In this episode of AgileNEXT, Ian McFarland joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his agile journey.  Some topics include:

  • Agile in Startups/Silicon Valley
  • Agile in a regulated environment
  • Agile in the Government
  • Agile at Scale
  • What is next for Agile



Ian McFarland is an entrepreneur and technologist. He’s the Founder and Chairman of Neo, a leading global product innovation company.

He has a long track record of identifying trends early: He started working on worldwide distributed Hypertext systems in 1989 with Ted Nelson at Autodesk, about the same time Tim Berners-Lee started working on the World Wide Web. At Wired Magazine in 1994 he was on the launch team of HotWired, the first significant commercial Web application. There he worked with Brian Behlendorf on patches to NCSA HTTP, what would eventually become Apache, the basis of the Apache Software Foundation. In 1995 he met James Gosling at a demo of the new programming language Java, and subsequently built the first client server application ever written in Java, a technology demo for Sun’s announcement of the language at SunWorld. In 2004 he joined Friendster as employee number 3 and Chief Architect, the company that created the phenomenon we know today as Social Networking. In 2005 he joined Pivotal Labs, and as VP of Technology helped to build one of the most trusted brands in agile development consulting, and the first major consultancy to embrace Ruby on Rails. In 2009 he was part of the summit of design and technology leaders like Alan Cooper and Ward Cunningham that developed the integration of agile principals into design that would come to be known as Lean UX. In 2011, he left Pivotal Labs to join Digital Garage, a publicly traded Japanese company founded by Joi Ito, Director of the Media Lab at MIT, as Group CTO, and with the help of Eric Ries, author of the Lean Startup movement, to start building the consultancy he launched in 2012, Neo Innovation, Inc., of which he is Founder and Chairman.

He’s helped to advise the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and 18F, and has been a mentor and speaker at various accelerator programs, including 500 Startups, Tech Stars; Haxlr8r and Highway1 (Hardware accelerators, in Shenzhen, China, and San Francisco, respectively); and IndieBio (Sythetic Biology accelerator in San Francisco).

He is an author and frequent speaker on Entrepreneurship, Lean, Agile, UX and Cloud.


This week we have a very special episode insofar as we have five guests and it is the first episode that Daniel and Stephen recorded live (so please pardon some of the acoustics.)

Our guests are the founding team of the Indian technology company e-Zest. We recorded it in June 2016 at their Technology Innovation Center in Pune, India during a 24 hackathon that was going on.

They talk to us about how they built e-Zest as a startup (and all five of them sharing a studio apartment in Bombay), how they embraced Agile, how they implemented Agile in an offshore environment, and lastly how they scaled Agile.

The founders of e-Zest are:

Jaywant Deshpande
Chief Operating Officer & Founder
Complete profile
Amol Pande
Director and Founder
Complete profile


Ashish Gupta
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
Complete profile


Sunil Dane
Director and Founder
Complete profile

In this episode of AgileNEXT, Joel Semeniuk joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his agile journey.  Some topics include:

  • Agile at Scale
  • Agile Transformations & The Agile Organization
  • Startup ecosystems
  • What is next for Agile
  • What the heck a Chief Innovation Officer does



Joel Semeniuk is a founder and Chief Innovation Officer/Incubation Director at Imaginet Resources Corp., a Canadian based Microsoft Gold Partner and the #1 Small to Medium Sized Employer in Canada. Joel also served as the Executive Vice President of Innovation and Agile Project Management at Telerik. Joel has a degree in Computer Science and is also a Corporate Microsoft Regional Director (of only 13 word wide) and Previously a Microsoft Most Valued Professional in the area of Application Lifecycle Management and previously Software Architecture.

With over 20 years of experience, Joel specializes in bridging technology to business needs by applying “outside the box thinking” and passion to everything he touches across an extremely broad set of industries. Joel is globally recognized for his knowledge of Application Lifecycle Management as well as team and organizational change. Joel regularly speaks at conferences around the world on a wide range of ALM, Agile, Lean and Customer Development topics. Joel is a zealous Lean thinker, and works to apply Lean Thinking strategies to the delivery of customer value and business development.

Over the past 10 years, Joel has dedicated himself to the establishment of his unique approach to innovation and business development, drawing from Customer Development, Lean Thinking and Growth Hacking practices. Considered by his peers as an “idea hamster”, he now works exclusively in emerging and new business development/consolidation at Imaginet. Joel worked as a mentor at AcceleratorHK, Hong Kong’s most successful Startup Accelerator and Mach5 in Silicon Valley. Joel a serial entrepreneur helping to establish a number of startups.

