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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#91: Revolutionizing HR with Pia-Maria Thorén

March 27, 2024     33 minutes

Dive into an enlightening conversation with Brian Milner and HR innovator Pia Maria Thorén on the transformative power of Agile in HR and leadership. Discover a people-centric approach that champions attitude, growth, and empathy.


Join Brian Milner in this compelling episode as he sits down with Agile and HR expert Pia Maria Thorén, who shares her insights on revolutionizing Human Resources and leadership with Agile project management principles.

Pia Maria delves into the critical shift from traditional hiring practices to prioritizing attitude and potential, fostering a nurturing candidate experience, and the vital role of team involvement in the hiring process.

Through her advocacy for empathy and a people-centric approach, Pia Maria outlines how understanding and support can transform handling performance challenges and layoffs into opportunities for growth. Tune in to explore how these strategies not only enhance HR practices but also pave the way for more dynamic, resilient organizations.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:13] - Dive into an enlightening conversation with Pia-Maria Thorén, the visionary author behind 'Agile People' and a leading expert in Agile human resources.
[02:30] - Join Pia-Maria as she unfolds the compelling narrative of Agile's breakthrough into HR practices, crafting a more effective and adaptive approach to leadership and human resources management.
[07:46] - Hear from Pia-Maria as she unveils the secrets behind Agile's innovative recruitment and hiring strategies, focused on creating an environment where candidates are eager to work and flourish.
[09:44] - Brian explores the catalyst behind Agile hiring practices, pondering how organizations kick-start the recruitment process when their sights are set not on vacancies but on attracting the perfect fit.
[10:55] - Shifting the focus from traditional job slots to dynamic team contributions, Pia-Maria introduces the transformative concept of 't-shaped' teams in recruitment, urging a reevaluation of how we define the ideal candidate in job descriptions and hiring processes.
[13:08] - Brian draws upon Simon Sinek's insightful video, dissecting the intricate relationship between trust and performance in teams, and highlighting the importance of trust in the makeup of high-performing teams.
[15:00] - The Agile Mentors Podcast is brought to you by Mountain Goat Software. Elevate your expertise with their Certified Scrum Product Owner® course and gain exclusive access to Mike Cohn’s Agile Mentors Community for a full year of continuous coaching and support. Explore the full spectrum of Certified Scrum and Agile Training on the Mountain Goat Software schedule.
[16:44] - Pia-Maria introduces a groundbreaking perspective on measuring team success, steering away from individual performance metrics and static goals towards a more dynamic and holistic assessment strategy.
[21:37] - Pia-Maria delves into the complex dynamics of employee departures and layoffs within the Agile HR framework, questioning how these principles reshape traditional approaches to such challenging situations.
[28:11] - Pia-Maria raises compelling counterpoints to the general avoidance of specialization, inviting listeners to consider the circumstances under which honing in on specialized skills could be advantageous.
[29:24] - Brian shares a big thank you to Pia-Maria for joining him on the show, inviting listeners to connect through Agile People or LinkedIn.
[31:07] - 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, CSPO, or Mike Cohn’s Live Online Better User Stories class, 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.
[31:40] - We invite you to subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast. Do you have feedback or a great idea for an episode of the show? Great! Just send us an email.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Agile People
Agile People: A Radical Approach for HR & Managers by Pia-Maria Thorén
Agile People Principles by Pia-Maria Thorén
Agile People Picture Book by Pia-Maria Thorén et al.
“How Do You Measure Success?” By Simon Sinek
Certified Scrum Product Owner® Training
Certified ScrumMaster® Training and Scrum Certification
Mike Cohn’s Better User Stories
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast
Scrum Gathering in New Orleans 2024

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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.

Pia-Maria Thorén is the founder of Agile People and author of ‘Agile People' and specializes in driving organizational agility through HR, leadership, and motivation. She creates workplaces where employees perform better and feel engaged, contributing to successful transformations from both financial and human perspectives