Welcome to a special edition of the Agile Leadership Podcast with Agilecxo.org. I’m your host, Jeff Dalton, and this month we have a very special guest, Agile Coach and creator of the popular Agile Badass podcast.
In Episode #15, Chris and I discuss how, when building an agile culture, having an agile “mindset” is foundational, but incomplete. Self-governance requires infrastructure.
Please join me in welcoming the voice of Agile Badass, Chris Williams!
Transcription of Podcast Interview with Chris Williams
Speakers: Chris Williams and Jeff Dalton
Jeff Dalton – 00:41
I’m curious about badass agile and, and the name and what it’s all about?
Chris Williams – 03:09
Sure. So, I had grown up, you know, in the technology industry, I was a trainer for Microsoft for the longest time and, and, and strangely didn’t come across agile that way. Even though I’d become an executive consulting firms and had gone through the process of being a developer, project manager kind of the normal trajectory. I spent three years in an academy called unbeatable mind, which is run by ex navy seals, on you know, how they think and perform and lead. And there that I learned a bunch of principles that once I started examining agile, I realized they were the same thing. And so started getting into things like self defense and boxing and became a boxing instructor for a while and, and in the process of doing that, having gone to school for things like I’d been an opera school, at one point I’d been, you know, I’ve been a guitar player, since I was like seven years old. All of these principles kind of came together. What I realized is that success in any field requires certain mindsets and behaviors. And not unlike the kinds of things that are in your book, which I’m anxious to talk about, as well. But the, at the end of the day, if we’re waiting for large organizations to lead agile, properly, using the kind of thinking that got them to where they are, is probably going to struggle, what’s required is emergent leadership at the team level. The problem is that if team members don’t feel empowered to make those changes, we’re never going to get anywhere with agile. So all we needed was like a Dirty Harry concept of a guy or gal who could emerge as someone who exhibited those principles of being visionary of being greedy, of never quitting of putting the team first, of doing the most important thing, first, of continuously inspecting and adapting your own personal and team game. If we could bring out a group of leaders at the team level who do that by example, then agile change can and will flow more naturally. So that’s where the principle of badass agile came from. And I’ve just been riffing on it ever since. Well, that’s really interesting. And I knew we shared some things in common, but I didn’t realize how much you know, I was a classical music major in college and my son is an opera major. So, I know the industry well, I played in orchestras for four decades before I even got into what I do now. And I think you’re right on. I’ve written a few papers about the the parallels between orchestras and music, especially jazz and an agile and how that empowerment in that self organization is so critical for any artist. You also brought up martial arts, which I thought was cool there. I don’t know if you read Jim Bouchard. He’s an author that has a series of books called think like a black belt. No, I’ve heard of the book than the author’s name doesn’t ring a bell.
Jeff Dalton – 05:58
Yeah, he’s a terrific guy. He’s out of Portland, Maine. And, you know, to hear him talk, he sounds like you and I, he’s like, you know, empowerment, respect, self organization, discipline, and one thing I’m passionate about is craftsmanship. And I don’t mean, you know, the the sort of cold craftsmanship movement this popular now, which is great. I’m glad we have that. It’s all around craftsmanship. And, you know, Jim talks about discipline, expertise, and commitment, and just being really great at what you do is a prerequisite for any kind of really solid agile organization. And it’s a terrific book, you might want to check it out. But yeah, there’s the parallels in music are super interesting. It’s, you know, if you look what it takes for an artist to become an artist that requires, you know, first and understanding of fundamentals and skills, and what concerns me when I look across, a lot of Agile organizations is, you know, they’re going through some motions, a lot of companies, they’re doing stand ups, they’re doing sprint demos, they’re doing some of the things that sort of Scrum prescribes, but they’re not really being agile, are they?
Chris Williams – 07:16
No, no. And this is where it gets interesting, because I want to talk about the concepts in your book. So can we go there, can we dig in?
Jeff Dalton – 07:22
Oh, that’d be great. Go ahead.
Chris Williams – 07:24
Alright, so “Great, Big Agile”. I love the book, first of all, congratulations. And everyone needs to read this. And here’s why the thing that most organizations don’t get, I feel and I fear is that in order to do agile at scale, in the large enterprise space, there’s this mindset that first we have to plan or buy a framework, which I think is wrong not because the frameworks are wrong, but because to me, big upfront planning is anti agile. So right off the bat, there’s something not quite right there. Number two, what we’re agility tends to fail and all of the industry papers and stats and reports reflect this, that it’s either lack of leadership support, or just the wrong mindset adoption, but realistically, in my view, it’s that they don’t allow teams to self organize. The whole principle behind agile should be that teams will find the right form of Agile if you just let them be free to do so which sounds terrifying. But in reality, you look at your book. So “Great Big Agile” for for my listeners who don’t know yet, it’s centered around a whole bunch of performance circles as you call them. And those performance circles contain something you call a number of holons, which I’m going to ask you to explain that whole philosophy in a minute. But they’re grouping of related actions and outcomes that are done progressively. So it’s almost like think of these big buckets that you as an organization can fill when you’re ready. When you’re understanding when you’re mature. As you roll, you can enhance them develop and mature your practice. But there is no one big upfront plan or readiness or thing you have to buy. So it to me it’s evolutionary, in fact, all of your actions, if you’re reading the book, guys, you’ll notice that the actions and outcomes are progressive. So you have action one dot zero, action two dot zero, and then you have outcomes at the forgive me for getting the names wrong. But it’s almost like the adoption level. But the execution level, the steady state level, and at the mastery level. So everything evolves as you grow. And no one holon or performance circle is more important than the other, they all feed off of each other. So can you explain how you got to that philosophy? And why it’s so important?
