Episode 181 - An Evolved View of Product Owners From Eric Hannan


I don't know what i'm saying. Narrow minded recollection. Exactly exactly. Welcome to the inter josh anderson. I'm bob galen yeah s tres. Boys and girls fathers and mothers dogs and cats. We've got a special guest today. Day day gives us a tease. Just say hello bob. hello bob. that's him onto the episode. Welcome to the medifast. I'm josh anderson. And i'm bob jalen and we have a special cast. We do could could voice come from the top okay so for for for those of you know. Everyone did listen to the previous episode. Yes we were talking about product owners and twenty twenty. How they've evolved over time. How our views have evolved on product owners. Bob just gave me the finger. And i brought up. A friend of ours was doing some pretty cool things with product owners and the role and how they were doing. I did a poor job. I think reacted really well. I was like a dog with a bull. so go cannon. The third voice that you hear is a friend of ours who was doing some cool stuff with product owner. Have absolutely boy. bob changes tune. No no i respect eric. For god's sakes. Eric has some notes that he may bring up. Bit later about wherever loads. Okay so eric was doing some cool things with product owners. He shared something with me. I tried to share it with bob in our product owner episode. I don't think i did a good job explaining it. So i said hey. We need to get eric in here to actually share the facts. Rather than me like paraphrasing and doing the telephone game and getting it wrong so he's here to educate some so on the evolution of product owners. This is a three way today. Yes it is it is we. We hardly ever have a three way. I know there have been like five in the entire history in like one hundred and eighty episodes. For god's sakes we're evolving. We're getting better. I think evolution is a word that will be consistent in today's keep grinding. Well and the reason is bob had some. How would you turn. Those arcades is critical critical. Fashion would facts okay out of. Wow seen perhaps elucidate. Maybe i was talking about the declaration of independence or something like that and i confused it with product owners. Maybe maybe okay so you did say your thoughts and young. Yeah okay so. I'm going to lay the groundwork then. I'll pass it off to you eric to elaborate on what i've done wrong or fix or anything so we're going exploring. Yeah yeah so. We're going to dig in and talk about their. There are other ways to do. The product owner role in air quotes as we've learned as we've grown and and as organization evolves. This is not something you should do with the brand new organization. That is not quite ready for yet. Ooh as eric maybe ponders yeah. So let's see. Maybe i shouldn't have sought to meet product owner but remember the last time we were also doing Like what's on your mind. It's twenty twenty. So i'm thinking like half the episode. We allow eric to pummel me right and and retire me We have some passionate whatever debate discussion but then maybe we open it up and get out of product owner land a little bit and see what's while he's here he had his mind on. What like what's what. What are you feeling about twenty. Twenty agile twenty twenty yeah patterns you like anti patterns. That have been around for a time. Would that be alright. Yeah there is definitely more to eric product owners. I know that. I know that's a great point. I'm so excited are cool okay. So let's dig into the product. Okay do you want me set the stage. You just want to run with it. Run with it. he's kind of. He's kind of an answer right. Do you want and then you answered. He's got a list. she's feeling is going to happen hard today. Yeah everybody's aware. Like oh this poor guy notes to get lost in the words that come. Okay so i am going to turn off bob's mike. While while you started talking i can do that. Okay eric the floor is yours. Well i guess the first thing i want to say is. This wasn't my idea. Loan like i did have a great team. That was working at trans. Look at the time so shout to them. I have the names. But i won't even drop because that would get cut anyway so there are a couple of problems we're trying to solve when we came up with this idea. One of the things that we saw we really wanted to get our peos or pm's wartime with the customer in the market. Bob just let the guy titles. I turned his microphone now. So he's moved distraction. He's he's so uncomfortable with somebody having airtime he's holding the space for me in a very. Yeah it is not a safe space. Yeah i think. I just made that up okay. It'll work that's fine anyway. Sounds good so we're trying to solve. We really wanted to get our pm's more time with the customer in the market. There's a lot of inside work which is obviously necessary and things that need to be done. We also saw a handoff between the peos and pm's and of course lean thinking men there. Anytime we see handoff waste. What can we do to many waste. And then the third thing that we saw this wasn't anything any bathroom with appears at all but we saw a lot of engineering teams. Going to the pm's because they want to learn more about the long-term vision. Where's this product going. What are the customer saying. Where's the market going and that's really a attributed to the type of engineers that gb hired. He did a great job of hiring those so we saw so many things happening and we said man. What is something that we could do. Could you make the distinction between pm. Peo- yes just just so in the context that you're talking to that so it's a pretty traditional split of pm's were responsible for the long-term vision more market development custom development. That kind of thing peos had more the short short-term vision so the three to six months you know how do i execute on that long term strategy so product manager external sort of product owner internally facing with some collaboration between them proper. Okay cool so. The idea came out of a group discussion one day. What happens if we would actually conflict the pm roll into single role in lvad engineer teams into the promises. So giving our pm's more time to actually get out into the market talk with customers due to market development. The competitive analysis do that kind of thing. Could we actually did that. Could that be an experiment that we could run and a couple of things that we knew that we would have to think about. One is okay if we're going to do that. Teams are going to slow down. We're adding work to their thing. So posses is gonna take it to right now. All we really have is a creation tracking feeler scrum. Track like we're doing scrum but we now need to add in some of these products