Interview with Heitor Roriz Filho
This week, we speak to Heitor Roriz Filho. Heitor is an “agilero”. He works as an Agile Coach and Trainer worldwide, and is based out of São Paulo.
Heitor Roriz Filho is a writer, speaker and trainer in the area of Technology Management. In addition to speaking for Agile/Scrum, Six Sigma and PMI conferences, he is the founder activist of the ScrumAmazonia user group. He is also the co-founder and Agile Coach of Massimus, a company focused on APM (Agile Project Management) training and coaching.
Heitor shares with us his views on Agile and Scrum, his experiences with training and certification, etc. Read on!
Tell us about when and how you were first introduced to the concepts, Agile and Scrum. What caught your attention?
I was first introduced to Agile and Scrum, in the end of 2004 while still a Masters student in south Germany. The concepts, values and principles caught my attention when in the first half of 2005, I started my first project as a ScrumMaster. It was a big distributed project during which I could see in practice how a lightweight and simple framework like Scrum could profoundly impact people.
What does ‘being Agile’ mean to you?
It is a powerful mindset that is aligned with the current moment in human history: renovation and change. Old concepts are getting outdated, old practices are being reviewed, organizations are opening their minds for sustainable innovation. Agile is a fundamental ingredient in this whole process.
How do you contribute to spreading awareness about Agile and Scrum?
I contribute to conferences (not only Agile ones) either as a speaker, sponsor or organizer. Currently, I am deeply involved in movements to change the management mindset for the XXI century. Radical Leadership and Management, molded by Agile Values and innovative management skills are slowly starting to stand out and I want to make sure that I contribute to reshape the mindset of future leaders.
You conduct trainings in different parts of the World. What are the expectations, in general, of the people who attend your classes? What kind of feedback do you get from them?
Some people expect to hear about PM practices while others expect to get surprised by concepts around Scrum. Most of them get very surprised by the soft skills and dynamics I bring to the classes. I believe that is what makes my classes stick out despite the official certification aspect.
During discussions in one training in either Los Angeles or São Paulo, one attendee was quite anguished over the fact that his Product Owner was not performing as he should. It happened that his boss was the Product Owner and, as he described, his boss was all but comprehensive and willing to learn. Using some Positive Coaching techniques in the training, I could make him see that he got all it takes to change the situation. He was pretty excited to give it a try and sent me an email a couple of weeks after the training, saying he was succeeding and very thankful.
Another situation – pretty funny and positive – was when a guy at the end of a training in India seemed so excited and stated: “I loved the training! I felt like in a Philosophy class!” Those feedbacks are what makes me have a lot of fun doing what I do and constantly improve my ways.
Do you see much interest for certified trainings? Why do you think people look for certification?
Even though some people in my trainings state they are there for the knowledge sharing, there is still a lot of interest for certified trainings. I believe people look for certification solely due to the market, which is the main driver. If companies ask for certificates, people go for it. Getting certificated is equivalent to getting educated and I don’t think getting educated is a bad thing. The problem lies in what some companies do with certificates: being certified does not necessarily mean you are a good professional.
After becoming a CSM or CSPO, what do you see as the next step (in terms of growth) for an individual?
The training course is just the first step. The next ones lie in putting it all in practice. I say that there are two requisites to working with Agile and grasping its concepts: be open-minded and don’t be afraid to try.
What, in your opinion, are the best things about Agile?
The ability to bring so many people together!
Are there any drawbacks to Agile, in your perception?
I don’t think there are drawbacks in Agile, per se. The only drawbacks lie in the people doing Agile those without the requisites I described earlier.
Do you think it is a good idea to implement Agile and Scrum in non-IT teams?
Some practices, yes. Values and principles, definitely. I have implemented Scrum in one architectural and building project. It was a tremendous success.
How do you find the experience of working with Conscires?
It has been a nice experience as we resonate.