alan Bustamante

The Agile Revolution Podcast

alanbustamanteAt Agile 2013 in Nashville on a park bench, in a garden, near a waterfall that is ever present, Craig catches up with Alan Bustamante to talk about his Agile expedition. Along the way they chat about:

  • the enormity of the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville and the average weather outside
  • the use case approach in the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and how it set the scene for Scrum and Agile
  • bringing architects along for the Agile journey
  • an initial lure for Agile – “the pressure of letting the team down is greater than staying resistant”
  • Agile Cincinnati and the take up in Cincinatti and Colombus
  • the need to “get back to making work fun and building relationships”
  • Alan’s work at Seapine Software and “The Agile Expedition” book
  • Alan’s conference tip: make it a goal to meet at least one person and get to know them
  • Advice: “there are bigger…

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Episode 74: Visual Mojo with Lynne Cazaly

The Agile Revolution Podcast

lynnecazalyLive at Agile Australia 2014, Craig and Renee talk all things visual with one of Australia’s top visual facilitators, Lynne Cazaly:

  • What is Visual Facilitation and Graphic Recording
  • You can use visuals even if you can’t draw
  • Lynne’s story into Visual Facilitation
  • How to anchor emphasized words
  • The benefit of a chisel tip
  • The girl who played with paper presentation at Agile Australia 2014
  • Tools that are useful – the good ol’ finger, brushes, procreate, sketches, inkflow, sketchclub
  • The benefit of bringing people up to speed with visual stories
  • To split or not to split – facilitation and the visual scribe
  • Turning your back on the room – a no go or a load of tripe?
  • Preparation – to spend time upfront or not, using templates
  • Facilitation through lean coffee wall (gather, sort, do)
  • Using visuals to engage and distill information for future visibility
  • Lynne’s next course in Melbourne…

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Episode 73: What Made You An Agile Coach?

The Agile Revolution Podcast

AgileCoachTony asks a philisophical question , whilst Renee harnesses her nineties pop star – Ice Ice Baby and Craig marvels at Tony’s  cool intro – probably the coolest intro he’s done since the eighties.

The Agile Revolution – 73 (54.21)

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Episode 72: Shipping at Facebook with Joel Pobar

The Agile Revolution Podcast

From YOW! 2013, Craig and Renee talk to Joel Pobar, currently working at Facebook as an Engineering Lead and JoelPobartalk about:

  • Joel’s journey to Facebook
  • Common Language Runtime (CLR)
  • Building and shipping fast
  • The value of a developers time and their critical paths
  • A day in the life of a Facebook manager
  • Who is the Product Owner in an infrastructural team?
  • A/B (experimentation) testing in New Zealand
  • Stabalisation and release process
  • Recruiting the right people
  • Pulling out the sharpies when pivoting on PHP
  • Striving for infrastructural efficiency and how to empower the team to this goal
  • Owning the stack from the bottom to the top and its impact on agility
  • Checkout HHVM, the Facebook Engineering Blog & Open Compute

You can contact Joel at facebook or on twitter at @joelpob.

The Agile Revolution- 72 (41 minutes)

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Episode 71: Essential Scrum with Kenny Rubin

The Agile Revolution Podcast

KennyRubinAt Agile 2013 in Nashville, TN, Craig catches up with Kenny Rubin, author of “Essential Scrum” and Scrum trainer and coach at Innolution. While sitting in the corridor, they talk about:

TheAgileRevolution-71 (15 minutes)

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Episode 70: Hello Is This Thing On?

The Agile Revolution Podcast

IsThisThingOnCraig, Renee and Tony catch up again and discuss the wonderfully diverse world of Agile :

The Agile Revolution – 70  (65 minutes)

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