Monday, February 12, 2018

Radio Show Transcript - Disciplined Agile Delivery - Scott Ambler - Recorded February 2, 2018

Disciplined Agile Delivery - Scott Ambler - Recorded February 2, 2018

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FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)

00:00:29;19 - 00:02:28;02
Rick Morris: It's been a crazy week as always here at R Squared Consulting. We've been in Nashville Tennessee or actually Columbia Tennessee closing up to Nashville over the last week working with a client through their Agile transformation. So you know it's going to be a timely discussion today because of that as always. Coming up we're going to be in Memphis next week for a couple of days doing some training and then the big event will be the week after that the 16th through the 22nd will be in Orlando at the John Maxwell Team international Maxwell certification event. So have a lot of people that are looking forward to that. Can't wait to see you guys there the 25th and 26. We'll be back in Birmingham doing some training there. And then of course March 10th. through the 16th is when we're headed out to Costa Rica with John looking at the transformation of that country. So we we're super super excited and very excited to have you guys along for the ride. So let's get into today's show and based on the Twitter traffic and Facebook traffic and all the e-mails that have been getting so many people are super excited to hear from this gentleman. As am I. Because he is a senior consulting partner of his organization and he's been working with organizations around the world to help them improve their software processes. It provides training coaching and mentoring and disciplined Agile in lean strategies at both the project and organizational level. He's a cocreator of the Agile modeling and Agile data methodologies and the discipline Agile framework. He's also the co author of several books including an executive's guide to discipline Agile framework disciplined Agile delivery refactoring databases Agile modeling Agile databased techniques and the object primary Third Edition. He blogs regularly at and his company's home page is the same as his name Scott how are you sir.

00:02:28;02 - 00:02:28;29
Scott Ambler: I'm fantastic.

00:02:29;29 - 00:03:10;03
Rick Morris: And we are ready to go. We're so excited to have you on The Work/Life Balance. And quite frankly we've been talking a lot about Agile lately and certainly with the Agile Almanac book that came out and I know that you provided some advanced readings and worked with one of the authors on the chapters specifically around discipline as well. So since the launch of that book we've had a few of our other authors on here and I've just been in this Agile mood so I couldn't be more excited to have you on the phone and start to dive into some of these questions. But if you would just introduce yourself again and just talk a little bit about what does that mean. You know discipline Agile framework and in what is really business agility.

00:03:11;02 - 00:04:42;16
Scott Ambler: Yeah. So I myself my organization we work with companies around the world to help them understand this Agile and lean stuff and frankly the two groups are. So it's not just about Agile lean what we do. But you know 95 percent of it is and we're all about helping organizations get better become more effective serve the customers better. So the framework actually captures our observations of what works in practice and basically we're with that framework. We're trying to answer the question how does it help all these Agile techniques and lean techniques and strategies and even some more traditional ones fit together. What are the tradeoffs that you're making. So when when you do each technique when don't you have it together. To what extent should you do. So we just pitched disciplined Agile as what we call a process decision framework. We're providing lightweight guidance to help organizations and teams understand the process decisions and the organization starts some cases that they're making and to make better decisions. We're unique in this respect. There's a lot of other you know there's a lot of other methods out there that are prescriptive and they say this is the best way of doing things. Whereas our approach is more along the lines of Well it depends on and here's what it depends on and you need to decide for yourself. I think it's a very robust and mature way of looking at the world. And we focus on IT a lot want to write to you of course as you know every business is a software business days.

00:04:42;16 - 00:05:17;19
Scott Ambler: But we also realized that there is the rest of the organization also needs to be effective. So you know we we have advice on portfolio management and finance legal and security and all those other things. We're really trying to help organizations become Agile businesses and to support business agility and the way we define business agility is the ability to react to the marketplace and to serve your customers effectively and to react to these changing needs and and sometimes even predict their needs and their lives and to serve them better.

00:05:17;29 - 00:05:24;09
Scott Ambler: Because if you don't if you don't like your customers somebody else will. And they'll eat your lunch. And you know this is not what you want.