these product discoveries you. Us research some technical. Discover that kind of thing. So we ended up doing was we. We did that. Inflation of the po. To the pm roles they became. Pm's we elevated the team and then we created what we call a dual track a dual discovery creation track. So while we're also developing. We were working on product scoring for the next thing coming up so the team was involved in the product. Discovery was the rise into that. Look ahead roughly. Yeah we. I would say probably probably three to six months okay. So it wasn't it wasn't like a sprint horizon. it was. It was like a three to six months horizons. Okay yeah we would've tried to keep a pretty decent backlog so we willis coming up. We wanted to give time for for the product story to happen to talk to customers. Talk to internal customers all the things that you'd have to do for a good release so if i said you got rid of you aggregated. Pm peo- role and they became trying to clarify like night. Parts of the role to the team inherit so peos became full. Pm's and the pm did nothing in the product. Space in the teams became a full fledged product under enroll. Or was there some. I'm trying to tease was overlap. I would say there is overlap right. It wasn't wasn't. We completely eliminated the po role. Because that means to your point that is dangerous but some of the things just taken from the scrim guy. This is actually from your article that you wrote on product management fellow clearly. Well this is actually shape from the scrum guide. So cool so this is going to be strong okay. Some of the other things they only know. I'm not gonna well. Actually i might go ahead. So appeal should clearly express product backlog items. We felt that was team. Should absolutely be able to do that. Order the items in the product backlogged best achieve goals emissions. This was turned into more of a collaboration. So we did. Discoveries teams would actually write stories right individual stories with acceptance criteria in collaboration with the product owner or the product manager. Excuse me And they would work on. What is the priority. So again it was. It was a big collaboration ensuring the value. The work developed team performs again. Because we're doing the product discovery. That was a joint effort. It was a team responsibility. Not solely a product owner responsibility so like sign off would be a team. Is that what we're like. There's a confirmation of value received right so team would confirm the value. The team would confirm the value and they would. They would still work with the product manager on that to make sure that we're missing anything. Worry about if. I can separate it. Right i confirm it. There's no separate and not that. I don't trust your team. But i would want an external voice in that. Okay go ahead. Oh he's into the notes with deep cuts on bob. Now these are just again. This is all got stuff in conversation about. I appreciate the clarity. You didn't are not picking on you know. I know i did a terrible job trying to explain this. That's why i'm trying. I'm trying to figure out what they were doing. Welcome to our diversity and inclusion minutes coal. We hear the king of kings of smooth transition transition. It's amazing we should do this for you. Wanna go first. You go first. You go first. You're already talking. So i don't have something i've done. Well i mean i'm i. This is like a prayer prayer thing. So i've been medicare's if you've been involved you know that i'm supporting a group in nigeria. That's teaching young ladies over there. They just they just finished their boot camp. They just graduation and someone got a job. I think at least one person got a job in the and these are for young women and that society who are entering the workplace so it was really exciting But i don't know if you heard that there was. There was a the young folks over there. Were having a Demonstration and the police in the military came up and was shooting at people and they killed them. And this is just. This was like three or four weeks ago and this is just in the news. Now so i think i mentioned it in cast but my heart is getting into that In fact one one young man. Who was helping this this girl that i work with this lady that i work with over there. He was killed he. He was doing like her marketing or something like that and he was killed. They were just shooting people. They were peacefully demonstrating and they just shot at them. So medicare's if there's anything you can do We talk about what josh and doing. If we can not lose sight of what's going on in nigeria. It's to it's twenty twenty and twenty twenty. One and peaceful demonstrations are getting shot and killed. And that's just unacceptable so anything you can do like post about it Check into a contribute to it but pray for for those folks over there. It's i sometimes don't realize how hard the world is. Sometimes i looked at the us and it's like our elections and things are hard people losing their lives around the world. So so that's what i've got so don't don't lose sight of africa of what's going on in nigeria. Yes so i just finished the so you want to talk about race book and it took me way longer than it should have but i really recommend that everybody read that or listen to it however you choose to consume books because it does talk about the privilege that we often so rarely value and understand the difference that it has made and it is an eye opener of a book for many reasons than one of the things. One of the chapters was about the intersection. -ality which is interesting term and the real challenge that women of color have people of color have a problem women of color. Have it even worse and how that even becomes a problem of like well. Hey were all black or we're all whatever and like. Hey we're all wrestling with the same thing. Well no like. I've got this and this and it's and it's hard and it's potentially harder so awareness of that. I recommend that book enough. It's it's making the rounds in my family. I just talked to my sixteen year old daughter. And i told her like you have to read this. My oldest son will be reading it soon. probably the next couple of years. She's like fourteen. So i'm going to let them understand the world a little bit better before hannam that book but it's but it's close. It's something that they need to understand. So the younger generation is more aware of that which is good. Thanks to social media. There's some good stuff that social media creates. It's not all good but i think that's something that it has educated the younger generation beyond just the school. They go to or the city that they live in because they see across the entire world is so there's