Joel is well published, coauthoring four books and hundreds of articles over the past 20 years. Joel is also regularly engaged by industry press for quotes and insight.



In this episode of AgileNEXT, Stuart Young joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his agile journey.  Some topics include:

  • What the heck is a Live Illustrator and why is it so cool
  • Agile at Scale
  • The state of the community
  • What is next for Agile



From Stuart:

I am a professional live illustrator with extensive traditional/ Agile Project management experience and a deep-rooted appreciation for Agile Principles and Methodologies.

After graduating with a design degree I spent over 10 years working in the public sector. During this period I discovered visual techniques that assisted teams to identify service improvements by reducing process inefficiencies.

Over time I grew accustomed to Agile ways of working, becoming a Certified Scrum Master, DSDM Agile Analyst as well as a Lean and Kanban Practitioner.

I have harnessed my creative skills to translate concepts and processes into engaging visuals during workshops, events and conferences.

With international notoriety within the Agile Community, I have provided my services at various Scrum Alliance Global Gatherings/ Retreats. In addition I have illustrated at an endless list of popular Agile conferences such as the Agile Testing Days in Berlin, the Lean Agile Scotland Conference and the London Lean Kanban event.

Combining both creative and analytical skills I contribute to team visioning/ planning workshops and retrospectives by offering captivating visuals that crystallise ideas and learning. Key insights can then be transformed into illustrated storyboards to clearly demonstrate a process, journey or vision. The artwork is then used by organisations to aid collaboration, stakeholder engagement and organisational alignment.

When I’m not drawing, I’m running a number of artistry workshops to support individuals to gain the confidence to draw and collaborate effectively. The newly gained skills assist teams to solve problems and map ideas with the use of graphic metaphors and additional visualisation techniques.

I joined Radtac in 2015 where I continue to assist individuals, teams and organisations with an array of visualisation services.


In this episode of AgileNEXT, Bill Joiner joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his experiences leading organizational change for the past 35 years. Some topics include:

Bill Joiner


Co-author of the award-winning book, Leadership Agility – and numerous articles on the same topic.

35 years experience completing successful organizational change, senior team development, leadership development, and executive coaching projects for companies in a wide variety of industries. Many high-profile clients, including companies of all sizes.

Other specialties: Keynotes on Leadership Agility, consulting on leadership development strategy, leadership workshops, Pivotal Conversations training for executives, facilitated executive retreats.

For more information about services and a client list, visit

Co-designed the Leadership Agility 360 with Cambria Consulting, well-established talent development firm. Regular coach certification workshops are provided by ChangeWise. See website.

MBA. Doctorate in Organization Development from Harvard.


In this episode of AgileNEXT, Tanya Maslach joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss her experiences building products at a super fast paced Silicon Valley startup. Some topics include:

  • Software development best practices
  • Using Agile in Startups
  • Women in Tech



Experienced product leader with expertise in consumer digital products and experiences.
Has a bias for doing what’s necessary, when it’s necessary, with humor, humility and hustle; deep-diver for meaning in and all kinds of data.

Disciplined systems and outcomes thinker. Searches for insights that make the invisible, visible. Builds teams that collaborate effectively to ensure high levels of execution and team energy.

Former founder/chief product officer (digital health and fitness); trained biologist and researcher, University educator, and industrial/organization psychologist.

Speaker or panelist:
Conscious Capitalism, Bay area: Women in Tech
Beyond20 (DevOps/ITSM): Keynote, New ways to lead your technical team
Coinbase (fireside chat) : Building and leading diverse teams
Triathlon America (panelist): Marketing to women
ATHENA San Diego (Fireside chat with CEO): Being a female entrepreneur in tech
espnW Summit (panelist): Building engaged communities online
American Society of Chemical Engineers (panelist)
Project Management Int’l, San Diego Chapter (keynote): Leading with EQ

Peninsula College Fund (Mentor): 2016-2020 to young female scholar.
TEDxSanFrancisco: Social Media/Web team lead.

Published or featured in:

Wall Street Journal (career section)
Womens Running (Feature)
Competitor Group (
Chief Learning Officer (published) (mentioned in 10 Entrepreneurs to Watch in San Diego)
espnW (published).

Professional interests: digital health, personalized medicine, reputation capital, leadership, IoT, marketplaces, interactive design

Fun stuff: Competitive triathlete, cyclist, collegiate swimmer, voracious reader and avid noodler.