00:05:25;29 - 00:05:49;27
Rick Morris: So talk to me for second about it. I find a lot of people that catch what I consider the age bug. You know they seem very resistant to Agile and then they finally start to open up to it. And then once they fully get it they're all in right and they catch that Agile bug. They're running through what caused you to catch that. That Agile bug What made you just start looking at Agile as a whole in the beginning.

00:05:50;22 - 00:08:21;15
Scott Ambler: Yeah. So I think it was disillusionment with these more heavyweight traditional approaches. So in the 90s I was pretty big on a CMMI ally. And you know trying to understand the bigger picture and I was actively working to organizations to adopt these heavier techniques and I drank that kool aid and I saw it and in many cases I saw just scale and fail and fail and it was all wonderful theory and it really shows you know in an ideal world it all would have worked. But the world's not ideal and the end it just these heavyweight techniques just didn't work out. So I was in the late 90s. I was fairly disillusioned. And you know I speak at conferences so I get to hang out with a bunch of really smart people and sort of all the conference years ago and I guess was it was probably 1999. And I went to a talk by Kent Beck about extreme programming and he it nailed it. He it just it just spoke to this that you know what the stuff that became what we now know is Agile. It spoke to me and he had this me a very pragmatic and lightweight and realistic approach to software development and I realized that it just tweaked right there and said wow he's onto something. This is it. And in earlier years I also had the pleasure of working with Geoff Sutherland who's one of the fathers of the scrum and he had tried to sell me on scrum. And at the time I didn't quite get it. And it seemed like some good ideas but it didn't play well with me and it wasn't until I really started you know I got this training from Kent Beck that I really sort of understood Oh this is where these guys are coming from. And then it just took off from there and my focus at the time was that I was big on modeling still am and also big on data database stuff. And I led the development of the Agile modeling methodology. We focused on modeling and occupation and how do you address the database and data stop using as well as well as little as the development that in the early days of Agile and really for the you know cracked a few hard nuts I guess you would say. And it really spoke to me and was applying this in practice and it worked well and it worked phenomenally well and a lot better than the some of the more traditional techniques that we're all used to at the time.

00:08:23;04 - 00:09:24;28
Rick Morris: I appreciate that description. And what I'm going to be doing you know throughout today just just for fun and I think or even pre-warned you that when you and I first met each other and talked to each other. But you know I love to throw out things that I hear as I'm leading transformations or working with clients or have run into other Agilists that say these things that we just love to get your gut reaction to that. If I could. So we haven't set any this up I'm going to hit you cold with it. So if you need a second I'm good with it as well. But you know you mentioned scrum. I thought that was a great introduction there as well. And so you know I'm working with an organization currently that that has chosen a Agilist trainer that that's pushing them through scrum and today and over the last couple of days really I keep hearing will Agile is not going to work for COBOL for COBOL development because COBOL just takes so long and we are essentially reengineering code every time that we see it. And some of that code can be 10 years old. What would you say to an organization like that.

00:09:25;25 - 00:11:32;29
Scott Ambler: Yeah I heard this all the time and it's complete and utter B.S.. So the reality is you know to be fair you know there are some COBOL development tools aren't quite as good as you know in a Java and in .net world you know but to be fair with that but they are pretty good. And I think the and I start with tools because you know that thought as an excuse. But the real issue is one of culture and you know duty's COBOL developers didn't want to work in is more Agile manner. Do they do that get it. Have they been pushed. And I think the the I'm an old COBOL guy I did a couple years ago and the last one of my speakers here is that. We haven’t been pushing the COBOL developers of the world at all for several decades now. You know they were pushing a little bit for the Y2K stuff but for the most part it's just sort of cruising along. Everybody's happy with them. And now we're running into this in this spot where these guys really are about to retire and while they are retiring and it's not looking good for a lot of organizations because there is a huge investment of COBOL which is not going to go away anytime soon probably never will. And yet we need to we need to evolve this code. We need to certainly to maintain it and we need to do something about that. I think as the younger you are the younger generation you know the Java and the dot net programmers of the world and you know many others as they are motivated to move into COBOL they're going to bring their Agile techniques along with them. And I think right now you take the average Java programmer the .net programmer you drop them into the COBOL world and they'll be horrified by some of the practices that are still common there. So I don't believe at all my experience is that you can do quite you know very Agile development in the COBOL world. But it does take time and you need to train the people you need to go to them all up. But it is possible. So I wouldn't accept as an excuse at all.