Jeff Dalton – 09:44
Yeah, so it’s interesting, and thank you very much. That was that was a very good, you’ve obviously read it. So I appreciate that. You know, we wanted, I wanted to depict an ecosystem in a way that wasn’t linear. So you know, we think about process and you know, we about behaviors, and they’re all very difficult to depict in two dimensions. So when you see like a, like a description of how a process should work, or how a framework should work, it’s always depicted in two dimensions, do this, do this, do that do this. But that’s not how agile works is it? Agile is much more empirical. And, you know, we say sort of loosely, it’s iterative and incremental. And that’s cool. But nobody really gives it that object oriented view. And I think about it, it’s, you know, I was a programmer like yourself, and it’s a, it’s a class library that you instantiate objects on to your project. But these are behavioral objects. You call for and receive the assistance of those objects when you need them. I was kind of an object oriented freak in the 80s. And kind of you still use that language and a lot of things that I do. So we decided that we didn’t want to depict any of this as a linear behavior, we wanted to make it a series of actions that were available for use with in an ecosystem so that you could be successful with agile, be self empowered, be self organizing, and have the tools you needed to do that. The notion of Holon is Holon is a Greek word that that refers to an entity that can live and stand on its own, but also can integrate with other things to produce a greater whole. So an example of a simple example might be a cell in your body where it lives and has its own life. But it also interacts naturally with other components in your body that can make your body successful. So this is the idea of the Holons in the APH, that the performance circles are kind of the big buckets of here’s the behavioral areas that are important to us. And those are things like, you know, you’ve read the book leadership, and craftsmanship as important buckets of behavioral work. And then the holons are the the individual things that have to happen for that behavior to be exhibited. So each performance circle has between two and four Holons. So for instance, our leading performance circle has within it Holons for engaging with teams, and empowering teams, and providing vision and self organizing vision, and then the actions with any challenge, describe the behaviors that you might, you might see exhibited in a successful organization. And, you know, the thing that inspired me to put that model together was, I’ve been doing assessments of organizations for many years, as a business, I’ve been in at least 20 years. And one thing I’ve observed is that the especially leaders just don’t know how it works sometimes, you know, a leader doesn’t necessarily know what actions are required, and you say, empowerment, self organization, you know, we’ve been using these words since 1980. And you ask any leader, what that means. And they really have a hard time describing it, they really have a hard time really putting their finger on what does self organization mean, what does empowerment mean? And so I wanted to define it, at least what I thought it meant, and put it in a series of actions. And then I wanted to put it in an evolutionary path and say, Okay, if you’re just starting out with with this approach, and you really want to change your organization, here’s how you get started. And that’s what we call that adopting level, it’s like, here’s the basics. And then we we move those actions to what we call the transforming level, which is okay, we’re on our path. And then of course, the the mastering level. And if you’re a martial artist, you’re familiar with the shu ha ri, I assume.
And I wrote a paper years ago, about the shu ha ri is an interesting parallel for, for growth in an organization. So for those of you that don’t know what the shu ha ri is, it’s, it’s an evolutionary path of learning. And in martial arts, that’s, that’s quite popular. And you know, shu is a student level, someone who’s learning and learning the forms and learning the discipline. But one of the dangers of the shu level, of course, is that you think you know, everything but you don’t know what you don’t know. And then the ha level is okay, I finally realized that I have a lot to learn. And I need to really get better at what I do and improve performance. And then the ri level, of course, is the the mastery level, which is endless. There’s many levels of mastering. So we didn’t want to use shu ha ri in the book, but I did want to have an evolutionary path. So that thought process is part of the adopting the transforming and the mastering. And, and those levels occur across all six performance circles and all holons. So it’s pretty comprehensive. If you go through the book, it’s, you know, there’s a couple of things you know, you’ve written books, so you know that it after it’s all done, you’re like, wow, I should have done this, I should have done that. So there’s definitely a new version coming out next year. But it’s for now, it’s it’s a pretty good, comprehensive view of how to get started leading agile organizations.
Chris Williams – 15:09
That it is and for listeners, here’s what you need to know is that a lot of the competing framework, so at this point, we have Safe and Nexus and Less and things of that nature. One of the problems we’re getting into in the Agile atmosphere is that we’re saying no, this is the framework that gets it right. So look at the other frameworks and put big black x is next to these concepts because they don’t work. What I really enjoy about your book is that at no point does it say that any of those practices are negated or not useful. In fact, the back half of your book is a gigantic lexicon of 68 or so ceremonies and artifacts, some of which are very Scrum like backlog grooming is in there and retrospectives, but so is Open Space, which is not related to Scrum, but is considered agile friendly, or agile, capable. So you have this great big menu of every possible technique, from big room planning to, you know, open space technology, the team should know how to use but you can adopt and bring in as needed. So the way the book works for listeners who don’t have it yet, is that it shows you those performance circles and the holons and it says to achieve this, or to start working with this here, the techniques that you may use, but at no point is it’s so prescriptive, that it says first do this, then do this. And if you skip a step, you lose.
Jeff Dalton – 16:31
Yeah, you know, it’s funny, we, I almost didn’t put that second or that section three, and that you’re describing. Because I didn’t want to be prescriptive. That’s one of the obviously one of the complaints with agile frameworks is like, Safe, for instance, it’s just way too prescriptive for a lot of people. And but then I realized that a lot of people just don’t know what you know, what I call the how ability layer. How do I do this? You know, everybody, all these frameworks are what ability frameworks, so I, you know, I trifurcate frameworks in three levels. Why, what and how. So why ability, what ability and how ability and frameworks like Safe and Nexus and, and even not agile frameworks, like CMMI, and ISO and so forth. There, what ability models, hey, do this, do this do this. But what they don’t do is describe the behavior that you might see. And so what I did in that section is, I had an artist draw a picture of what the technique or ceremony looks like, while you’re doing it. And then because, because literally, a lot of the leaders that I work with wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it. So, this is what an open space looks like, this is in their simple drawings. I mean, you’ve seen them, they’re kind of cartoonish. But, and then I follow that up with here’s the people who would probably be in attendance in this meeting. And here’s the outcomes. And, and here’s the basic, you know, framework of how this ceremony or technique works. Just sort of grew from there. But I think you’re right, I mean, going back to the music metaphor we were talking about earlier, I was always the guy in the orchestra who wanted to bring in the banjo player. You know, bringing the jazz trumpeter to play with the symphony, really into fusion. And, you know, I, I don’t really subscribe to any agile framework, mostly because they’re all incomplete. I love Scrum.
And I use it in my company. But you know, there isn’t a company in the world that has, you know, three roles and six ceremonies. And, you know, as much as I wish this were true, I’ve never not in 200 companies I’ve assessed, I’ve never met a scrum team that didn’t have a project manager. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, you know, the good or bad thing. So the conclusion I came to on all of that was that agile isn’t about techniques, right? It’s not about Scrum, lots of people who use Scrum are not agile, right? And if you want to be a waterfall ish, kind of, you know, linear process company, you could be agile, it’s not easy. But I mean, you could still subscribe to agile values and be self organizing, and maybe not do so much big planning up front. But sure, if you if you wanted to not use Scrum or XP or something, you can still be agile. So that was that was kind of how I got started on this because I was like, Hey, wait a minute. Agile is not about these things. Agile is about, you know, values and behavior and culture.
