Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

By Vasco Duarte, Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner

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 Jan 15, 2019

Description

Every week day, Certified Scrum Master, Agile Coach and business consultant Vasco Duarte interviews Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches from all over the world to get you actionable advice, new tips and tricks, improve your craft as a Scrum Master with daily doses of inspiring conversations with Scrum Masters from the all over the world. Stay tuned for BONUS episodes when we interview Agile gurus and other thought leaders in the business space to bring you the Agile Business perspective you need to succeed as a Scrum Master. Some of the topics we discuss include: Agile Business, Agile Strategy, Retrospectives, Team motivation, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Backlog Refinement, Scaling Scrum, Lean Startup, Test Driven Development (TDD), Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Paper Prototyping, QA in Scrum, the role of agile managers, servant leadership, agile coaching, and more!

Episode Date
How to help Scrum teams in a crisis of trust | Rachel Martz
14:49

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

When Rachel worked with this team, it had been banned from releasing to production. Never a good sign. But she quickly learned that the situation was even worse: the team members were distrustful of each other, people avoided each other and closed the dialogue quickly. What should a Scrum Master do in this extreme situation? We discuss this, and other insights that can help you work with teams that have lost trust in each other.

Featured Book of the Week: The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform

In The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform by Harrison Owen, Rachel found a new metaphor for organizational change. She also learned how important it is to invest in learning the history of why people do what they do in the organizations we work for.

About Rachel Martz

Rachel has been in digital product development for over 20 years, having performed every role imaginable. She entered the agile space 13 years ago, doing hands-on product strategy and development modernization. 

Rachel is in the data and analytics industry at the moment and loves being a Scrum Master because it's the most impactful role she can have for helping improve people's lives.

You can link with Rachel Martz on LinkedIn

Sep 17, 2019
How Scrum Master can help teams that have lost all hope | Rachel Martz
14:14

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

As a new Scrum Master in that team, Rachel learned that other Scrum Masters had tried to help the team and failed. It was not an easy start for Rachel. At this point, many Scrum Masters would help the team “see the light”, why they needed the Scrum Master. But that’s not what Rachel did and it probably helped her have a much bigger impact than she would have otherwise. 

In this episode, we explore what to do when you join a team that is feeling apathy and try to understand why that apathy might have developed in the first place.

 

About Rachel Martz

Rachel has been in digital product development for over 20 years, having performed every role imaginable. She entered the agile space 13 years ago, doing hands-on product strategy and development modernization. 

Rachel is in the data and analytics industry at the moment and loves being a Scrum Master because it's the most impactful role she can have for helping improve people's lives.

You can link with Rachel Martz on LinkedIn

Sep 16, 2019
On what happens when the PO isn’t interested in what it means to be a good PO | Angeliki Hertzfeldt
14:10

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Some PO’s want to give it all, and be as good PO’s as they can be, others are lost, and don’t even have a Product Vision. In this episode, we talk about these 2 contrasting types of PO’s and how they affect the teams they work with.

The Great Product Owner: The committed PO

A great PO knows when they need help, and continuously work to improve their understanding and performance in that role. If the Product Owner has a clear Vision, and is able to communicate it to the team, that’s half-way to being a better PO. We also discuss several other aspects that tell you if the PO is committed to the role or not.

The Bad Product Owner: No-Vision PO

When the PO comes to Sprint planning and asks the team “What do you want to work on?” that’s a worrying sign. When you see that the PO isn’t worried about priorities, and doesn’t have a Vision, that’s a very serious problem for the team. In this segment, we talk about the consequences this PO had on the team, and how Angeliki was able to help that PO and the team.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Angeliki Hertzfeldt

Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum.

You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter

Sep 13, 2019
3 aspects to keep in every Agile Retrospective | Angeliki Hertzfeldt
09:15

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Is the team swarming? Are they talking to each other face-to-face, instead of e-mail? Those are just some of the questions that Angeliki asks when assessing the team’s ability to continue to work without the daily presence of the Scrum Master.

We also talk about some of the worrying signs that sometimes Scrum teams show. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: 3 aspects to keep in every retrospective

Angeliki uses many different formats for the Retrospectives she facilitates. But in all of those she tries to keep certain aspects fixed. She shares with us 3 aspects that help her constantly change the format, but keep certain things the same so that the retrospective also feels familiar. 

 

About Angeliki Hertzfeldt

Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum.

You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter

Sep 12, 2019
How to help Scrum teams continuously improve | Angeliki Hertzfeldt
10:09

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

The role of Scrum Masters is to help the team improve. Those improvements are changes that we also need to help the team understand and implement. In this episode, we talk about what Scrum Masters can do to help the teams continuously improve and change.

 

About Angeliki Hertzfeldt

Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum.

You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter.

Sep 11, 2019
How to help a Scrum team survive an overbearing team member | Angeliki Hertzfeldt
11:36

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

When certain behaviors emerge in a team, the consequences can be catastrophic. In this episode, we talk about what happens when one of the team members tries to constantly push their perspective. We discuss what were the consequences for this specific team, and how we can ensure that the team does not fall into a negative spiral of conflict, rumors, and disengagement.

Featured Book for the Week: The Scrum Guide

Although The Scrum Guide is not a book, it is a reference document for everyone wanting to practice Scrum at work. While the rules in the guide are simple, the more we read them, the more insights we get into the heart of Agile and Scrum.

 

About Angeliki Hertzfeldt

Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum.

You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter.

Sep 10, 2019
How to protect the Scrum team from stakeholder interference | Angeliki Hertzfeldt
10:31

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

As Scrum Masters, our role is to help the team grow and continuously deliver valuable software. Sometimes we work with stakeholders to do that, but other times we must be able to set limits to how the stakeholders interfere with the team. In this story, Angeliki talks about a story where the CTO started interfering with the team, and how she learned that as a Scrum Master she needed to help the team set limits to that interference. 

In this episode, we talk about the concept of “Powerful Conversations” which can help communicate with stakeholders when the stakes are high, and there’s a high likelihood of conflict.

 

About Angeliki Hertzfeldt

Angeliki finds that Scrum has transformed her into a better person: in the working environment, with friends and strangers, in social activities, and with her family, as a new mum.

You can link with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on LinkedIn and connect with Angeliki Hertzfeldt on Twitter

Sep 09, 2019
Product Owner as the facilitator of Product-related conversations | Joost Mulders
16:07

From facilitation to stepping away from line-management approaches, how do we help Product Owners do a good job, and collaborate with the team and Scrum Master? 

The Great Product Owner: The Facilitator of Product Conversations

We often refer to the Scrum Master as a “facilitator”. Sure, but how about the Product Owner? Do we expect the Product Owner to be a “dictator”, and tell others what to do without ever listening to their input? 

In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner as a facilitation role. Facilitating conversations with team and stakeholders about the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: The line-manager turned Product Owner

Some Product Owners expect that they “own” the team. They might even assign tasks to people in the team, and manage people’s time. This is expected if the PO has been - or is - the team’s line manager. But, in those cases, how do we establish a positive relationship and clarify agreements with the Scrum Master? In this segment, we discuss how to work with the PO to set expectations for the work of both the Scrum Master and the Product Owner.


Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Joost Mulders

Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients.

You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.

Sep 06, 2019
Fighting the uncertainty about our Scrum Master success | Joost Mulders
12:48

According to Joost, seeing our own value is a hard task. How to reflect, what to look at, and how to be sure? 

In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can reflect on their contribution to the team, and what kind of behavior to look for that helps Scrum Masters be sure that they are having a positive impact on the team.

Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lego retrospective that uses self-reflection

When teams enter a retrospective, they usually expect to work on the process. Find improvements, plan some changes, and move on to action. In this segment, we discuss a different type of retrospective, one that focuses on the team’s own self-image, and how it helps the team learn about its team members in-depth.

About Joost Mulders

Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients.

You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.

Sep 05, 2019
Adopting Agile in an airport company, the non-IT Agile adoption story | Joost Mulders
12:09

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

This episode is about the story of changing an airport company to use Agile. This provides a great background to talk about the essence of Agile, and the management practices that go with it. We discuss how to avoid the “buzzword” resistance to change, and how to engage a team that has never heard of Scrum before.

About Joost Mulders

Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients.

You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.

Sep 04, 2019
How to work with Scrum teams that lost motivation due to command&control management | Joost Mulders
11:32

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

This team that Joost was working with was confronted with top-down decisions over which the team had no control. As an example, Architects would tell the team what to do, and how to do it, but would not listen to the team’s perspective. Slowly the team lost motivation, and the bad results quickly followed. In this segment, we reflect on the impact that the environment had on the team, and what Scrum Masters can do to work with teams in that situation.

Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo

In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Joost found the inspiration he needed to focus on the overall organization, as opposed to focusing only on the team. We discuss the example of Delegation Poker from Management 3.0, which shows that delegation is not a binary game, but can have many levels and approaches.

About Joost Mulders

Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients.

You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.

Sep 03, 2019
Focusing the Scrum Master role on the business impact | Joost Mulders
11:55

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Scrum Masters are seen as the “process owners”. Some people will even explicitly assign that responsibility to Scrum Masters. But what happens when we focus on the process and forget the business side? 

What would happen if redefined the Scrum Master responsibilities to explicitly include a business perspective? 

In this episode, we talk about the business side of the Scrum Master work, and discuss the important question: “Are we doing the right things?”

About Joost Mulders

Joost has been an agile practitioner since 2008 and is continuously uncovering new ways to help teams and organizations on their agile journey. He’s taken several roles in that journey, such as Scrum Master, agile coach or management coach. He strives to create work-life fusion with agile, ultrarunning and filmmaking as the main ingredients.

You can link with Joost Mulders on LinkedIn and connect with Joost Mulders on Twitter.

Sep 02, 2019
BONUS: How checklists make Agile teams faster and deliver with high quality, without adding more processes | Diana Getman
23:07

In this episode, we explore the role that checklists can have in helping teams improve their process, and their performance without adding more processes. 

It is a normal tendency to “add more processes” to fix a problem a team is experiencing. In this episode, we challenge that view. Checklists, we argue, are a simple, effective tool that helps you reach a similar goal, but does not require the process to grow, and become bloated. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Diana Getman

Diana Getman has more than 25 years of experience as a project manager leading cross-functional teams, in both startup and non-profit organizations. Diana has held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Agile Coach and is the current President at Ascendle, a custom software development firm in Portsmouth, NH.

You can link with Diana Getman on LinkedIn, or visit Ascendle’s blog for more on checklists.

 

Aug 31, 2019
From the “how” to the “why”, how great product owners empower the team | Remy Fletcher
13:34

The level of detail and involvement with the implementation decisions is a good indicator of the quality of the Product Owner’s work.

The Great Product Owner: Focusing on the “why?”

Great Product Owners are open to the team’s questions, and even encourage them to ask questions. They focus on communicating the “WHY?” of the product instead of narrowly focusing on the detailed functionality.

The Bad Product Owner: Micro-managing the “how?”

In contrast, the Bad Product Owner focuses on the “HOW?” and may even try to micro-manage the team’s technology and implementation decisions. 

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Remy Fletcher

Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.

You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter

 

Aug 30, 2019
Questions to assess team autonomy | Remy Fletcher
10:32

Can the team work well without you? This is only one of the questions that Remy asks when evaluating his own contribution to the team’s progress. But there are other questions. In this episode, we discuss questions we can ask ourselves that help us understand how autonomous the team really is. 

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Lean Coffee

The Lean Coffee format has been a regular on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss how this format can help teams execute a retrospective in a short time, but still be focused on creating concrete improvement ideas to take on.

In this segment, we also refer to the Kudos practice whereby the team members highlight positive behavior and attitude by other team members.

About Remy Fletcher

Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.

You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter

Aug 29, 2019
From testing at the end of the Sprint to continuous testing | Remy Fletcher
10:46

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Many Scrum Teams will, at some point, go through the process of improving how they run the QA process. Many start with the QA at the end of the Sprint, and then bump into the hard wall that is the timeboxed end of the Sprint. The consequences are many, from stories that spill over to the next sprint, to stressed out testers. In this episode, we walk through a change process that took a team from testing everything at the of the Sprint to testing much earlier and reducing the stress on the testers. 

About Remy Fletcher

Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.

You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter

Aug 28, 2019
How to work with authoritarian managers and survive | Remy Fletcher
12:36

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In some teams, the role of the leader or manager can be a blocker to the team’s adoption of Agile and ownership of the product and process. However, those same managers usually develop their command and control approach due to past successes. As Scrum Masters, we must learn to work with those teams, starting by creating a close relationship with the team members. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

In The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni, Remy learned about the concept of an executive team that he could apply to his own product when his team was struggling with direction. 

In this segment, we also refer to Start with Why, by Simon Sinek, a book that helped him understand the importance of communicating the rationale behind the decisions and involving the team in owning those decisions.

About Remy Fletcher

Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.

You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter

 

Aug 27, 2019
How 1-on-1 meetings fail to solve some conflicts | Remy Fletcher
10:58

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Scrum Masters often need to deal and help resolve conflicts in the teams and with the stakeholders. In this episode, we look at a case of conflicting priorities. We discuss the different approaches, and how the 1-on-1 conversations may cause problems that can be solved unless Scrum Masters get all the parties into the same room.

In this episode, we also talk about the book Getting to YES! by Fischer, Ury and Patton

About Remy Fletcher

Remy is a Scrum Master at a Fin-Tech corporation outside of Boston. Currently working with 3 scrum teams with a focus of migrating individual products onto a centralized, scalable platform.

You can link with Remy Fletcher on LinkedIn and connect with Remy Fletcher on Twitter

 

Aug 26, 2019
Contrasting detail-oriented and holistic Product Owners | Micah Stamper
14:44

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

The topics Product Owners choose to focus on, impact greatly their, and their team’s effectiveness. In this episode, we contrast two types of focus, and how those different approaches affect the PO’s work.

The Great Product Owner: The holistic PO

Product Owners, as described in Scrum, are responsible for the success of the Product they own. In this segment, we talk about the whole ecosystem of the product. The PO role is not only about User Stories and Backlogs, and we dive into other critical aspects that are often forgotten.

The Bad Product Owner: The tech-centered, order taker

Product Owners can have a big impact on the effectiveness of the teams they work with. Some PO’s will take that seriously and invest in their growth in either technical or business knowledge. However, when that does not happen, we experience PO’s that take orders from business or want to dive into the technical details - because they are familiar with the technology. In this segment, we talk about the perfect storm of a PO: a PO that only takes orders and wants to dive into the technical details. Listen in to learn how you can help those Product Owners.


Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Micah Stamper

Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master.

You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter

Aug 23, 2019
2 types of questions to assess Scrum Master success | Micah Stamper
11:22

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

The process of reflection Scrum Masters go through, helps us find our own personal and contextual definition of success. In this episode, Micah describes the types of questions he asks of himself when assessing his success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 3 questions that focus teams on concrete changes

Micah likes simple formats, and he recommends a format where we focus on 3 questions that help the team members reflect on concrete things they’d like to change. Listen in to learn about what questions he asks his teams.

About Micah Stamper

Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master.

You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter

Aug 22, 2019
How to introduce WIP limits to a Scrum team | Micah Stamper
12:02

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we explore the story of a team that was starting to adopt Agile. We discuss the successes, and also the need to accept Work-In-Process (WIP) limits before the team can succeed. 

We discuss a possible set of steps you can follow to introduce WIP limits to your team.

About Micah Stamper

Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master.

You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter

 

Aug 21, 2019
The type of execution focus that leads Scrum teams astray | Micah Stamper
11:42

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

The focus that some teams have on “execution” can be a great resource. It helps teams get into the details, and push forward even when finding the inevitable setbacks. However, when teams are completely focused on execution there are other aspects that lose focus, and that can derail the team. In this episode, we talk about how the execution focus that some teams have lead them astray from certain critical aspects of the software development process.