00:11:33;16 - 00:12:10;15
Rick Morris: and that's fantastic because we did not either. So the pushing is is exactly right. And making them understand that you know regardless of its six or seven week development theory then that doesn't mean we still can't craft user stories or things that can be done in sprints so that we can see progress and make sure that there's change and so we started to walk through that as well. But I appreciate you allow me to hit you cold with that. We're going to go ahead and take our first break right here. You are on the line with Scott Ambler. And in fact if you like to dial in and ask the question this guy directly as well listen for the number on the break right after these commercials you're listening into The Work/Life Balance with Rick Morris.

00:15:06;09 - 00:15:16;16
Rick Morris: And we're back to The Work/Life Balance here on another Friday on the Voice America business network. And we are lucky lucky to have Mr. Scott Ambler here with us.

00:15:16;16 - 00:15:47;05
Rick Morris: And you know Scott I'm first of all I can't thank you enough for appearing on the show. And you know hopefully we can monopolize your time a lot more in the future. But you know as Agile is really starting to take hold here a lot of companies are you know trying to do and trying to do it poorly. And so what I'd love for them to understand directly from you know one of the cofounders of this is where did this disciplined Agile framework come from and how did you guys really develop this.

00:15:48;08 - 00:17:50;25
Scott Ambler: Yeah definitely. So it came out of IBM. Actually I was the chief methodologist for I.T. at IBM rational for six years and myself my team including business partners such as Mark Lyons who's now my business partner. We were we work with organizations around the world to understand this Agile lean stuff. And we started seeing common patterns and we started seeing that new organizations that had pretty much figured it out were still struggling with some basic issues and the ones that have figured it out or were on the way were spending a lot of time in a lot of effort doing so. And they're all basicly coming up with the same same sort of thing. And we also noticed that everybody is doing it differently and which is a very important observation that every person every team everywhere and organization is unique and they will have unique structures they will have unique ways of working unique processes. Although there's still commonality between them. So anyway so we were sort of noticing this and it became pretty clear to us that there was a need for a framework and Agile framework that reflected these observations. So we started developing what eventually became we originally dismasted delivery and analysis evolved into into just been Agile as we moved beyond sort of ? but basically all this was happening in 2009 2010 and then in 2012 we published the first book. So you could say that from a public facing point of view that was just an Agile 1.0 and a couple of years later in 2015 that is Agile to came out when we started expanding that and officially started addressing I.T. and then in 2017 that few months ago we released 3.0 with where we look at enterprise issues as well as sort of a full business agility gambit. And yeah I can give a call of IBM. They were very kind and they donated their rights to the consortium in 2013 in order to make this public.

00:17:50;26 - 00:18:30;29
Scott Ambler: So they were very generous in a lot in the way they supported us and this was just it was very good very good thing for them to give

Rick Morris: that is very cool and something that doesn't happen as often as I think it should especially because innovation comes from you know teamwork team sharing and such large organizations like that I mean they're facing huge issues especially with the market demand and everything else that's coming out with that. I appreciate that as well. I was a former IBM are back in the day as well. So in the book which is very interesting you describe a racing metaphor though can you tell me what that is.

