Leadership Observations

Leadership Observations

I’ve been telling this story (or details) anecdotally in my agile and leadership classes for a number of years. But I thought I’d also capture it in the blog.

My initial goal was simply to capture my observations. But I’d like to hear from others and their experiences.

My working journey…

I started working as a software engineer at Sperry Univac in 1981 and am still working. If my math is right, that’s 37 years and counting.

Ugh, right!

The Agile Monk

The Agile Monk

First, this is inspired by an attendee of one of my Coaching Circles.

His name was Amaranatho Maurice Robey and he has an introductory video here - https://youtu.be/ImvuQizaMsE

He inspired me to look at Buddism a bit and I found this wonderful article about Buddhist Monk Habits: https://ideapod.com/10-buddhist-monk-habits-hard-to-adopt-but-life-changing-when-you-do/

I’d like to relate them to an agile mindset, both individually, but importantly, at a Leadership Level. I might even include them in my CAL class in some way…

  1. Outer de-cluttering

  2. Inner de-cluttering

  3. Meditating a LOT

  4. Following the Wise

  5. Listen mindfully and without judgment

  6. Change is the only law of the universe

  7. Living the moment

  8. Focus on one thing

  9. Give it everything you’ve got

  10. Let go of what you can’t control

Here are my agile learnings and reactions from this list: 

Pocket Knives & Agile

Pocket Knives & Agile

You all may not know this, but I’m a fairly avid collector of pocket knives. I tend to gravitate towards knives that are:

  • Well-made & high quality

  • Somewhat unique

  • Made by manufacturers with solid reputations

  • That have great customer reviews

While I care about the ultimate price, I care more about all of the above factors. I guess I consider each purchase an investment of sorts as I build my collection.

Chris Reeves Knives

What IS your Legacy?

What IS your Legacy?

I spent over 10 years working at a company in Connecticut called Micrognosis. I wrote about an aspect of my experience there in this post.  

During my tenure at Micrognosis we delivered many, many products and projects. We made millions of dollars on our technologies and our customers were fairly happy with our efforts. All of this happened in the span from 1986 – 1996. If you asked me today whether anyone, and I mean anyone, really cares about the efforts we made (products, effort, blood-sweat-tears, etc.), I’d say no.

One of the hidden factors in all of our legacies, and I know technologists don’t want to hear this, is that what we’re working on really doesn’t matter in the long term. No matter what you’re working on!

For example, Netflix or Google or Spotify of today really won’t matter (technically) 20 years from now. Sure, they’ll be historical notes about them on Wikipedia, but the products themselves won’t matter.


Scrum Product Ownership, 3'rd Edition

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share some great news. I’ve just completed the 3’rd Edition of my Scrum Product Owner book.

It’s been a true labor of love that’s taken far longer to finish then I’d originally expected. (sounds like software products, right?) But, to quote a common agile phrase…I am now…


Stick a fork in it, Baby!

E-copies (PDF, EPUB, and MOBI) are all available immediately on LeanPub. What’s nice about connecting via LeanPub is that I plan on continuing to evolve content & ideas in the PDF, so it will be a way to “stay in touch” with any future developments of the books’ themes.

Also not that I’ve published several short PDF, blog link books that make it easy to explore my blog posts on 3-specific topics:

  • Agile Coaching

  • Agile Leadership

  • Product Ownership

More information on ALL of the LeanPub copies can be found here: https://leanpub.com/bookstore?search=Robert%20Galen


You can find the paper version here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098850264X/

And the Kindle version here: https://www.amazon.com/Scrum-Product-Ownership-Navigating-Forest-ebook/dp/B07PBGN5NW/

And here’s a link to my Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B00287V534/

Previous Owners Offer

I’d like to make the following offer for ALL Edition 1 and Edition 2 book owners. If you’ve previously purchased a paper or e-copy of my two previous editions, I’ll give you a free e-copy of the 3’rd Edition. All you have to do is drop me a note and I’ll forward you a coupon for LeanPub to get your copy.

Wrapping Up

It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m incredibly pleased with the results. I hope you pick up a copy of the new book and hope even more so that it provides value to you.

And if you do read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. It means so much to me to gain feedback.

Stay agile my friends,


SAFe No Longer - My Final Farewell

SAFe No Longer - My Final Farewell

I saw a note on LinkedIn the other day about the implementation roadmap on the Scaled Agile website. I followed it here -


I found a really nice diagram that reminded me of the children’s game Chutes and Ladders. It had a wavy path for folks to follow in order to successfully implement SAFe.  

As I looked at the diagram, I imagined $$$ at specific points where the SAFe folks (Scaled Agile proper, consulting firms, SPC consultants, tooling firms, etc.) could “cash in” on SAFe training, consulting, and tooling.

In other words, I followed the path and heard an ongoing CHA-CHING in the air!

And as I looked at it closer, it finally dawned on me that SAFe was no longer safe. It was no longer supporting the essence of the agile manifesto. That it had clearly crossed the chasm from agile-focused framework to agile-buzzword and revenue generation vehicle. I guess the realization hit me that SAFe, while perhaps ok for others, was no longer safe for me to support. Which made me feel sad.


Competing Agile Voices

Competing Agile Voices

I was having an email conversation with an agile coaching colleague the other day. In one of her replies, she said the following: 

BTW I really like the way you articulate your concerns about the agile community at large. It’s helpful to share with my leadership and customers as we try to navigate a very messy space of certifications, frameworks, and competing agile voices

The final point she made really struck a chord with me. The notion of competing agile voices.

It made me realize that, YES, there are many, many agile voices today. And one of the real challenges is to figure out who to listen to. Where’s the value and the experience? And how to avoid the “noise” or how to separate the wheat from the chaff?

I want to share some ideas around this challenge. No, I’m not sharing any secret filter or the 1-person to listen to. They don’t exist.

But I do want to share some advice for handling the high voice count and how to become a more discerning listener when it comes to the noise.


IP Awareness

As an independent agile consultant, I’ve found that my IP is something that I’ve got to be aware of and careful with. While it’s not something I often think about, I should.  

You’re IP is sort of like cash in your bank account. You should be aware of it and take care of it with that same intent.

Johanna Rothman recently wrote an article that speaks to aspects of your IP, including:

  • Your writing (books, articles, blogs)

  • Your podcasts

  • Your videos/recordings

  • The materials you use in your classes

It’s also important to manage these during your career journey. For example, if I were to choose to return as a full-time employee for a company, there would be IP language in my employee agreement. Usually that language isn’t just a forward-looking. Instead, it often attempts to cover all of your IP. So, you have to be careful in reviewing and negotiating different language that narrows the IP.

For example, what if you’re blogging while under employment. Whose IP is it? Anyway, if you’re producing any IP that covers anything about agile, this is food for thought for you.

Stay agile my friends!


The Moose is Loose

Just my first blog post on the MOOSE…

We are, how do you say it…

L - O - O - S - E

I’ve been blogging for quite a few years. And if you’ve followed me, you realize that I have quite a lot to say.

Up until now, my outlet was the RGalen Consulting Group blog. But sometimes I felt that the pieces I posted there were too personal or not business focused.

Well, the Agile Moose blog is now the place for my personal rants, ramblings, and reflections. I’ll be moving some posts from the RGalen blog and using this as my new personal focal point.

I hope you find the content valuable…

Stay agile my friends,