Season 1: Episode 1: Introduction

Speaker 1: 0:00

It can be agile in your life. A lot of people there’s a lot of talk lately on LinkedIn and people realizing that, Hey, this isn’t, this works in my life too. I’ve actually had people on scrum team, a big resistor. Uh , he turned around, he was a big resistor in the front. I thought we were going to clash, but we didn’t. I took a soft approach. He actually came to me and he thanked me one day. It was the greatest thing ever. He thanked me, we were friends. He told me he , uh, he had my back and he actually said he went home and was thinking about taking, getting his PSM and watching videos online and wanting to apply it to his life, agile to his life, talking with his wife, a guy that was a big resistor, wanting to do that in a few months.

Speaker 2: 1:44

[inaudible] welcome to the podcast that challenges you

Speaker 1: 1:47

From the inside and discover the agile within. And now here’s your host, Greg Miller. Again, this is the first session of the agile within. And what I’d like to do here initially is cover a couple of things. My background I am , and , um , what this podcast , uh, hopes to cover. I hope to do this about weekly and I plan to have guests that I know colleagues that I’ve had in my past and , uh , discover the agile within more on the side of the behavior and the mindset that is needed, both in agile and in , uh, our, where our re our life outside of agile. So I hope to have some interesting conversations here. It’s really a topic that’s very passionate to me and the psychological aspect. And I , uh , Again, hopefully every week. So with that, let’s kick off my background, who I am. Again, my name is Greg Miller. I live in Ohio close to Cincinnati. I have been in agile , uh, for about 10 years, little over 10 years. I have had several roles. I’ve been QA. I started off as a QA back in 2010 on my first scrum team. They were doing scrum. I had no idea that I was even on a scrum team. I didn’t know what scrum was. I heard, I remember it vividly. I heard my managers say to somebody else, Hey, if, if we’re agile and , uh, it piqued my interest. I said, we’re agile. I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. And it just, it just piqued my interest. I had no idea what it was. We did daily stand-ups we did do , um, start doing some retrospectives. We did do backlog prioritization. The , uh, the development manager was actually the scrum master. Again. I had no idea what was right wrong up down, whatever. I , I just know that I was interested in it. Um, we did do some sprint reviews. We did have a product owner , uh, come to find this out later, as I understood more, what agile was about scrum scrum was about, it was scrum. I didn’t know what agile was. Again. He just said agile. And I said, okay, this is agile, which it is. And , uh, but come to find out we were doing scrum. So again, I was QA. We weren’t really, I wasn’t really on a team. Uh, I supported a product, but we were all together. Uh, we call it a bullpen. All the QA was together. And I remember them talking about wanting to put us on teams and that never did happen. And I thought that was very interesting. So was QA. And then , uh, after that , uh, we did have a BA on the team and I started getting interested. And I remember when I very first heard given when then how to write acceptance criteria from our BA. And I was fascinated by that. Cause I , I, I, I was an English major in college, so I had a strong background in communications and writing. So I like to write and talking about user stories, the word story, I guess, got me there. And Boy , I had it all messed up. I had the, when, when it should be given and vice versa, and I remember printing it up on the screen and them saying, yeah , you gotta, you gotta mixed up here. I had , I was trying, I was trying and I failed. Right. And , uh, and that’s that come to find out that’s okay. Right. I tried, I got back and I got really good at it. A lot of people, some people in the QA, they didn’t like it. They were saying, ah , this given when then I don’t really , I like that . And I was like, that’s fine. So I pursued it more. And I followed this BA round and started getting some , uh , information advice. And then I said, okay, how do I get into this more? And I actually took a , uh , online certification class in business analysis , uh, come to find out . It was more later, it was more like waterfall, but it at least gave me the taste for what BAS do. And I thought at first that they were going to say, Hey, you have to have a dev, a technical background to do this. And that was going to be, but I remember the teacher in the class, someone asked her that direct question, do you have, I have to have a debt background? And she said, no, you don’t have to have a technical background. And I said, great. Uh, went through that class, really liked it. Uh , and that class cost me a lot of money. It was every week for a while. And , uh, it, I believe it cost me like $3,000 actually. And I, I didn’t have that much money, but I did. I spent it. And , uh , it was well worth . It , uh, stayed at that company, tried to become a BA it didn’t work out I’d left and , uh, went to so a consulting company, they took a chance on me as a junior BA and , uh, then it kind of went from there. Uh, they placed me in a company as a BA on a scrum team , uh, on a real scrum team for the we’re really the first time doing it. Right. Scrum master BA devs. Uh , we