In this episode of AgileNEXT, Steve Smith joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his thoughts on his experiences as a consultant and entrepreneur and his experiences with Agile over the past decade and a half . Some topics include:

  • Software development best practices
  • Scaling Agile
  • Using Agile with remote teams
  • Agile lessons learned from being in the Military



Experienced software developer, architect, speaker, trainer, author, and entrepreneur.

Developing web-based software using primarily Microsoft technologies since 1997. Operated, one of the largest independent ASP/ASP.NET sites, from 1998-2012. Founded and later sold Lake Quincy Media, the largest Microsoft developer online advertising network. Founded and later sold NimblePros, an agile consulting studio well-known for expertise as well as their Software Craftsmanship wall calendars.

Author of several books on ASP.NET and Programming, most recently a contributor to 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know. Author of several software development training courses for Pluralsight, including Principles of Object Oriented Design and many of their Design Patterns courses.

Microsoft Regional Director (Heartland District – Ohio), Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider. Professional conference speaker since 2001.

Army Combat Engineer Officer and veteran – spent most of 2004 in Iraq leading a platoon of engineers. Honorably discharged as a Captain in 2005.

BS in Computer Science Engineering in 1997. MBA in 2002.

Specialties: .NET Programming, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Internet Marketing and Advertising, IT Training and Consulting, Online Community Building.


In this episode of AgileNEXT, Peter Green joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his thoughts on his experiences as going through an Agile transformation, being a consultant, ISV, and now being part of Agile for All. Some topics include:

  • How Peter got into Agile
  • How Agile is Like Jazz
  • Agile transformations
  • Coaching
  • Sound engineering



From Peter:

As a Certified Scrum Trainer, I’m passionate about helping organizations get deeply engaged with their customers and with each other to deliver great products in today’s rapidly changing business world. As the Agile Transformation Leader at Adobe Systems, I helped the company make the critical business transition from perpetual desktop products to the subscription-based Creative Cloud. I now serve as an Agile Trainer and Coach for Agile For All, which is dedicated to helping technology companies embrace agile approaches in their organizations.

My original training as a trumpeter player composer at Arizona State University, and my 13-years at Adobe began when I took a “day job” at Syntrillium Software, makers of Cool Edit Pro. Syntrillium was purchased by Adobe a few years after I joined, and I moved from testing into Program Management at Adobe. In this role I learned about Scrum, a framework for building great products, from its creator Jeff Sutherland. I became a Certified Scrum Master from Ken Schwaber, Scrum’s co-founder, and began to serve in that role for both Adobe’s audio products.

Agile helped us dramatically improve our products, and other Adobe teams became interested in applying Scrum. At the same time, I was promoted to Group Program Manager for the Creative Suite, which brings together 14 of Adobe’s creative products, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, into an integrated experience for creative professionals.

Creative Cloud is one of the largest commercial software products in the world, and to successfully guide the division through this major transformation, I spread the knowledge of how we had adopted Agile techniques. To this end, I facilitated and eventually co-trained with Ken Schwaber for several internal Adobe classes. After the Creative Suite shipped, I began training and coaching Adobe teams in using an Agile approach full time, training and coaching hundreds of teams at the company before the opportunity arose to join to Agile For All.

In this episode of AgileNEXT, Steve Porter joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his thoughts on his experiences as a consultant, ISV, and now being part of Some topics include:

  • Scaling
  • The human side of Agile
  • Cadences
  • Agile outside of IT
  • Star Wars and Agile



From Steve:

In my decade and a half working in IT, I’ve handled most application development roles including developer, project manager, scrum master and product owner. I understand the numerous elements that result in successful delivery and the pitfalls that can lead to a project going sideways.

I was an early proponent of agile application lifecycle management (ALM) practices because it was clear to me how software engineering teams could use it to deliver projects more quickly and efficiently.

I am currently employed by and works directly with Ken Schwaber on his mission to improve the professional software development. I travel the world as a mentor, trainer and coach to help organizations make improvements to their delivery capabilities through the implementation of proven Agile and Lean practices.

In this episode of AgileNEXT, Aaron Bjork joins Daniel and Stephen to discuss his thoughts on the agile transformation he lived through at Microsoft, software development, corporate culture, and where Agile is headed NEXT. Some topics include:

  • Agile transformations
  • An Agile organization
  • Agile outside of IT



Aaron Bjork is a Principal Group Program Manager working on Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online. He is responsible for work item tracking, reporting, collaboration, and all agile experiences. Prior to joining Team Foundation Server in 2008, Aaron worked as a software engineer and development lead in Visual Studio. Aaron is passionate about Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solutions and has a strong desire to see teams improve their software engineering practices. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Washington. Aaron is an avid golfer, a hobby farmer, and loves spending time with his wife and three kids.