Chris Williams – 19:29
Exactly. So let’s talk about two things that I think you’re passionate about. If I’m not wrong one we’ve already talked about, which is music and your bass player, right?
Jeff Dalton – 19:37
That’s right. Yeah.
Chris Williams – 19:38
So you play double bass or electric bass or both?
Jeff Dalton – 19:40
I play double bass and electric bass. That’s right.
Chris Williams – 19:44
Okay, so there’s that. And then you’re, you’re an instrument rated pilot, if I read correctly.
Jeff Dalton – 19:49
That’s right. Yeah.
Chris Williams – 19:50
So I think that orchestration and flight are both similar in the sense that you can’t really fly a plane, if the only technique you’ve learned so far as how to push and pull the stick, or, you know, play a scale. At some point, the performance requires that you integrate all of the different what you would call holons. Bring them together in a way that you have a certain level of competence. And that level of competence is obviously growing and growing and growing. And there’s a certain is a certain point at which you wouldn’t want to be below that line and executing flight like they won’t let you you have to be certified.
What? What do you thoughts on certification and how to get started, because much like flight and like orchestration, or playing in a band, you can’t just do one thing. And one thing well, and expect your agile journey as a large enterprise to go well. So how can a person use this book, in your view, assuming that they just maybe you know, they’re new to agile, they’ve been doing it, maybe they have the certification, the two day CSM?
Maybe they don’t, maybe they’re Safe, but maybe not? How do they grab this book, and start using the wisdom?
Jeff Dalton – 20:59
Right, so you know, it’s interesting. So you know, using the music metaphor, you know, there’s a certain level of basic competence that’s required to be successful, right. And, you know, for a musician that scales, arpeggios, music theory, reading the music, learning the basics, and while you’re learning those things, you’re not competent you’re, you’re on the way to being competent, but it takes, you know, the so called 10,000 hour minimum to really be competent and really excel at something. So one of the expressions I like to use with my clients is excellence lies on the far side of discipline, meaning you need to get through the discipline and the practice and the experience, before you can actually demonstrate excellence. And, you know, it’s not like, you know, the occasional garage band has a hit. And that’s really cool. But it doesn’t usually last right, they actually have to be competent in what they do. And the same with leadership, and the same with organizations, they go through the same cycle. So one of the things I’ve noticed from assessing all these organizations is that there’s a basic lack of competence in our industry. And that doesn’t mean people aren’t doing good work. I mean, organizationally, we don’t have world class organizations like we have world class sports teams, you know, we don’t have the Mets and the Red Sox, in most business, it isn’t that kind of level of competence. So I checked, I tend to focus on a building competence with the basics, like, here’s the basics that you need to execute and demonstrate. And, do that for a while, and then improve and move up. So the way I organized the book was, you know, here’s the basics, you know, take one circle at a time, and build your competency and practice those things. And, you know, flex your muscles on, on doing gemba walks and, you know, running your own organization as an agile organization yourself and flex these muscles, and then move to the second level and flex those muscles for awhile. So really, it’s not unlike, you know, the advice you would give a music student or someone who is, you know, going through a personal training regime, right, or getting a pilot’s license, it’s a practice and learn and get competent. I know, you know, people, when they think about piloting, they, you know, they think you’re sitting there staring the stick. But one of the things that surprised me about about learning to be a pilot was that I had to become a meteorologist. You know, I had no idea when I first started the I said, I’m gonna go poke holes in the air, he knows. And it is fun. But in order to get your license, you have to study and pass a very comprehensive meteorology exam.
Chris Williams – 23:43
Fair enough, lives are on the line.
Jeff Dalton – 23:45
Oh, yeah. And so you know, you’re learning about all the cloud types and the heights and the winds and the, you know, to read them. And, and, but again, it’s, it’s this, this idea of a basic level of competence. That was really, really got me passionate about, hey, we don’t really have this in a lot of businesses. And, you know, one of the men and women that created the Agile Manifesto, and you know, did the initial work, obviously, they are visionaries, and they did amazing work. But one of the things they really didn’t address was size. And, you know, one day I was, I was in a meeting last night, and somebody said, well, the way we handle that, as we always hire “A” players. Okay, well, that’s, that’s cool that you have the luxury to do that. But go to any 500 person organization, and just the law of numbers tells us that we don’t have all “A” players, right? So so what I tried to do in the book is created a framework and ecosystem, a behavioral ecosystem that says, here’s what competence looks like. Yeah, it’s, it’s not a framework like Safe or, or Nexus or any of those things. It’s a behavioral competency model. And it says, this is what I think anyway, this is how competent organizations behave. And I chose agile as kind of the ecosystem. So I think the way to use the book is to just start with Leading performance circle and build your competence up and then spread that out to the rest of the organization.
Chris Williams – 25:25
So I would want to take the book and say, there’s a bunch of those performance circles represent as I said, those buckets to fill but you want to fill them somewhat evenly see started the rudiments level for each of them because to fill one bucket to excellence or mastery won’t serve you, your big point is that these things are all codependent.
Jeff Dalton – 25:46
Yeah, I was just what I meant by that was that, you know, we need to start with leadership, right. So you know, what I advise, and there’s a, there’s an assessment model around this and an organizational cert model around it, where we really focus on getting the leadership on board prior to, you know, prior to doing anything else. And this is worked very well, for us, especially in Asia, we have partners in China, delivering APH assessments and training. And, you know, leaders there are really command and control and very much top down and low trust. We’ve been, that’s just a culture issue there. That’s just how they run their businesses. And so this has been super helpful for them. And the developers and the team members are really, really enjoying implementation. So we’ve I think we’ve got about 22 or 23 partners in China delivering APH assessments and training and coaching services using the model that’s in the book.
Chris Williams – 26:48
Wow, that’s incredible.
Jeff Dalton – 26:50
And you were you brought up something about certifications to that I thought was interesting. You know, obviously, we’ve become certification crazy. In this country, and it’s even, it’s even worse in Asia, in terms of, you know, they’re focused on certs. And we’re in a place now where anybody and everybody can create an institute that offers certifications, right? So you can get Safe certified and you can get DAD certified. And you can get Scrum certified by two different organizations. Right. And, you know, so it’s a little bit we wanted to a little bit align ourselves with that. But the individual certifications, I think I’ve really kind of gotten out of control a little bit. I think the scrum Alliance did a great job at recruiting HR directors. Because that seems to be I mean, I’m not on the inside there. So I don’t know this. But it seems to be a strategy that they’ve, they’ve done a good job at selling the value of the CSM to hiring managers. And so you, you see many, many job openings now looking for CSM or PSM. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with taking a test. I mean, if you want to do that, that’s great. It’s a free country. You and I both know that the CSM test doesn’t qualify you to be an effective Scrum Master, though. Because that in my view is something that requires, you know, very, very significant experience dealing with people. So you were you do some of this, you do some coaching? And you do. You’ve got some meetups coming up, I think where you going to be talking about some of these things, right?
