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Episode 098

February 3, 2021

098: Agile for everyone with Judith Mills

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Intro

Agile can be hugely effective in many environments, but from the outside, it can be daunting. The language, its origins in tech, and its overzealous cheerleaders can make it seem inaccessible and only applicable in specific situations.

If that sounds like a familiar pain, Judith Mills is just the medicine you need!

Not only is Judith an expert in applying Agile in everywhere from software to gardening, but she explains it all with easy-going charm, clarity, and simplicity.

You can hear it for yourself in this episode, in which Judith decodes and demystifies Agile – bringing it back to its roots and explaining it as a mindset, not a process.

If you’ve ever had an interest in Agile, you should consider this essential listening!

Find out about

  • How to apply Agile in any field, not just software
  • Why Agile is more a communication tool than a project management process

  • The importance of protecting your time from ‘unplanned work’

  • Why the time it takes to do a task is an unreliable measure of your workload

  • How Judith uses facilitation skills to help teams understand Agile

  • Why empowering the individuals in a team strengthens the collective

  • The secret to effective retrospectives

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Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

Questions and Answers

00:57When did you start calling yourself a facilitator? 01:58What’s the difference between a facilitator and an Agile coach? 03:16How did you get into Agile and what does it mean to you? 08:08What’s the difference between “just delivering something every two weeks” and Agile? 11:32Can Agile be applied to non-software teams? And does all of an Organisation need to be Agile? 16:29What’s the process for calculating a team’s ‘velocity’ and how can you know what is objectively the most important task to be done? 22:08Is measuring by time a trap? And how can you create the safety for a team to move past measuring tasks by time? 26:23Can you talk a little more about safety? 34:51Do you think managers can get caught in the illusion of control? 37:24How do you handle someone who just doesn’t want to do any hard work? 39:46How can retrospectives help bring unity to teams? 44:07What makes a workshop fail? 47:27Do you have a silver bullet exercise to raise people’s interest in a workshop? 49:38Could Agile genuinely be applied to something like gardening? 55:33What would you recommend as the best way for someone to try Agile for the first time? 59:09What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

Links

Judith’s website

Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s ‘Agile Retrospectives’

Michael Wilkinson’s ‘The Secrets of Facilitation’

Connect to Judith