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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#57: Saying NO Without Losing Your Job

July 19, 2023     16 minutes

Join Brian Milner in another episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast series on unlocking the secrets of a sustainable pace. Today he’s delving into the power of "No" in Agile. Tune in to discover the truth behind feature usage, prioritize value-driven choices, and tips for mastering the art of saying no without losing your job.


Today on the Agile Mentors Podcast, Brian Milner sheds light on the power of saying "No" in Agile organizations.

"No" is an integral part of a healthy Agile organization. Learn how prioritizing value-driven choices empowers success in delivering the highest value to customers every time. Listen in as Brian shares valuable insights on establishing shared desired outcomes to ensure alignment and effective decision-making within teams and organizations.

Tune in for practical tips on mastering the art of saying "No" with confidence, navigating challenging conversations, and preserving relationships and job security along the way.

Listen Now to Discover:

[00:53] - In this episode of our summer series on practicing sustainable pace, Brian Milner talks about how important it is to say no, without losing your job. 
[01:40] - Challenging the 64% Myth: Unveiling the Truth Behind Feature Usage (famous Standish Group study on feature utilization and Mike Cohn’s research).
[2:15] - The 2019 Feature Adoption Report | White Papers and The Surprising Power of Online Experiments.
[02:49] - Slack's monetization woes - unveiling the reality: 70% of features fail to deliver.
[03:13] - Product development philosophy: switching course to design features people care about.
[04:49] - Unlocking Agile's Key Principle: Product owners must practice saying NO daily in the mirror.
[06:34] - Saying no to unlock actual value - selective deliveries for maximum impact and prioritizing quality over quantity in our deliverables.
[07:17] - Saying no isn't always easy.
[07:32] - Tips for navigating the art of saying no while preserving relationships and job security.
[08:50] - How establishing shared desired outcomes in Agile ensures alignment and effective decision-making and fosters collaboration and value to customers.
[10:11] - For product owners: how prioritizing value-driven choices ensures success for both the product and the organization.
[12:56] - How developers can foster understanding and acknowledge their role while exploring how choices will impact the team and process.
[13:39] - A strategic dialogue on overtime requests' downstream effects and impact.
[14:54] - NO should be a regular occurrence in a healthy agile organization.
[15:08] - A message from our sponsor: Better User Stories, a one-day live online training course with Mike Cohn to improve your user story writing, so your team can do its best work, faster.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Standish Group
Are 64% of Features Really Rarely or Never Used?
#25: Scaling with Henrik Kniberg
Product Ownership in a Nutshell
Manifesto for Agile Software Development
Mountain Goat Software’s Better User Stories
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.