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Keeping you agile...

     August 2018 Newsletter  


             Agile Conference & Sharpening the Saw

I don't know if you've heard of or read the 7-Habits book by Stephen Covey, but I'd highly recommend it. Yes, it's a bit dated or long in the tooth, but I think the wisdom within is still quite relevant.

The last of his seven habits is one entitled Sharpen the Saw. The metaphor surrounds our efforts as professionals to continually learn. Given the pace of work today, this is no easy endeavor. You have to really commit to yourself and reserve time in your day for learning. I want to share a couple of my own "tricks" that I use to keep myself fresh.
  1. Think-time - I always try to reserve 15 - 30 minutes each day for thinking. I leverage journaling/note-taking during this time as well. For me, early mornings are the best time. But find your "best time" and take some quiet time to reflect and consider your next steps.
  2. Online reading - I subscribe to quite a few online agile resources - newsletters, aggregate content, companies, etc. I don't read everything, but I actively scan the incoming stream. And I try to find 2-3 interesting articles to reach each day.
  3. Local groups & conferences - one of the great things about the agile movement is the number of opportunities we have to go to local group meetings and conferences to learn. Not only to attend sessions but to network as well. 
  4. Mentoring - to my way of thinking, there's no better way to continue to learn than by sharing what you know. It's remarkable how much you learn by teaching. It's the key reason I continue to offer my free Coaching Circles. 
  5. Writing - I hear from folks all the time that they don't like to or can't write. I try to encourage them to try to do it. I find that actively articulating your thoughts, ideas, and inspirations really fine-tune your thoughts around them. 
Speaking of attending a conference, the very day you receive this newsletter, I'll be in San Diego attending the first day of the 2018 Agile Conference. There will be 2,000+ raging agilistas there and it will be a wonderful opportunity to Sharpen my Saw.

I'll be at the conference Monday thru Wednesday. If you're attending and would like to chat, please look me up. I'd welcome the collaboration and saw-sharpening.
Now I want to share some other "goings on" at RGCG...

Certified Agile Leadership (CAL) Training

We'll be focusing more so on providing private CAL sessions to client leadership teams in 2018 as that seems to provide the most impact on organizational agile transformations. So far, our results in private CAL sessions has been OUTSTANDING. To the credit of our clients, we've seen:
  • Leadership teams resonate with the class, lessons, reflection, and challenging format;
  • Leadership teams begin to reevaluate their agile strategies and take immediate actions towards adjustments;
  • Leaders also realize personal changes necessary to effectively become an agile leader;
  • Organizations and leaders begin to view the experience as an ongoing development journey.
The class is not a typical, once and done, training class. It is a challenging experience that is intended to spark a leadership transformation journey for (1) each attendee and (2) for the team of leaders. 

Our leadership clients are using the CAL class to spring-board themselves, their teams, and their organizations towards more effective Business Agility.

Here's a link to a blog post that highlights one of our first private CAL sessions. Check out the endorsements!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to deliver a webinar for the Scrum Alliance. 500+ people attended as I shared on -

Let Me Tell You a Story: The Essence of Effective Leadership Communication

You can download the presentations slides here.
And listen to the presentation here.
ANNOUNCING - a rare public CAL class will be in Dallas on November 12 - 14th. The Early Bird discount is in effect and you can email me for an additional discount code. Register here.


              Coaching Circles         

We've restarted our Coaching Circle sessions on a roughly 2x month basis. The sessions are free and available on a first come first serve basis. Here's a link for registering for upcoming Coaching Circles.

If you’re interested in setting up a private Coaching Circle or other forms of virtual coaching for your organization, please email us via our contact page on the website.

We're looking forward to "seeing you" at one of our Circles...       

                                      Special Events 

Scrum Day Stuttgart
Earlier this year I was invited to do a keynote presentation at Scrum Day Stuttgart. It's a 2-day conference with bookend training events that's been quite a success in Germany over the years.

Unfortunately, I fell ill and couldn't make the trip. But the organizers were kind enough to allow me to do a virtual keynote at the end of the first day. I was received incredibly warmly by the audience. I also received quite a bit of positive feedback afterward. The topic of the keynote Coaching Leaders and the presentation starts around the 5-minute mark of the video. 