Chris Williams – 28:37
So I got one in Toronto in May, I want to say on the 8th. But I could have the date wrong. It’s in early May, you can go to my website badassagile.com and find out about it there at the meetup is around the you know, the art of becoming badass. So what are the qualities of that specific type of leader and again, this is not so much the Dirty Harry character, but the actual thing things that I learned from Spec Ops teams, from my friends in the military from, from being in boxing, from being musician, what are the different qualities that emergent leader needs to take on in order to, to emerge into frankly, self authorized, there are times where if you’re going to wait for your organization to understand self organizing teams and pushing decisions down and flat hierarchies, you’re going to wait forever. One will affect change, part of it leans on you being a change agent by doing in such a way that creates a shining example for others to at least be attracted to if not follow and delivering some early success through through repeated calculated and you know, studied failure, quite frankly. So that requires courage. And it’s not something that we teach. It’s certainly not something that’s in the scrum master school cannon. Furthermore, I would even go further, I want to ask you about this to my mind, think musician, think pilot once again, more important than planning is how well and thoroughly you’re trained in practice. So focusing fundamentals and continuously repeating those things, because when crisis calls, especially in a flight situation, as you know, when when, when any kind of disaster occurs in air flight, it is usually because the things that we have practiced incorrectly, or instinctively react to somebody pulling back on the stick when you were supposed to push it. When you start to stall. Those are the things that create disasters. In fact, there was one famous flight I wish I could remember the flight number, or the the, the vessel number, but it’s a famous story where they had a set of procedures to follow, and they started circling the execute those procedures, and they avoided the disaster, but ran out of gas and crashed anyway.
Jeff Dalton – 30:52
Right? I remember that can’t remember what airline that was, but they got so focused on following the procedures that they…It’s some sort of electrical problem in a panel they were trying to solve. Right. Yeah. That’s interesting. So it’s funny, I was saying, software engineering is the is the only kind of engineering that isn’t engineering. It’s kind of a, it’s kind of an inside joke for me, but it you know, in all of these industries, you know, flight, aviation music, many types of mechanical engineering, discipline, and competency is like the the core, the core thing that you really have to be good at, you have to be very good, you have to be very competent at what you do. And we don’t have that. We don’t seem to have that kind of passion in our industry. As much as I would like to say, Now, I’m very happy that, you know, code craftsmanship is becoming a thing. And that’s very cool that people are taking starting to take that seriously. You know, there was a great book written called “Code Craftmanship,” in the 90s, that didn’t get much traction. That is now getting a lot. So that’s terrific. However, that’s only one tiny piece of the puzzle. What about competency in dealing with our customers? What about people management competency? What about business analysis competency? What about architecture competency? We were, you know, this idea that it’s code is, is it’s good, I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to throw cold water on it. Because I think it’s great that they’re taking it upon themselves to try to be better coders. But when you tell them that only about 5% of defects are caused by code problems, they’re like, they look at you like what? You’re almost all defects in our business are caused by misunderstanding what the customers asking us for. And nobody’s talking about requirements competency. And, you know, to me, it’s a no brainer is, is that’s what we want to focus on. So this idea of discipline of competency is, is, you know, obvious in so many industries, but not so obvious in ours so that’s what, that’s what I think we’re both passionate about that it sounds absolutely.
Chris Williams – 33:15
And the problem that I’m really passionate about cracking these days, and let’s just take a step back your website, agile cxo.org, if I’m not wrong. Has a high degree of focus on governmental work. So you do work for big state government, and I assume for federal agencies as well, and your resumes all online there. But but one of the problems you see in government quite frequently is the notion of siloed Scrum teams, and the fact that even any big organization is going to struggle with. Here we are, as you know, either feature driven or Heaven help us as layer driven team so that you have teams that are working on value streams or features, or you have teams that are like this is the database team, the system team, etc. But however they choose to organize it somewhere along the line, you have people who are like, well, I can’t afford to have an architect sit on one or more Scrum teams all day, every day. So what immediately starts to happen is that you have a lack of orchestration. Amidst all the scrum teams, you have people making extra decisions and self solving, which is great, but they’re not aligned with what the team next door is doing.
And they’re definitely not aligned with any kind of enterprise vision or strategy. So you and I both know that people are going to pick up your book, not from a place of starting the journey. Which would be perfect. But from a place of it’s broken, we don’t understand how to fix it. And we have something that if we don’t ship by, you know, eight to 12 weeks from now, we’re all going to die. So, how can your book help those people?
Jeff Dalton – 34:55
Well, there’s, there’s a couple of things. So we know that most of the issues and problems have to do with literally, team members not really understanding what their customers want. And that’s a result of customers, not empowering people to be product owners or just speak for them. More often than not, we see IT surrogates, as you know, replacement product owners, we see teams that are not consistent, they’re different, you know, people moving in and out, we see teams that are working on multiple projects at once. So one of the things that I really like to start with is the simple notion of bringing the work to the team not bringing the team to the work. This idea that, that let’s try some fixed teams that are properly integrated with the right roles. And let’s create a vertical, what I call vertical values, traceability, where we’re, we’re practicing agile values from the team all the way up to the leadership. So by doing that, that implies that we have a person in the business who’s speaking for the products or the services, they are responsible for the ROI and the risk, and they maintain one or more backlogs, they go to one or more fixed teams that they bring work to. And that’s a really good starting point. It’s a simple, you know, it’s a simple idea. It’s not simple, but not easy, right? is take a look at the sum of the actions and ceremonies in the craftsmanship and teaming sections of the book, we’re focused on on how to run a fixed long term team that is successful. So I’d like to start with that. They don’t necessarily have to adopt any ceremonies or techniques that are in there, they can do it however they want to do it. But what I would I do like to see is them starting to move towards this notion of bringing the work to the team rather than team to the work, because that helps avoid a lot of chaos and confusion in the organization. I think the other thing that I think organizations that are broken need to start doing is leadership needs to engage and and start observing what the teams are doing. I was doing a an assessment of a really big company that 1800 developers a couple of months ago and the leadership was proudly telling me about how agile they were. And they’re doing, you know, using planning poker, and they’re doing all the ceremonies and techniques. And he had a scrum board on this wall. So he kind of was he drank the Kool Aid, so to speak. And he was, but then we walked around, we did a gemba walk and we walked around for about three hours observing the teams. And we couldn’t find one team that was doing pair programming, we couldn’t find one was doing planning poker. We couldn’t find one team where the scrum master wasn’t acting as a project manager. So basically, what was going on out in the field was a perversion of what he thought was going on out in the field and teams were telling him on the field, and I don’t mean to imply that the teams are malicious or do anything wrong. This stuff evolves, right? Yeah, behavior evolves. So it wasn’t like the teams were saying, oh, let’s, let’s tell them we’re agile, and let’s just be chaotic. They weren’t saying that they were it just had evolved over time. So the other thing that, you know, I would say is if you’re just getting started and trying to fix broken problems is, you know, get out there and and do an inventory of the behaviors your teams are exhibiting. You might learn something too I mean, it isn’t just a matter of them, saying, oh, you’re not doing what I thought you’re doing it wrong. It’s more a matter of Oh, this is what you’re doing. Okay, let’s, let’s add that to our library of techniques that are useful to us. And let’s, you know, let’s get a real good understanding of what people are actually doing in our organization so that we can become experts at that notion of observation is really important to us.
