Women in Agile Podcast Highlights

I recently had the pleasure of being part of the “Women in Agile” podcast (available here).

person_listening-EBG_Consulting.pngIn the podcast, I discuss infusing product management with agile principles and practices. Leslie Morse, the podcast interviewer, summarized the highlights of our conversation as follows:

“Ellen speculates a future where there will be a “blending of disciplines where you don’t necessarily have a business area and a technology area”, just one product team with interdisciplinary team members. Her piece of advice to product people: Have strategic awareness of your product in the marketplace or “Big-View”, and get rid of junk in the backlog.

Gottesdiener also takes us down the memory lane to the beginnings of the Agile Conference – she has attended every one of them since Salt Lake City. She reminds us of the women who have had a large impact on the Agile community from the very beginning.”

We covered a range of topics, including:

  • The convergence of product management and agile
  • Shifting from project to product
  • How to define your product
  • The potential impact of product thinking on organizational design
  • Introduction of the Agile Fluency™ model and product fluency
  • The origins of retrospectives in the agile community
  • The origins of agile from women in agile

Thoughts on Agile Product Management

As you listen to the podcast, I have listed key topics below. I have included the start times so that you can jump right to your favorite topic. The following topics are from my interview on agile product management:

  • Products, not projects (which has been my focus since 2012) [2:41]
  • Agile and product management: influences, shifts, and tensions [5:38]
  • Confusion about answering, “What is our product?” [7:08]
  • Defining your product as broadly as practical [8:57, 19:25]
  • Product organization of the future [11:49]
  • What agile people need to learn from the product community [16:29]
  • Agile Fluency™ model overview and new product research inspired by it [17:27]

The Importance of Women in AgileWomen+Agile-EBG_Consulting

I took the opportunity to discuss a number of topics regarding the importance of women in agile:

  • My origin story when I initially discovered adopting agile in software product development [20:37]
  • Origins of iteration (a.k.a. “heartbeat”) retrospectives [24:32]
  • Women heroines in engineering, testing, and coaching [28:24]
  • Why agile principles are a natural for women [30:37]
  • Things I’ve learned as a woman in agile [35:31]

Outstanding Women Contributors

There are specific outstanding contributors I mention in the podcast (in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Lisa Crispin [28:24]
  • Janet Danforth (deceased) [23:39]
  • Rachel Davies [28:24]
  • Esther Derby [25:50]
  • Janet Gregory [28:24]
  • Diana Larsen [17:27, 24:32, 25:50, 28:24]
  • Linda Rising [26:32]
  • Jean Tabaka, (deceased) [23:39]


Here are some references for further investigation.

Podcast Topics

  1. Rachel Davies Agile Coaching book
  2. Retrospective Facilitator Gathering
  3. Agile Fluency™ model
  4. Defining Your Product

Resources for Women in Product

  1. Women in Product (with chapters globally)
  2. Advancing Women in Product

Subscribe to the Women in Agile Podcast

Resources from Ellen

Read more in Ellen’s Blog
Ellen’s third book, Discover to Deliver, now available as a free pdf download on the Discover to Deliver book website
Follow Ellen on Twitter | LinkedIn

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