Featured Book for the Week: The art of doing twice the work in half the time, Jeff Sutherland

In The art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland, Micah found a great reminder and introduction to the Lean principles he now applies in his own work. He also found a great reminder that software development has its own context, that needs to be taken into account in the work Scrum Masters do with software teams.

About Micah Stamper

Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master.

You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter

Aug 20, 2019
Small improvements for big changes in Scrum teams | Micah Stamper
12:02

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Many Scrum Masters are incredibly passionate about their work, and helping teams. That’s a great energy and inspiration resource unless… In this episode, we talk about what happens when we expect or ask too much from the teams and people we work with. 

In this episode, we refer to the Lean practice of Kaizen, small, constant improvements.

About Micah Stamper

Micah worked in technology for about 7 years. He has a background in lean principles and how to bring that to technology. Has done everything from Project Management to Software Engineering, Leadership, and Scrum Master.

You can link with Micah Stamper on LinkedIn and connect with Micah Stamper on Twitter.

Aug 19, 2019
From Micro-managing to engaging the team, a critical shift for Product Owners | Rahul Bhattacharya
15:05

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we talk about 2 extremes of team engagement by Product Owners: from micro-managing to asking questions and involving the team.

The Great Product Owner: Asking Questions to involve the team

Good Product Owners allow the team to participate and contribute their views when planning the Sprint. In this segment, we talk about Great Product Owners, those that not only allow, but encourage the team to bring their view into planning and defining the product.

We also discuss how asking questions is a critical tool for Product Owners to get teams engaged in the development of the product.

In this segment, we talk about transactional analysis, a tool that can help Scrum Masters recognize when the Product Owner needs help in involving the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The micro-managing Product Owner

When Product Owners “take over” the planning aspects they miss the team’s contribution, and likely motivation. However, there is an even more serious anti-pattern for Product Owners: being a micro-manager. In this segment, we discuss the dangers of over-controlling Product Owners, and how Scrum Masters should react in those cases.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 16, 2019
Follow Scrum team progress with the Agile Fluency Model | Rahul Bhattacharya
10:25

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we review 5 different aspects that Rahul follows with each team he works with. From how the team delivers each Sprint, to the interaction with the Product Owner, we discuss different aspects that Scrum Masters should pay attention to.

In this episode, we also refer to the Agile Maturity Model. There are several maturity models you can follow, I’d recommend starting with the Agile Fluency Model by Diana Larsen and James Shore, which has been introduced here on the podcast.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Radar chart for team self-evaluation

There are many different exercises for teams to run a self-evaluation exercise. The Radar chart helps the team choose several (typically 5-7) items they want to follow-up on, and evaluate themselves in each topic. If you collect similar charts over time, you will have a graphical representation of how the team has evolved in those core skills or aspect.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 15, 2019
A new change management model by John Shook | Rahul Bhattacharya
16:53

 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Rahul and Markus, another Scrum Master were helping the QA team move from QA at the end to a more involved QA approach, where QA engineers were to be involved earlier in the process. As you’d expect, this was not an easy change. How did they pull it off? They started by thinking that change happens as a result of new actions as described by John Shook and helped the QA’s and the teams experiment with new approaches. In this episode, we also talk about the importance of accepting that not everybody can accept certain changes, and how that affects your change management efforts.

In this episode, we also mention Test-Driven Development and the concept of Pi-Shaped Skills.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

 

Aug 14, 2019
The dangers of specialized Scrum teams | Rahul Bhattacharya
12:15

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

When Rahul started to work with a team that was new to Scrum and Agile, he noticed that the team members were very focused on their individual part of the product. Front-end developers only worked and worried about the front-end, and back-end developers focused on the back-end functionality. In the Sprint reviews, team members focused on their individual contribution, and the inevitable synchronization and coordination problems followed.

In this episode, we talk about the risks of highly specialized teams and how to tackle those in your role as a Scrum Master.

Featured Book for the Week: The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss

In The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss, Rahul found an inspiring story about the choices we make in our daily lives. He learned about “time” as a spendable resource, and how to create more options for yourself as you seek a better life situation. In this segment, we also refer to the Tim Ferriss podcast.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback.

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 13, 2019
Be flexible to avoid Scrum rejection by the team | Rahul Bhattacharya
12:48

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we learn about Rahul’s unusual route to being a Scrum Master, and how the initial focus on velocity led Rahul astray from what really affects a Scrum team’s performance.  

We then explore how beginner Scrum Masters can learn to focus on the right aspects from the start and to be flexible enough so that the team does not reject the adoption of Scrum.

About Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at trivago. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback

He is also the host of a podcast about Agile, called the Agile Atelier.

You can link with Rahul Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and connect with Rahul Bhattacharya on Twitter

Aug 12, 2019
The super-fast PO who got up to speed with the team in 1 Sprint! | Ines Stuppacher
14:08

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In this episode, we talk about one of the most common anti-patterns for PO’s: being too busy, and we also discuss how PO’s can get up to speed in one sprint when they join a new team.

The Great Product Owner: The Goal-Oriented PO

In this segment, we talk about a new PO. The PO had just joined the company and had to learn quickly. Instead of spending a lot of time reading and asking people, this PO did something different. This PO engaged the team directly and with their help got off to a great start in just one sprint.

The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO 

When teams don’t have direct access to the “customer” PO, they usually resort to using a “proxy PO”. Someone close to the team, that acts as a communication link with the end customer and real PO. However, sometimes those Proxy PO’s have to fulfill other duties, and may even need to serve multiple teams. How can we help teams when that happens? 

In this episode, we talk about how to help super busy-PO’s and teams that suffer from their absence. We’ve also produced a guide, that helps you, step-by-step get to an agreement of how to collaborate with overly busy or absent PO’s. You can get the guide on how to work with absent or overly busy Product Owners here.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 09, 2019
Concrete tools for Scrum Masters to grow and succeed | Ines Stuppacher
10:48

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

One way to look at success for Scrum Masters is to ask the team about the contribution of the Scrum Master. Asking them directly, however, can lead to “polite” answers, and avoiding the problems that need solving. In this episode, we talk about other signs that tell us that the team appreciates the contribution of the Scrum Master, and we talk about concrete tools Scrum Masters can use to continue to grow and succeed with their teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Wonder Question Agile Retrospective Exercise

When a Scrum team is stuck and needs help to find improvements, we can ask them to imagine that something “magic” has happened. Then, we ask what does the team look like now that the “wonder” has happened. With this exercise, we help teams “think outside the box”, without ever having to bring them outside the box. This exercise appeals to the imagination and helps teams imagine a better team that they are all part of.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

Aug 08, 2019
How Scrum Masters can help deploy OKR’s in their organizations | Ines Stuppacher
11:20

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

As more and more companies adopt OKR (Objectives - Key Results) as a management practice, it is critical that Scrum Masters understand how that tool is used in their organization. In this episode, we discuss how OKR’s can totally derail a company, and how Scrum Masters can join the process and help it improve. This is especially important because OKR’s - when effectively used - will have a large influence on the teams we work with.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 07, 2019
How one strong influencer can derail a Scrum team | Ines Stuppacher
11:58

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In some teams, there are individuals that have a strong influence on the team. As Scrum Masters, we must be aware of that when it happens, and help the team learn to reflect as a group, instead of following the opinion of the strongest influencer in the team. In this episode, we discuss how single-individual influencers can completely derail a team.

Featured Book for the Week: Loving What Is, by Byron Katie

In Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie, Ines found a guide to help her understand the things that can be changed, and those that cannot. This realization helped Ines to be a better Scrum Master, and also in her personal life.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 06, 2019
How to help Team Lead and Product Owner collaborate | Ines Stuppacher
12:09

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Scrum teams don’t exist in a vacuum, and in engineering-focused organizations, usually, the team leads are also engineers. This can cause problems when they need to collaborate with Product Owners. In this episode, we talk about such a team, and how Ines helped the team, the team lead and PO find better ways to collaborate.

About Ines Stuppacher

Ines Stuppacher is a passionate team coach and Scrum Master. Working with people challenges and inspires her every day. Her coaching mentality is an important pillar of her life and work. Ines does not impose things on people but rather sees herself as a waiter of options. She strives to show up as her full human self in all kinds of situations and with that fosters real connections with other people.

You can link with Ines Stuppacher on LinkedIn or XING and connect with Ines Stuppacher on Twitter

 

Aug 05, 2019
The Empowering Product Owner | Ben Clark
13:02

In this episode, we talk about 2 contrasting patterns, one that focused on allowing the team to grow and own the product, while the other was taking on too much responsibility and not letting the team feel ownership of the product. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

The Great Product Owner: Empower the Scrum Team

Sometimes, the PO has a Scrum Master perspective and is able to understand how to work with teams so that the teams feel empowered to pick up stories and collaborate better. We usually say “the team can be only as good as the Product Owner”, and in this segment, we explore what this great PO did to help the team feel empowered and engaged.

The Bad Product Owner: Overly detailed PO’s take responsibility away from the team

When the Product Owners come to the backlog refinement/grooming meeting with the stories completely fleshed out, it’s easy to accept the stories as they are. Not to challenge or further refine them. That’s not always a good thing. The team feels the Product is “somebody else’s responsibility”, the opposite of what we want. In this segment, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help the team take responsibility, and avoid having too much product knowledge locked in the PO’s head.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Aug 02, 2019
Building success habits in Scrum teams | Ben Clark
12:40

Scrum Masters are successful when they help the team when they can create the self-confidence in the team members that they can act, and make improvements on their own. 

In this episode, we talk about how you - the Scrum Master - can easily check if the team is progressing in that direction. 

In this segment, we refer to the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, as a model that can help Scrum Masters focus on small changes, and how to make them stick. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format

Using the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise helps teams get out of the “clinical” mindset and find improvement opportunities. When we use the drawing of the sailboat as a fun check-in exercise we also get the team in the mood to explore their ways of working in a relaxed atmosphere. These make the Sailboat Agile retrospective exercise a complete retrospective for the team. 

 

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Aug 01, 2019
Agile adoption with a grass-roots strategy | Ben Clark
12:08

When an organization starts adopting Agile, the temptation is to organize a “transformation” and to focus on the change process. In this episode, we explore what happens when we focus on small changes, grass-roots change. 

How we can slowly get more and more teams on-board, and ultimately avoid a large and difficult transformation.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 31, 2019
Part-time Scrum teams end up in full-time disasters | Ben Clark
11:59

Sometimes teams get started on the right foot and reach a high level of performance quickly. When that happens, it is critical that the team is able to continue to work together. Otherwise…

In this episode, we explore what happens when a team is split up, and some team members are replaced after reaching a high level of performance. 

Featured Book for the Week: It’s your ship! By D. Michael Abrashoff

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

In It’s your ship! By D. Michael Abrashoff, Ben found a story of how empowering the crew of a USA Navy ship helped to turn the ship around and transformed the ship and the crew.

In this episode, we also refer to Doing Twice The Work in Half The Time by Sutherland and Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet, who has been a guest on the podcast.

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 30, 2019
How we can help Scrum teams get, and write better User Stories | Ben Clark
12:07

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

 

Sometimes teams struggle to get their backlog healthy. When that happens, it is easy to complain about the PO. That won’t fix the problem. 

In this episode, we talk about how you can work with the teams to improve the quality of their stories, with our without a Product Owner in the room. 

In this episode, we refer to Model Storming, a technique to help teams explore several options for implementing stories. We also refer to Lucid Chart, a collaborative online tool for teams. 

We also discuss how, working on the “solution” may help clarify the acceptance criteria for the stories that are not clearly defined. 

 

About Ben Clark

Ben's career has spanned from working assembly at Ford Motor Co, IT consulting, DSL Internet provider using wireless building-to-building antennas, systems administration and engineering, data center floor work, DevOps, cloud engineering, cloud architecture, scrum master, people-leader, and agile coach.

Ben is now an Agile Coach. 

You can link with Ben Clark on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Clark on Twitter. 

Jul 29, 2019
How to deal with an Absent or Overly busy PO | Dragana Hadzic
13:54

From passionate Product Owners to the Product Owners that are MIA (Missing in Action), we talk about two aspects that directly affect the team’s performance.

The Great Product Owner: The Passionate Product Owner

Great Product Owners are often passionate about the product they work on. In this segment we talk about a PO that was able to give that passion to the team, making them an great team. In this segment we also about User Story Mapping, a method popularized by Jeff Patton (Jeff has been a previous guest on the podcast) that helps the team and PO understand the context of the User Stories they are implementing. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent Product Owner

Working with a Proxy Product Owner is bad enough, however, then that PO doesn't have time to work daily with the team, things get even worse! We’ve discussed this anti-pattern before here on the blog, and have created a guide for you to help those product owners. Get the guide on how to work with absent or overly busy Product Owners here.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website


Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 26, 2019
Guess Who? A Retrospective exercise to learn more about the Sprint | Dragana Hadzic
11:02

When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, a happy team is arguably the most common answer. However, for Scrum Masters, that is not enough. In this segment, we talk about how Scrum Masters should also focus on the product the team is developing. Is the product being successfully developed as well? 

In this segment, we refer to a tool that helps the team focus on the impactful ways to help the product succeed: Impact Mapping

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Guess Who? A game to learn more about the Sprint

It is sometimes hard to focus on the details of what happened during the Sprint. However, when we fail to do so, the team and the organization lose out on a big opportunity to improve how they work. With the “Guess who?” Agile Retrospective exercise Dragana helps the teams - in a fun and entertaining way - explore the detailed events of the Sprint, so that they are ready to discuss improvements and take concrete actions out of the retrospective.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 25, 2019
Lessons learned scaling Scrum to larger projects | Dragana Hadzic
10:31

Of the many types of changes we need to go through, scaling up the use of Scrum may be one of the most common at the moment. When we go from one team using Scrum, to many teams collaborating and using Scrum together many things change. 

In this episode, we talk about some of the challenges that scaling up Scrum brings, and how we - Scrum Masters - can prepare for those, so that we can help both the teams and the organization benefit from Scrum in larger projects.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 24, 2019
Positive Psychology and its positive impact on the Scrum team | Dragana Hadzic
11:03

When working with teams that are starting their downward spiral, Dragana found that focusing on positive thoughts can have a great impact and help teams avoid going further down in that spiral. 

We talk about Positive Psychology and the use of Kudo Cards as a way to focus the teams on what is worth emphasizing.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Dragana found many insights on motivation and importance of helping teams work on, and define clearly their purpose. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 23, 2019
How can we help Scrum teams in a large waterfall organization? | Dragana Hadzic
13:22

Scrum Masters need to sometimes face the Agile islands in the middle of large organizations. How can we react to that? How to address the team, and the stakeholders? How to do planning? There are many questions that Scrum Masters must answer differently when working with “island” Agile teams. 

In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can work with isolated Agile teams without having the teams to go back to waterfall. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Dragana Hadzic

Dragana is an agile enthusiast who believes communication is critical for success in everything, including software projects. A Scrum Master and an Agile Coach with broad experience in IT industry and different leadership roles. Passionate about everything that brings positive energy and enables people to achieve great results.

You can link with Dragana Hadzic on LinkedIn and connect with Dragana Hadzic on Twitter

Jul 22, 2019
How to become a more impactful Scrum Master | Ben Clark
41:34

When Ben moved to another team he faced some pretty challenging situations. A fully distributed team with a Scrum Master in another country trying to juggle the time zone differences. 

It was only fitting that Ben would then take over the Scrum Master role shortly after. The journey from developer to Scrum Master is hard enough, but in this story, we talk about how to take on the Scrum Master role for a distributed team as well. Not an easy first assignment as a Scrum Master. 

The major obstacles Ben faced in his Scrum Master journey

As Ben started to learn the ins and outs of the Scrum Master role, he faced certain challenges that many of us face. We explore some of those as well as the lessons he learned during the process. 

Many of the challenges we face as Scrum Masters are facilitation skills, so we talk about facilitation and how that helps us perform in the role of the Scrum Master.