support , we supported a mobile platform . And , um, that was really where I cut my teeth. I, there was a lot of , um, other consulting companies there in , and I remember I sat next to this lady and she had a lot of knowledge and I made a lot of mistakes. Uh, I , uh, but that’s how you learn. Right. And she would help correct me. And , uh, I learned and that, and then that contract ended. And then I went to another place as a BA as well with the same consulting company. And from there , uh, just kept, I got up my , uh , PSM, scrum master one certification. And , uh, that really, the more I delved into it, the more I realized I really enjoy this. It really hit a nerve with me, not so much the process, but the reason for this podcast, the mindset, the behavior, I always told myself, I should have been a psychology major because I took a lot of psychology classes. I took this abnormal psychology class and it was fascinating to me. And , uh, I, this kind of all makes sense. Now, the more I looked into BA I actually went out and did a, the six Sigma I did, I got a green belt . And I was like, Oh yeah, I started piecing it together. Uh, everything I was learning, it just everything fit. And it just fell into place. And I kept becoming a stronger BA staying in scrum environments. And then someone who could help them go through their agile start, their agile transformation. So I went to a couple of companies that way. And then eventually I did that for five years and then eventually got into being a scrum master. It felt like to me, it was a natural progression to become a scrum master, as I got stronger and stronger , uh , in my scrum knowledge. And I saw other people do it. Uh, I had , uh, colleagues that went from BA to maybe product owners and BA to scrum masters. And maybe joy is working with people, taking a brand new team that knows nothing about scrum or agile and getting them in the right direction , uh, with the processes, but more so the mindset, the behavior, because that’s where it’s really at. And I’ve heard throughout my 10 years in scrum is that if you’re , if you don’t have the mindset shift, you’re not really doing scrum. Uh, you could be , you could be doing the processes . Yeah , we do the daily stand-ups or what or XP , uh, what have you, Kanban scrum is the most popular. That’s where I have the most familiar, but I haven’t done some XP to conversation . I was in a waterfall environment and some people might like it and that’s fine, but the way they treat each other, the way I saw firsthand, the way I was treated, the way vice-presidents were treated, the , um, lack my PM would come to me. And somehow we were supposed to know what was going on, even though information was hidden from us. So I didn’t really like that. I knew this wasn’t the way to be, and I didn’t want to be in that anymore. So , uh, I knew that wasn’t, for me, I knew I, I knew scrum and agile was where I wanted to be. Hopefully for the rest of my career, I’ve been doing it for 10 years. Hopefully I can have another 20 years or plus doing this. So I really enjoy it. So that is the why I want to do this podcast here. Um , kind of another reason , uh, in addition to that is , um, no matter when you’re listening to this, the year is 2020 in all around, was a scrum master for it happened. And then once it happened, it wasn’t so bad. Honestly, I wasn’t that scared. I realized that, okay, this happens. I could get unemployment, I’m married. I have a wife, we have some income. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck. That’s fine. So , um, it took me three months to find , um , the job I’m at now. And I am a scrum master , uh , in a company going through an agile transformation. And I love it. It’s , it’s really, it’s really good. I think they’re really going in the right direction. So , um , that time they’re three months they’re being laid off. As you can imagine, really got me thinking you’re home. You don’t have a lot to do. You’re you’re applying for jobs, right. Getting turned down and , uh , got me thinking what I want to do. So that’s when I started, you know , gaining a few certifications probably as a lot of people want to do you start examining, I knew I wanted to stay in this. So I got some certifications and I wanted to , uh, to teach classes. And I found that that was one of my passions too . One of my companies, I was a scrum trainer , uh, not a certified scrum trainer, but I trained for agile and scrum at this company for new employees and for current employees. Cause they, they really needed it. And again, scared to death to do that. And , uh, but I reached out to my comfort zone and I love it. The first couple of classes were rough, but I got through it and now it’s, I love it. Um, and this is another part of reason why I want to do this is this , uh , podcast is if you’re listening and you’re , um, you’re new at scrum, or even if you’re not, my goal is to help you learn. Maybe give you some insights that you’ve never had before and get you thinking and , uh, give you confidence that you can do it. And , uh, take questions. We will take questions and talk about them on the air and all things like that, but all around the mindset. That’s my initial thought. I’m not, I don’t want to get so much into how you run daily stand-ups and how scrum masters handle such and such situations. Um, I personally have been through that. I have an outlet for that. That’s not what this is about. This is not to pick up ticks, tip