About Bob Hartman

Bob is founder of Agile For All, as well as a Certified Scrum Trainer and Coach. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board for the Scrum Alliance. He is passionate about helping organizations use agile principles and values to achieve their full potential. He travels frequently and always brings his "NO!" button (because many companies are already doing too many things and not saying no enough!)

Peter Drucker understood agile leadership and agility before it even existed!

Management and leadership in the 21st century need to be significantly different or businesses will be left behind. People recognize this and management is slowing changing from what has been known as “Taylorism” or “scientific management” to something that has a variety of names, but the easiest one for me to relate to is “agile leadership.” I remember Certified Scrum Trainer and Coach, Pete Behrens, describing the agile leadership section of the Certified Scrum Coach application by saying something like, “We want coaches that understand agile leadership is both a verb and a noun.” What he meant is we often think of agile leadership as a noun and list behaviors and patterns that identify a style we call agile leadership. As a verb he meant we want leaders that actively lead organizations and people in agile ways. We want there to be evidence of doing Agile (verb) so that we can see the identifiable Agile result (noun). [Read more…]

Agile For All adds three new members to the team


Peter playing his trumpet!

In case you missed the press release, Peter Green, Adobe Systems Agile Transformation Leader, will join our Agile For All team on March 16th. I am personally excited about Peter’s amazing contributions to the Agile community and his enterprise level experience. I’m also excited to say that Peter isn’t the only one joining the team! See below for more details on all of the exciting news.

For those of you that don’t know him, Peter led a grass roots Agile transformation at Adobe from 2005 to 2015, starting with his own team, Adobe Audition. His influence includes the teams behind such software flagships as Photoshop, Acrobat [Read more…]

Agile and Scrum training the Agile For All way

Take a moment to consider the last time you were in any sort of training environment. Were the tables set up “classroom style” so everyone faced forward in rows? Did the instructor read a lot of PowerPoint slides? Perhaps the room was even dark so everyone could see the PowerPoint better. Maybe you were lucky and you even had a workbook that was 500 pages long to go along with the training! <please feel free to gag at this point> Yes, we’ve all been there, and it’s horrible. It is one reason why many adults avoid any sort of educational opportunities – it’s just too horrible to ponder going through that again!

Well, people in our courses experience something completely different from what happens in a normal classroom. That didn’t happen by accident. [Read more…]

Looking Back at the Past Two Years

Eric Engelmann of GeonetricI want to start this post by thanking Eric Englemann (yes, that is him on the right!), the CEO of one of our awesome clients, Geonetric. Almost two years ago he took a huge risk and completely changed their corporate structure. But he didn’t stop there, he committed to letting the world know how they were doing along the way. He and others in his company have been extremely open about their results, including how they were doing one year after the big change and again last month.

Well, two years ago Agile For All underwent a big change as well. It went from a single-member LLC where I was the founder, owner, only member and everything else. In other words I was on my own. Two years ago I merged Agile For All with Richard Lawrence’s company, Humanizing Work. We had worked together for several years prior to the merger, but actually merging our companies was a huge, risky step for both of us. How are we doing today? Read on!

The Agile For All Christmas Party & Four Charities We’re Fired Up About This Christmas

In November, we asked our wives, Dawn Lawrence and Carol Hartman (whom many of you met at the conference), to plan a unique company Christmas party and surprise us with it. They delivered! We were suprised and pleased with yesterday’s party.

Dawn and Carol asked for a larger budget than we expected. We couldn’t figure out what they were going to do with it. Maybe a fancy meal or outing. Then, they started making food for the party, and we were really puzzled. [Read more…]

Humanizing Work 2013 Conference Recap

Humanizing Work 2013 Conference LogoLast month’s Humanizing Work Conference was organized around one big hypothesis: that it was possible to do to a conference what we’d done to our classes—to take all the standard features and replace them with more interactive, brain-friendly ones. Well, it worked…beyond our expectations. [Read more…]

With apologies to Bill Engvall, ScrumMasters, here’s your sign!

Have you ever had one of those days when you wondered if your ScrumMaster was on crack? Or maybe you’re the ScrumMaster and the you wonder why you are doing what you’re doing! I think we’ve all been there, so this post is for when you are having one of those days. A little bit of humor to brighten things up (while also being somewhat serious at the same time).

Bill Engvall is one of my favorite comedians. The guy just cracks me up every time I watch or listen to him. His most famous line is “Here’s your sign.” So here are a few “sign” stories for you to ponder.

[Read more…]

Agile Practitioners Aren’t Supposed to Use Flamethrowers – Are They?

Have you ever been in a flamethrower war? I sincerely hope you have never been in one like the picture, but if you have been there serving for the US armed forces, then thank you for what you did for our country! Most of us have not been in a literal flamethrower war, but some of us have been in our share of them in the virtual world. I may be showing my age, but we used to have a phrase for arguments on message boards: flame wars or flaming. They were all the rage when a social network was really a Usenet newsgroup. Now we’ve grown up to using fancy mailing lists from Google and Yahoo and we still have the same core issues around disagreements. People will make statements in a message that they would never make in a face-to-face environment.

There were arguments about agile even before the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was created in 2001 by 17 brave individuals (some of whom I’m honored to be able to call friends). Lately, I’ve come to realize that the world of arguing around agile hasn’t changed in the past 10+ years at all. The players have changed, but not the fact that we can’t all get along. In the past year I’ve seen “discuss-ments” (give me credit if you use my made up word!) around all of the following issues: [Read more…]

As a ScrumMaster silence can be golden!

Silence is GoldenI love it when someone who was in one of my workshops sends me a message saying something from the workshop worked well for them. Recently I have started telling people in my Certified ScrumMaster training workshops that far too many ScrumMasters talk too much. I tell them they need to learn a new skill – being silent! The graphic makes the point perfectly. In fact, it adds that if you can’t stay quiet, buy some duct tape!

Below is a message from a recent workshop attendee that really hit home and made me realize adding this little segment to the CSM workshop was well worth it! He had the patience required of a good ScrumMaster and the result was worthwhile. [Read more…]

An Agile Merry Christmas 2010!

Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?  I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, so if that isn’t the holiday for you, think about your equivalent, or just think about going to your personal happy place.  Are you feeling it yet?  I know I’m in the Christmas spirit.  I can see it in the eyes of my children as we spend this week in a beachfront condo in Florida.  I think it is pretty funny to see people bundled up in scarves and parkas when the temperature hits 55 degrees, but it also reminds me that it really is Christmas time.  On to the point of this blog post… [Read more…]