Chris Williams – 39:02
So disconnection between leadership and teams is a huge problem. And it sounds like that kind of philosophy could really help. Because at least they get to see how things actually are rather than how they’re being reported.
Jeff Dalton – 39:15
Yeah, and one of the reasons I created that section, those of 68 ceremonies is I was like, Hey, this is what you’re looking for. This is what it looks like. I don’t know if you’ve read the here in the US. The defense innovation board, just came out with a paper called I know defense innovation board is kind of an oxymoron. But they came out with a white paper called “How to spot agile BS”.
Chris Williams – 39:43
Jeff Dalton – 39:44
Yeah. And the defense innovation board is a is a quasi government agency that has within a defense department, engineering people as well as commercial, like, I don’t know exactly who the companies are, but it’s the Facebooks Apple Google, and some of the big tech companies participate in this. And they put out a paper because the reason this is important conversation is the federal government is out telling, you know, $10 billion worth of suppliers, you need to be agile. So of course, everybody’s raising their hand and saying, you know, I’m agile, where’s the money? And so they put out this paper last year called “How to spot agile BS”, you got to read this, it’s a hoot. Basically, the way you spot agile BS, according to the federal government is if their stand ups aren’t 15 minutes, if their sprint demo doesn’t produce a piece of implementable code at the end of two weeks, and you know, all of these kind of very, I don’t know, sort of very demonstrating various a surface understanding of the medium and ceremonies, not a whisper about leadership, not a whisper about value is that I could get out of the report not, you know, no focus on culture. Just, here’s how they do the techniques wrong, and you need to fix this.
Chris Williams – 41:12
Right? So then the gating of whatever’s in the scrum guide, or whatever’s in the Agile philosophies. The negative of that is the the behavior to watch for.
Jeff Dalton – 41:22
Right, right. So I think that it’s important that leaders get out there, and they look, and they understand exactly what’s going on in their organization. But, you know, I think the responsibility for culture and being agile really falls very heavily on leadership shoulders. And I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have written a paper that put it on the team shoulders as much although the team has responsibility, obviously. But you know, an agile organization needs to have an infrastructure that supports self organization.
Chris Williams – 42:01
Jeff Dalton – 42:02
And, people always ask us, you know, you probably get this question a lot. How do I scale agile? How do I make agile big? And I always say, that’s the wrong question. The question is, how do you scale self organization? Right. And when you think it through, if you reverse engineer, what does it take? Well, they need some governance mechanism, they, they need competency models, they need examples of expected behavior, they need guide rails they need tools and and you know, the things that they need to do their job. There’s all kinds of stuff in there. It doesn’t happen. You know, it isn’t like a unicorn comes down from, you know, a mountain in Utah saying, you shall now be agile, it doesn’t work that way.
Chris Williams – 42:48
Right. One of the things, I preach and teach is that if you want to scale agile, don’t think transformation, because to start with the end in mind of the organization, the organization has to wipe clean their current practices and move instead to agile practices. This is fundamental question of why do you want agile and what do you think is going to do for you. We say you should start with willing minds and projects that fit. So if you want an easier time working with agile, find agile people who are aligned for the right reasons who are willing, at least in your opinion, or your exploration, who look like they’re willing to make the required mindset changes, that includes enabling people that includes moving trust downward, find those people, and then don’t forget to work with projects that fit. So if you have highly complex projects that are already in trouble with vendors that won’t play agile ball with you, you’re setting yourself up to do the heavy lift first, which is you know, if you’re trying to build muscle, you don’t start with the impossible lift, it might be tempting, but it is not really going to help you.
Jeff Dalton – 43:54
Right? Yeah, I like the idea of really just starting small, like you were describing. But you know, what would you say is what are some of the tip offs that you’ve seen in leadership that really, they’re not going to be able to adopt agile, you know, everybody’s talking about adopting agile, and I hear this all my teams here, we’re doing a lot of Agile here, where we’re using, we’re using some agile, like things here. You know, we’re, we’re trying to be a little more agile. You’ve heard all of these expressions, what are some of the tip offs that you see that, you know, tell you about these people just aren’t going to be able to get this right.
Chris Williams – 44:31
For me, everything depends on reason. So I have a saying that your reason for doing everything matters more than anything. So if I’m speaking to somebody, they can’t tell a compelling story about why they would want to go with agility. So if they don’t fundamentally believe that there’s got to be a better way, like think of where agile came from, it came from a bunch of people sitting around saying, this sucks, there has to be a better way. Value into the paying customers hands sooner. If you can’t see that as a starting point. You’ve missed the point. So organizations that say we must be agile, you know, I have some customers who know they need to become more agile, but they can’t articulate why and how you measure that. So nothing gets done. Not surprisingly and that’s not a critique, it’s just there’s no really good information out there about why you should become agile and how you go about spreading agility, short of a framework. So it all it all seems to presuppose that you want to go agile, don’t you? That’s just the modern way. Like if you’re, if you’re waterfall, you’re heading towards extinction. But I don’t think that’s true. I think that you want to adopt agility, because fundamentally better way to put products and customers hands, if you can’t put customer value in customers hands sooner, you can no longer compete. So if you call yourself innovative, then you must be able to demonstrate that you can pivot and turn and try things with customers, because that’s what they want. That’s what they expect. Now, if on the other hand, your customers are okay with a year and a half runway always give the example of when I was coming up, there was windows 95, then there was windows 98. So three years in between a big product increment, then it was windows 2000. So short into two years. Now we’re at the point where Instagram or Facebook ship every week. So obviously, the customer demand landscape has changed. And if you don’t believe that the Agile principles support, getting customer value out there sooner than you might have missed the point. But let’s not forget, it creates happier higher performing teams too, this pushing decisions down, allows people to feel empowered in what they do, it allows them to say, this is the life that I choose, these are the values that I want to bring to my work environment, the contribution that I want to make, by insisting on hierarchical, top down decision making you steal that from people. So what I love about the emergent leadership model that I love talking about is that it allows people to come forward and say, I want to make a contribution here. I want to do things differently. And agile is a platform to do that with. So when you talk to leaders, and they can’t tell that story, I feel like they might be disconnected from their customers and disconnected from the people. And to my mind most of the biggest tip offs.