00:18:32;13 - 00:21:29;09
Scott Ambler: Yes. So what the racing metaphor it is a basic observation that the actual software community has really gotten good at building great Agile software development teams. So this to me is like an engine engine of a car a racing car and we're good at tuning it getting better you know better productivity out of them you know better quality we really are good at building the racing car engines. But then what we do is because we're focused so focused on software development we kick this awesome racing car engine and we plug it into our organizational tractor and it's a big surprise that we're not winning the race. And what we really need is a racing car so the racing car in the metaphor is what we call discipline dev ops. So when you look at the full picture of solution delivery to operations of it and you know full round trip. And by bringing all enterprise issues such as security and data management and all that it's your stuff. So it's a little more than what we typically hear in the the developer or dev ops picture but having a great racing car isn't sufficient either because anybody can go buy a racing car but that doesn't mean you've got the skills to drive it. So in order to be successful you not only do you need a car but you need a team you need a great race car driver you need a pit crew. We all need to be working together effectively to get the job done in this with this one as we like to is all of us. So we need to look at the and we need to go beyond software development and go beyond dev ops which we're starting to see now in the dev ops community. I think they're starting to realize oh wait a minute this is not the full picture is only part of the overall picture and we really need to tune the rest of I.T. and then. But that's still not sufficient either because if you've got a great race car and a great race car team you often need a race you need you need somewhere or some opportunity to make money with this great I.T. department. And that's what the rest of the enterprise is all about. So how can the how can the business leverage I.T. in order to be successful in the marketplace to make money to have these value streams that they offer to their customers and to be able to react and be effective. So the metaphor really goes to the four layers of the of the framework and basic argues that you even look at the whole picture. If you want to be successful and I think a lot of Agile a lot of Agile coaches and consultants are really because their focus is on software development. They're really sort of selling themselves short on the organization's short because if you know if you don't deal with the entire range of challenges that we face in these organizations and it's always a moving target you know these are complex adaptive systems we're dealing with then your transformation efforts your improvement efforts will probably run aground and this is why we see so many challenges right now in the Agile space is that I think we're learning the hard way that it really is more about. It's about more than just software development.

00:21:29;16 - 00:21:48;29
Rick Morris: And I appreciate that very much. We actually coined the term or heard a term called Agile Theater which was are you. Are you doing Agile theater in Agile theaters where you've done one of these four areas but you haven't focused on the other three and so you're practicing Agile but you're really not Agile yet.

00:21:49;02 - 00:22:40;23
Scott Ambler: Exactly. I even see that even within just the software development space where you'll see a team that you had gotten there through Two day's scrum certification training and they're great at running meetings now but they still don't have the skills or even the understanding of how it all fits together. How do you approach testing and data and documentation and how do you address regulatory stop and architecture. All these all these other great things. And I think it's and I think it's a serious challenge as well is that we in some ways and the Agile world we've dumbed things down so much that we don't know. We've handed ended up with these really commodity trading and these commodity consultants now that. Don't have a lot to offer and I think it's a shame when we need to look at the picture that even the bigger picture the development is pretty complex let alone you know the organizational picture.

00:22:40;25 - 00:23:20;05
Rick Morris: So when I'm speaking at a conference I do a slide where I talk about you know it's not just as much as going Agile it's picking the right Agilest. So by comparison I'm a pretty big dude and I said so if I want to be an Olympic athlete I can’t hire this guy as my personal trainer which is the picture of a goofy dude. And I say I can’t hire this guy is my nutritionist which was Ronald McDonald. And I said you're just going to end up with another clown who's telling you stuff they read but they don't know how to implement it so how do organizations really test their Agilest to know that they're you know that they're not going to come in and be a clown essentially.

00:23:21;03 - 00:26:21;02
Scott Ambler: Yeah that's a really hard problem. Oh we run into that as well with our customers and to the challenge is that the organization is new to Agile. Then how do you know how do you how do you detect who a clown is. I'm sure Ron McDonald has some great stories to tell about how big macs are very nutritious and fried. And you know you know we're using the good fat now. We'll said it's healthy for you. I'm sure the guy has got a wonderful story around that which sounds good. And so how do you how do you do. How do you know. And I think that's my answer. Quick answer that is you've got to you've got to stop parking your brain at the door and you when you hear somebody claiming to be a certified master because they've taken two entire days they stayed awake in a two day training course in their check didn't bounce. You've got to say wait a minute are you really a certified master after two days of training. No. Or you've taken four days of training and now you're now you're a certified consultant. No you've taken four days of training. Like when I say I'm you know I'm in my 50s and I know back in the day we had to go to school for several years just to become a junior programmer. And now here we are. And when things are way more complicated than they used to be. And now in four days we can go off and become a certified consultant and make lots of money doing it and get hired get hired for that. So I think you know I got it's harsh but I think these organizations you've got to step back and you got to do a reality check. And I think you've also got to start saying Wait a minute you know I just hired this guy looks like a clown. Sounds like a clown. Maybe he is a clown. And you know and he's pitching one way of doing things. I think it's pretty obvious that if you walk into an organization it's pretty clear that you can start looking at different teams and they're working in different ways and they're the different people in different situations so they get to work in different ways. So when you've got these consultants that only know one way of doing things the official way of you know method X that you get to say wait a minute maybe method X doesn't apply to me or doesn't apply to all my teams or maybe I need method X but I also need some parts of why some parts of Zed and a few others. And we we thought we really mean to me we really need to think for ourselves and not get taken for this by the you know get you know get the problem fixed quick schemes and because you know I think you've also got to step back and realize Well it took my organization decades to to get to where we are now. We're not going to we're not going to change this this ship overnight and turn this ship overnight and we're not going to fix all these problems in a few weeks or a few months. It's going to be a multiyear journey and I think we need to do a reality check on that one.