In this segment, we talk about Jassy’s journey from developer to Scrum Master. Jassy was a previous guest on the podcast. We also refer to the book by Jeff Sutherland: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. When it comes to stories of Scrum, we talk about how some authors use fantasy as a way to explain Scrum, we refer to the episode with Anja Bonatto-Minella, where she presents a fantasy book that explains Scrum

For complete notes and references, visit https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Jul 20, 2019
The HUGE impact of the Scrum Master - Product Owner collaboration | Isaac Garcia
18:47

In this episode, we focus on the collaboration between Product Owner and Scrum Master, possibly one of the most important collaborations in the Scrum team’s environment. And in the end, there’s a BIG SURPRISE. Listen closely to this episode!

The Great Product Owner: Collaborating well with Scrum Master

Scrum Masters and Product Owners need to collaborate well to help the team. And a great PO is also one that is able to push forward that collaboration. In this segment, we talk about the PO that was constantly trying to improve their understanding of Agile (even if they didn’t have a long Agile background), and was able to bring ideas to help the Scrum Master keep the team motivated and focused on the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: the PO that sabotages the Scrum Master’s work 

Nothing is harder for a Scrum Master than a Product Owner that actively disregards their ideas and advice. In this segment, we explore such a case and how that impacted the team and the Scrum Master. It wasn’t a pretty sight.


Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

 

Jul 19, 2019
Tools for dynamic and fresh Agile Retrospectives | Isaac Garcia
13:20

Isaac focuses on the team’s self-image as a way to reflect on his success as a Scrum Master. For that he uses a survey-style NPS questionnaire where he asks the team members how likely they are to ask other people to join their team. 

A simple approach that was discussed in a previous episode with Jeff Kosciejew, and explained further in a blog post by Jason Little

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Tools for dynamic retrospectives

For Isaac, Agile Retrospectives are not only about finding the next improvement actions. They are also about building a team spirit that carries the team forward into the next sprint in a state of energized motivation. In this segment, we talk about many tools that you can use to keep your Agile Retrospectives fresh and high-energy. We refer to Retromat.org and Tastycupcakes.org, two sites that you can use to find formats that work in your team and your organization.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

Jul 18, 2019
How Scrum Masters can help organizations, not just Scrum teams | Isaac Garcia
11:27

It is a scary change, when Scrum Masters must go from focusing on the team to focusing on the organization. However, this is something that most Scrum Masters will have to face in their career. 

In this episode with Isaac Garcia, we learn about the circles of influence that help us understand what we can influence (and what we can’t); we discuss Causal Loop Diagram, a tool to understand organizational dynamics that affect our teams; and the ideas behind “flow”, a way to view organizations that focuses on allowing the teams to find their performance levels. 

In this episode, we refer to the book The Goal, by Goldratt

For more on Causal Loop Diagrams and their use for Scrum Masters, check this episode with Antti Tevanlina where we explore how you can use CLD’s to understand the causes of the problems affecting the team. 

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

Jul 17, 2019
Why Scrum Masters must learn to accept what you can’t influence | Isaac Garcia
13:02

When Isaac joined this team, he encountered a team that had failed to deliver and was low on motivation. Isaac focused on helping the team find their motivation, organized a kick-off to get the team to come together around a goal, and a common vision, only to see management remove people from an already overwhelmed team… What should a Scrum Master do when that happens? We discuss that, and critical lessons learned about what we can influence (or not) as Scrum Masters. 

In this episode, we refer to the circles of influence, a tool to help Scrum Masters focus on what they can influence and accept what they can’t.

Featured Book for the Week: The Phoenix Project

In The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford chronicle the story of a company that is on the brink. They walk the reader through the process of understanding what is holding the organization back, and what the hero of the story will learn to help turn the company around.

For Isaac, this is a book that teaches important techniques and helps Scrum Masters make a difference in their place of work.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

Jul 16, 2019
What to do when the Scrum team just isn’t up to the task? | Isaac Garcia
11:55

As Scrum Master, we are constantly paying attention to the team’s performance, and what can be done to help them progress. However, in some cases, the problems are beyond the Scrum Master’s reach. In this episode, we talk about the case when the Scrum Master must face the fact that the team just isn’t up to the task they have. What should a Scrum Master do in those cases? Listen in to learn about such a case, and the hard lesson Isaac learned about helping teams and their organizations when the team just aren’t up to the task.

In this episode, we refer to the book Coaching Agile Teams, by Lyssa Adkins.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Isaac Garcia

Isaac is a passionate Agilist who builds teams with heart and walks their journey together. His driving goal in life is to invest in and impact world changers. He has a lot to learn but is enjoying the discovery in the journey.

You can link with Isaac Garcia on LinkedIn and connect with Isaac Garcia on Twitter

Jul 15, 2019
The Product Owner as a leader | Gilson Souza
16:45

In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner role as a leadership role and explore the possible anti-patterns that emerge when the PO takes on a micro-management approach to his work.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

The Great Product Owner: The Product Owner as a leadership role

Gilson starts us off with a quote by Marty Cagan: “the team can only be as good as the Product Owner”. After that we talk about how teams and Product Owners can collaborate better. From the daily meeting to the goals/responsibilities of the Product Owner. Finally we talk about the Product Owner role as a leadership role.

The Bad Product Owner: The micro-managing Product Owner

The Product Owner role is a critical role for Scrum. When we can’t get the right people, and the right mindset for the person in that role, we often face big problems. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner that was also a micro-manager, and how that affects the team, leading to a host of anti-patterns.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Gilson Souza

Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it.

You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.

Jul 12, 2019
Practical tips to help Scrum teams succeed | Gilson Souza
11:17

Scrum Masters have the unusually hard task of helping others succeed. That’s something we must take into account when we look at our own success in the role of the Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about practical things we must do to help teams, and discuss the signals that tell us in advance if the team is progressing.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Powerful Check-in Exercises

When a Retrospective starts, Scrum Masters face the challenge that team members are thinking of the million different things that happened recently, and probably in a hurry to get home or to the next work item. In those cases, it is critical to have a powerful check-in exercise that will help bring the team members to the right state of mind and focus for the Retrospective to have an impact.

In this segment, we talk about the importance of check-in exercises, and how to prepare exercises that generate insights, therefore providing already critical input for the Retrospective.

About Gilson Souza

Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it.

You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.

 

Jul 11, 2019
How to build a guiding coalition for change | Gilson Souza
09:12

It’s common to hear the “build a guiding coalition for change” mantra. It is part of a famous change management model (The Kotter 8-step change model), and a practical tip that we all can benefit from. However, how is that done in practice? In this episode, we talk about an Agile transformation at a large, distributed organization and how Gilson and others were able to build that guiding coalition for change.

In this episode, we also refer to the book Radical Candor by Kim Scott.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.


About Gilson Souza

Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it.

You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.

Jul 10, 2019
How to counter the Scrum “sub-team” anti-pattern | Gilson Souza
11:55

We often talk about cross-functional teams on the podcast. We talk about the advantages when it comes to flow, and getting things done quicker. However, there are pitfalls we should be aware of. One of the pitfalls is when the team members in a team start to “cluster” and become like sub-teams inside the team. As Scrum Master, we must be aware of this possible anti-pattern and ready to tackle it quickly. Listen in to learn how Gilson detected and countered the sub-team anti-pattern.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Featured Book for the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Gilson found an out-of-the-box explanation for the Scrum Master role that helped him get out of the traditional task-driven, project manager-like role that many Scrum Masters still take.

In this segment, we also mention the book Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan.

About Gilson Souza

Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it.

You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.

Jul 09, 2019
How to help Scrum teams understand what Scrum is really about | Gilson Souza
12:08

As Scrum Masters start their journey they only have the description of Scrum. However, even when a team we work with “does” all of the Scrum ceremonies, they may be something more important. In this episode, we analyze the case of a team that was “doing” scrum, but when Gilson left, they went back to the previous way of working. As Scrum Masters, we need to learn from those failures. We explore possible causes for this anti-pattern, and tips on how to help teams understand what Scrum really is about.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

About Gilson Souza

Gilson has worked with Scrum for over ten years, first as a software engineer, then taking in both roles of Scrum Master and Developer and currently 100% dedicated as Scrum Master. As a Scrum Master, he truly believes in empowered and self-organizing teams and works inside and outside of the team to achieve it.

You can link with Gilson Souza on LinkedIn and connect with Gilson Souza on Twitter.

Jul 08, 2019
Anti-pattern: the Product Owner that was also the team manager | David Gentry
11:59

This week we share simple, yet effective Product Owner patterns and discuss the anti-pattern that can emerge when the PO is also the team manager.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

The Great Product Owner: simple patterns with a great impact

Great Product Owners have a strong identification with the product. They can say “no” to certain ideas, but above all, they see themselves as much more than owners of a list we call Product Backlog.

These are just some of the good patterns great Product Owners exhibit, but there are more. Listen in to find out what are the other good patterns David has found in highly effective Product Owners.

The Bad Product Owner: The Product Owner that was also the team manager

Many of the Product Owner anti-patterns come from the role they play in the organization. In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner that was also a team manager, and how those two roles can become a source for problems when they are held by the same person.

In this segment, we refer to Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts. Geoff has been on the podcast before to talk about great Scrum Masters and Product Owners. We also refer to the book by Bob Galen: Scrum Product Ownership: Balancing Value from the Inside Out.

 

About David Gentry

David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility.

You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.

Jul 05, 2019
Is your team more like a Golf team or a Hockey team? | David Gentry
10:49

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website. 

Is your team more like a Golf team or a Hockey team? That’s one of the questions David asks himself when assessing his impact as a Scrum Master. Checking the Scrum Guide, for a list of responsibilities may also be a good way to get started assessing your success as a Scrum Master, but don’t forget to adapt to the local reality, a core idea of Agile that also applies to the Scrum Master work.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish Retrospective

The Starfish retrospective is a format that David finds leads more often to concrete actions, the final goal of a retrospective. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of having many formats in your toolbox, so that the retrospectives don’t get boring and stop delivering results.

About David Gentry

David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility.

You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.

 

Jul 04, 2019
In an Agile transformation, lead by example | David Gentry
10:56

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

There’s often a misconception in certain organizations that Agile is just shorter waterfall projects. That’s very far from reality. In this episode, we talk about how David’s team showed - by example - the power of an agile way of working, and how that inspired other teams to change.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

About David Gentry

David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility.

You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.

Jul 03, 2019
How the lack of feedback can destroy a Scrum team’s work | David Gentry
10:33

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

When everything is going well, and there’s little to no feedback, the experiment Scrum Master should be a skeptic. Feedback is the fuel for great Agile teams. in this episode, we talk about the big problems that can emerge when the team forgets to collect feedback during development.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Featured Book for the Week: The people’s Scrum

In The People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer, David found a book that helped him reflect on the role of the Scrum Master, and change some of these ideas.

About David Gentry

David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility.

You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.

 

Jul 02, 2019
The project management anti-pattern Scrum Masters fall into | David Gentry
10:46

Having a project management background is a good experience for Scrum Masters, however, it can also be a problem. In this episode, we talk about the possible anti-patterns that come with a project management background and how to avoid them in your role as a Scrum Master.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

About David Gentry

David Gentry is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. He has served in a variety of other roles in his career including developer, data analyst, business analyst, quality analyst, and project manager. In his free time, he can be found playing bass guitar and interpreting how groove applies to life and agility.

You can link with David Gentry on LinkedIn and connect with David Gentry on Twitter.

Jul 01, 2019
Setting clear goals, a trait Great Product Owners share | Long Suciu
16:00

This week we talk about the dictator Product Owner and the Product Owner that enables his team by helping them set clear and understandable goals.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

The Product Owner Anti-pattern for the week: The mistrusting dictator anti-pattern

Trust between the Product Owner and the team is critical. When there’s a lack of trust, the PO is tempted to control instead of listening to the team. As Scrum Masters, we must look out for the signs that there’s no trust between PO and team, and act on it.

The Great PO pattern for the week: Focusing on clear and understandable goals

There are many things that great Product Owners do, but one of the most relevant is to set clear, and understandable goals for the team. In Great Product Owner segment, we talk about goals and collaboration. We also talk about how Great Product Owners distribute decisions to the team and rely on the team to help them in their work.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Long Suciu

Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working.

You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.

Jun 28, 2019
Using Liberating Structures to plan and facilitate Agile Retrospectives | Long Suciu
11:52

Long suggests that Scrum Masters collect feedback from the team to assess their success. The method he suggests is the team NPS: “How likely are the team members to recommend that others join the team?” We also talk about how it is important to measure and reflect to reach a successful outcome for our work as Scrum Masters.

In this Article, you can read how Jason Little (a previous guest on the podcast) used the NPS survey to evaluate his own work.

In a previous episode with Jeff Kosciejew we also reviewed the use of NPS for Scrum Master performance self-evaluation.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Featured Retrospective format of the Week: Liberating Structures

Retrospectives follow a specific set of activities, from the check-in to get everybody focused and in the mood to reflect, to the data gathering. These activities can be organized in many ways. In this episode, we talk about Liberating Structures, a set of activities that you can use in any of the steps of the retrospective.

About Long Suciu

Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working.

You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.

 

Jun 27, 2019
Transforming the way of working for a Product Owner team | Long Suciu
09:57

Change can happen at any time, it does not need to be large or involve many teams. As Scrum Masters, we help the teams change continuously. In this episode, we talk about a change of perspective in a Product Owner team that led to positive changes and create a collaborative environment. We also talk about what was the role of the Scrum Master when it comes to helping change happen in that team.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

About Long Suciu

Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working.

You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.

Jun 26, 2019
Applying Scrum in a Marketing team | Long Suciu
13:35

Although Scrum was developed in a software environment, the fact is that Scrum can be applied to many different types of teams. In this episode, we learn about how Long applied Scrum in a marketing team, and the anti-patterns he had to face in that environment.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website

Featured Book for the Week: Lean Startup by Eric Ries

If you got started with Scrum and then discovered Lean Startup, you probably found it to be in line with what you had practiced before. However, Long discovered the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries before learning Scrum, and it reshaped his thinking about what is possible.

About Long Suciu

Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working.

You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.

Jun 25, 2019
How a new Product Owner can derail a great team | Long Suciu
15:24

Having helped a team reach a high-level of performance, it is easy to think that the team will continue to perform for a long time. In this episode, we explore how a team change (a new Product Owner) can reverse a positive trend, and impact the team’s performance. Listen in to learn why that happened, and how you can prevent it from happening to your team.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

About Long Suciu

Long is driven by a passion to help people unlock their potential and discover their own capacities. He has spent the past 20 years helping teams and organizations find and put in place better ways of working.

You can link with Long Suciu on LinkedIn.

Jun 24, 2019
How to foster collaboration between the Scrum team and Product Owner | Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras
19:01

This week, the discussion about the Product Owner role is all about collaboration with the team.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

The Product Owner pattern for the week

With two guests this week, we also cover 2 examples of a good Product Owner. Firstly, we talk about the importance of bringing information and data to the team to help them understand and be part of the decision making for the product.

Secondly, we talk about the need for Product Owners to allow the team to give their input, and be heard when it comes to product decisions. Great Product Owners allow their teams to contribute their own ideas and therefore feel invested in the success of the product.

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

The two anti-patterns we discuss this week are related to the collaboration (or lack thereof) between the team and Product Owner.

The first anti-pattern is about the Product Owner that was an outside “customer” (from another department) to the team. When that happens, there’s the temptation to let the PO lead, and not challenge them. Collaboration happens when the PO brings their view, listens, and then makes decisions together with the team.

