Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#54: Unlocking Agile’s Power in the World of Data Science with Lance Dacy

June 28, 2023     44 minutes

In this episode of Agile Mentors, Brian sits down with Lance Dacy to discuss integrating Agile and Scrum practices into the world of data science.


In this episode of the "Agile Mentors" podcast, Brian sits down with Lance Dacy to discuss integrating Agile and Scrum practices in the world of data science.

Tune in to gain insight into the importance of feedback, the stages of the SAS Enterprise Miner initiative, and how frameworks like OSEMN can enhance the data science process.

Listen in to learn how to strike the right balance between technical knowledge and product ownership and why culture is crucial in successful Agile implementation within the data science domain.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:16] - Brian introduces his guest Lance Dacy, referring to him as "our San Diego Zoo guy" and the topic of today's show using Agile or Scrum practices in a data science world.
[02:27] - Lance shares his background in data science and how it fits into the world of Agile.
[05:06] - The big reason so many people are against using Agile for data science and where the big rub is.
[09:02] - Who cares if it’s Agile or not? Lance shares Jeff Salts's poll about data science and introduces CRISP-DM.
[11:05] - The six steps of the cross-industry standard process for data mining.
[14:18] - Adopting a Scrum-like approach and treating data science work as smaller phases makes it possible to classify and organize tasks effectively.
[15:59] - Does anyone remember the Rational Unified Process?
[17:57] - It’s up to you to come up with ideas—once you have them, here's how we get it done.
[18:18] - In the world of data science, implementing frameworks like Scrum can lead to misconceptions and failures—the key lies in understanding the layers of data science, navigating the complexities of the work effectively, and making informed decisions.
[23:06] - The vital importance of feedback.
[23:45] - The stages of the SAS Enterprise Miner initiative.
[27:25] Brian introduces the sponsor for the podcast, Mountain Goat Software, and their two-day Certified ScrumMaster Course that’s perfect for anyone who wants to understand Scrum and add value to any team.
[28:23] - How the product owner fits in when discussing working with big data.
[29:50] Lance introduces the OSEMN process and explains how to solve a problem like a data scientist.
[30:47] - When it comes to the role of a product owner, the technical knowledge required depends on the nature of the product.
[31:42] - While Scrum lacks explicit guidance on backlog construction, the OSEMN framework themes (obtain, scrub, explore, model, interpret) can be incorporated to align sprint goals with specific aspects of the data science process.
[33:47] - The framework or the structure of how you carry it out is less important than the kind of agreement.
[35:07] - It's a cultural rather than a process problem. Lance delves into the debate on applying Agile Scrum to research.
[36:37] - A fundamental misunderstanding about daily scrums.
[37:18] - None of us are smarter than all of us together. Agile and Scrum work well when you know how to solve the problem, and there's a relatively clear path to victory.
[38:49] - Brian shares his biggest piece of advice to people considering this in the data science
[39:28] - “Data science is just the work that we're trying to do, tailor your process for your team and your culture and always inspect and adapt to try to make it better.”
[41:08] - If you have feedback for the show or topics for future episodes, email us by clicking here (if you have yet to get a response, send another one as something has gone wrong in the process). And don’t forget to subscribe to the “Agile Mentors” Podcast on Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. And if you are a data scientist or work in big data and found the information in this valuable, let one of your co-workers know about it.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Data Science Process Alliance
Scrum and Data Science
Agile Mentors Blog Topic: Decision Science - What methodology fits best?
Certified ScrumMaster Training and Scrum Certification
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is the SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He's passionate about making a difference in people's day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.

Lance Dacy is a Certified Scrum Trainer®, Certified Scrum Professional®, Certified ScrumMaster®, and Certified Scrum Product Owner®. Lance brings a great personality and servant's heart to his workshops. He loves seeing people walk away with tangible and practical things they can do with their teams straight away.