tips, and tricks on how to run a retro things like that. Let’s not , at least that’s not my initial thinking. My initial thinking is more , uh , if you want to talk about ask questions around the mindset of a retrospective and how you , um, what people’s mindsets and the trust you have to build in that session and things like that, the behavior changes that it really pulls out there. That’s great, but I’m not really here to kinda help you how to run the session. So , uh, with that again , um, we’re going to talk about in this podcast , um, as you can imagine, some , some of the man, the agile manifesto values and principles, I’ll , I’ll bring that up. And , uh, some of my favorites that are in there and what all that means and how you can apply it to your life too , not just in your job. So you can be agile in your life. Uh , a lot of people, there’s a lot of talk lately on LinkedIn and people realizing that, Hey, this isn’t, this works in my life too. I’ve actually had people on scrum team, a big resistor. Uh , he turned around, he was a big resistor in the front. I thought we were going to clash, but we didn’t. I took a soft approach. He actually came to me and he thanked me one day. It was the greatest thing ever. He thanked me, we were friends. He told me he , uh, he had my back and he actually said he went home and was thinking about taking, getting his PSM and watching videos online and wanting to apply it to his life, agile to his life, talking with his wife, a guy that was a big resistor wanting to do that in a few months. I’m not touting that. I say that I did that. I don’t think I had much to do with it. Quite honestly, I was just saying, this is what it is. And this is what scrum is about because the scrum master before him was a , I guess, pretty heavy handed and he got let go. So they had a bad taste in their mouth. So in order to turn someone like that around, I, I, wow. I just was like, wow, he , he got it. Once you get it, once you get it, you really, really , uh , can realize that you can do something with it. So he started , uh , doing planning in his life and, and with things he wanted to do and then check and adjust, right? Retrospectives. How are things going? You can do that with your family. You can do that with your kids , uh, everything. And maybe we’ll get into that in some of the sessions here , uh , as we go along. So, as I said , uh , I’m very passionate about this. And , um, hopefully we’ll see where it goes. Like , um, these sessions should be about , uh , my goal is about 30 minutes, 20 to 30 minutes each session, hopefully weekly. Uh , we’ll see how that goes. That’s my goal. I like to do with these , some, some regularity to that , um, website. Uh, you can get ahold of me. Uh, I do have an email address. You can get ahold of me that way as well. Uh, Twitter , uh, I hope to have a YouTube channel too. So there’s lots of ways you can get ahold of me to ask me your questions and submit topics. And if, if you’re , if I think your topic is something that , uh , the listeners will be interested in, I’d love to reach out to you and possibly have you on . If it’s something that you’re passionate about, that’s great because that’s what this is all about. I don’t want to have like necessarily big name people on this podcast. Well, I don’t know a lot of big name people, but , um , I’m interested in having people that like me are in the field doing it. They get it. They’re passionate about it. They have a lot to say, and maybe they’re not being heard. And this could be a forum for you to be heard. That’s why I’m doing this. I realized I have a lot to say, and I need to say it. There is this pressure on my chest every single day telling me you got to do something, you got to do this, this right here. You gotta do something like this. And I was ignoring it for a while and it would, it wouldn’t go away. And the idea for this podcast, this is October. I said probably 10, nine, 10 months ago. That’s not a whole lot of time, but I would get up the pen, put pen to paper every now and then write down some ideas and put it into my notebook and put it away. And then come back and life gets in the way. And I was like, no, I just got to do it. And once I took a step, first step was to how do you do a podcast? So I looked at that online need to buy a microphone. Okay. I need to buy a headset. And then it went from there. You needed to get this stuff. And I needed to get a better computer and it costs some money, but it’s not crazy. It’s not crazy money. Um, I can afford it and I feel it’s worth it cause it’s, and that pressure in my chest went away. So I like to believe that , uh , that, that was my inner voice telling me, you have to take action. And I did. And I think a lot of people feel the same way. If you do great in scrum agile, or how you’ve applied it to your life. Like I mentioned that other gentleman on my team did that would be awesome to see how you applied it to your life. And again, maybe to help some other people, that’s my goal to help other people improve their lives professionally, personally. Uh, what have you, so there you go. There you go. That’s um, that’s what this is all about. So , uh , thanks for listening. And , uh, I will be putting out other ones. I have lots of topics lined up a couple of people that I have lined up that I want to talk to. So , um, thanks for listening and , uh, hope to have you come back , uh, for the very first episode with , uh, with a guest. Thanks a lot.