Jeff Dalton – 47:12
Yeah, you said something really interesting there that resonated with me. And you talked about, you know, if you want to adopt agility, you didn’t say adopt agile, right? And I love that because, you know, we hear a lot of leaders say, oh, we’re going to adopt agile and immediately, you know, they’re talking about Scrum, right? Or they’re saying, we adopt agile, we’re going to do stand up, we’re going to do this. And then you’re like, Well, why do you want to adopt agile? And you know, if they can’t articulate it, but I think the way you describe that, so what’s the fundamental difference in your mind between agility and let’s just say the market perception of agile.
Chris Williams – 47:51
So here’s what I answer this in a roundabout way, I like to do what’s called a four minute mile exercise, which the the principle behind is the four minute mile was considered an unbreakable ceiling, until one person broke it, at which point anyone could do it. And when I do exercises with new teams, I actually prefer that they’re not development teams, I prefer working with human resources, or learning and development, or marketing or organizations that have nothing to do with code. And saying, let’s look at four problems that seem impossible to solve or impossible to solve quickly. And I want you to choose the one that would have the greatest impact if we could solve it. And then we sit in the room and in 20 minutes, we brainstorm and then we dot vote to pick the most important one, then we start thinking of solutions, solutions that might be impossible. But if we were empowered to do anything we wanted, what would we do could we do to fix it? Then I asked them to create the next three to five steps to move the dial forward. So within an hour time frame, we come up with experiments, experiments that prove that we could make a difference in a way that we previously thought impossible to my mind that is agile, that’s agility, right? Adopting agile is going and taking the scrum master course, the product owner course, and all of those things, and then implementing and forcing on people who needs frameworks and roles with the expectation that will bring the desired result. But agile is not a methodology. It’s not meant to be that way. So to my mind, the four minute mile exercise is what gets people thinking with agility, that all of a sudden, the impossible is, in fact possible if you just willing to change your mindset, to try experiments be willing to fail, and to move forward in the face of uncertainty. That’s what agility means to me.
Jeff Dalton – 49:38
But that’s fabulous. And you didn’t mention Scrum once and that whole, that whole explanation, so that’s terrific.
Chris Williams – 49:44
No, scrum provides what I call rails meaning that to be pedantic about Scrum ceremonies might be missing the point rather to say, gathering on a frequent basis. Right now in waterfall methodology, we have something called a post mortem. And post mortem is examining your mistakes, you can get better but it’s also Latin for after you’re dead, which is the wrong time to make improvements. For better or worse, provide a mechanism for people to self inspect, examine with open and honest communication and examination so that they can make small incremental improvements on a path to mastery, which you’ll never reach. I don’t care how you do that. I don’t care if you call it Scrum or not Scrum, but Scrum has already got a playbook, which if you try it has been well tested and has got some cool techniques that we can use as long as we understand it’s ours to adapt, which is again what I love about “Great Big Agile” your book.
Jeff Dalton – 50:38
Right? Yeah, absolutely. So that’s really cool. By the way, it was sir Roger Bannister, I think who broke the four minute mile. I’m not exactly sure what year you were born. But I was running track around that time. And he was the big name. But one more thing I might ask you about. I just kind of wanted to get your opinion on this. I was talking with someone the other day. And they kept using the phrase Lean and Agile. And we’re adopting lean and we’re adopting agile. I said, Well, that’s super interesting, because my perception of Agile values has always been that fail fast was one of the more important things, the lexicon that, you know, 60 to 70% of technology projects, or maybe more in some cases, don’t end up the way we expect them to and are thought of to be failures. And that agile is, you know, adopting agile means we’re going to fail fast. And we’re going to find out quickly and keep the cost of failure low. Right. So I often tell clients, you know, this stuff was invented for one reason was to reduce the cost of failure, because we know we’re going to fail. So it’s this notion of, we acknowledge failure versus there’s no room for failure, right.
So that you could have a whole conversation on that subject, but it always lean strikes me as a way to optimize every part of the process to eliminate failure, and to increase the chances that we won’t have failure up front. It seems like there’s a conflict there that one says, this is a model that exposes failure early and allows us to correct it. And the other model is, we’re going to work like heck with a Six Sigma Black Belt, we’re going to identify all these failure points and optimize them. It seems like there’s some conflict there. What do you think?
Chris Williams – 52:28
I agree totally. I’m a big proponent that certainty costs a lot and delivers little, the price of seeking certainty through prior examination through hypothesizing without actual testing, in order to feel confident enough to move forward, because what happens in big business, they require that you create a business case that promises some benefit for some degree of cost, right? The way I describe it is this, how long would it take you to move from where you are right now to your front door? You could tell me with some precision that it’s probably about six seconds. Fantastic. How long would it take you to walk from where you are rather to your front door, instead to Dallas, Texas. Now here, the numbers a little bit more fluid, you’d give me an estimate that’s probably off by order of magnitude, two X 10, X, some number like that? Why can you be so certain about the things that are like the front door estimate, but not so certain about walking to Dallas, because walking your front door is small, less complex, easier to visualize, and you’ve probably done it a million times before. If you’ve never walked to Dallas, you have nothing empirical to go on. So to try to create estimates, and certainly around something you’ve never done before, so that we can reduce failure, to my mind, is a wasteful effort in and of itself. Truly lean. I think the exercise of seeking certainly is itself wasteful. So what I love about Lean, especially lean startup is the idea of iterating. Fast Yes, we try to plan for we try to study it, there’s nothing wrong with doing a focus group and trying to figure out what before we execute, I think you should always narrow your path. Don’t run experiments that are foolish, but at the same time to try to understand and control the environment. So well. As you know, in flight, everything is random. Right? So what point it’s great. So you like you mentioned understanding weather so that you can look for signs and symptoms of a continuously changing and moving environment. That’s wonderful. But even a weatherman with all of their science and technology still can’t tell you for sure. If you should bring an umbrella today or not. That’s the truth. It’s interesting, when you study with guys who are special operations, you wouldn’t think you spend a lot of time doing, you know, anti masculine things like yoga, meditation and working on intuition, but it’s actually one of the most important parts of the elk. And they all have stories to tell about times where they were walking around in the field of combat or even practice, and something in their heads told them to stop walking. And seconds later a bullet was by that had they kept moving would have made direct impact. There’s just there’s there’s that that extra layer, there’s that you know, almost indefinable level of instinct that we don’t foster in people. So instead, we try to replace it with systems with processes with, you know, examination rituals that I think are costly, and at the end of the day don’t service or increase your chances in all cases.
