Agile Food for Thought ?  Go to Podcasts ! – Here’s my story.

Agile Food for Thought ?  Go to Podcasts ! – Here’s my story.

A couple of months ago, I joined a wonderful company, Wemanity, which completely refreshed my mind and way of working. They advocate important values such as safety, caring, and sharing, which encourage their staff members to create and try new things. As far as I am concerned, I started listening to Podcasts.

And a whole new world opened to me, with direct access to renowned Agile evangelists such as Lyssa Adkins, Woody Zuil, Jeff Patton, Dean Chanter, Esther Derby among others.  Thanks to these Podcasts, I have heard and learned so much about Agility and other topics, which I would otherwise have discovered over certainly more than just a few months.  Since it was extremely beneficial to me, I would like to share my experience and hopefully inspire you to also benefit from such a great source of information!

 

Seven Tips & Tricks

 

It all started by opening the native podcast app on my phone (iOS). I simply searched on “agile” and dozens of podcasts channels appeared in the results, together with plenty of additional episodes. Wow!  I browsed a bit… too many choices… What should I pick first?

After exploring, trying and making wrong choices, here are 7 tips to ease your start and, who knows, to get you addicted to Agile Podcasts:

1)     Explore and select your favorite Podcasts

After having entered some search keywords such as “agile”, “scrum” or the name of an author you like, a list of results of podcast channels and specific episodes will appear.

2)      Subscribe to your favorite Podcasts. By Subscribing to a channel, you get notified of all new episodes that become available on that channel. Ready-set-go!  This is really the best way not to miss updates and to immediately see what’s new to listen to.  Of course, the more channels you subscribe to, the more choices and new episodes you will get daily.

3)      Prepare the podcasts you want to listen to before moving. Yep, Podcast listening is ideal for your commuting time (at least, as far as I am concerned).  But of course, it’s not that simple to start searching and selecting the episodes while on you are on your bike or driving your car. Watch the road, not your phone!

4)      Do not hesitate to deepen your search for interesting topics

During some episodes, I was telling myself that I absolutely had to look more into this subject afterward.  As a result, I ended up in front of my computer, searching and learning even more about topics that had raised my interest.

That’s how I discovered Nexus, Modern Agile, Zombie Scrum, Mob Programming, State of Agile surveys and many more fantastic Agile related themes.

5)      So far, all the good podcasts I’ve listened to are in English. But I’m just starting, so please share good ones in other languages in the comments so we can all enjoy them (I’m personally more interested in French or Dutch ;-))…

6)      There are mainly 2 different styles of episodes: discussions on the one hand and teaching on the other hand. I like discussions to get to know new persons and their ideas/concepts. And at the same time, I like – short – teaching to know more about a particular topic. In that case, as well, the topic is prepared and structured, so it helps for a better understanding.

7)     Personally, I have never unsubscribed from a channel for two reasons. First, if there is no longer any activity on a channel, then you don’t get any notification and it does not appear in your list of episodes. Then, scrolling through episodes is very quick, so you can easily discard the episodes that are of no interest to you.

 

My favorite channels

 

Below is a list of some channels (and links to their  websites) which I’ve subscribed to and to which I’m listening on a regular basis because they all resonated inside me for a reason or another :

  • Scrum Master Toolbox: Abbas Ghahremani broadcasts a new short episode with a guest nearly every day. All topics, patterns, and anti-patterns (for instance, focus on Agility instead of business value) related to Scrum implementation are being discussed in details. Watch out, it is really focused on the Scrum Master role so you may find it too narrow.
  • Agile Uprising Podcast: Great intro music, great Agile topics to explore beyond Scrum common places. The podcast is often recorded during conferences, which is not always great for the quality of sound.
  • Agile for Humans: Yep, back to the first value of the Agile Manifesto. Ryan Ripley always goes back to human relationships in the various episodes.
  • Meta Cast with Bob and Josh: a funny couple with a lot of experience and funny stories to share. They have so much fun together that sometimes they seem to forget it is a podcast about Agility
  • Agile FM: Great interviews with great Agile evangelists. For example, I discovered a great episode with Woody Zuil, father of Mob Programming. If you don’t know what it is… listen to it!

… I know that the following one is not a Podcast, but if you have the opportunity, do not hesitate to subscribe to the YouTube channel of  Jean-Pierre Lambert “Scrum Life”. Short, fun and good videos about all Scrum themes.

 

Share with the world!

 

I hope that this article did not get you bored and that it has provided you with some useful takeaways.

I’m really looking forward to getting comments, remarks, suggestions and of course to discovering the favorite podcasts of as many people as possible.

The more we share, the more feedback and new recommendations of other amazing podcasts/episodes we will get as a community.

 

Fabrice Dekais

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