BONUS: Johanna Rothman explains how you can create a successful agile project

Johanna Rothman is a prolific Agile author with at least 13 books at the time this is being written. She has worked as an Agile manager and has consulted many Agile managers all over the world. In this episode, she shares some of the hard-earned lessons from her very active career. All of that and much more is also available in her book: Create your Successful Agile Project.

We start by reviewing some of the most effective practices that Johanna discovered and developed over her career – and there’s a lot to learn, so dig in!

As an example, Johanna shared how she had little success with Agile Retrospectives until Diana Larsen and Esther Derby’s Agile Retrospectives book came out. Another example is how she discovered the importance of having ~ 1-day User Stories, a practice that I also discovered and wrote about in the NoEstimates Book.

Creating successful Agile teams with Agile Leadership

The cornerstone of successful agile projects are the teams that work on the project. So Johanna devotes a part of the book to the practices that lead to creating great teams and we review some of those in this episode. From the management approach to the setup of the team. All of those aspects combine to either create or destroy the teams we have in the project.

Next, we discuss the aspects of Agile Leadership that can lead to successful projects. Johanna has written many books on this topic alone (from hiring to portfolio management), but there’s one message she wants you to take: Scrum is not enough. Leadership can create the conditions in which Scrum cannot succeed, so we need a new kind of Leadership that Johanna describes in the book, and introduces in this episode.

Start simple, but start NOW

Some companies, teams, and leaders get overwhelmed with all the prescriptive Agile (paradox!) they are exposed to. Johanna has a simpler suggestion: start where you are. In this episode, she describes some of the things you should take into account and several small things you can start with today. So, what are you waiting for? Listen and start acting! 🙂


About Johanna Rothman

People know Johanna as the “Pragmatic Manager.” She provides frank advice—often with a little humor—for really tough problems. She helps leaders and managers do reasonable things that work.

She has written many books. At least 13 if my count is right.

She also writes articles for all kinds of places, including Better Software, IEEE Software, and Cutter IT Journal to name just three. She’s keynoted on five continents and is not sure (yet) she wants to go to Antarctica.

Johanna can help you create projects, teams, and organizations that work.

You can link with Johanna Rothman on LinkedIn and connect with Johanna Rothman on Twitter.

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