that Last thing is i'm excited about the real changes that were making our hiring process to try and create more diversity in our company that like it. It's a thing. It's like a requirement for us where we are trying to drive changed with like this is not good enough. So there's there's there's good movement there that i am excited about so if if you're hiring talk to your hr partner or consultant or whoever it may be and just say. How can we get better at hiring more diverse candidates and it takes a lot more than that. Because i've been talking about this for months now and we have been very intentional about it but we're not there yet so like strap in get ready to roll because it's going to be battled but that's that's something that you can drive change if you're willing to to dedicate yourself to it very cool. Let's get back to the episode. Let's can i ask a question. Just like a foundational question. What was the problem. you're trying to solve with it. Sound like they were handful of things going on some positives that came out of it. Like what was the thing where you and your team said. We gotta fix this. I would say disempowered product owners where we had teen team members of very well intentioned in meaning going to pm's to get the long-term vision which rendered the product owners powerless and relegated. just advent of the backlog. I hear the stories that we have to do. Here's the order that we're going to do it in. No real are not not real no not a lot of ownership and autonomy the that they were doing so decided. Okay well how can we change this systematically so that we can see more empowerment autonomy and thus we came up with what if we can fleet the pm role and elevate the team into the problem. Space see i can see that. I didn't hear that when i explained when you to three hundred bucks. You're allowed to know i do all the but i didn't hear that that actually makes sense. I mean i've seen that problem a lot. I mean you had a choice. You have a choice of fixing it. Whatever that means right like empowering the peos and changing the system dynamics that way But also this is an interesting you could aggregate the roles and just make the team a little bit and and that to me would be a fair changes. Well now i get now. I get that cool. I like the congruent nature of that which is saying project product managers. Now take on the right you you own you own your this carrot caretakers vision anyway. So that's that's called the way it is an yeah. It sort of puts a little bit of a burden on them from from a system change perspective like a loose self-awareness thing on them. What what didn't work with this change or was it wonderfully magical any like we should have done this years ago. And here's why. I ask because there have been times where something like spotify comes out and people like we're doing spotify woo. They dislike blindly adopt things without really understanding it or really knowing what that means and the changes that they introduce into their system and like things get worse so there's a potential that somebody could. Here's like that's great idea. And it is a good idea but your organization has to be ready in healthy enough to make this happen so i wanna give people potential pitfalls potential challenges to this approach. So that if you decide to go in this direction your eyes wide open and not like this is like nirvana and nothing's ever gonna wrong when you know. Yeah that's a great question. So i think some of the things that we had to do one is we had to change the he volve the thinking of the development team that you're not just there to write code but you're there to solve problems and i really give jamie howard a ton of credit for how he hired engineers there he often would say. I'm not paying. Could i'm paying you to solve problems. And part of that. Solving problems looks like talking to customers. Going on customer visits doing your calls that kind of thing so broadening the scope of what. It means to be an engineer. Something we had to to teach we had to reinforce we had to make the budget for. Because if you're going to go visit customers you have to have the budget to people to do that. I think the other thing that i mentioned to is that slowdown in philosophy right. We had to educate the the business that. Hey we're making this change. We're gonna run this discovery creation track. Which of course. We didn't use those words but that means we're going to slow down a little bit because we're adding more work but the payoff is. We're going to have more more richer. Solutions which is great grammar. Authority was gonna. Hey you should hear some of the stuff that's is arma. You've listened so question that you're saying business were slowing down that often creates chaos and panic but you obviously had the partner that with like. Here's what you get that more richer thing. did that. Become a reality where you felt like the teams delivered a better product in my biased breen. Maybe revisionist history. I would love to say that we did. I know customer experience oftentimes to say. Hey you guys even know what our customers student now. The use the software. And i believe i heard less and less than that as these changes to cold. Okay so so that is a measure that you could do. Does your customer facing support team. Feel like you've built a product that more in sync with the user's needs and they get fewer and fewer calls about what the hell is this week long. I mean part of yep. Puerto ricans like how long it takes time. So what was the duration of this roughly just like holders or something. Yeah that's a good question. I would say we probably started this year to that. I was there and it was still going when i left two years later. So it's a two year so it's not a short duration. It's not a short duration and a lot. I mean this was all. Yeah so my reaction is almost like measure that over. Yeah we'll right. Yeah gen right just for learning curve and things like that if you're looking at customer support because that's the end of the tail. Yeah like a lagging metric. Yeah gotcha okay okay. So what other things in my notes. That i took and as i was thinking about this last night typing furiously as i recall the words. Some of bob's harsh words can we stop and crap. Yeah can we revisit. Some of those arrows that were slung your way he said no. He did preface it thing that this is all in love. But you're full of crap. He does that all the time. I had some loving crap thrown at it was it was steaming he He was like a dog with a bone that didn't want to give up the idea that he was right now. It was wrong and that i had a narrow view of product who while. I don't think that i actually spent time as a product