The second anti-pattern is about the Product Owner as an expert. When the PO is an expert, they might feel they have to bring in all the answers, and therefore make it more difficult for the team to feel ownership and contribute to the product. It can also happen that the PO becomes a micro-manager. All signs to look out for.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

Jun 21, 2019
3 signs of a successful Scrum team | Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras
13:28

Scrum Master’s success is dependent on the team’s approach to solving their own problems. In this episode, we talk about how teams that take ownership of the process, make decisions on their own and find their own incremental improvements are a sign of a successful Scrum Master. But how do we get there? In the episode, we talk about tools that help Scrum Masters succeed.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles

Joe and Katy share with us two retrospective formats. First, we discuss “Wow, Wandering, Worried. Artifacts, events, roles”, a format that turns the team’s attention to the items, or things they want to improve.

The second agile retrospective format is the “Picture retrospective” (example: The Sailboat Retrospective exercise). In this segment, we specifically talk about the use of pictures or drawings as check-in as well as data gathering and decision exercises.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

Jun 20, 2019
How to handle “legacy” tasks for new Scrum team members | Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras
09:14

Sometimes, new teams are formed where some team members still have “legacy” tasks in their to-do lists. When that happens, it is the responsibility of the team (with the help of the Scrum Master) to figure out how to handle that work. There are many options to handle that situation. What is not ok is to let it grow, and spiral out of control. Teams own tasks, not individuals, therefore the Scrum Masters should help the team understand that legacy tasks are a team issue, not a personal issue.

In this episode, we refer to the concept of T-Shaped skillsets for individuals, and the Agile Retrospective format called “pre-mortem”.

Read the full Show Notes and search through the world’s largest audio library on Scrum directly on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

Jun 19, 2019
Helping teams work well with a demanding Product Owner | Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras
15:05

A common anti-pattern Scrum Masters encounter in their teams is the inability to say “No!” This becomes an especially impactful anti-pattern when the team is unable to say “No!” to the Product Owner. When that happens we run the risk of allowing the team to ver overwhelmed, and eventually decrease the quality of their work.

In this episode, we discuss that anti-pattern and how Scrum Masters can help Product Owners and teams to avoid that from becoming destructive for the team.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Featured Book for the Week: Scrum: the art of doing twice the work, in half the time by Sutherland & Unmarketing, Scott Stratten

This week we have a tag team for guests and therefore we have two books to discuss. Katy recommends Scrum: the art of doing twice the work, in half the time by Jeff Sutherland.

That book helped Katy understand better her role as a Scrum Master.

Joe takes a different approach and recommends a book that is not about Scrum or Agile: Unmarketing - stop marketing, start engaging by Scott Stratten. This book helped Joe understand better the team he is working with, which is a marketing team.

In this episode, we also refer to Who the Hell Wants to Work for You?: Mastering Employee Engagement by Tim Eisenhauer and Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders, Managers, and Facilitators by Patrick Lencioni, a follow-up to a regular recommendation on the podcast: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

Jun 18, 2019
Why Scrum Masters need to step back, and let the team lead | Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras
12:51

When we want to help the teams we work with, sometimes we go too far. In this episode, we share a story of a Scrum Master that did just that, only to find out that it is critical that the teams take ownership over the solutions they choose to implement. No matter how much experience we have, as Scrum Masters, it is ultimately the team that needs to improve and live with their choices.

About Katy Cabral & Joseph Contreras

Katy has over 14 years of software delivery experience, serving in roles ranging from analyst to developer, project manager and for more than 6 years, also Scrum Master. Her Scrum experience has been mostly with distributed teams working across multiple time zones. She hopes to someday have the opportunity to travel to meet her colleagues in China, but for now, Katy enjoys reading about creative methods to keep her team engaged.

Joe is an experienced scrum master, who strives each day to help and coach his squad to continuously improve how they work so that they can be awesome.

Joe is also a scrum master chapter lead at Fidelity Investments.

Jun 17, 2019
BONUS: Ash Maurya: Running Lean, Lean Product Development in practice
26:21

There’s many insights to be had from looking at how Startups and Lean Product businesses develop software and bring products to the market. In this BONUS episode with Ash Maurya we learn about Lean Product Development from the author of Running Lean, one of the first published books around Lead Product Development.

Developing a book, the Lean way

When Ash got started he was not a famous author. He started a blog. By publishing his ideas on that blog and collecting feedback he understood the importance of the ideas that he was sharing and ultimately wrote his book: Running Lean: ITERATE FROM PLAN A TO A PLAN THAT WORKS.

In the blog, he shared his learnings from trying and failing at product development. From those blog posts came a book, but also a new tool, the Lean Canvas.

Lean Canvas, a better business modeling tool

The Lean Canvas came from Ash’s own experience and learning when trying to define, design and launch products and new businesses.

Lean Canvas is a 1-page business plan template that helps product developers come up with the key ideas or assumptions on which their business and product depend on. Ash adapted the Lean Canvas to improve the Business Model Canvas, developed by Alex Osterwalder. The Lean Canvas replaces elaborate business plans with a single page business model.

Lean Product Development: Agile made real

Lean Product Development is about iterating your product and business idea over time. From plan A to a plan that works, as Ash puts it. In that aspect, Lean Product Development became the embodiment of the original Agile idea of iterative development. We can argue that Lean Product Development continued what Agile started, but failed to realize: applying Agile as a philosophy of business and to all aspects of business, not just the software development process.

How Ash followed his own advice: Lean Stack, a Lean Product company

It is particularly fitting that Ash followed his own advice and applied his ideas to developing his own business. Lean Stack is a company that Ash created to market a Lean Canvas tool as well as to serve as the “home” to develop many more Lean Product Development tools. In this episode, we discuss some of those tools, but you can find many more at Lean Stack, which has a free trial for you to get familiar and learn about Lean Canvas.

Going beyond Running Lean, the book: Scaling Lean

Later on, a few years after publishing Running Lean, Ash wrote and published Scaling Lean, where he collects new tools and solutions to the most common problems he’s seen in the field when applying Lean Product Development. In that book he specifically discusses Lean metrics, and how to communicate ideas using leading metrics, not trailing metrics.

We discuss why “revenue” is not a good metric for Product Development (even if it is a critical metric, albeit “lagging”).

In this segment, we also learn about Ash’s new book the upcoming book on Product Discovery where he introduces new tools such as the Customer Forces, a new canvas for Lean Product companies to use when developing their products.

Resources for further study

For those interested in learning more about Lean Product Development, Ash recommends the Lean Analytics and Lean Customer Development books, which explore specific aspects of Lean Product Development not discussed in the Running Lean or Scaling Lean books.

About Ash Maurya

Ash Maurya, is a serial entrepreneur and author of the startup cult classic Running Lean, pairs real-world examples of startups like Airbnb and Hubspot with techniques from the manufacturing world in this tactical handbook for scaling with maximum efficiency and efficacy. This is vital reading for any startup founder graduating from the incubator stage and product developers working for growth businesses.

You can find more about Ash Maurya at LeanStack.com where you can also find a free trial for the Lean Stack product.

Jun 16, 2019
How PO’s can be ready for meetings with the team | Nick Vitsinsky
12:25

We explore the technical-dictator Product Owner anti-pattern and also talk about how great Product Owners get ready and come prepared for the meetings with the teams.

The Product Owner pattern for the week

When Product Owners come prepared to the meeting, you know they are doing their job well. They bring numbers, the rationale behind certain decisions, maybe even different options for priority to be chosen based on the feedback from the team. In this episode, we refer to the work by Jeff Patton and Jeff Gothelf, who’ve both been on the podcast before. You can find Jeff Patton’s Podcast episode here. You can find Jeff Gothelf’s podcast episode here.

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

Many Product Owners come from a technical background. This means that they know a lot about the technical aspects the team needs to consider. However, when the PO starts to question the team’s estimates or decisions, that’s a recipe for failure. Listen to how Nick handles that situation, and get some tools and practices you can apply right away!

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Nick Vitsinsky

Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.

You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.

 

Jun 14, 2019
Feedback quality as a metric of Scrum Master success | Nick Vitsinsky
11:12

Is the team providing feedback openly to each other and stakeholders? That’s one of the key success questions that Nick asks when evaluating his own success as a Scrum Master.

That leads him to find approaches to help teams open up and share their perspective on the work.

In this episode, we also refer to a paper on how to help teams improve their performance. It is based on the same principle that top athletes apply every day: pushing, then resting. A cycle that is guaranteed to improve performance over time.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Island Expedition metaphor format

Nick likes to focus on creativity for the retrospectives he facilitates. He’s found several metaphor-focused formats that work, but one he especially likes is The Island Expedition.

Metaphor-focused formats help the teams be more creative by taking them out of their regular context and pushing them to imagine themselves in a different context.

About Nick Vitsinsky

Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.

You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.

Jun 13, 2019
Top management support is not enough for Scrum adoption | Nick Vitsinsky
14:47

Scrum Masters that move onto organizations that are just in the start of Scrum adoption may find that it is not an easy process, even when you have top-management support.

In this episode, we talk about what goes wrong when we focus on change from the top, and forget that the teams (whom we work with), might be against the change. Top management support is not enough for Scrum adoption!

About Nick Vitsinsky

Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.

You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.

Jun 12, 2019
A common Scrum adoption Anti-pattern | Nick Vitsinsky
14:31

When adopting Scrum, some organizations focus on the process, the meetings that come with Scrum. But, unfortunately, they also often forget about the meaning and the reason for those meetings, ending up just renaming the old meetings with new names.

This anti-pattern is common, and we should be able to detect it and counter it in our organizations. In this episode, we discuss how to detect and reverse the “same meetings with different names” Scrum adoption anti-pattern.

Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo

In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Nick found a book filled with practical tips that help Scrum Masters (and managers) to work with the team every day, and make their work easier. In this episode, we also talk about the source for retrospective format ideas: Retromat.org; and about a book that inspires Nick every day: The Little Prince by Saint-Éxupery.

About Nick Vitsinsky

Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.

You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.

Jun 11, 2019
When Scrum Masters fail to motivate the team | Nick Vitsinsky
11:33

Scrum Masters work with teams every day. The way teams feel about the work they do is extremely important for them to be engaged and motivated. However, sometimes we overlook that and fail. In this very personal story by Nick, we learn about what happens when Scrum Masters overlook and even ignore the motivation and engagement of the team.

About Nick Vitsinsky

Nick as more than 10 years in IT started from QA Engineer/Waterfall after two years realized that there should be a different approach to how to develop and ship the software. His philosophy and mindset is: “find out Agile and make it own moto”. He focuses on that on a daily basis.

You can link with Nick Vitsinsky on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Vitsinsky on Twitter.

Jun 10, 2019
When Product Owners can have multiple roles | Mili Shrivastava
08:53

We explore the absent Product Owner anti-pattern and discuss a case when it was OK to have the Product Owner also play the role of a developer in the team.

The Product Owner pattern for the week

We often hear that the Product Owner cannot be a developer at the same time. However, in some cases, that’s not a problem. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner that was also a developer, and what made that PO a great PO despite the dual role.

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

When the Product Owner is too busy, the team suffers. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of the absent Product Owner, and how Scrum Masters can help the team and the Product Owner in that situation.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Mili Shrivastava

Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.

Jun 07, 2019
Using the daily meeting to assess team health | Mili Shrivastava
10:35

One of the most common, and sometimes forgotten, sensors for a Scrum Master is the daily meeting. Mili asks us to consider how the team members show up for the daily. Are they excited about the day that is starting? Or happy about the results of the day that is ending?

How are you using the Daily stand-up to assess your impact on the team?

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: KALM

Keep your teams focused on the problems they want to solve with this simple format. KALM stands for Keep, Add, Less, More. These are the keywords that Mili asks the team to consider when reflecting on the previous Sprint.

About Mili Shrivastava

Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.

Jun 06, 2019
Helping Scrum teams improve their Sprint Planning | Mili Shrivastava
08:29

Planning for a Sprint is not an easy task. There are many unknowns, even at the Sprint level, and team members justifiably feel uncomfortable discussing commitments, when they know there will be unexpected events during the Sprint.

How can Scrum Masters help teams learn the value, and the mechanics of planning? That’s what we discuss in this episode.

About Mili Shrivastava

Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.

Jun 05, 2019
Using Agile retrospectives to help Scrum teams get out of their anti-patterns | Mili Shrivastava
11:53

Inevitably, teams will bump into problems over time. It is how teams and their stakeholders react to those anti-patterns that matters. In this episode, we explore the importance of retrospectives in helping teams identify, understand, and ultimately resolve the anti-patterns they fall into.

Featured Book of the Week: Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

In Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, Mili found a good tutorial on how to give, and receive feedback. Handling feedback, whether it is giving or receiving, is one of the most common tasks Scrum Masters deal with, and help team members deal with. Therefore, this book should be part of the reading list of all Scrum Masters.

About Mili Shrivastava

Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.

 

Jun 04, 2019
Helping teams deliver planned stories inside the Sprint | Mili Shrivastava
11:34

Often, teams get too eager to deliver. So eager, they end up planning too much for one Sprint. What usually follows, is that teams leave a lot of stories unfinished at the end of the Sprint, which in turn affects the next Sprint.

In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can progressively get the teams to understand what creates that anti-pattern and how to overcome it so that teams start finishing more, if not all, the stories during the Sprint.

About Mili Shrivastava

Mili has more than 12 years of experience in the software industry. Loves to spend time with her family and is a big fan of outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

You can link with Mili Shrivastava on LinkedIn and connect with Mili Shrivastava on Twitter.

 

Jun 03, 2019
How to help the PO feel “ownership” of the product | Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)
13:39

We explore the Product Owner anti-pattern of using the Scrum Master as a secretary, and the pattern of a PO that feels the ownership of the product

The Product Owner pattern for the week

The relationship between Scrum Master and Product Owner is absolutely critical for the success of the team. When the PO treats the Scrum Master like a helper, rather than a collaborator lots of things go wrong. We also discuss why this anti-pattern happens, and how to prevent / overcome it.

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

The Product Owner title tries to guide to a person in that role to “own” the product. To feel the responsibility and ownership of the product to a level that helps them identify with the product and customers. The goal: to have a PO that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible.

In this episode, we discuss how we can help PO’s feel that ownership.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)

Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.

You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.

May 31, 2019
4 dimensions of Scrum Master success | Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)
15:11

Continuing the thread from Monday’s episode with Jassy, we discuss how feedback from the team is a critical source of information and inspiration for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we discuss how to collect feedback from the team, so that the feedback is not biased by your presence, and what are the 4 dimensions of Scrum Master success for Jassy

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Games that inspire insights

Jassy calls himself “not a friend of retrospectives by the book”. He claims to rarely use a “vanilla” format from somewhere else, but prefers to facilitate retrospectives that feel like a game, like a fun thing to do. We discuss metaphor games, and how they help teams find insights they would not find otherwise.

About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)

Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.

You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.

May 30, 2019
How stakeholder engagement drives change in Scrum teams | Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)
10:36

We reflect on the time it takes to effect meaningful change, and how Scrum Masters can help teams learn to be patient in the process. We also discuss some critical tools that help change take hold. Specifically, how transparency and customer/stakeholder engagement can drive change in a team.

About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)

Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.

You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.

May 29, 2019
The disaster that affects teams that don’t “own” the product | Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)
12:15

In this episode, we talk about motivation and engagement. Jassy shares with us the most common anti-pattern he has seen in teams. It starts with a lack of identification or empathy with the product. Followed by the “we are doing this for someone else” dynamic, leading to further disengagement. Finally, we talk about some of the things that Scrum Masters can do to help their teams get out of that downward spiral.

Featured book of the week: Momo, by Michael Ende

In Momo by Michael Ende, Jassy found a story about time and effort that constantly inspires him in his role as Scrum Master. In the words of the then Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjørn Jagland, in his New Year Address to the nation on January 1, 1997: "People are persuaded to save time by eliminating everything not useful. One of the people so influenced cuts out his girlfriend, sells his pet, stops singing, reading and visiting friends. In this way he will supposedly become an efficient man getting something out of life. What is strange is that he is in a greater hurry than ever. The saved-up time disappears - and he never sees it again."

About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)

Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.

You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.

