Today’s episode in a panel discussion on Value, Success, and Joy with John Riley, An Agile coach and consultant (, and Jeffrey Cochran, Human Resource consultant ( in terms of self, family, business, and your customer.

At the core the customer focus answers the question “Who’s the customer and what problem do they have that needs solved?”

The importance of collaboration and negotiation are discussed along with the damaging effects unresolved personal biases can have. This rolls into a shared vision within the team and with the customer so that a balance can be found between scope, time, and budget.

Product development is an important component making Agile methodologies ideal  for providing incremental deliverables the customer can examine and determine the appropriate path for solving the problem.

This leads to the creation of an agreed-upon mission statement which increases the odds of success for Human Resource efforts especially with regards to talent acquisitions.

The conversation moved to the foundational relationship between product management (the Iron Triangle) and project management (the Triple Constraint) which together provide a basis for weaving all the intangibles together leading to the creation of a realistic plan, effective execution, and maximum value for the customer.

An important consideration here is products are ever-evolving while projects have specific end-dates. This means collaboration with the customer and between product and project management is essential to avoid confusion. Agile methods are ideal in such situations.

The importance of the 3 Pillars of Agility, transparency, inspection, and adaptation, were discussed. This is important in product development because some of the pieces of the puzzle are firmly designed, e.g., labor law, limits of the technology used, etc., and others are more fluid requiring constant experimentation and, again, close collaboration with the customer. Examples of the latter being screen design, product feature layout and ergonomics, and the ultimate feature set the product contains.

This increase in complexity makes vulnerability among all the stakeholders involved a key consideration. Honesty, transparency, and authenticity are critical if the collaboration is to be successful.

The conversation moved to the importance of vulnerability and collaboration to increase the probability of experiencing joy and thriving. This especially is required so that the team can fail forward fast in determining exactly what the customer needs to solve their problem. It also pushes on the client to do their part in creating a User’s Acceptance Test (UAT) that becomes the hub around which all work is performed and gauged for adequacy. The situation can get dicey if the UAT evolves over time. Stress can go up putting pressure on each individual’s ability to trust.

An example was presented when hubris, arrogance, and a lack of honesty, humility, and team work are used to solve problems…France’s attempt to build the Panama Canal. A minimum of 30,000 workers died and France was brought to the edge of bankruptcy. This is on contrast to America’s approach where, among other things,  Dr. Walter Reed went in and determined solutions needed for the public health issues present.

To encourage the listener the podcast closes with Jeffrey, John, and Gary each giving their individual sense of Value, Success, and Joy.

For Human Resource concerns contact Jeffrey Cochran at:

  1. 565-8073

For Agility needs including coaching contact John Riley at:

  1. 664-9606

You can contact me, Gary Monti, at:


This episode  is sponsored by the Business Agility Midwest Conference, November 6-7, 2019, Columbus, OH. You can access the conference web site directly for any comments or questions,, or you can contact me at

In line with Business Agility and dealing with complex situations, you can download my free e-book MINDSET – 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK AT COMPLEX PROBLEMS and learn how to find a simple vantage point from which you can resolve challenges.

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