owner while point in my career. Wow gosh say ma'am. I mean listening to to use reactions and you can hit me with. It's not. I don't wanna get too narrow view. Were or anything I didn't understand what you were doing. So now i do know i still have a worry i have. I have a twofold worry It's not judging. Let's say out of you know you do this so it's not pointing you have your own success right. You're in the context. But they'd say there's ten thousand people listening to this and ten thousand people did exactly the same thing. Sure so what would be concerned. Because you had you had the one concern. I have is not fixing the product owner product manager. Embrace your roles the way you should. We're going to write. We're gonna complaint the roles and do something else is so you could have. You could have fit not not you. But in general there is an option to to empower the product owner role. Yes right to empower the product overall. I i mean. I've seen in the entire world. I've seen that anti pattern but there are product owners in the world that are fully empowered and have a chris partnership of their product manager and their teams. Look at them as like there is not this skip skip level thing they look at that they're they're they're both sharing the vision they're both driving the vision And you xs happening. There and look ahead is happening there with the team so you could have taken that approach right or other people could take that approach. It's like so. I'm not suggesting not fix it or not. Adjust so so that thing And then the other concern. I have is i think i was talking about. This is just I i i was talking testers so i wasn't just talking about proud this notion of professionalism in the role what we're doing in you even you know like you. X is a discipline. I some of the best. You x folks. I've met i've done it for like ten years. I remember one lady who maybe territories even hired her. I forget her name But she had a phd user into designed. This is what she did. She was a professional. Should need to customer interviews. They had skills around that. It's a broad row. It's deep real. That's a profession development profession right back right testing profession product profession. And i i. I worry when when we ask a team to a win you're going to be the product owner so you're going to become product literate. It's not even just over work. Do they have the. Are they going to be the best damn products. There's this excellence of craft excellence of profession and we'll teams have duality of that doesn't make sense to do that. I've done something unintentionally similar but the key requirement. Who were the engineers was. We had to hire very intentionally with that mindset. And the time. I did it. I hired people that i had hired before so i knew their mindset was there and they already. They wanted to work like that. So i think you can do this with the right engineers. I think the hurdle is the larger you are the harder it will be to continually fine engineers. That operate like that. Now the larger you are. There's also a system that they plug into and they see. This is how it works. So i would be nervous about going big with this but if you do it well big than that engineer. That comes in is gonna look around like okay. This is how we do it. And just plug in and change their mindset and get rolling but it is. It's harder a think there's value in it. So it's one of those. Like you know casey at bad it's like you gripped bad and you swing and if you hit you knock it out of the park. But there's potential for a swing and a miss and there's a handful of variables if you think you have all those variables under control. I think you a little bit i. I'm with what you guys are saying. Yeah but then what are you what are like i have that joke your manager. You're a scrum master. You're a team member and you're tester. What are you right right. you're not you can't be all of those things. I out quiz you in all four of those areas and you will fail. You'll be mediocre mediocre. Maybe above average maybe mediocre. Because i'm 'cause my bar is the profession is the excellence of each one of those roles right so so when you're deluding yourself. What are you so what are those folks. Are they product owners or are they developers. What what. What do they learn. Where what do they have an affinity. For what books do they read. Write what technologies to they. Keep like i want people and misses a dinosaur arguably this is dinosaur view. I guess but. I want people to say i am this. Yeah right i'm not right. This is the core of the t shaped you know. What i'm this is i can do. I can wash cars i can. I can do little carpentry. Put fish food into in the jar but this is what. I have an affinity for right and i'm always going to be reading books in this area. This is where my passion is. And and what we're saying is i am. I am a deaf dipoto. Right i think the and i want you to. I want you to argue back in. I think for them. I've just i wanted identity. I want them to have. This is what i do. I'm sure refreshing live right. What i found is there are engineers who don't just wanna sling code. They want to deliver solutions to customer and they feel they do a better job the closer they are to the problem. They get frustrated when that problem is over there or somebody is being this. Translation layer. nobod- dude. I'm with you. Yeah so i am. Not saying coats on your professional development is very broad. But we're calling the modesto you right. No i wanted to develop. so what. what are they gonna come back to my question for both of you. What are they are. They a deep developer or the product owner. Are they both. What are they and on. Thomas superficial about a kick ass product owner whatever that kick ass developer which never never stops in a kick ass kicked developer. It does i them to do what. You're talking about not solutions. I don't want code writers. I want solution but kick ass pm. So i think. I have a frame for that for what you're saying and i'm really glad you brought that up the way that i framed it as i was thinking about this last night. And actually this is. We're doing a little bit of shift of this. In my current company to is the words that i've uses shifting from development teams to product teams so her historically a lot of the product work is usually usually is a strong word. I'm stereotyping realize it's not true everywhere. So let me say that before you get a whole bunch of responses but a lot times the product work is done in a black box. It's done outside of the teen right. And even up gaylon said this quadrant is truly externally facing either toward internal stakeholders or towards the outbound customer. Nowhere in