Jeff Dalton – 56:03
Yeah, and it’s just super interesting that some of the really big companies and I work a lot with the government, but also with a lot of defense contractors. And, you know, they’re kind of stuck in this, you know, process slash bureaucratic mode of operations, were just the way they run their business means that they can’t do that. Right. They can’t develop people in the way you just described, because everything’s focused around process. And, you know, they have teams of people who are responsible for the process, which of course, is a disaster, right? You got people who aren’t actually doing the work telling people how to do it work. So it’s a it’s a mess. And and the problem that and one of the reasons I wrote the book was that, because I see this as like this coming tidal wave, right, the the federal government, the DOD, but also companies like General Motors, and Ford, and Chrysler, and you know, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, they’re all telling their suppliers, we want you to be agile. But at the same time, there are many of them, some of them do, but many of them are not providing, you know, competent product owners, if they have product owners at all. They’re throwing, you know, 300 page requirements specs at the supplier still, they’re asking for three dates out 18 months, you know, so what does it mean when, when, about $30 billion a year is being spent on software product development, with a desire for the companies to be agile, but they’re doing these kinds of things to basically, you know, sabotage them.
Chris Williams – 57:37
Jeff Dalton – 57:38
So what does that mean for the industry, it means that we’re going to see these hybrid frameworks in there already, the software engineering Institute’s already working on this, unfortunately, the sort of hybrid frameworks that give the government and the big corporations everything they want, but ask teams to perform agile ceremonies. So it’s, a bad thing. So one of the reasons I wrote the book is because I was just alarmed by this. And I was like, Oh, hold on a second, this is going to take us backwards. And we need to get in front of this.
Chris Williams – 58:09
You know, there’s a certain almost nobody wants to hear this. But there’s an adapt or die philosophy that’s kind of running undercurrent at all times where it’s like, if you don’t want to get this if you if you think that the path forward, the way to respond to the changing landscape, is to do what you’ve always done, but sprinkle a couple of scrummy ceremonies on top of it. There’s no law saying you have to survive or exist in the future asked Kodak asked Blockbuster. And it’s not because they were stupid. It’s because they failed to make the right choices and the right evolutions at the right time. Just the nature of survival of the fittest, there will always be a pairing off kind of process. And you in your book, you bring up a great point that your model emulates nature, rather than man made structures and hierarchies and practice. Nature has a burning off, a sloughing off process as well, forest fires are designed to get rid of the dead wood, so that a new growth can emerge organically. There’s nothing saying that your business has to survive. But if you wish to, especially in the innovation space, then you’re going to have to take a serious look at these mindsets, and be prepared to throw away the old ways of thinking.
Jeff Dalton – 59:23
Yeah, you know, it’s and it’s it’s 2000 or 3000 years worth of culture. Right? Because if you look at the way, you know, at least in North America, business operates. And I know in Asia, it’s even worse problem is, you know, we’re basically emulating the the management model of the Roman legions. Right? So it’s exactly we structure businesses exactly the way Julius Caesar structured his army, and actually, the Greeks before him even so Alexander the Great, structured his army, the way IBM is structured.
Chris Williams – 59:55
Awesome. And again, what’s so important about going back to your book, once more is that you don’t have to take this, so many people are going to pick up a book like this, and they’re going to, they’re going to treat it biblically like page one. And I must eat, we read the great works of history, like you just mentioned, or philosophy, so that we have the breadth of knowledge, we can learn from other people’s experience, we can mirror and match models that existed previously, see a way forward. So I want the listeners to take this book, and not follow it page by page. But to use it as a like almost like a well, of not only information, like I said, you have that beautiful back half of the book, which is here are all of the practices, here’s the outcomes you’re looking for. And here are the general steps on how to do it well. But the front half of the book is simply a way of looking at the organization and evolution of things in a progressive way, which to me is perfectly natural, right? A tree doesn’t go from a sapling to a giant oak overnight, it just doesn’t work that way, right to treat your agile evolution as exactly that is so important. But if we continue to do things, the way we have historically done them, you’re going to keep getting the kinds of outcomes that you’ve always got.
Jeff Dalton – 61:14
Right, you’re totally right on about that. I think a lot of people miss the, you know, the organizational, I hate to use the word maturity, because it’s so heavily loaded in our industry with capability, maturity models and things like that, but conceptually, those folks were right, and that organizations grow just like individuals do. And I always use the metaphor of, you know, I don’t know if you have children or not, but so you know, if you have a, if you have a two year old child, and you say, you know, completely clean your room, before you come down for dinner, you know, you could go back up there in an hour, and they’re going to be playing with all their stuff all around them, right? Tell the 12 year old to do it, they’re going to, you know, throw stuff in the closet and, you know, make an attempt to at least, you know, make the floor, the floor clear. And if a 25 year old does it, you know, hopefully, they’re, you know, they’re going to have a second span type of neat environment, right? That you can’t force the two year old to be a 25 year old by sending them to a certification class. Right. So I think this idea of actual maturing of an organization is lost on all of these models. And so what I wanted to do was say, here’s a, I’m going to call it a behavioral maturing model, I guess, here’s the evolutionary path that will you know, if you take your time and get and become competent in each one of these levels, before moving on to the next one, then you’ll grow organically. To the people into the organization, you want to be.