May 28, 2019
The challenges with moving from developer to Scrum Master | Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)
11:32

When we move from a developer role to a Scrum Master role, many things change. In this episode, we talk about our relationship with our colleagues (the good and the bad), as well as the critical aspect of learning to ask for feedback from the team.

About Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst)

Jassy moved from developer to being a Scrum Master and then a freelancer. He calls himself:  the person to contact for help in On-Boardings, as well as a friend of bottom-up, power to the people! No top-down, no micro-management. No despotism in agile software development.

You can link with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on LinkedIn, or XING and connect with Jassy (Jan-Simon Wurst) on Twitter.

May 27, 2019
BONUS: Aino Corry on how to prepare for and facilitate for Distributed Retrospectives
32:00

Scrum Masters all over the world make a significant effort to get better at facilitating retrospectives… Until they have to host a Distributed Retrospective. At that point, we learn that all you learned about facilitating retrospectives is still useful, but not nearly enough!

Preparing, hosting, and facilitating a Distributed Retrospective is a completely different challenge.

The 4 things that you need to make Distributed Retrospectives work

There’s no single recipe to make Distributed Retrospectives work. But there are certain ingredients you need to make sure you have in place. It’s important to try to have all of these 4 ingredients in place.

Those 4 ingredients are:

  1. get people to participate actively
  2. get everybody on video (if at all possible)
  3. pace them forward all the time (e.g. using strict timeboxes)
  4. use round-robin (or some other technique) to get everybody to talk

 

The most common anti-patterns in Distributed Retrospectives

As with all other ceremonies, there are some things that are hard to get right and often go wrong. Here’s a short list to keep in mind and prepare to counter-act:

About Aino Corry

Aino is a consultant and agile coach, and has Ph.d in computer science from the last century focused on design patterns and language constructs in programming languages, 20 years as a teacher in academia and industry

You can link with Aino Corry on LinkedIn and connect with Aino Corry on Twitter.

May 26, 2019
Evidence-based Product Ownership | Bradley Pohl
13:51

Product Owners that have a command and control mentality can derail the team. We discuss this and other topics on this Product Owner focused episode.

The Product Owner pattern for the week

Product Owners that focus on command and control will quickly become too busy to be able to help the team, but that’s usually made a lot worse when the Product Owner has multiple roles. These are the 2 anti-patterns we talk about in this episode.

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

When it comes to good Product Owner patterns, we discuss the need to be open to learning from the team, the market and stakeholders. We also discuss evidence-based product ownership.

In this episode, we refer to The Professional Product Owner by Don McGreal and Ralph Jocham.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Bradley Pohl

Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

May 24, 2019
Sparking continuous improvement for Scrum teams | Bradley Pohl
10:37

There are many challenges teams face that require Scrum Master support. Some of those are related to cross-team dependencies (one of the core aspects for Scrum Masters), but they can also be related to basic improvements in the ways of working. In this episode, we discuss how the team’s outlook on improvement is critical for Scrum Masters and what to look at when evaluating our own contribution to the team.

Featured Agile Retrospective format for the week: What are you looking for out of your work?

When starting with a new team, the questions you ask are critical. Bradley shares with us a format that helps team members understand each other, as well as define the work agreements they need to get them started on the journey to high-performance.

About Bradley Pohl

Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

May 23, 2019
Sparking collaboration in an Agile transformation | Bradley Pohl
11:35

As we work with organizations in transition, we need to help teams and Product Owners make sense of the new ways of working. In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can help Product Owners and teams find a way to collaborate when changing towards Agile. We share some tools that help large groups come together and learn to focus more on the impact they seek, rather than just the work they need to do.

About Bradley Pohl

Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

May 22, 2019
How to work with a team of outside contractors | Bradley Pohl
13:08

Working with a team of contractors can be a saviour for some organizations. However, there are specific challenges that come with using “outsiders” to do significant projects in any organization. In this episode, we discuss one of the anti-patterns that come with teams of contractors: the lack of future outlook. We also discuss some of the important lessons Bradley learned and how to prepare for when you need to work with a team of contractors.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Bradley found the 3 aspects of motivation that later helped him work with the teams he facilitates. In this episode, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins and Mindset Growth by Carol Dweck.

About Bradley Pohl

Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

May 21, 2019
How to help PO and team collaborate better | Bradley Pohl
12:14

The relationship between PO and the team is critical. So critical that if it does not work, it has the potential to derail the whole effort. In this episode, we talk about how to identify possible problems in collaboration between the team and PO, and how to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Bradley Pohl

Bradley is a young Scrum Master working for a mid-sized US bank that is currently undergoing an "Agile Transformation." As a part of the Transformation, his training consisted of a 4 week Agile boot camp that was designed to build scrum masters from the ground-up. In his free time, he applies lean and agile principles to designing websites and providing social media advertising to local small business as Catch On, at catchontech.com.

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

May 20, 2019
The product owner that was the team manager | Jeremy Willets
12:51

As usual on the Friday’s episodes, we explore Product Owner patterns and anti-patterns to help you work effectively with the Product Owner.

The Product Owner pattern for the week

This Product Owner was the manager for the team, but despite that, he was an effective PO. Listen in to learn how this PO stepped back to help the team contribute, and how he separated his PO responsibilities from his management responsibilities.

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

Product Owner’s personalities can have a big impact on the relationship with the team. In this episode, we explore what happens when the PO is self-centered and egotistical. We discuss the symptoms that indicate this anti-pattern and some of the things you may want to do as a Scrum Master to help the PO and team collaborate.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Jeremy Willets

Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!

You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.

May 17, 2019
6 questions successful scrum masters ask themselves | Jeremy Willets
10:15

Jeremy explains the questions that he asks himself when evaluating his contribution to the team. As Scrum Masters, these are some of the many questions that can help us assess our work and improve our approach to help make teams successful.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Speed Car retrospective format

The Speed Car retrospective format is one of the many metaphor exercises that helps teams get out of the details of what happened and think about the impact those events might have on their performance, just like many aspects have an impact on a race car.

In this episode, we refer to the classic book: Agile Retrospectives by Larssen and Derby.

About Jeremy Willets

Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!

You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.

May 16, 2019
OKR rollout story in an Agile organization | Jeremy Willets
12:07

OKR’s are a management tool that is gaining wide acceptance in the tech industry and other industries. The ideas are simple and should be simple to adopt, except they are not.

In this episode, we talk about what Jeremy learned about the roll-out of OKR’s at his company and how Scrum Masters can help adopt OKR’s the right way! Not a simple process.

About Jeremy Willets

Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!

You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.

May 15, 2019
How interruptions kill Scrum team effectiveness and efficiency | Jeremy Willets
09:20

A team was given a new assignment. They would finally start developing a cool new technology that they had wanted to focus on for a while. They were assigned full-time to this new project. What’s not to like? Well… It’s never that simple. Scrum teams don’t exist in a vacuum, and soon enough the “old” work started interrupting the “new and cool tech project”! Listen and learn what happened to that team.

In this episode, we refer to the book: Principles of Product Development Flow by Don Reinertsen.

Featured Book for the Week: Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David Anderson

In Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business by David Anderson, Jeremy found that Scrum needs to evolve, and that following Scrum as such may not be the best option for you, or your teams. In Kanban, David Anderson answers the following questions:

  • What is Kanban?
  • Why would I want to use Kanban?
  • How do I go about implementing Kanban?
  • How do I recognize improvement opportunities and what should I do about them?

About Jeremy Willets

Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!

You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.

May 14, 2019
Component teams are not good for Agile or Scrum | Jeremy Willets
12:18

How we set up teams has a direct impact on their ability to deliver. As Scrum Masters, we should pay attention to the early signs that something is going wrong. In this episode, we discuss the “platform team” anti-pattern, the dependencies that it causes and how we can raise the issue early enough to have an impact.

In this episode, we refer to the Marshmallow experiment blog post by Marcus Hammarberg, a great illustration that quick iteration with the result in mind can be much more effective and efficient for Scrum teams.

About Jeremy Willets

Jeremy Willets is a Technical Writer turned Scrum Master/Agile Coach. He's passionate about bringing Agile to all facets of his organization. He enjoys spending time with his family, making music, and drinking the finest craft beer the world has to offer!

You can link with Jeremy Willets on LinkedIn and connect with Jeremy Willets on Twitter.

May 13, 2019
BONUS: Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby share tips on how to help Distributed teams succeed
40:35

When Johanna visited Agile 2017, one of the largest Agile conferences that year, she was disappointed that the main advice people were giving on stage was: “don’t do distributed”. She then met Mark and started sharing her experience on how she had been able to make distributed agile work in her consulting work.

From that disappointment and both Johanna’s and Mark’s experience, a book was born: From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams: Collaborate to Deliver.

The most important lessons about making Distributed Agile work for your team

When working with distributed teams, it is important to go back to principles, and explore how to apply those in the distributed teams. The practices that you know from co-located teams may not be adequate to distributed Agile teams.

Mark and Johanna shares some of the tips that they’ve seen work to help distributed agile teams. We talk about collaboration in a distributed environment, recruiting as a specific aspect that is different for distributed teams, and we talk about some of the metrics that may help you detect problems in a distributed team, even if you don’t “see” the whole team working like you do in a co-located team.

The biggest difference between co-located and distributed teams

Being apart from each other, oddly, is not the big difference. The big difference we talk about is the “affiliation”, how we feel connected. The aspects that drive or improve the connection between team members are much more important in distributed teams because there’s no space for occasional corridor conversations.

Mark and Johanna share their tips on how to help team members connect with each other, even when they are physically separated.

Tips for distributed team members: health and time off-screen are critical!

Working remotely is also very different for team members individually. It is easier to spend more time on the laptop if you go from working on the screen, to having a meeting on the same screen! When you are in an office, you will get up and walk more often. We talk about scheduling some exercise in your day and other tips that make life better for the individuals in a distributed team.

The most important Scrum Master tasks when working with distributed teams

As you would expect, the work of Scrum Masters also changes significantly for remote teams. We talk about the work agreements that are even more critical for distributed teams, as well as other practices and tools that distributed Scrum Masters must adopt when working with remote teams.

About Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development. Johanna is the author of fourteen books and hundreds of articles. Find the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter, and her blogs at jrothman.com and createadaptablelife.com

As an agile coach, Mark Kilby has cultivated more distributed and dispersed teams than collocated teams. He’s coached as a consultant, an internal coach, and as a facilitator of distributed professional communities. His easy-going style helps teams learn to collaborate and discover their path to success and sustainability.

See markkilby.com for his blog and articles.

You can find Johanna’s and Mark’s book on Amazon and LeanPub.

May 12, 2019
Scrum Product Owner anti-pattern and an example of a great PO | Elena Popretinskaya
15:50

New question! In this episode, we introduce a new question: examples of Product Owner anti-patterns, and examples of great Product Owners. We often get asked about what is a good Product Owner, and how to define the role so that success becomes clear. In this new series of TGIF questions we explore the role, and success of great Product Owners.

Elena’s example of a Product Owner anti-pattern is the “Solutionizer despot PO”, a Product Owner that always has the solution and replaces the team’s own thinking by proposing detailed solutions.

Elena’s example of a great Product Owner is someone that can bring Vision to the team. Help motivate and direct the team’s thoughts without imposing solutions.

Learn from Elena about how to tackle the anti-pattern, but also how to learn from the great Product Owner example to help your Product Owner succeed. After all, the team’s success depends on the PO’s performance!

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Elena Popretinskaya

Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier :)

You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.

May 10, 2019
Scrum Retrospective format to help teams make sense of progress so far | Elena Popretinskaya
10:17

A Scrum Master can wear many hats. Specifically, the Scrum Master can be a coach, a mentor and a teacher. All three roles are necessary at different times in our assignments. How do we know which ones to hold? We discuss that in this episode, where we explore Elena’s definition of success for a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: What?/So what?/Now what?

Elena found in “Liberating Structures”, a good exercise to help teams reflect on the outcomes, and the necessary changes after a Sprint. In this episode, she shares one facilitation technique that helps facilitate a retrospective even with large teams.

For more on the What? / So what? / Now what? Technique read this blog post.

About Elena Popretinskaya

Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier :)

You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.

May 09, 2019
Agile at scale, the Portfolio coordination mechanisms | Elena Popretinskaya
11:33

As Agile and Scrum get adopted in more and more organizations, there’s a need to help organizations replace the old coordination mechanisms, like the Program (several projects coordinated via a centralized organization). In this episode, we talk about coordinating at Portfolio level many Scrum teams. We also share the steps to get that implemented at Elena’s company.

About Elena Popretinskaya

Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier :)

You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.

 

May 08, 2019
Definition of Ready, a Scrum tool to help teams start a Story on the right foot | Elena Popretinskaya
11:53

Teams that are motivated, can also find themselves in trouble. This happens, for example, when teams are eager to get started and rush into implementing stories that are not well understood or defined.

In this episode, we talk about the possible pitfalls of being “too” driven, and how we can help teams get ready to start implementing before committing to early.

In this episode, we refer to a tool called “Definition or Ready”, a simple checklist (à lá Definition of Done) that helps teams make sure that they have enough information to get started implementing.

Featured Book for the Week: Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman

In Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Elena found an explanation and a reminder that humans are not computers. We are emotional creatures. Our emotions drive our behavior as much as anything else.

About Elena Popretinskaya

Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier :)

You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.

May 07, 2019
Scrum team forming, lessons from Modern Agile | Elena Popretinskaya
11:45

Teams change. It’s a fact. Some team members join, sometimes two teams get merged. That’s the story we talk about today. Elena was facing a challenge. A new team was formed from two previous teams. How to help the team form?

Elena tried several things, including forming the team around a common goal they called “a mission”.

However, forming a team is not an easy task. What have you tried? Listen in to learn what Elena tried, failed, and then learned from this story.

In this episode we talk about Modern Agile, a movement to highlight some aspects of Agile that often get forgotten.

About Elena Popretinskaya

Elena considers herself a lifetime learner (she says, she absolutely loves having “aha!” moments). And she especially enjoys learning together with and from other people: her team and her friends. Elena is curious about everything: people, software craftsmanship and the world around. Elena is also a passionate hiker and a cross-country skier :)

You can link with Elena Popretinskaya on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Popretinskaya on Twitter.

May 06, 2019
Q&A: How to explain the need for Agile coaching and Scrum Masters | Jeff Campbell
18:32

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How to explain the need for Agile coaching and Scrum Masters

I've worked in teams, and organizations that were "going down the path of Scrum theatre". They pretended to do Scrum.

The problem is I wasn't happy with it. I saw team and PO complaining about "all these meetings", only to find out that management had a whole set of meetings on top of the Scrum meetings to "follow-up". In other words, to have reports in the format they wanted, instead of working within the framework of Scrum.

I tried influencing Management that organization needs Agile/Scrum Coaching, but it was constantly overlooked.

Scrum Masters and their work in coaching teams is a critical support aspect for teams adopting Agile. In this episode, we discuss how we can help the organization understand the value that Agile coaching and Scrum Masters bring to the teams.

Resources and tools

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

May 04, 2019
2 Product Owner patterns to look out for | Catrine Björkegren
12:46

In this episode, we introduce a new set of questions. Two questions that help us understand some of the most common anti-patterns in the Product Owner role as well what great Product Owners look like.

In this episode, we talk about a Product Owner anti-pattern related to the PO’s relationship with other PO’s in the organization. We discuss the “my Product is the most important” anti-pattern!

The Great Product Owner: When a Product Owner is able to bring in the business perspective and trust the team to find out what’s the best possible technical solution.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.  

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

May 03, 2019
Questions every Scrum Master should ask when joining a team | Catrine Björkegren
11:24

When we join a new team, there’s a set of things we should look for in order to know what the team needs help with. In this episode, we talk about what to look out for when joining a team, to ensure that we know what requires our focus. We discuss a set of critical questions every Scrum Master should ask from themselves.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Speedboat Retrospective

Catrine likes this format because it helps move the conversation from complaining to taking action. Listen in to learn how to apply this format in practice and help the team focus on positive action that brings improvement.