this quadrant. That i speak about the agile or scrum team. This was bob swertz. What i'm what i'm proposing is effort by the way expected not easier than it went back in. What i'm proposing is that. I i agree with you. I want professional experienced kick ass product people. I think we absolutely need them. Not turn to minimize that role at all. It's a necessary role. But what i think. We needs to evolve to is product is a team sport. Much like development has become a team sport absolutely so. That's the idea of raising the team into the problem. Space is giving them more ownership and autonomy over that area of doing the product alongside of these skilled people. So you're getting these said in presentations. I don't know if i quoted in the book you'll tell me. I talked about a product owner in a lot of conference talks. I talked about the product owner. One of their prime jobs is to create many me's on the part of the teen challenge. So what they're doing is that i want that product mindset in the team now again. They're not becoming their many product owners because they don't have the time then you don't have the time it'd probably doesn't make the investment sense to turn them into product owners. We're talking about. But having that i looked product team having that awareness having that collaborative you. We're solving so as a team with the product owner or manage involved. We're solving customer problems. Right we're providing value absolutely okay. So we're aligned. I think. I think we are and and i withdraw all of those nasty cop to lately. It's on the internet. It's been downloaded thousands of times. Yes i've written on the walls in my office. It's my fuel from that. That's really all. I was trying to get at. Is this identity thing. It's it's the identity of this pre professionals. That's not so. Would you equate it to the quality assistance evolution where people are evolving away from cody assurance where they are the gate and this is a thing similar that it's like product assistance or something like that where you have that. Really hyper highly. Skilled highly trained product person that leads the charge and help support others. That are tried to bring up the quality thing the last time because i see a lot of people firing. They're rolling qa into the team but they're rolling superficial Qa into the team and then no and they're firing everyone else so there's no one else to do it and then they're like oh cube as being done in the team. I'm like no you have a gap. Now organizationally you have a choice you can. You can choose not to fill that. But i think that's short sighted. Bryan young is one of those. So it's it's not even it's the expertise on fighting. Yeah that's that's my biggest fear with celebrating something like this which we should because it's an interesting evolution is that someone upstream says I can get rid of a role. I can save some money. I can do with correct when in reality they blindly do that and make things harder where there's so much of a system that has to be set up for this to be successful that you didn't it didn't fire people right you. You gave them a different area to focus right. Cracked is even the multitasking. I've seen years ago. It's evolved away from this. But when in the early instances of scrum product managers became product owners. So they had both roles so is overloaded role and that was just incredibly common so these poor product and and if you look at product management product management is really if you look like pragmatic marketing and the the depth and breath of the role in big companies is frigging like a lot of stuff. Yeah do pricing. You do sales programs. You do a presentation stuff. The all externally facing stuff. So it's it's time consuming and then the cobbled together now your product owner to yeah and i also worry about that overload of the so. There's a professional nature of it. But it's you want people to do it. I don't mind if you could be a pm and a po in monroe and do a kick ass job on both sides than do it. But i see so if you yeah. I'm i'm in my role. I'm actually actively doing the opposite of of this because we had a single person trying to do all these things and we just. We aren't there so we need to have distinct product manager roles and distinct product owner roles and and make that a thing over time five years from now as we evolve as an organization. There's a potential that we could get to eric and his team were. But we're we're not there yet. We are doing the opposite to make sure we have consistency and clarity and and we actually create that healthy system that you had that you could say okay. Let's fine tune this with there are so many people that aren't in the fine tuning mode. It's like we just need to do the thing and do it well. I think that's hard enough to keyword that you said there is healthy system. The system that we had there was amazing. I it was. It was one of a kind and a lot of ways and i was super lucky to have that kind of environment where we could do those kinds of experiments and see new just took out of my mouth. I was gonna say kudos to you for running the experiment right or inspiring the experiment and try and the environment was safe for that as well right so so just i mean at the end of the i mean. Forget what josh or eric. Or bob says i mean run your yes listen to this but run your run your experiments in your domain and then if it's working who gives a rat's says if it's if it's working in your environment and your and what would be working i guess producing kick ass. Eli products from a customer point of view and having a little bit of joy doing it or something like that so yeah experimental and rapidly. Yeah what what are the problems that you're facing and what are different ways you can solve. It would probably require a little courage. We don't go there to some degree as well right. It's not just we use the experiment words sort of flippantly. Sometimes but i mean you had. This was an organizational adjustment right. Yeah this was a role adjustment. So that's a courageous experiment. So i beat you up a little bit. i'm yeah nicely nicely played. Can we move onto other. Bob wants to get away from this topic so anyway this topic so bad i have never seen bob not want to talk about something like this. I'm conflict the bird. I'm just roly-poly like the teddy bear and it's christmas time. I don't want to get into. Yeah thank you eric. Jeez so glad you did that. And we're trying to the fire it also. What else twenty. Twenty twenty to twenty twenty one even doing agile for a long term use chrome guide just came out scaling patterns. You've been in a new job. Your your purview. Is changing and shifting and stuff. What's