00:26:21;03 - 00:27:17;25
Rick Morris: I think that's well said and I appreciate that insight. Is it difficult. So many people can talk. Great game. So many people can you know read quotes of yours and pass them off as theirs but that experience and I think the most poignant point I completely agree with you is knowing more than one way to do it knowing that there's multiple Agile delivery systems. And sometimes you've got to pick and choose the best things that fit that process. And we're just not seeing that out there. So we're going to take another break here in just a moment. But I do want to urge everybody to go visit  And that's how you can get in touch with Scott. That's how you can see what's going on. I'm sure they can get your books there on that site as well is that correct. Yeah. Absolutely. Or some books. Well we're paying some paying some bills with our sponsor and we'll be right back here and The Work/Life Balance with Rick Morris.

00:30:22;07 - 00:30:25;15
Rick Morris: And welcome back to The Work/Life Balance on this Friday afternoon.

00:30:25;15 - 00:30:48;04
Rick Morris: We're visiting with Scott Ambler a cocreator of the discipline Agile framework and Scott was going hit you on this. Before break. But now that we're back from break what do you say especially as you're looking at Agile over the enterprise where organizations all say we do not need project managers at all anymore because we're going Agile.

00:30:49;14 - 00:30:55;00
Scott Ambler: Yes. So I approached projects are not going to go away anytime soon.

00:30:55;00 - 00:31:29;19
Scott Ambler: I think there's a couple of points. Projects are not going to go away anytime soon. At the same time management certainly isn't. So in the Agile world we certainly need management governance you know lightweight and effective of course. But you assume that that's not going to go away. But also to be fair we are seeing a movement away from the concept of projects particularly the I.T. world. And for a bunch of reasons the you know there's overhead associated and risk associated with projects projects are also a in many ways an artificial funding mechanism.

00:31:38;10 - 00:34:09;27
Scott Ambler: So we've got this stuff going on. But there's also this issue that you know particularly in the Agile world we recognize that these systems the solutions that we produce these these lines of business that we support are long running sometimes in many years if not decades and evolve over time. Stuff like that. So this artificial project idea where there's a start to finish and you get it done and you move on simply doesn't fit that that that sort of a paradigm now. So I think we need that. He said that you know  project managers needed to manage the interaction with customers and you know for you sold a big thing to a customer then you've probably got them from a relationship manager or a project manager are organizing all of that. Certainly that's a valid application for project managers but for us solution development in the I.T. world and the bulk of the work that we do we need management we need guidance we need leadership do we need project managers. Maybe not. And I think this is this is a challenge in a lot of organizations because it's not what the project managers want to hear and rightfully so and so our approach is always you know you can add value and you can probably add more value and have a more interesting position in the Agile world than in the project management world. So if you want to redefine your your career and hopefully do something better more interesting than the opportunity is certainly there is if you want to remain a project manager that's fine that's a valid career decision and because there isn't any project managers but not as many. So Darwinism starts to kick in in those situations. So if you've got more people than positions for project managers then you know we'll do the math but we try and we do our best to help people help move people into into better and more effective positions because know existing project managers have one heck of a lot of value to add. Maybe not in the role of project manager but certainly in other roles so I constantly invite them to maybe rethink their and reposition themselves and rethink the direction their careers are going in

Rick Morris: and to comment on that being a project manager for 20 years somebody who is afraid of Agile at first and I think a lot of project managers are when they first hear about it because of things like that.