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

May 02, 2019
Self-organization in practice, a how-to guide for Change agents | Catrine Björkegren
14:21

When the organizations we work with need to adapt, sometimes that means changing the team composition. In this episode, we talk about a project that required the teams to re-organize and find a new way to collaborate. We discuss the impact of distribution on team formation and dive deep into a process of self-selection: when teams create themselves by allowing team members to find the right group to contribute to a mission.

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

May 01, 2019
How to avoid the “hero” anti-pattern in Scrum teams | Catrine Björkegren
13:59

In some teams, the division of work leads to having people who are the “heroes” for some part of the product. This siloing of expertise leads to many anti-patterns, and as Scrum Masters we must be aware of those, and be ready to act and help teams overcome the problems that come with this “hero” anti-pattern.

In this episode we talk about #MobProgramming and the Promiscuous Pairing paper by Arlo Belshee (PDF download).

Featured Book of the Week: Training from the Back of the Room by Sharon Bowman

The Scrum Master’s work includes training and workshop facilitation. It’s important that we learn how to help people learn in a classroom setting. In Training from the Back of the Room by Sharon Bowman, Catrine found a new way to look at how to organize and facilitate training. Thanks to that book Caterine changed how she hosts/facilitates training and workshops for teams and stakeholders.

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

Apr 30, 2019
How to react to conflict in a Scrum team | Catrine Björkegren
11:39

As we work with several teams, it is impossible to avoid working with team members that just don’t have good chemistry. As Scrum Masters, we should be ready for when that happens! In this episode, we talk about a particular incompatibility between team members and reflect on how to handle this type of conflicts.

About Catrine Björkegren

Agile coach and scrum master, Catrine has worked with agile for a decade in various areas like education, nuclear waste, government agencies, pharmaceutical and at the Royal Swedish Opera.

She believes that co-location is the key to building teams and that leadership is the key to successful agile transformation.

You can link with Catrine Björkegren on LinkedIn and connect with Catrine Björkegren on Twitter.

Apr 29, 2019
BONUS: Lean and Agile Financial planning with Maarit Laanti and Rami Sirkiä
33:47

The financial processes of companies can defeat their own efforts to become more agile. It’s simply impossible for an organization to be adaptable if their project processes require all projects to be specified up-front and funded months ahead of their starting date.

Tackling the financial process changes in our organizations is one of the make-or-break aspects of helping organizations become Agile and adaptable.

In this episode, we talk about Lean and Agile Financial Planning (PDF article download), an approach that tries to adopt Agile and Lean thinking in the funding and financial processes of an organization.

The reason why Lean and Agile Financial planning is a core aspect of Agile transformation in enterprises

Both Maarit and Rami have worked at Nokia mobile phones when the software and hardware giant was trying to move towards an agile way of working.

Rami was a financial controller and as such responsible for some of the financial decision and follow-up processes in the organization. While working with Maarit, they recognized that the existing financial processes were not going to help their aim of making Nokia a more agile organization. They needed a new approach.

The approach they devised helped fund the work without considering the detailed content of the work (detailed scope). Decoupling the funding of work, from the content/scope discussion was one of the major changes that Lean and Agile Financial Planning brought about. But there were more, and we talk through those in this episode.

Projects and the Project construct may be inadequate for our current economic and business environment

The traditional funding processes for work in organizations borrow heavily from the Project Management community’s work on governance. However, that may be now inadequate because of the competitive pressure and constant changes we see in the market. Nokia itself is a great example of how, when you fail to adapt quickly, the market may completely destroy the company.

In Agile organizations we do continuous development. We continuously explore the needs of customers, develop and deliver software to production. This quick pace of development has left the old funding processes behind and shown that those approaches are now inadequate.

For organizations to thrive in the software-driven business environment we are in, we need be intimately familiar with how software is developed, and how flexible and quick to adapt it can be. Once we understand that, the need for a new funding mechanism becomes obvious. In this episode, we talk about the process of recognizing if you are negatively impacted by slow funding processes and what you can do to start the change you need in the software-driven business environment.

Agile for the Enterprise is not about frameworks, but a complete re-think of the management processes

Maarit Laanti, co-author of Lean and Agile Financial Planning is also the author of an upcoming book on Agile Portfolio Management. This book starts from her understanding that the old management paradigms are no longer adequate for software organizations.

It is a book about how companies can, not only survive, but benefit from the digital disruption that is affecting them.

About Maarit Laanti and Rami Sirkiä

Maarit Laanti belongs to a handful of pioneers on large-scale agile transformations. Her PhD titled as "Agile Methods in Large-scale Software development applicability and model for use” is the world’s first PhD on agile in large-scale – published in January 2013.

Her work at Nokia smartphones and in Nokia Mobile Phones, which largely influenced on Scaled Agile Framework.

In 2013 she founded a company named Nitor Delta, a large-scale Lean and agile transformation, coaching and consulting firm that has grown from one person to 16 people, Currently, Maarit Laanti is working on a book on Agile Portfolio Management.

Rami Sirkiä is the creator of the Lean-Agile Budgeting of Scaled Agile Framework (2013). Speaker at multiple seminars and events on modern finance function in agile world.

Rami is an Experienced Lean-Agile and SAFe transformation coach and the creator of the Lean-Agile Financial planning approach together with Maarit.  

Apr 28, 2019
How do we help teams focus on technical excellence? | Jeff Campbell
14:37

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How do we help teams focus on technical excellence?

A while ago I wrote a post about #MyCoreOfAgile when I was visting the Agile community in Torino.

I've thought about this a while and think that the way we work, both process and technical excellence are key to the Agility we can achieve as teams. For me, XP practices (test automation, pair programming, continuous integration, etc.) are a key part of what it means to be Agile in software development.

Many teams out there just adopt Scrum (the practices) and forget the technical practices. How do we get our teams to care about software craftsmanship and technical practices that foster agility?

This is the question we tackle with Jeff in this Q&A episode.

Resources and tools

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Apr 27, 2019
The Self-Absorbed Product Owner Anti-pattern | Kristopher Stice-Hall
11:14

This week we start a new Friday question. We explore examples of Product Owner anti-patterns as well as great product owner practices and examples.

Kristopher shares a story of how a Product Owner’s personality can derail a team, and sometimes, even an organization.

We end the week by talking about examples of practices that a good Product Owner can have, and how to help the Product Owner take on those practices.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Apr 26, 2019
Agile Retrospective format: Turn up the good, what’s going well and how can we make it better? | Kristopher Stice-Hall
11:53

The hours people put in are a good indicator of the success of the Scrum Master. Are your teams working long hours? Putting in crunch weeks and then laying back for a while? Those are signs that something isn’t working as it should. Scrum and Agile are about sustainable, continuous progress towards our goal.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: What’s going well and how can we make it better?

Starting the retrospective with the team by sharing Kudos (appreciations) can energize and team and get them in the mood to improve their practices. The “what’s going well, and how can we make it better” retrospective format, takes the energy from the Kudos check-in and turns up the good by focusing the teams on how they can continue to build on what’s already working.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Apr 25, 2019
How to help teams own their process? A tool for Scrum Masters | Kristopher Stice-Hall
14:02

Teams can get carried away with the practices of Scrum and continue to follow them blindly, even when they are not getting the value they want out of those practices. In this episode, we tackle the need for the team to own the process, and take over changing it to meet their needs. Kristopher shares a technique that can help the team learn what it means, and effectively own their process.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Apr 24, 2019
What can happen when the Product Owner and Team fail to collaborate | Kristopher Stice-Hall
11:02

The interaction between teams and Product Owner is one of the most critical in Scrum. Sometimes teams forget that the PO must be involved in the decisions they make every day. Decisions such as prioritisation, technical / functionality trade-offs, etc. If teams start making those decisions without PO involvement they endanger the success of the product. How can Scrum Masters help the teams involve the PO in the right decisions? That’s what we tackle in this episode.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Featured book of the Week: User Stories Applied, by Mike Cohn

In the User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn, Kristopher found a good, practical guide to help teams learn how to use User Stories to their advantage, especially to take in the customer/user point of view.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Apr 23, 2019
How to keep meeting-inflation in check for remote Scrum teams | Kristopher Stice-Hall
11:33

When working with remote teams we must be aware that the number of meetings can easily balloon up because the team does not meet in the corridor. As Scrum Master, we must help remote teams find workarounds for the calendar-driven, meeting-inflated anti-pattern for remote teams.

In this episode, we discuss how a Scrum Master can help a team find the right balance between meetings and ad-hoc interaction even when remote.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

Is the co-owner of Digital Maelstrom, a consultancy specializing in custom software, DevOps, managed cloud services, and information security. He has been doing Scrum Master work for over 10 years. He has worked with fortune 500 companies to companies less than 15 people. He also has been doing software development for 17 years.

You can link with Kristopher Stice-Hall on LinkedIn and connect with Kristopher Stice-Hall on Twitter.

Apr 22, 2019
Q&A: How to help Self-organization get started in the team | Jeff Campbell
10:14

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

Helping teams and managers adopt self-organization as a way to improve the team’s impact

 

The topic of self-organization comes up over and over again. The teams benefit from it because it helps them solve problems faster, help each other without the burden of having someone else "approve" what they need to do.

But self-organization is not always seen as a "good thing" by management. The common sense phrase I often hear is: "if everybody is in charge, no one is in charge".

In this Q&A episode with Jeff Campbell, we explore what are some of the reasons managers may be skeptic of self-organization.

We also explore ways to present the benefits and help all involved to slowly move to a way of working that allows the teams to solve their problems. Without having to wait for someone to come in and “save them”.

Resources and tools



About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

 

Apr 20, 2019
Fear as a cultural marker in Scrum organizations | Varun Maheshwari
12:26

Varun shares the contrasts between his home culture (India) and the country where he works now (Australia). We discuss some of the key differences, and how people moving between those 2 cultures can learn from each and help teams collaborate. As expectations are different, the collaboration between teams in those 2 cultures will not be easy.

In this episode, we talk about Brook’s law, and the book Death March, a book by Edward Yourdon about surviving “doomed” projects.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 19, 2019
The Product Owner as a key to Scrum Master success | Varun Maheshwari
11:59

Scrum Master success is not only about the team, but also about the Product Owner. When we want to help Scrum teams, we should check how the interaction with the Product Owner works, and how to help the team and Product Owner collaborate effectively.

Helping Product Owners also means focusing on the business side of our work and defining together the critical business metrics for the PO and team.

Are you having trouble helping the team working well with their Product Owner? We’ve put together a course to help you work on the collaboration team-product owner. You can find it at: bit.ly/coachyourpo. 18 modules, 8+ hours of modules with tools and techniques that you can use to help teams and PO’s collaborate.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Conversations as retrospectives

Sometimes retrospectives are simple moments in time where team members have important conversations with each other. Instead of waiting for a retrospective event, Scrum Masters should encourage those conversations every day. In this episode, we also talk about how to help distributed teams hold regular, even daily retrospectives.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 18, 2019
The Scrum Master’s change guide to Enterprise Agile Adoption | Varun Maheshwari
10:33

Digital transformations are a dime a dozen at this time. Many organizations are going through a transformation of business model, not just adding IT to an old business model. However, digital transformations are not only about business models, but also about ways of working. In this episode, we talk about the change process inherent to digital transformations, and how Scrum Masters can help teams survive the big change we call Enterprise Agile Adoption.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 17, 2019
How to help teams move from reporting to collaboration | Varun Maheshwari
15:35

Sometimes teams enter the “reporting” anti-pattern. Teams exhibiting this anti-pattern are focused on just describing what they have done, but spend little time discussing the value or the reasons why that work is important. In the end, the daily meeting is the engine of collaboration, and as Scrum Masters we need to focus on collaboration more than status reporting. In this episode we discuss how we can help teams move from reporting to collaboration.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Product Ownership by Robert Galen

Scrum Product Ownership by Robert Galen is a book with practical advice, real-world tactics, and stories to help understand and shape the Product Owner role. The book is full of ideas that focus on helping the Team and the PO deliver on the promise of Scrum.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 16, 2019
Common mistakes Scrum Masters do when getting started with Scrum | Varun Maheshwari
10:57

Scrum is a relatively small framework for teams to adopt. Certainly much smaller than some of the Agile at scale frameworks. However, even small frameworks can take a while to adopt. In this episode, we reflect on some of the most common mistakes Scrum Masters make when helping teams adopt Scrum.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 15, 2019
BONUS: Ryan Jacoby on the 7 responsibilities of an innovation leader
38:36

Innovation is a topic that gets a lot of attention. There are innovation processes, specific creative games for teams to work with to seek innovative ideas. There’s the Lean Startup movement that tries to codify innovation-friendly processes, and there’s also the UX community pushing the argument that we need more innovation in software companies.

You’ve probably heard the same argument at work. We need to be more innovative to be competitive. Great! But how?

In this episode, we explore how leaders can set up their organizations for innovation. Ryan Jacoby helps us explore the how of that critical question: how can we be more innovative?

Ryan has written a book titled Making Progress - The 7 Responsibilities of an Innovation Leader to describe how organizations can focus on enabling innovation in practice.

The first action you, and your organization need to take

Ryan describes an approach that aims to focus on the team and organization on the customer needs. His approach is simple and immediately actionable. First start by jotting down in plain language and from the point-of-view of the user/customer: what problems are you trying to solve for that customer? Select the top 3.

The other dimension of innovation is your organization’s goals. Define what it means to meaningfully grow the impact of the organization over 6 to 18 months. This growth could be in the number of customers, revenue growth, profit, etc.

Now you have the start of a growth strategy that is centered on customer needs and also directly linked to the company’s/organization’s growth. Next, we talk about innovation in practice.

For complete notes, visit https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

About Ryan Jacoby

Ryan Jacoby, is the founder of MACHINE, a strategy, and innovation company that helps its clients Think Big and Act Small.

MACHINE clients over the years have included people responsible for growth and innovation at The New York Times, Marriott, Viacom, Etsy, Google, Nike, The Washington Post, Feeding America, Fresh Direct, NBC Universal, and The Knight Foundation.

Prior to founding MACHINE, Ryan led teams and relationships at the design and innovation firm IDEO. He was a founding member and location head of the IDEO New York office and built the Business Design discipline at the firm.

Ryan is also the author of the book named “Making Progress” with Sense and Respond press. A book he describes as “a tactical guide for you, the person charged with leading innovation"

You can link with Ryan Jacoby on LinkedIn and connect with Ryan Jacoby on Twitter.

For more on Ryan Jacoby’s work, visit his company’s site at Machine.io.

 

Apr 14, 2019
Q&A - How to help teams share knowledge and become cross-functional teams | Jeff Campbell
12:20

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How to help teams share knowledge and become cross-functional teams

We've all been there, when a front-end developer can't work on a feature because only the back-end part of the feature is missing, but the backend developer is busy or even better: waiting for the DB admin to make some changes.

This is just another form of siloed skillsets. Where one person can only do one task and the other person needs to wait.

How do we help teams understand and practice shared ownership of their work? Sharing knowledge and ultimately making sure that the team can always deliver, no matter who is there?

This is the question we explore in this episode with Jeff Campbell. We discuss the possible reasons why team members are reluctant to share their knowledge, and share tools that can help teams “see” the need for cross-skilling of the team. Kanban is mentioned as an approach that makes the dependency on one skill visible to all in the team.

Resources and tools

  • CodeKata: A deliberate practice for developers to improve their skills and share knowledge with each other.
  • The Coding Dojo Handbook by Emily Bache, a very practical book to help you prepare a coding dojo. A space where team members practice to learn.
  • MobProgramming: a whole-team practice that ensures not only sharing of knowledge but also that the team is constantly collaborating on the most important task they have at hand.