on what's on your mind. Either things that you're proud of in our evolution or things. Just stick in your crawl. I emphasize the things it sticking. We just covered that for thirty minutes. Well no but other things touches surrounded. Oh if you wanna go to stick in the craw i mean. We could reopen the internal versus external coaches. And i sense a theme here is you're not healed yet argued you've got a gaping gill and move. Then you know. I actually do think about almost every day. You're kidding me but from a good from a good perspective so let's set the stage for everybody. That's listening that wasn't in this initial conversation. The two of you had. Because i've heard about it tangentially so this is a blog post. Okay so bob. Galen the writer. Do you want to read it. I wasn't prepared for this. It's so ingrained in my memory that so what did i. What did i say is this. Is this the pickling thing you can get pickled if you're inside too long. Yeah basically said inside coaches worth. Listen not kidding. You didn't say there's a there's a danger to inside so it's the thing you become you can be simulated by the culture right and you. You were at a very visceral reaction to that. Because i've i've been an internal coach my entire career So very visceral reaction. In my i was coming back at you with will as long as you're living out of your values then you have no fear. I remember that over coffee. It was like about. And i don't remember much. I can't remember where. I put my cup of coffee. This work but i do remember that we actually had this at agile. Twenty nine hundred. Here's something we we were at the same conference. So what i think about so now in a new organization. They have a wonderful agile environment. A lot of great things going on super super proud to be there. But i think about your statement a lot because there's a lot of things that i see in terms of. Oh man we could. I could challenges. I could challenge this. I can step in here do that and really weighing the okay. That was the cause and here. But if i don't do that in my just assimilate into the culture and allowing bad behavior to go so for me it's actually. It's actually been a really nice barometer of. Should i act or should i not act m. i. acquiescing to a problem or i. Sequentially addressing the problems in a specific order so that i don't change to meetings at one time. I mean there's a lot of variables. I one of my reactions. I think when i was when i was reading in that moment i had. I had attended a coaching breakfast here. Locally and this was a long a while back and a bunch of coaches from a accompany where feeling unempowered There these were consulting coaches so these were external a consulting firm into a company. They were internal coaches. They've been there for years but the consulting company itself was putting a lot of constraints on that like what they could and could not say so. They could down but they could not coach and from their point of view most of the role should they were. They were starting to get to impediments. Where most they were that. Most of their coaching should be upward right. And they were just caught in this sort of this this problem and and And then now now the politics of it. The air or the economics of it was forcing. It was tremendously changing their coaching coaching approach. And they were sad in. This is the backstory. What i what. I just realized i was just thinking. Why are they look. They i their body. Language was heads raining down and stuff and they really sorta grousing about it and i. My heart went out to him in a classic phones rookie. Sorry exactly exactly now so that that came up with that as well as what are these dynamics that you know if you could go imperfect what there's no there's no outside forces right you go in you read you coach right and then there's that's not realistic then there's all this nuance i've been there a long time. I've established relationships are ever consulting. And what is it. Start doing to your coaching I almost think you know a change of scenery sometimes you. It's almost the same argument. Mean we make with companies. Sure right you can be i. I don't know the question is. Have you ever been with a company too long. I can safely say. I've been at a company for too long. I waited too long. I only knew that. Later on. But i hung out too long. And it's the same thing if you get immersed you start compromising things so i'm going to do a very dangerous thing. I'm gonna agree with bob that hurts to say and the reason. I the reason. I'm willing to go. There is that i have no idea what you i'm waiting for. What what do i know i know. He sent a lot there. I am agreeing about the external versus internal. I think doing both has made a huge difference. In how i approach. The i'm with you when i stepped out and became an external coach. I felt this like. Because i knew i was there for a short period of time. I had to make a difference like right now. I couldn't play the long game. And i am the master of the long game. Like that's my thing. That's what i do. I say i'm like erosion i'm gonna win eventually right. Just you might not even know it but over time things are going to change. And that's the typical approach that i take but becoming an external coach. Change that for me and that has been. It's given me a much better balance. Where i would always play the long game. When their times were. I needed to just go in and be clinical and precise and just like nope changes now and that changed the way that i approach things. I still like like eric. Said i try and remind myself of that because now i'm not an external coach anymore so i try and have that which direction. Which way should i play this and having had the opportunity slash challenge to into the external coach. It gave me another tool in my tool belt that i can choose or choose not to use. It's not just internal external duration. Yes right so i'll go in. I i remember what's his name. Dan music he talks about open space agility and and there's a coach without so you do he has like a long arc hundred day or something like chunk so you go into an open space event invite people to come in like. This is an agile transformation. The team the leadership team comes up with. What what are we going to try. It could be tactics and things like that. And there's a hit and dan hangs out. There's a coach for that hundred days. But they're reminding but that's all these that coach leaves after one hundred days. Don't come back and then no plan another hundred days with another coach with another open space and they sort of bounce it that way. He's intentional with getting the hell out of dodge because it put it just it puts a reflection