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Episode 469: Emerging Agile Trends (Free)

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As we look ahead to the remainder of the year, there are still several trends that are emerging in both Agile Project Management and Agile Product Development. By making project managers aware of these trends, and ensuring that they understand not only the trend, but also its impact, they will be well prepared to tackle problems that arise in the Agile Space, well into the future.

In this interview, Kevin Reilly and Cornelius Fichtner will discuss the top Agile trends that are emerging in 2021, including:

  • Agile Supported by AI & ML
  • Agile Coaching
  • Agile Organizational Agility
  • Agile DevOps
  • Agile Remote Work

Expect a high-level discussion of Agile trends that will be emerging this year. Some may be trends you didn’t think of, but after this discussion, you will understand how important these trends are for doing business during and after the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This episode was recorded live and we got some insightful questions and comments from the audience!

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Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Video Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we look at how emerging Agile trends.

Hello, and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™ at This is the live stream for Episode 469 and I’m Cornelius Fichtner. Thank you very much for joining us today here. Thank you very much for being with me live in this presentation.

And for those of you who are accessing this episode recorded and not live, please remember, yeah, this is a video episode. So if you are only getting the audio then please do look for the “Play video episode” link in your podcast app, or simply go to where you can stream the video from the website.

Alright! Today, we are talking about Emerging Agile Trends. There are a number of interesting and surprising trends emerging in both Agile project management and also Agile product management, product development. We want to bring aware of these trends and ensure that you understand not only the trend itself but also its impact so that you can be well prepared to tackle problems that arise in the Agile space well into the future. This is going to be a very high-level discussion of these Agile trends, and some maybe trends that you didn’t think of or expect. But you’ll soon see how important they are for projects.

Video Presentation

Cornelius Fichtner: And joining us today is Kevin Reilly, who has been on the program two or three times before. So allow me to bring Kevin into the conversation. Here he is! Hello, Kevin! Welcome back!

Kevin Reilly: Hello, Cornelius! Good morning.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, always nice to have you here.

Kevin Reilly: Thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: Let’s take a look here. I do have, there we go. I do have your bio. So for those of you who haven’t met Kevin before. Kevin is an independent contractor and project management certification coach. He has been teaching Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) training, hundreds of students, one-on-one training to help them prepare for and pass the exam.

He is a strong believer in volunteerism as a way of paying it forward. That’s actually how I got to know Kevin back in the day when I still lived in California. He was a volunteer for PMI. I was a volunteer for PMI, and he engaged me as a speaker.

He worked in the software industry for over 15 years both as a Waterfall project manager, as well as Agile and Scrum Master. But, most importantly, his claim to fame here at my company is the final bullet here on the slide. He helped me and my company and our team shift to Agile and go from what I would consider to be a purely plan-driven approach that we had over to an Agile approach. We’re still using that. We’re still using his templates after many, many years. So thank you, Kevin!

Kevin Reilly: Welcome.

Cornelius Fichtner: Therefore, first question from me to you here, Kevin: When did you first come across Agile and its potential for project management?

Kevin Reilly: Well, I first came across Agile when I was getting speakers like you. I got Mark Layton, who is big in the Agile world. I had him as a speaker and he kind of piqued my curiosity. Agile was not worldwide distributed yet. It wasn’t embraced by all companies. But it was starting to get its roots.

I took a Certified Scrum Master course from Mark and then I realized that Agile is definitely not something of the future. It’s actually in the present. And starting in 2013, I actually had jobs as Agile project managers and Scrum Masters, and I realized the benefits. The main benefit of which is you have a competitive advantage over someone, one of your competitors, that does not use Agile.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay, great! My second question to you has to do with today’s presentation. We are going to be looking at oh, about half a dozen or so of these Agile trends. Where did these come from? How did you find them? And what can our listeners expect by the end of our conversation today?

Kevin Reilly: Well, this particular presentation even though it’s less than 25 slides took a long time. I did a lot of research pretty much all in Google. I checked out the Agile Alliances websites. I checked out the Scrum Alliance. I checked out PMI with all the Agile stuff that they were doing. So there was a lot of research involved in getting this information.

Why did I pick these particular topics? These were the ones that were in the top five or top ten Agile emerging trends as I compare each of those research activities that I did. So I took the best of the best was kind of the top five or six. And then yeah, had a lot of people that were very in Agile, were big in Agile. Actually, my cousin is Rob Myers, he is really big in Agile. People like me started seeing the efficiency of Agile and wanted to pursue it rather than staying with Waterfall purely.

Cornelius Fichtner: So Kevin mentioned a presentation. This is the presentation. We’re not actually going to go through the presentation. We’re going to be talking about the contents of the presentation. But what we do have are a few slides here that we will be bringing up.

But before I do that, if you have any questions about these Agile trends then please do feel free to put them into comments and I will bring them up and Kevin and I will try to answer them as best as we can.

And now, let us jump into the first topic. The first topic here is Agile Governance, okay? So Kevin, would you please define Agile governance for us? What is it? What do we have to understand by Agile governance?

Kevin Reilly: Okay. So Agile governance is similar to regular project management, Waterfall project management governance. Basically, instead of having each individual team make up their own guidelines and policies, you have one central office, okay? In Waterfall, you have a central office and they are usually project managers or the program managers in there. And they kind of dictate the guidelines of what each team should follow. Because this way, it makes it consistent across the entire organization.

Agile takes it a bit further. So Agile governance includes all that, but they also have specific information and coaching and mentoring available for the project managers using Agile. One of the main differences between them, Waterfall versus Agile governance, is you actually have coaches in the Agile governance. And they work one on one with teams or one on one with individual developments. We had Agile governance over at Petco and we served, worked there for two years and really made a big difference to make sure that each project manager got everything they needed to be successful.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay. So is there a main difference between Agile governance and just regular governance in terms of what it does for us project managers? I mean it just tells you who is responsible for what and who makes what decisions on a very high level, right?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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