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Apr 13, 2019
When culture is used as an excuse for the Status Quo | Elena Astilleros
12:03

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a popular phrase that tries to highlight the importance of culture. However, sometimes culture can be used to hide. Teams that use the “it’s not in our culture” phrase a lot may be avoiding facing a change that is staring them in the face. How do we know when culture is a real obstacle or just an excuse? That’s what we talk about in this Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Apr 12, 2019
How to execute an Agile Retrospective in 30 min or less and still get lots of value from it | Elena Astilleros
11:30

Scrum Masters can use their self-check-in every day to assess their progress. In this episode, we talk about questions you can ask yourself to assess your progress and find the areas that are working or need more focus.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The 5 steps, how to execute them when time is of the essence

The Agile Retrospectives steps that Derby and Larsen shared in Agile Retrospectives can take a while to execute in a retrospective setting. Sometimes we don’t have that much time. In this episode, we discuss how we can implement the standard 5 steps of a retrospective even when time is of the essence and we only have 30 min or less.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Apr 11, 2019
Helping teams recover from the day-to-day pressure of business as usual | Elena Astilleros
09:56

Sometimes, the teams and organization are excited about the change. Possibly the adoption of Scrum or some other Agile methodology. However, it is not enough to have the enthusiasm of the team. Without a clear direction for the change process, “business as usual” will catch up, the pressures of daily work will take over and the change will stall. We talk about how we can avoid, or recover from the “business as usual” pressure cooker that teams will inevitably face during the change process.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Apr 10, 2019
A step-by-step approach to help Scrum teams in crisis | Elena Astilleros
13:06

Elena joined a team that was about to implode. We discuss the context, what was causing the problems, and then share a step-by-step approach to help teams that are in crisis.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams, by Lysa Adkins

Elena shares with us 3 books, from The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler, to Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown and Coaching Agile Teams by Lysa Adkins.

In Coaching Agile Teams, Elena found a good reminder of how Scrum Masters and team members should be aware of how they relate to each other and how that can have a huge impact on the team’s performance.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Apr 09, 2019
Why every Scrum team is a different challenge for Scrum Masters | Elena Astilleros
10:24

After a successful assignment as a Scrum Master, it is possible we think we’ve got the role down to a T. However, reality between teams is so different that even great Scrum Masters can struggle when moving from one team to another. We share one such story, and what principles and practices we can take as Scrum Masters to focus our work on the new team.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

You can link with Elena Astilleros on LinkedIn and connect with Elena Astilleros on Twitter.

Apr 08, 2019
BONUS: ¿Qué es Lean Change Management y cómo puede ayudarte a gestionar el cambio en tu organización? - En Español
37:20

This is a Spanish language episode where we introduce the Lean Change Management book for our Spanish speaking listeners.

For more on the Lean Change Mangement approach, check out our week of episodes with Jason Little, or visit the book page at http://leanchange.happymellyexpress.com.

Our guests in this episode are Ivan Corps Lopez and Patrick Verdonk who was part of the translators for the Lean Change Management book, Spanish edition.

About Ivan Corps Lopez

Nacido en Ciudad Real (España). Completó Ingeniería informática en la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Apasionado por Lean y Agile desde 2013 para ayudar a las empresas a obtener lo mejor de su gente con esta nueva mentalidad. Ahora trabajando en ING ayudando con la transformación ágil de toda la entidad. Mis valores fundamentales son Libertad, Coraje, Curiosidad, Integridad y Diversión

Ivan Corps Lopez en LinkedIn

 

About Patrick Verdonk

Patrick siempre ha estado involucrado en cambios que afectan a las personas en muchos roles diferentes. El "cambio", especialmente el impacto del cambio en las personas, siempre ha tenido mi interés. En octubre de 2017, Patrick dejó su rol corporativo y se juntó a Alquimia del Talento. Començó a ayudar a otras personas y empresas con la gestión de sus cambios (personales y organizativos) a través de consultoría y capacitación.

Patrick Verdonk en LinkedIn

 

Apr 07, 2019
Q&A - How do you get teams to collaborate to reach a goal? | Jeff Campbell
13:34

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How do you get teams to collaborate to reach a goal?

 

I was working with a team that was experiencing a serious issue. They were not able to finish the work on time or finish what they planned for the Sprint

 

There could be many reasons for that, but in this team what I saw when I came it was that they had one task (not story) going on per developer all the time. Stories were not delivered except in the last day of the Sprint.

 

It was very hard to get the team members to collaborate and feel ownership for what they had planned to deliver.

 

How do you solve problems like this?

 

Resources and tools

 

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Apr 06, 2019
How to deal with conservative cultures in Scrum teams | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:57

In some cultures, people value tradition and what has happened before. They might even look wearingly to the outside and focus more on their “internal” knowledge. That’s a problem for Scrum teams, but some teams live and breath that kind of culture. How can Scrum Masters help teams get out of their “self” focus and learn more from others and newer approaches to work? That’s the question we discuss in this episode.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 05, 2019
Using team metrics to define Scrum Master success | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:04

When working with teams, the team’s metrics should also become the Scrum Master’s metrics. In this episode, we talk about metrics that teams use but can also be important for Scrum Masters to assess their success, and help the teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Format

The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective format is a format that helps teams use a metaphor to explore their current problems (ballast) and the things that are working well (heat, wind, etc.) Metaphors help teams get out of their minute task focus and focus more on themselves as a group.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

 

Apr 04, 2019
How to create a guiding coalition for change, the Scrum Master’s guide | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:46

Scrum Masters can be change catalysts, and often they become an active part of Agile adoption at their organization. However, even motivated, energetic Scrum Master can burn out. Change is a long process, and it can’t keep going if only you are working on it. In this episode, we talk about the importance of creating a “guiding coalition” to ensure that change takes hold and progresses in an organization.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 03, 2019
Is the Scrum team really that good, or just not willing to improve? | Eduardo Ribeiro
08:39

Sometimes, Scrum teams are not facing any challenges. They might even be “good” at what they are doing. When that happens, it is a sign that Scrum Masters must pay extra attention to the team dynamics and the relationship with their stakeholders. Is the team really that good, or is it so that they are just getting comfortable with the status quo and not willing to improve anymore?

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Software Development by Schwaber and Beedle

The “black book of Scrum”, Agile Software Development by Schwaber and Beedle was the first book published on Scrum and it helped Eduardo understand Scrum and why it was created. It also helps Scrum Masters prepare their arguments for the adoption of Scrum when that is necessary.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 02, 2019
The perils of applying Scrum by the book | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:20

Scrum Masters naturally want their teams to apply Scrum “the right way”, but there are risks with that approach. As Scrum Masters, we must be able to detect when a team is getting frustrated by our actions, no matter how well-intentioned they might be. In this episode, we talk about a team that started to feel frustrated by Eddy’s approach and how he reacted to that. Helping the team get back to the positive adoption of Scrum

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 01, 2019
BONUS: How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things? | Jeff Campbell
12:08

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things?

There was this one team. They were actually quite good!

That was the good part. However, after a while, they were so good that they started to act is if they didn't want to improve anymore.

They thought they were good, but I knew they had a serious lack of innovation, they were stuck in the same old methods and processes.

They thought they were better than the rest, but I knew they were just doing the same thing for a long time and were far from their potential!

How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things?

Resources and tools

 

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Mar 30, 2019
How do your teams receive and integrate new team members? | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
10:30

Nedeljo is a natural of Serbia, a place where people are hospitable and friendly. In this episode, we talk about how do teams interact and integrate new team members. We also talk about how some cultures will accept that approach much more eagerly than others. How do your teams receive and integrate new team members?

In this episode, we refer to Management 3.0, the framework developed by Jurgen Appelo that offers simple techniques for many of the challenges Scrum Masters and managers face when working with Scrum teams.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 29, 2019
5 success metrics for Scrum Masters | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
08:32

Scrum Masters must pay attention to how Scrum teams adhere to the Sprint Goal, how they collaborate with the Product Owner and other aspects that make teams perform.

In this episode, we talk about 5 different success metrics for Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format

Scrum Masters usually have multiple retrospective formats in their “back-pocket”. The Sailboat Retrospective format is one that is easy to setup (a flipchart and markers/post-its are enough), and can engage the team in a creative assessment of their ways of working.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 28, 2019
How Scrum teams can avoid catastrophic failures | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
09:17

One rainy Monday, a developer runs a script. The whole database is wiped out, and there are no backups. What can we learn from this story? Scrum Masters must help teams prepare, and sometimes recover, from disasters. This is such a story. We also discuss how we can prepare our teams to avoid catastrophic failures.

In this episode we refer to Modern Agile, a community started by Joshua Kerievsky of Industrial Logic.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 27, 2019
How to help teams that are new to Scrum | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
13:11

As Scrum Masters, sometimes we work with teams that are at the start of their learning journey with Scrum. These teams might even be motivated, and committed teams. But there are many aspects of Scrum that can only be learned with experience. In this episode, we talk about the possible problems we face when working with “new” teams, and how we can help them survive their first Scrum implementation.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, Nedeljko found a great list of examples on what differentiates good from great Scrum Masters. He found also many patterns that helped him solve the problems he was facing in his Scrum Master role.

You can find the Scrum Master Toolbox episode with Geoff Watts here.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 26, 2019
The Scrum Master journey from “doer” to “enabler” | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
10:59

Many Scrum Masters have a background in other roles within their teams. Some were developers, others Project Managers, others Testers, etc.

Many of those roles are “doer” roles. Roles that focus more on execution and less on helping others execute.

As Scrum Masters, we must be able to transition from “doer” to “enabler”, and Nedeljko shares his journey with us.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 25, 2019
How to deal with team resistance when implementing Agile | Jeff Campbell
17:43

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

 

Complete show notes can be found at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Resources and tools

 

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Mar 23, 2019
Navigating introvert/extrovert cultures in Scrum teams | Henrique Centieiro
07:44

When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum Masters must be aware of the dominant temperament for their teams and use that to help teams collaborate, especially when there are contrasting cultures in one team.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 22, 2019
Defining Scrum Master success together with the team | Henrique Centieiro
09:32

When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum Masters must be aware of the dominant temperament for their teams and use that to help teams collaborate, especially when there are contrasting cultures in one team.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 21, 2019
How to help Scrum teams prioritize for value | Henrique Centieiro
11:34

Prioritization is not a simple, or easy task for Product Owners and teams. Sometimes, the teams focus on what they want to work on, sometimes on what is easy to do, but those are prioritization anti-patterns.

As Scrum Masters, we must assess the prioritization practices of our teams. When necessary, we must help them adopt new approaches to prioritization. Henrique shares one of those times with us.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 20, 2019
What to do when Scrum Teams are missing feedback | Henrique Centieiro
10:10

Even when teams are motivated, and progressing at a rapid pace, there’s an ingredient that, if missing, can derail the whole project. That ingredient is feedback from customers and users. In this episode, we talk about what happens when feedback is missing and how Scrum Masters can help their teams focus on collecting and reacting to feedback.

Featured book of the Week: Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time

A book that introduces Scrum to a wider audience, Scrum: the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland is a book explaining the ideas and principles of Scrum when applied to the wider world of work, not only software development.

In this segment of the episode, we also refer to Edx.Org, a website that focuses on education and includes Agile training as well.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

 

Mar 19, 2019
The tool-Scrum anti-pattern | Henrique Centieiro
11:17

Joining a team, it is good to see that they have their tools in order. They can follow-up progress, track what is missing and even leave notes for each other in the items they add to the tool. The problem is when the tool starts to take over the team, instead of the team owning the tool. In this episode, we talk about the tool-Scrum anti-pattern, when the team focuses more on the tool than the things it should enable: communication, collaboration, progress assessment, and metrics.

In this episode we refer to the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries and the work on Hypothesis Driven Development by Barry O’Reilly.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 18, 2019
Selling Agile - How to get Buy-In from Management? - Q&A with Jeff Campbell
21:37

Jeff is the author of Actionable Agile tools (available on Amazon, and direct from the author at bit.ly/aatbook). He joins us on this series of Q&A shows to answer questions you’ve submitted. You can submit your questions via our survey (short, about 2 min to fill-in) or by tweeting us @scrumpodcast with #agilejeff.

In this episode, we talk about getting management to be involved and buy-in to the agile transformation.

How to deal with resistance when implementing Agile

 

We’ve all been working with teams that when we suggest: "Hey let's put our burndown on the wall for everyone to know where we are", they go like: "nah, let's skip that, we know what we need to do anyway, let's just work." Whatever change we try to suggest, we feel a lot of resistance.

 

Once, I asked feedback from the team about a retrospective, and one person wrote down "waste of time". Auch! It's like the team didn't like transparency. I felt they didn’t want to work in their own pace, without estimating, without commitments, basically without taking more responsibility

 

It is as if every suggestion to improve our productivity were perceived as an attack on them for being slow. How do you help teams get the habit of trying out new things and putting that inspect and adapt cycle into practice?

Resources and tools


About Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is the author of Actionable Agile Tools, a book with practical tools and practices to help you amplify your impact as a coach and Scrum Master

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Mar 16, 2019
How to help multicultural Scrum teams | Ajeet Singh
11:06

In today’s software development world, having multiple cultures in one team is quite common. That presents specific challenges for Scrum Masters, who must be able to help teams where contrasting cultures must co-exist.

In this episode, we talk about the possible challenges Scrum Masters may face when working with multi-cultural teams and also how they can help those teams jell and collaborate productively.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 15, 2019
When to use the Well/Start/Stop agile retrospective | Ajeet Singh
07:18

Ajeet has come to value 4 specific ways to measure his impact as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we review these 4 benchmarks and how he uses them regularly to improve his approach.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Well/Stop/Start retrospective format

In the Well/Stop/Start retrospective format (see a facilitation guide here), we have a simple format that can trigger important conversations. Especially when team members see each other’s contribution to those 3 categories.

This is a format that suits very well teams that are action-oriented, and have a high degress of collaboration already.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 14, 2019
Helping QA Teams Adopt Scrum | Ajeet Singh
08:27

QA teams are isolated in many organizations. When Scrum Masters work with those teams, the first challenge is to help them see beyond their silo, and create a definition of success that includes working and collaborating with other teams.

In this episode, we talk about a QA team, and how they were able to transition to a more collaborative way of working, which - for the first time - included other teams.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 13, 2019
2 Habits that can Destroy Teams | Ajeet Singh
09:50

There are many possible habits or behaviors that lead to problems in Scrum teams. In this episode with Ajeet Singh, we discuss 2 of those habits and the related anti-patterns that emerged.

As Scrum Masters, we must pay attention to the behaviors, understand the possible consequences, and help teams recover before it is too late.

 

Featured Book for the Week: Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle

In Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle (aka the black book of Scrum), Ajeet found an holistic understanding of what is Scrum which helped him adopt the ideas and practices.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 12, 2019
The pitfalls when Scrum Masters overly rely on the team | Ajeet Singh
12:14

It is one of the mantras in the podcast: “take it to the team”. That mantra helps Scrum Masters focus on helping teams grow and learn from their mistakes. However, there’s a pitfall hiding in that mantra, and that’s when we rely too much on the team. As Scrum Masters we are also the accountability partners for the team. When we don’t pay attention, bad things can happen. In this episode, we discuss the pitfalls of relying too much on the team, and how to avoid this anti-pattern.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 11, 2019
BONUS: Josh Seiden on Lean UX, a toolbox for Product Owners and Agile teams
40:48

In this episode we explore the ideas from the book Lean UX, authored by Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf (Jeff Gothelf was on the podcast earlier to help us redefine the measure of success for software development).

Lean UX is both an approach and a set of tools that teams and Product Owners can use to help integrate the design/requirements/user research aspects into the team’s work.