00:34:09;27 - 00:35:09;08
Rick Morris: But there's also a very negative connotation of project managers in the Agile world such as you know project management is command and control whereas you know Agile is not me. In fact when you go through training it sounds like project managers are a bunch of Godzilla's that are just destroying towns and you have this beautiful communal butterfly community where everybody just gets along and hugs. But the point being is I think those ones that really were command and control and were not following processes properly were checking that box just to check a box and I bring value. Those are the ones that are Darwinism should push out the ones that really can see the value of communication and communicating upwards. Those are the ones that are going to exceed and excel into the strategic organization to help manage the Agile practices and so I think you know I concur with you. But a knee jerk reaction for an organization is say let's fire all of our project managers who are going Agile is not you know is not a good tact either.

00:35:09;08 - 00:35:35;15
Scott Ambler: No though that would be a fundamental mistake I find to a lot of existing project managers particularly ones who've been with an organization for years. They're often very good candidates for being a product owner which is an incredibly valuable role and it's a hard role to fill. So you know yeah firing all your project managers because you're Agile would not be a good idea helping them move and other roles would be a phenomenally good idea as any.

00:35:35;28 - 00:35:43;03
Rick Morris: So why should organizations even look at a framework like discipline Agile. I mean why even go adopt a framework like that.

00:35:43;22 - 00:42:33;24
Scott Ambler: Yeah so there's several reasons. So a few a few fundamental ones are pretty easy to observe now. Every business is a software business these days you'd be hard pressed to find an organization where software was not absolutely critical to their success whether management currently recognizes that might be the story but certainly it seems to be the case. And so that's one point. We're also seeing pretty much every industry is being disrupted now and new competitors are moving into your market spaces. You may or may not also recognize that you know this is blatant in some industries like financial for example is being very clearly threatened by fintech and we're seeing the retail industry being very clearly threatened by organizations such as Amazon and others. We're also seeing in industries these Agile these lean organizations that dominate. And you know if you if you were to put together a list of the you know the 20 most the best companies that you admire. They're all very Agile and they have often been doing as well for so long. They don't even talk about Agile anymore. It's just they are Agile and they are they are lean they are Agile this is the way they think this is the way they operate. So they say that's not your position though is that the majority organizations are not yet Agile and they'll get that many years before they get there. The DA framework provides a roadmap and to help you get there and it recognizes that you know like I said before it depends. Context counts and gradations different. Like if you look at all the big apple life that the car manufacturers like new cars are a commodity you know you know the automobile industry might not recognize that but you know everybody owns a car and you can just sit in a car and you can you can drive it and you know a few buttons might be in different places. But for the most part cars are a commodity. You know many people own them sometimes they own several cars on the road now I've got four wheels and a driver in the driver's seat and all sorts of good stuff. So this commodity product. And the but these organizations are all very different like Ford is very different than GM which is very different than Toyota which is very different than Tesla and so on. So here we have these companies that are basically commodity you know companies producing commodity products and yet they're all very very different. And this is as you can see I see the same thing about banking and insurance and retail in many many other organizations right. You know a grocery store does it does it really matter what brand of grocery store it is. You know you might have different products than that. But for the most part a grocery store is a grocery store and I'm going to go and buy food. It's all goodness. So but anyway so the these organizations are being you know are being disrupted and they're all they're all very different so one sought one process size does not fit all. So it is an the observation earlier like we we we were talking about how organizations are in some ways are panicking right now. They have to change. And at the same time they don't really understand this process. They might not really understand this Agile stuff and yet they're being asked to make some important decisions. And as a result they hire clowns as opposed to other people. But at the same point. So are profits that you get the exact same issue on the profit side of things. One process does not fit all the processes that would work well for Ford. I would probably be the kiss of death for Tesla and vice versa. And we see this with the Toyota production system for example. There's many examples where companies have gone into Toyota I understand all this lean stuff and all these really interesting stuff that they do and then they try to apply it in their own environments and it doesn't work out and because there's no easy answer. And I think one of the reasons why Toyota is so generous with allowing companies to come in and walk around and observe what they're doing like even their competitors. There's a famous story that GM went into Toyota years ago to see how they're working because Toyota fundamentally knows it takes years to get to that level of productivity that they're asked and that you just can't you know plug and play these processes. And these these ways of working. And this is absolutely true the Agile world that you know your your transformations are a journey that they're not they're not this quick project that you can get done. And it takes many many years to improve. And it varies every single time. So if you don't if you don't appreciate this and if you don't then you need to hire coaches and people that have more than one tool in their toolkit. If you're a one trick pony then you know yeah he's going to put on a great pony show. But if you don't really need a great pony show and it's not that good of a thing so we just want Agile we give people options and we we walk you through decisions that you need to make we do in a lightweight manner. But we walk you through these decision. And we give you choices and we we say here's the tradeoff that you're making. So make the right choices for the situation you find yourself in. And it's OK if you know team a makes a different set of choices than team b because they're different people in different situations yet having said that we provide a consistent governance framework across all these teams. So now you know these organizations do not have to inflict the same process on everybody which would be a fundamentally bad idea. But instead they can say hey you know the teams each team does do the right thing for the situation that you're in. He is effectively will possibly be but is this consistent lightweight governance that that that we can do that makes sense in different situations. So that way we can still you know guide you and keep an eye on you and guide you and help you be successful. And that's what good governance is all about. So I think there's a lot of very interesting thinking and value in that it's an Agile framework. We do. We do the heavy lifting on the process side of things. But it is for organizations that have accepted this fundamental fact that you know it depends and you really do need to know what you're doing and make good choices. And once you once you realize that there's no easy answer that you you really need to think for yourself and to learn and to improve over time. Once you accept that then that is when the discipline Agile frame will really speak to you and will give you a significant advantage in this overall approval process. Because it does spell a lot of your a lot of the thinking that you're going to have to do at some point anyway.