so it's a he's external but there's also how long do i have so it could be external and have five years. I'm playing the long game. That's going to influence me but very often. And that's what people don't realize with me. And i have to be careful to be patient sometimes and not be too aggressive but sometimes i'm only in there like a week or two weeks or three weeks if you had a three week interval which company imagined eight and you're seeing all staff and you wanna have the biggest impact that you can so its internal external Duration and i think that duration also plays a part in how you're received because if you're going to be there for a shorter period of time and the organization is at least receptive to you being there. They are already trying to keep her out the door. They're like okay eric. Give us everything. And they're open and they are more sponge like than if they know they've got you for the next infinity rather like. Oh yeah okay cool. We'll get there and maybe they choose not to really engage with you because you're not gone in an instant effectively right so i think there's there's some balance there's there there's something there. There's a little intensity with short duration. Yeah and i'm not. I don't think you're gonna be an internal shorter. Nazi suggesting if you know i'm gonna internally go for three months and external not all externals but there's something to be said for duration. Dan talks about it as an example only bringing it up as an example but he. He's like they start getting really scared. He says i usually send a reminder out with thirty days and then i have a counter countdown. Because vs like i am done. If you like what. I'm doing right. I'm walking out the door. So it's incumbent on you all pick my brain and things like that and it. It does change the dynamics. It does change the level of engagement. Sometimes so one thing that i think about in this actually gets another topic is kind of stuck in my craw. If you will is lasting change right is the you're nailing on all cylinders here you know and i'd like that when the so is the the you know the land and expand the the blitz. Krieger whatever you wanna call it. The short duration does that produce lasting change. And i'm sure there are. There are stories on both sides. I think the thing why. I've gone internal for my career. Besides affected a a chicken haven't done external coaching. Because of other reasons is that. I find that with these. With changes to the magnitude that we're talking about requires a boatload of trust and trust the old saying is earned in drops and lost in buckets and to create the systemic change that we're looking to create in organizations takes time it takes repetition. It tastes relationship building. And that's the part that i absolutely love. I love getting in there and building the trust seeing behavior change seeing the system improve on a day-to-day basis that but that lack of trust. I mean it's it's pervasive in in business. Which is is mind blowing to me that we have that. This fundamental thing is missing in a lot of places. It's it's a simple thing to think about but man. Is it hard to do in practice. I don't know if i'm not poking at trust on poking at like stickiness great psych the stickiness of a transformation. I don't know if if longevity like i did in internal and you know like agile stickiness you can be working with a change. Agent who leaves a mr bean crumbles right. And i so i can. I can be an it a place for five years. And i've seen mergers and acquisitions in an agile Out the window. So i don't know. I don't know if hanging your hat on stickiness whether it's internal external trust trust right right. I think i think one of the like the. I don't know the hardest thing is to create sticky agile transformation for any coach. And and you in very often. You're not even there like it. Wet what you were transload. I doubt whether translocated sticky now or in the way in two years from now is going to be sticky so so it's like sticky with the people. I guess what i'm trying to say is it's i. I don't try to hang my head on stickiness an organization because there's so many conditions. Where and i almost cried when i left eye contact you know merger and acquisition and they fired good people and it just. I mean i did cry i. It was just heartbreaking. What happened but then what what happened. So we'll be working as asian wasn't sticky. And if you can get that that's great but stickiness with the people is what stuck with me like did i influence people. There's still people that. I met there who were sticky agile to this day to their credit. I wonder react to that. So i don't know like i don't wanna hang that. Maybe you wanna hang that again you could say. My success is related to organizational stickiness. I'm going to be a wimp right. I'm not gonna tie my success to that. Because i it just it'll make me sad. Well i think it has to be nuance straight to your point. Take translate as an example. They do have an agile program. Today i know the people that are doing it and they do well for the organization is completely different. That's my point. A lot of people have left. People changed so that whole organization. It's not the same organised. Ceo's gone that change agents. go on. you're going again. I'm all i'm saying. Is that's the sustainability. I would bet. That's not the vision of agile now so so hanging our hat on that. I think it's a hard thing right. I think to your points the people right. I heard something a long time ago. Men movement or monument is it about the man is about the person is it a personality thing. Is that what they're building. It's just all about them. Is it a monument like a you know again more about what they've done their things or is it a movement. Are you inspiring people. Are you changing the way people think active behave on a daily basis to me that that is the most. That's that's what. I'm hanging my hat on right again. I'm not adverse to try to change an organization but it's it's fluid it's such it's so freaking fluid What do you have to say about that so i. I think all three of us have had the opportunity to create movements in organizations. That that we've been. And the reason i say that is because i can think of people that i've worked with the bob's worked with that eric has worked with that. Carry that same mindset forward that we helped create that maybe it's not all concentrated in that company where where you slash. We were together but they have taken that with them and they are now creating a mini movement in their company and so it started to spread. And i think the thing that's cool is that again. I've worked with somebody that each of you have worked with