Here's a link to the keynote video. I hope you enjoy it!

Another very exciting event is my partnering with Don MacIntyre to deliver a 2-day Certified Scrum@Scale Practioner class to the Raleigh/Durham area. You'll learn a great deal about the right way to scale Scrum from two incredibly experienced coaches. This is a great opportunity. 
You can more info and register here. And there's a discount code - Raleigh-Agilists to get an additional $150 off the class. Hope to see you there!
Business Agility Institute - BAM meeting in Raleigh/Durham
I'm proud & excited to be kicking off the first Business Agility Meetup meeting in my hometown on September 24th. The topic will be Shu-Ha-Ri Applied to Agile Leadership. Please join us by registering here. It's free.
On October 25th, I'll be presenting a webinar entitled - Essential Patterns of Successful Agile Transformation for ITMPI. This is a FIRST for this webinar as I share keys to establishing an effective agile ecosystem in your organization.

Zenergy Webinar "Library"
If you're interested in viewing some of our historical webinars, our partner Zenergy Technologies has them posted here

There is a focus on agile and testing, so don't be shy about poking around the library. You might find just what you need...
I fairly actively share articles on my blog  While we make reference materials available in our "downloads" sections, we're also trying to place a lot of agile guidance on the RGCG Blog. To the point that we think it has a rich & deep set of topics that you'll find of great value. 

An easy way to search the blog, and the website for that matter, is to go to the Books & References page and use the search bar at the top. Not only does it search the entire blog, but the whole website for that matter. 

As you probably know, I've got a special passion for all things Product and Product Ownership related in agile contexts. It's such a broad & deep discipline, role, and challenge in organizations. One of my latest posts is related to the challenges (and common anti-patterns) I see in the role. So I've written a 2-part series in response. You can read them here - And we hope you gain some value from any of our blog posts, please add comments and/or like them and share with your networks!


Josh Anderson and I have been recording the Meta-Cast: Agile-focused Podcast since January 2010. Unbelievably for 8+ years of discussion, debate, poor jokes, sometimes disagreement, and heartfelt experience sharing. Here's a link to us on PlayerFM.

On May 24th, Josh and I took the Meta-cast LIVE! in Columbus Ohio at The Path to Agility conference. You're in luck that they recorded it. So here's your chance to see our "dynamic due" deliver the Here's the video.
Josh and I have joined the Agile Podcast Network with our Meta-Cast going forward. There are 5 other podcasts in the group and our vision to produce high-quality agile content on a more frequent and consistent basis.

Please subscribe to the network. 
Agile Colleagues
  • Gene Gendel - is an agile coach and colleague in the NYC area. Gene is especially interested in LeSS and is a good reference for that scaling approach.  He's also got great experience in Agile within FinTech.
  • Ryan Ripley - is an agile coach, trainer, and colleague in the Chicago area. Ryan is especially focused on training and changing the way folks come to learn and use Scrum more effectively.
  • Mary Thorn - has been my "partner in crime" for quite some time. She partnered with me as my Chief Storyteller for The Three Pillars of Agile Quality & Testing book. She's also an expert on SAFe and how to leverage it with common sense in the real world.
And, until the next newsletter, stay agile my friends!


I'll be attending the following events this Summer & Fall.
  • August: Agile Conference, San Diego, CA (1-talk and lots of collaboration!)
  • September: Agile Coach Camp, Ann Arbor, MI (Open Space for coaches)
  • October: StarWest, Anaheim, CA (3 - 1/2 day workshops)
  • October: Red Hat Agile Day, Raleigh, NC (1-talk and lots of collaboration)
  • November: AgileDev + DevOps, Orlando, FL (2 - 1/2 day workshops and lots of collaboration)
If you're attending any of these events, please let me know and perhaps we can synch-up and chat?

Take a look at our events page to see everything that's unfolding in 2018 and to get links to each event.

Downloads - Password

We have two "downloads" areas; one for general development topics and the other for quality and testing topics.
  • General software development topics - downloads can be found here.
  • Quality and testing topics - downloads can be found here.
And please note, the password for both areas is: ServeTheTeam

And remember, you can get free PDF copies for all of our agile books via the downloads areas. That includes the 3-Pillars and Product Ownership assessments.
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