00:42:35;09 - 00:43:03;15
Rick Morris: Absolutely. So we're going to take our final break here we get one more segment left with Mr. Scott Ambler he's going to be with us one more segment here on The Work/Life Balance. But while we are away please visit and check out his Web site. And also you can find him on Twitter. Scott W. Ambler on Twitter correct. That's right. We have Scott W. Ambler on Twitter. And of course you can always follow me at @RickAMorris and we'll be right back after this break.

00:46:02;02 - 00:46:06;22
Rick Morris: Back to our final segment of The Work/Life Balance with Scott Ambler and Scott. You know we were talking on the break there.

00:46:06;22 - 00:46:17;05
Rick Morris: There's a new emergence of a theory which is being dubbed as hybrid project management or hybrid Agile management which is a blending of the two practices how does discipline Agile fit into that. Or do you recognize that at this point

00:46:17;05 - 00:47:26;05
Scott Ambler: yeah actually just went with always been a hybrid. Our approach is we look for what stuff that works and we we adopt ideas from a lot of Agile lean sources. Of course I've been focusing a lot of that but there are still some great ideas in the traditional world and in other spaces and we leverage those as well. Now sometimes they don't quite work in some of those techniques don't quite work as well with the Agile ones. But our approaches do you know have choices make their make the best choices for you and the situation that you face and you recognize there might be better ways that you can make but just not right now. So. The so and it's valid to to adopt these techniques from yesteryear because we need to recognize that a lot of the world still runs on systems built using these older older strategies and I think you know you can't do a financial transaction for example without hitting multiple systems that you know were built using ancient techniques and technologies. So I think that you know take an airplane or or things like that.

00:47:26;05 - 00:47:39;14
Scott Ambler: So I think we need to you know be respectful of you know perhaps in the 60s and 70s and 80s that we we sort of knew what we were doing to0 Yeah.

00:47:39;29 - 00:48:09;23
Rick Morris: And I think really for us you know hybrid is where it's coming out with people are struggling you know should this be waterfall should this be Agile of course Agile components in a waterfall project. There's a lot of people still struggling with the thought pattern that I've got to be 100 percent completely Agile and I believe you've said it best is that there's not one size fits all in. There's got to be processes which you can you can dip and dab into other methodologies to fit whatever it is the initiative that you're trying to do.

00:48:10;23 - 00:48:20;21
Scott Ambler: Yeah I think the best you can situation your face and try to get better. I think that's the that's what you've got to really be focused on.