while creating that movement. And i see it and feel it and i understand that they were part of that. And that's that's that's the lasting success. That i try to hold onto is that are there others out there continuing to build the thing that we built together that it made a difference in their life and wherever they go. They're like we gotta do that again. Like how do we do that. How do we get more people. Think like that. How does that happen. That's the that's the success. That i look for because again. They're there and i don't like saying this. There are many variables that you can't control in an organization. I don't. I'm very uncomfortable with that. So i try and control as many variables as possible to prevent that but the reality is acquisitions. I know eric went through that. I've been through that bob's in things were rocking and rolling. And then like the earth change right under your feet and you like w f like how do i navigate out of this and again. I hate nothing more than being told. There's nothing you can do about it. But there were times where there really was nothing i could do about it but did that movement we create together last. So that's what. I'm really focusing on the solace of it right. It's not because you can. You can get depressed and say well. I had no effect in no push it off to the side. You had an effect on apple right. That's the sustainability part so organizational sustainability is sort of a nice to have to meet people sustainability like touching lives. That's that's something that that's being. Yeah well the two year horn a little bit. Maybe give you a bigger josh's hat are you'd have to compliment me for the next two years to make up for some bad decide argue but what are the things that we when i was at translate one of the things we talked about a lot was the i contact the astra if we knew if they came from i contact if they had it in their background. They were a solid agile practitioner. And that's not things. And no. I mean i see those people to this day and i'm amazed and it's the spirit of people that to me is is what this is about. You see someone who's grown from that so it's not just. Are they agile. But when you knew them and then they've taken it. And they've run with an things. And i see i see that all the time. I'm not all the time. But when i do see it. I'm very appreciative of that. Right thankful for being involved. In what else is in your. Could we have any other have. Do we have time. I think we should probably wrap it up. Wrap it up a solid hour here. We i feel like we need some kind of impactful like wrap up or something like that. Maybe like a pet peeve. What's freesty- oh my god hamilton style rap battle. What an you drop a beat. Remember brontosaurus right right. We just chew we just. You don't like to so. I have no idea. What the walking sores. Wow okay let's let's finish this thing. We are often. This is out of control. I gotta bob what do you after like either. A pet peeve I want us to wrap with something. Or what is our biggest vision for twenty because we have airy cured. Oh okay the year. Yeah so the. Eric what's our biggest Biggest hope for agile in twenty twenty. One biggest. Biggest pivot biggest. Hope i go. Because i have something that we accept that. The revision of the scrum guide is really a non issue. I've i've heard so much talk about you. And i am the guide. I went to the up in arms about it. No not just like frigate discussion. Yeah the webinars explaining it to recordings of it. Are you serious. Oh no it's streams watching having observations and let me let me do a poetic right to rap music of the scrum guide for how many decades that never existed like all those new version. Let's like so. I don't know if it's like trying to ensure help you eat charging for it. No charging for like an interpretation. It's it's out so i'm with you. Yeah i i hope like twenty twenty one to me is this guy becomes a non issue because it's clearly an issue right now and i don't understand arguing about it. Yeah and Because it has changed some things like the team. The added a product goal. So so if you haven't read there's there's there's just some changes yeah. I saw it changes. But they weren't no. It's the community is just desk insane right. I was even going so this never happens to me. Josh almost never happens to me all the hubbub and i was going to write a blog. Post 'cause you know. I'm always inspired the and i was going to write like an antibody post and i said screw it. I'm not even gonna then. I'm just contributing to the stupidity. So i stopped myself. I never stop myself from ready. Erica's has experienced that. No the scrum guide is just go. Get a light. Yeah and i get it. And there's changes cool. But i don't understand the fervor around the changes and to your point all of the discussion and dialogue and debate and webinars and all of the things like i. It's it's never happened before right so it has never happened before. And i don't know what's now it's the twenty fifth anniversary of scrum so in their releasing it sort of tied to that. So that's part of the hoopla but holy crap so that's us tag teaming. I just went that to go away. That is that is silly. Silly silly silly i and it's an evolution. It's like this is agile and your whining about the guy evolving right. It's a cheese eggs jerk really. Do you have something. i think. My hope you actually said it earlier. Something that's been mulling around my brain. A bit is coaching up. And i would love to see more agile. Practitioners have the courage to speak truth to power in a effective manner not in a uninformed a nuanced manner but in a way that promotes an effect tweets chief judge. Well if you're looking for tips and tricks on how to coach or up or how to speak truth to power. Bob and i have recorded multiple episodes of so there are resources out there. So take eric's guidance and go listen and then tell us what we missed what we got wrong and then we'll talk about. Maybe you and i tag him attack one. Eric hit like. I think like us strategic. We need to get better at doing that when you were talking. I also thought of software. And it's become i don't know if folks are self aware of the responsibility to do or that. They're not doing it. Like i see people who think they're coaching up. And they think they're speaking truth to power and they're not even coming close to speaking truth to power right so there's a self-awareness part of it as well. Yeah very cool. That's a nice way to spring forward. Okay so from beautiful downtown. Few cueva arena north carolina. Gosh i'm bob. Gaylon josh anderson. Shake and bake take care of your. Yeah eric we do that.

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