Chris Williams – 62:55
Awesome. Have you yet encountered an organization who’s been able to take this on and create as a result, and enviable culture, like a place where it’s like, it is awesome to work here. The people love it, the customers can feel it, the leadership is in lockstep with these kinds of principles and philosophies. It Are there any organizations, I know, you can’t always name names, but do you have examples of customers and how they behave? Like what are the hallmarks of the benchmarks that you can see?
Jeff Dalton – 63:25
Yeah, you know, there are a few and I can’t name names, but there’s one organization we’ve been working with for some time that had two major divisions in their company, one dealt with healthcare, one dealt with government. And of course, in 2010, government and health care, at least here in the US became the same thing in some ways. And these two organizations were viciously competing and fighting with one another, they literally, you know, weren’t communicating with each other. They were they were having a terrible, terrible culture. And, you know, we went through a process with them over a period of years to this is before I wrote the book, but to implement some ideas. And I was just talking about five years ago, which is talking to the CEO, CEO yesterday, and he said, you know, what, you made us one company, you made it a cool place to work. And, you know, we’re all on the same page. And we, you know, people move between organizations now, because all these behaviors are ours, everybody understands that, because we created a competency set around agility, that allows everybody to interact positively. So that was, it was a great testimonial. That he said, we made them one company with your help. They made themselves one company, but we were honored be part of the process. Anyway.
Chris Williams – 64:52
Let me ask you a question. Why do you do what you do? This is normally a question I’d lead off with, but it almost sounds like there’s some there’s some benefit. Are there some fulfillment for you, in not getting people agile, not producing more software, better quality software quicker, but rather, in helping larger organizations, governmental organizations be better.
Jeff Dalton – 65:20
Yeah, you know, it’s, you’ll understand this because you’re a musician. And and this is the kind of thing I don’t usually say to my clients, because they look at me sideways. But when I walk into a new company, I see in my mind’s eye, a poor Symphony Orchestra with great potential. So I see, you know, and I just, I really literally am like, okay, there’s, there’s these different sections, there’s the cello section here and the woodwind section here. And they’re not playing together, they’re not working together, they’re not confident, they’re not disciplined, but they could be, and they could be awesome. So I always like to say you’re not, you know, you’re not awesome yet, but you could be and some, obviously, some are awesome already. But so I like I see this sort of orchestra, you know, on a stage with, that needs help they need, they need help, but they don’t need control. So like an orchestra conductor, a lot of people don’t understand what an orchestra conductor does. But an orchestra conductor is an operator of a self organizing infrastructure. They’re the steward of the architecture, they’re not controlling the players, the players are so far beyond discipline and competency that they don’t need direction, what they need is, is someone to operate the infrastructure. That’s actually what I am interested in doing is helping companies build a behavioral infrastructure that lets them be awesome on their own. Regardless of framework or model, I have waterfall clients that are great companies, and that’s okay, I’m cool with that. But I want them to be competent, disciplined, and let them they’ll learn and they’ll choose and they’ll know exactly what’s right for them once they get to that point of performance.
Chris Williams – 67:21
Jeff Dalton – 67:23
It sounds like you have some of the same passion.
Chris Williams – 67:26
I do I love making people great. I love seeing people who are in lockstep with their purpose and working in jobs, where they can fulfill that purpose. You know, there are so many people if you walk around on the streets in the in the appear, you know, I live in Toronto, Toronto is a big city. And when you walk around, so many people are frowning and looking down at their feet. And if you ask them what they do, they tell you what their job is. But they don’t tell you what they were put on this earth to achieve. And unlocking that. So I have a vision statement, I always I’m happy to repeat it. And it’s pretty simple. And it’s I create art. And to me the coaching event, the one to one coaching, the podcast, all of those things, to me are miniature works of art. So to create works of art, that connect and ignite people to reach their highest performance and fulfillment, and to create lives of distinction, strength and simplicity. And finally, to create heroes, it’s about maximizing people for their own self. Everyone has a different resonant frequency. You can’t play a violin part on an oboe, it just doesn’t work. So there’s each of us have a certain you know, almost a destiny is not the right word. But each of us is meant to do something particular your parents have been telling you you’re great at since you were a kid, it’s something you always return to, it’s something you’ve always done well, and all experiments to the contrary, will fail because there was something that you were meant to do for whatever reason, nobody has to teach an ant how to carry a grain of sand, they just do it. It’s plugged into their DNA helping people find that. That’s how you 10 extra 20 x people, that’s how you get true agility is to get people to make their value, the things that they value, the value they want to create in the universe, to the value of your customer, your company, once you find a way to have your value serve the values of your customer, your client. Now you’re onto something. And that’s what high performers look like.
Jeff Dalton – 70:31
Alright. Well, Chris, I think we’re out of time. This was a fantastic conversation and I’m really impressed with what you’re doing. And I love your site. And there’s an awful lot behind your Twitter feed and your and your site, you’ve done a lot of thinking about this, obviously, it’s very impressive stuff.
Chris Williams – 70:52
Thank you, sir. And likewise, I am loving this book. And I’m telling everyone, they have to get a copy and start using it. This is the kind of thing that you put this in your arsenal and it’s an empowering tool. It is. It’s a it’s a lexicon it is. And it’s also a way of thinking about the problem that we’re all trying so hard to solve. So this is required reading, this is evolutionary stuff. So you can put down your Scrum guide for a while and pick this up. I think this really, really can help people to evolve organizations towards better agility. I love the book. Thank you for writing it
Jeff Dalton – 71:24
Hey, my pleasure. And thank you for reading it. And thank you for the, you know, the nice words and the kind words about it. It’s really, you know, the folks in the Agile community tend to be fairly vocal. I, you know, when I published the book, I kind of like, you know, when I push the button on send, I kind of close my eyes and said, Oh, my gosh, I hope I don’t get, you know, blasted by, you know, some of the big names in Agile, but actually, the feedback has been pretty decent.
Chris Williams – 71:53
I’m glad it has. But isn’t it funny we have to do it anyway. And to say the opinions of others is nobody’s business. But there’s you have to put your work out there. Because and this is true for everyone listening, because when you reach 100 people, 10 of them will notice two or three of them, you’ll change their lives forever. And that’s I’m guessing why we do what we do.
Jeff Dalton – 72:18
Right? I think you’re right about that. Well, thank you very much, Chris Williams. Badassagile.com is your website, I think is that right?
Jeff Dalton – 72:54
Well, I appreciate that. And I’m looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. Chris in Detroit.
Chris Williams – 72:58
Yes, sir. Brother, Jeff, thanks for time, and this was a great conversation.
Jeff Dalton – 73:01
Thank you. Goodbye. Have a nice night.