00:48:21;29 - 00:48:28;13
Rick Morris: And so finally we ask everybody that joins us here in The Work/Life Balance what is some of the best advice you've ever received.

00:48:29;20 - 00:50:11;27
Scott Ambler: Yes I think the best advice I ever got was to read widely read and read widely and the goal is to be challenging. You know we think that my challenge what you what you believe in and and also just open your mind up to go to New to new worlds. I was very lucky early in my career that I had worked for a bank and had a vice president to take me under his wing and mentor me along and that was pretty much the first thing you told me was to read widely and I've been doing doing my best on that ever since. And also I think to hang out with smart people and people that will will challenge you and they're outside the scope of your comfort zone. So I am I'm really lucky I got some friends in the in the film industry and some friends in the physical architecture and landscape architecture world and others in other spaces and it's really interesting to hear some of the challenges they face but also because there's great similarities but there's also differences. And it's just fascinating to me to hear you hear about things that you know are probably fairly boring to them because you're dealing with it day in day out but it's actually fascinating to hear some of the things that go on in the film industry. Positive thing not so much what we're hearing but lately certainly some very cool stuff. Based in Toronto and I get to it there's a lot of filming going on here so there's a lot of really cool stuff going on. But yeah reading widely hanging out with smart people that will challenge challenge your beliefsI think those are the best advice I've ever gone.

00:50:11;27 - 00:50:13;29
Rick Morris: Do you have any closing comments for the audience.

00:50:15;10 - 00:51:21;11
Scott Ambler: Yeah I think you know they'd like to thank everybody for taking time to listen. That's what I always advise people to just observe. Step back and observe what's going on and really sort of you know think for yourself and if there's an easy answer it's probably the wrong one for you. And it really is a hard hard hard world that we're in. And there are no easy solutions anymore. We’re in a complex world dealing with hard heart problems and a changing environment and we need to be flexible we need to always be sharpening our saw you know that quote Stephen Covey and do do the best you can to learn experiment learn help others learn share your knowledge try to get as much knowledge from others as you can. So be collaborative. Be very sharing. Be very respectful and be humble. We can't possibly know everything. I've got a young daughter and she's at that age right now where she she believes she knows everything and you know so it's fun to watch. But yeah. Interesting learning lessons coming our way.

00:51:21;12 - 00:51:30;20
Rick Morris: But fun to watch so I'm going to go on the complete side note tangent here but I play that game with my kids when they start to do that.

00:51:30;20 - 00:51:42;08
Rick Morris: Now you say well you know dad knows everything. Just ask him though say Do you know you know how many times you have to travel across the earth to do this. And I go yep I know that one.

00:51:42;08 - 00:52:06;21
Rick Morris: What's next. Every time. Give me the next question. We got it. Scott I certainly appreciate you spending some time with us on this Friday afternoon and sharing with our audience all about discipline Agile. And again you can visit Scott at or you can hit them up on Twitter. @ScottWAmbler says Scott thank you so much for being a part of the show today.

00:52:06;21 - 00:52:09;25
Scott Ambler: I think it was great time. I'm looking forward to coming back.

00:52:10;15 - 00:53:25;20
Rick Morris: Absolutely. We'll have you back Anytime Scott. Open invitation for sure. So next week we've got Todd Nesloney coming back on the show and if you guys didn't hear his first interview that we did with him I mean he's an incredible educator somebody we're so excited to have back. They just released a book called Stories from web which he talks about and teased when he was on the show before. But we can't wait to have Todd back on the 16th. I'll be doing the show live from the John Maxwell certification and then on February 23 we'll have to Coopersmith who's going to be on the show with us as well. And then a big announcement for me. We just locked this one down. It's going to be in March but March 23rd we're going to have Rob Tomset on the line and for those of you that have heard me speak or have watched me ever do any kind of presentation I've quoted a book that goes all the way back to 2002 I believe called Radical project management where it says projects fail because of context. Not content. in that one line changed a lot of my career and how I focused on what I was doing. So we cannot wait to have Rob on the show as well. So we hope that you will hang out with us for future episodes right here on the Voice America business network you've been listening to Rick Morris and The Work/Life Balance.

00:53:25;20 - 00:53:30;22
Rick Morris: We'll talk to you next Friday.

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