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Katrin Lerm for IBM iX

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The Agile Truth – How to start a podcast

Ever wondered how podcasters create their stories? Or have you ever wanted to start a podcast yourself? Our IBM iX colleagues share their story behind “The Agile Truth” – an IBM iX podcast with weekly insights straight from the world of agile working.

In June 2021, IBM iX launched “The Agile Truth” – a podcast with weekly 5-minute episodes about honest agile hands-on experiences made with real customers and projects in a digital agency setting. After successfully publishing the first season, we want to share our making-of with you.

Spoiler alert: Good ideas don’t just fall into your lap. It needs talent, creativity, a great team – and agile ways of working.

Let’s find out why…

“What about doing an IBM iX podcast?”
Our colleagues and agile experts Katja Piepel (Scrum Master), Thierry Baudez (Scrum Master), and Gábor Bedőcs (Product Owner) have carried the idea of creating a podcast from the first minute onwards. It all started with a casual chat and the questions: “Why not let others benefit from the experiences of our agile experts at IBM iX? Sharing is caring. So, what about doing a podcast?”

Thierry had already tried his wings in the podcast world and brought valuable knowledge into the project. As an experienced Scrum Master, he knows that great stories don’t start with planning ­– but with doing. He set up a team to discuss which topics would be interesting for the agile universe and software development community.

The first workshop started with brainstorming and collecting ideas in Mural:

  • What topics shall we cover?
  • How long should an episode be?
  • What about the title of our podcast?
  • And our branding?

Tricky questions to answer.

Agile style: from the idea to the story

After gathering the first ideas and subjects, the newly formed editorial team started to group them: “Which of the suggestions fit the IBM iX philosophy best?” We decided to go with a short 5-minute interview format that should feature a new guest every week. Each interview would tell a real-life story that changed the way we think about agility or proves that our methods are working.

True to the motto of our podcast, we have worked in an agile way to bring the idea to life:

  • We tried things and kept what was working.
  • We improved on what needed to be improved.
  • We threw away what was not the focus.
  • Recording interviews under Covid restrictions was a big challenge. Instead of lengthy discussions about how to do it, the podcast team just used our Cisco Webex tool and started to record the first episode.
  • They tried a few setups and ta-da: there was the first recording in raw format!

With the help of our Marketing & Communications Manager Alexandra, the audio file of the first recording was cut. Together we chose the publishing platform, the intro sound, and a logo. A marketing plan was created to make sure the launch of the podcast did not go unnoticed.

Creating a social network of agile stories

The IBM iX marketing team as well as the editorial team found a way of working efficiently in parallel. While the editorial team took care of coordinating and producing the recordings, the marketing team handled the editing, publishing, and promotion of every new episode. WebEx was found to be sufficient for recordings. The only thing we had to improve on was the microphones. We experienced issues with wireless headsets and therefore started to prefer wired microphones. However, that was the easiest issue to tackle in getting recordings done. The bigger issue was the lack of interviewees. Lucky us: once we started interviewing our first experienced colleagues, they suggested who to interview next and on which subject. Again, a very agile part of the editorial work. Once you start talking to people, you find yourself in a storyline that is even more interesting than the original idea and which the interviewee is also more passionate about. It felt like we were building a social network of agile stories, that can now be experienced in “The Agile Truth” on all major podcast platforms.

Curious? Listen in!

This is how the podcast “The Agile Truth” was born and realised. Do our 5-minute chunks of honest agile experiences sound interesting to you?
Listen in!

Already finished season 1? Look forward to season 2 – available soon here. And shhh: season 3 is already in the making. Happy listening!

About the podcast “The Agile Truth”:
“The Agile Truth” is your weekly 5-minute chunk of honest agile experiences created by our digital experts at IBM iX. Every episode of our podcast deals with a different agile topic, but the mission stays the same: to provide you with the most valuable insights for your work as an agilist.

About our podcast team:

Gábor Bedőcs

Gábor works at IBM iX as senior Product Owner. As a PO he is a member of the scrum team, supporting them in defining stories and prioritising the team backlog to streamline the execution of programme priorities. Before he was hired at IBM IX, he worked as a software developer and development team lead in Budapest creating tailored software for banking. In 2012 he started as an agile software developer in Austria in one of the leading companies of Styria and switched to the PO role in 2015. Through experiencing several project methodologies and managing styles, he developed his motto: “Agile is not a noun.”

Thierry Baudez

Thierry has been a Senior Scrum Master at IBM iX since 2019. He helps teams deliver the digital manifestation of their clients’ strategies across industries. Before that, he freelanced in Siberia, ran a communications and time management consultancy in Belgium, set up a communications department in an international bank and, while based in the Netherlands, co-engineered the agilisation of 5,000 global employees. Only then did he find his true calling in 2019 as a Scrum Master in the IBM iX family, where he started the podcast about digital projects in an agile agency setting.

Katja Piepel

Katja started her journey as a media designer. Driven by her interest in people and relationships she decided to get trained as a systemic coach with a focus on team development. Through the training, she discovered the power of self-organised work and experienced that Agile can help to increase people’s motivation, joy of work, and effectiveness. Encouraged by this realisation, Katja changed her course and became a Scrum Master. At IBM iX, her focus is on building successful teams with strong self-organising and cross-functional skills and the pursuit of continuous improvement.

Alexandra Bauer

Alexandra has been a marketer since the very beginning. After joining the IBM iX DACH marketing & communications team in 2019 for a student internship, she gathered practical experience as a Marketing Manager in a start-up and returned to IBM iX in 2020. Since then, she has taken care of the internal and external communication channels as well as promoting the IBM iX content in form of text, audio, and video. She is convinced that a wide range of formats is necessary to properly address the wide range of personalities within the audience.

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