Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

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#88: Slicing Work For Agile Success With Anton Skornyakov

March 06, 2024     31 minutes

Join Brian Milner and Anton Skornyakov as they tackle the often overlooked art of slicing work on this episode of the Agile Mentors Podcast. Discover how this pivotal strategy can revolutionize feedback loops and drive impactful results across industries.


Join us on a riveting journey with Agile expert Anton Skornyakov to unearth the transformative power of slicing work in Agile environments.

In a world where most projects miss the mark on effective breakdown, Anton sheds light on the critical need for well-sliced work to secure valuable customer feedback and accelerate delivery of results.

From the nuanced art of vertical slicing to innovative strategies for tackling complex story breakdowns, this episode is packed with insights and practical examples that span beyond the confines of software development. Whether you're grappling with how to split your next project into manageable increments or seeking to refine your Agile practice, Anton's expert advice and favorite splitting techniques offer a roadmap to success.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:20] - Brian introduces an Agile Mentors Podcast listener-requested guest, Anton Skornyakov, Certified Scrum Trainer® and author of The Art of Slicing Work.
[02:20] - Hear Anton recount the real-world struggles of translating the fundamental principle of defining effective increments into actionable insights for teams beyond software development.
[04:39] - Anton delves into the art of work slicing by expertly applying the rules for splitting user stories, revealing insights for seamless practice.
[06:41] - Anton brings vertical slicing to life with a relatable dinner party analogy, illustrating its transformative impact on teamwork.
[11:12] - Anton uncovers the magic of vertical slicing, revealing its pivotal role in enhancing team responsibility—an esteemed Agile virtue.
[13:01] - Facing challenges in cultivating a unified understanding of Agile principles across your team? Let Mountain Goat Software elevate your team's agility—from non-software teams to the executive suite.
[13:58] - Brian expands the conversation to explore the far-reaching implications of vertical slicing on project management and team dynamics.
[16:36] - Confronting a familiar hurdle, Anton dissects the notion that the complexity of work stands in the way of effective slicing.
[17:57] - Anton explores strategies for navigating resistance when team members push back against the practice of slicing work.
[19:20] - Anton reveals his insights into teams' struggles with splitting tasks they deem too large and how to overcome this perception.
[24:43] - Anton shares his favorite ways of breaking down work.
[28:47] - Brian expresses heartfelt gratitude to Anton for his invaluable insights on today's show and extends a warm thank you to the listeners for their brilliant guest recommendations. If you have a guest or topic suggestion for an upcoming episode, send us an email at
[39:56] - We invite you to subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast. Please like, subscribe, and share with your friends.
[30:30] - If you’d like to continue this discussion, join the Agile Mentors Community. You get a year of free membership into that site by taking any class with Mountain Goat Software, such as CSM or CSPO. We also have Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner®, where we get right into the good stuff and have some deep discussions. We'd love to see you in one of Mountain Goat Software's classes, you can find the schedule here.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

The Art of Slicing Work by Anton Skornyakov
Introduction to Agile
Working on a Scrum Team
Agile for Leaders
Mountain Goat Software’s Courses
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast
Certified ScrumMaster® Training and Scrum Certification
Certified Scrum Product Owner® Training
Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner®
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is 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.

Anton Skornyakov is a Certified Scrum Trainer® and author of The Art of Slicing Work. He is passionate about educating and supporting organizations, reliably delivering results on unpredictable projects.