For complete show notes, visit https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

 

Mar 09, 2019
Avoid conflicts when teams communicate in other languages, lessons for Scrum Masters | Tilman Rumland
10:02

In multinational companies, the usual communication language (English, in many) is not the native language for many of the team members and even stakeholders. As Scrum Masters we must be aware of this and prepare to avoid the expected misunderstandings and possible conflicts. Tilman shares his tips on what Scrum Masters can to to handle multinational teams that don’t share a common native language.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 08, 2019
The Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective Format | Tilman Rumland
12:07

As we look for a definition of success for a Scrum Master, it is also important that we identify signs that problems may be developing. In this episode, we discuss Tilman’s definition of success, but also the signs that we may not yet have achieved it.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Appreciation Shower

The Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective format is a format that Tilman found to have a large positive impact on the team atmosphere. He shares his tips on how to implement this format, and avoid it from being overwhelming.

We also mention the Football Agile retrospective format, where the team describes the Sprint as if it were a football match, including first-half, substitutions, red cards, etc. A fun format to get the team’s creative juices flowing.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 07, 2019
How to help Scrum teams set up their *own* rules | Tilman Rumland
10:58

When Scrum Masters help teams go through a change process there are few things more important than helping teams “take over”. In this episode, we explore the consequences of not helping the teams take over the change process, and also discuss approaches and tools Scrum Masters can use to help teams hold themselves accountable.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 06, 2019
How Scrum Masters can help new team members | Tilman Rumland
13:26

When new team members join a strong team, they may suffer from too much or the wrong kind of humbleness. In this episode, Tilman shares the story of a team member that joined a strong team, but failed to establish himself, failed to speak up and that led to a serious misunderstanding. Listen in to learn how to help team members establish themselves in a new team, even when the process might be intimidating at first

Featured Book of the Week: Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

In Antifragile by Taleb, Tilman found a philosophy that helped him organize his life in a way as to be ready for the possible problems that might appear. He also discusses two other books in the featured book of the week segment: How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, and The way of the superior man by David Deida.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 05, 2019
Anti-Patterns of Scrum adoption | Tilman Rumland
12:59

Scrum adoption, just like any other process or framework, is not free from troubles. Especially when organizations are already in the middle of a problematic situation.

In this episode, we review several anti-patterns of Scrum adoption, including hierarchic struggles, abusing the Scrum roles to make them just another set of titles, the extreme attention to the Product Owner role, and many others.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 04, 2019
How Scrum Masters can work with contrasting cultural expectations | Raluca Mitan
10:13

When we work in international teams, the cultures team members bring with them become a critical factor in the work of Scrum Masters. How can we help team members with completely different expectations to work together? In this episode, we discuss the contrast between open and closed cultures, and what Scrum Masters need to do to help those different cultures work well together.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Mar 01, 2019
The “in your shoes” Retrospective Format | Raluca Mitan
11:08

How do we trigger empathy towards team members, stakeholders, and other teams? Raluca suggests that a format like “In Your Shoes” will help teams understand the reality others face, and be able to bring that into the retrospective conversations.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 28, 2019
The Scrum Master as an outsider that brings changes in | Raluca Mitan
11:05

Helping an organization adopt Agile is like facing a house, with people inside, and getting an invitation to get it and lead the people in the house. Not an easy task for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we explore that metaphor and talk about the tools and approaches we can use when we are the outsiders, that need to bring change into the organizations and teams we work with.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 27, 2019
How to tackle distributed Scrum team anti-patterns | Raluca Mitan
11:05

Distributed teams are notoriously hard for Scrum Masters. But why? In this episode we talk about some of the anti-patterns we can expect in distributed teams and what Scrum Masters can do to help distributed teams jell and overcome those anti-patterns.

Featured Book for the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Raluca found a book that helped her develop her leadership approach. Kim shares many stories from different leaders and helps the reader understand what makes a good leader with concrete tools and methods.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 26, 2019
When to help the Scrum team members take the lead | Raluca Mitan
10:34

Sometimes team members will speak up. They might even challenge the Scrum Master. At those times is when we must step back, forget about what we “think is right” and let the team members take the lead. That’s the first step in taking responsibility!

In this episode, we refer to the work on FIXED vs GROWTH mindset.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 25, 2019
BONUS: Jeff Campbell shares his favorite Actionable Agile Tools for Scrum Masters
34:39

Scrum Masters understand the importance of having many tools for different situations. The quality of our work is often related to the quality of the tools we have in our toolbox and the context in which they work.

In this episode, we review some of Jeff’s favorite Actionable Agile Tools, a book that collects 19 tools and is now available on Amazon in black and white as well as full color. Not to mention Kindle!

About Jeff Campbell

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

Jeff is also involved in the Agile community and is one of the founding members of Gothenburg Sweden’s largest agile community at 1500+ members www.scrumbeers.com, and he also organizes the yearly conference www.brewingagile.org.

You can link with Jeff Campbell on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Campbell on Twitter.

Feb 23, 2019
How individualist cultures affect Scrum adoption | Doug Knesek
09:40

What can we learn from individualist cultures, and how they affect Scrum and Agile adoption?

We discuss how the Wisconsin natives look at the Scrum values and what might be some of the challenges they face when trying to put those in practice.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 22, 2019
Nanny McPhee and the Success definition for Scrum Masters | Doug Knesek
11:06

Helping Scrum teams take ownership, and drive their self-improvement is Doug’s definition of success.

We talk about the Nanny McPhee phrase: “When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go.” A simple, yet effective heuristic for Scrum Masters!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Kata

The Toyota Kata is a method of reflection and learning that helps people and teams to keep themselves accountable for their work, and how they develop over time.

We discuss the format, how to facilitate a Toyota Kata retrospective and what were the influences (e.g. Deming) that led Doug to choose this format.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 21, 2019
How to help teams take responsibility for the change process | Doug Knesek
14:21

When helping Scrum teams, Scrum Masters must keep this heuristic in mind: Team members don’t take responsibility for “other people’s” proposed solutions.

This heuristic is even more important when it comes to a change process. So Doug suggests we should help teams reflect, learn and improve on their own.

In this episode, we refer to Extreme Programming and the Causal Loop Diagram (the causal loop diagram was described by Antti Tevanlinna in a previous episode).

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 20, 2019
How to help Scrum teams evolve their process | Doug Knesek
13:08

When teams come together, even if they have Scrum experience, they don’t always agree on the process. That can paralyze teams. In this episode, we explore a story about a team that was stuck with their definition of the process. All team members had different versions of Scrum in their mind. But still, they needed to progress. Listen in to learn how Doug tackled that problem, and helped the team start to deliver.

In this episode, we talk about the concept of Semantic Diffusion as defined by Fowler, and we discuss the importance of changing the team setup often (something Heidi Helfand discusses on the podcast in a previous episode).

Featured Book of the Week: Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

In Toyota Kata by Mike Rother, Doug found an approach that helps him deal with the natural uncertainty that comes with the Scrum Master role. We want to help teams reach a target condition, but we don’t know all the steps we need to take, so using the approaches in Toyota Kata helped Doug prepare for that uncertainty, and help teams progress even when only the next few steps are visible.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 19, 2019
Moving from Scrum “enforcer” to Scrum Master | Doug Knesek
13:44

When we get started as Scrum Masters, especially those that have a Project Management or Management background, we tend to “enforce” Scrum. As our understanding progresses though, we start to learn that there’s a lot of value in helping teams learn by themselves, help them feel confident and take over the process.

In this episode, we discuss that change in our approach to the Scrum Master role, and a lot more!

We talk about Extreme Programming and how that approach should be looked at by Scrum Masters. We also refer to Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained and Martin Fowler’s Refactoring book.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 18, 2019
How direct cultures follow the values of Scrum | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:11

Anja shares her experience in Germany. We discuss how people express their ideas in that culture, and how direct they can be. We also discuss why that’s important in Scrum, especially in Retrospectives, when we must address topics quickly and find solutions or changes to help the team progress.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 15, 2019
Encouraging new team members to contribute from the start | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:11

One of the critical tasks of a Scrum Master is to help team members contribute to the success of the team. When we look at Anja’s Scrum Master success definition, helping team members directly contribute to the team is very high on the list.

In this episode, we cover how Scrum Masters can help new team members feel like they are part of the team and directly contribute to the team from the start.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well/not so well/what can we change?

Anja prefers the classic “What went well/not so well/what can we change?” retrospective format. In her experience, this format gives people the ability to bring up the points that affect them personally. When experimenting with different formats remember that it takes a while for people to get used to new formats.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 14, 2019
When Scrum teams ask for help, help them!! | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:37

When teams that are new to Scrum start adopting a new way of working, there’s a window of opportunity to help them. When they are still new, and recognize that they need help. In this episode we review the story of a team that had a difficult project ahead, and how Anja and the rest of the organization went about finding a way to help the team.

A reminder that teams sometimes ask for help, and that’s the right time to help them!

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 13, 2019
Doing Scrum without feedback leads to failure! | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:03

When teams start working with Scrum they try to follow the process. They organize the process, they keep their meetings, but sometimes forget critical things that are not in the process. In this team, Anja felt frustrated. Something was missing.

Anja started looking for symptoms. At first only frustration, but later the symptoms started to become clearer. The team was missing the feedback! They held the ceremonies, but the concrete actionable feedback was missing. Check out this episode and compare with your team. Are you seeing the same symptoms?

Featured Book of the Week: Geschichten vom Scrum by Holger Koschek (in German only)

In Geschichten vom Scrum by Holger Koschek (in German only), Anja found stories that she could relate to. The book is a Scrum fable. Where people in a village need to build a Dragon trap, but they don’t know how. All they have is their ingenuity and ability to collaborate. The book walks you through a full experience of what it looks like to build a Scrum team.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 12, 2019
The Scrum Sprint 0 anti-pattern | Anja Bonatto-Minella
11:43

Let’s say that we are working with a team that is respecting the Scrum rules. They have their Sprint Planning. They hold their Retrospectives. Everyone talks during the stand-up. At first glimpse this team is doing Scrum right. But there’s one thing missing: delivering value to customers early and often!

Preparing to release value is not value delivery. In this episode, we talk about the teams that miss that critical aspect and what we, Scrum Masters, can do about it.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 11, 2019
BONUS: Bas Vodde on LeSS, Scaled Agile and Scrum
39:47

Bas Vodde worked with Craig Larman on creating LeSS, probably the second most popular agile scaling framework in the market at this time.

In this episode, we talk about what is not so well known about LeSS, its origins, and we dive deeper into the topic of scaling. What does it mean, what it does not mean, and how LeSS can help organizations take advantage of agile in large product development teams.

About Bas Vodde

Bas Vodde is a coach, programmer, trainer, and author in the world of modern agile and lean product development. He is the creator of the LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) framework for scaling agile development. He coaches organizations on three levels: organizational,  team, individual/technical practices. He has trained thousands of people in software development, Scrum, and modern agile practices for over a decade.

He is the author of Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS,  Scaling Agile and Lean Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum and of Practices for Large-Scale Agile and Lean Development, all together with Craig Larman.

You can link with Bas Vodde on LinkedIn and connect with Bas Vodde on Twitter. You can find out more about Bas Vodde’s work in the Less website.

Feb 09, 2019
Cultural anti-patterns in regions where conflict is a “taboo” | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
12:03

With Jen and Jamie, we talk about the fit between the North American culture and Scrum. We dive deeper into some local patterns like the “Minnesota nice”, and discuss about some serious anti-patterns like False Harmony, and the avoidance of conflict.

During the conversation we talk about different perspectives and actions Scrum Masters can take to overcome those anti-patterns.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 08, 2019
From Scrum nanny to Scrum Jedi, a Scrum Master success journey | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
10:56

The definition of success for Jen and Jamie is the “Scrum Jedi” pattern described by Angel Medinilla. But there are other patterns Jen and Jamie ask us to consider. In this episode we talk about MobProgramming and the Nanny McPhee Scrum Master pattern. In each of these patterns we find things to learn from and add to our Scrum Master toolbox!

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Open Discussion

When the right format is a very simple format, Open Discussion, can be a great start for a team conversation. Jen and Jamie suggest that asking the team members to describe, in their own words, the events of the Sprint, leading to potentially different perspectives. These differences (when facilitated properly) can help the team understand each other better and find insights on how to improve as a team.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 07, 2019
From silo to cross-functional teams, a Scrum Master’s change roadmap | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
12:11

When it comes to changes, in agile environments there’s one change that many of us need to be directly involved with. That’s the move from functional teams, to multi-skilled, T-shaped, cross-functional teams.

In this episode we talk about how Scrum Masters can enable, and support that change. From how to introduce the idea, to how to get started, and ultimately how to enable the self-organization of teams that ensures team’s commitment to the change.

In this episode we refer to a presentation by Anton Zotin on Agile transformations and team self-organization. You can also check Anto Zotin’s shows here on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 06, 2019
How to handle teams that can’t stop complaining | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
09:03

There are many behaviors and dynamics that can lead to problems in a team. Jen and Jamie talk about a team that was feeling defeated and had a negative/complaining attitude towards everything around them. What can cause that? We discuss possible causes and also what we can do as Scrum Masters, when our teams are feeling down and out.

In this episode we refer to the “circles and soup” activity, a game used to efficiently form high-quality plans through retrospective analysis by recognizing factors that are within the team’s control.

Featured Book of the Week: Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

In the Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, Jen and Jamie found a good follow-up on another Lencioni book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. This is a book that can help you grow as a Scrum Master, and think about those personal characteristics that make certain people great team players.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 05, 2019
The Scrum Master is NOT an admin role! | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
13:13

Jen and Jamie share with us one of the common anti-patterns around the Scrum Master role. Many seem to think that the Scrum Master is an admin person. Setting meetings, ensuring the teams have post-its, etc. But could not be farther from the truth.

In this episode, we discuss how we can avoid the Admin anti-pattern, and how to set the right expectations with teams and the wider organization.

In this episode we refer to the book The Power of Now by Eckhart.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 04, 2019
The Impact of the UK Culture on Agile Adoption | Nisha Balwatkar
11:55

Having worked in multiple countries, and with multiple teams, Nisha has learned that we must consider the Scrum team’s culture as well as the national culture. She invites us to consider how team and national culture play together and embrace the culture instead of fighting it.

In this episode, we refer to the UK culture.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Feb 01, 2019
2 tools to help measure your Scrum Master success | Nisha Balwatkar
09:26

Who to involve when evaluating our success as Scrum Masters? In this episode, we review the critical stakeholders, and how to involve them in our own self-evaluation.

In this episode, we refer to the Niko-Niko Calendar and the Happiness timeline, two of the tools you can you to evaluate your success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective format for the Week: What was good / bad and what actions should we take?

The Good/Bad/Actions format is a simple, yet effective format. Nisha explains how to facilitate this format in a short time frame and how Scrum Masters can prepare to host the retrospective.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 31, 2019
Plan for change, but be ready to adapt when adopting Scrum | Nisha Balwatkar
10:01

Nisha likes to start with a plan. But her approach is very adaptive. It is not about following the plan, but about kick-starting the change.

Listen in to learn how she addresses teams and involves them in the change process.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 30, 2019
How to overcome the endless debate anti-pattern in Scrum teams | Nisha Balwatkar
13:29

Teams want to excel at their work. So much so, that sometimes they forget that in order to succeed they need to act. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of endless debate and what Scrum Masters can do to help teams overcome that anti-pattern and move on.

Featured Book of the Week: Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn

In Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn, Nisha found practical advice and concrete examples that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. She calls it a good point to start your Scrum Master journey.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

Jan 29, 2019
Being a Scrum Master and a programmer at the same time | Nisha Balwatkar
13:44

When Nisha got started she loved the logical thinking required for programming. However, the role of the Scrum Master was much more than that. On top of that, being a Scrum Master and trying to program at the same time brought some serious problems that Nisha had to face. Listen in to learn how you can survive the dual role of being a programmer and a Scrum Master (or not).

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 28, 2019
Lateral Leadership a critical skill for Scrum Masters and Product Owners | Tim Herbig
36:30

Tim was faced with a problem. How to be a leader without any formal power. All Scrum Masters and Product Owners who have felt the responsibility, but not any “line authority” have faced the same problem. You need to help move the project along, but you can’t tell people what to do!

In this episode we explore the concept of Lateral Leadership how it can help you as a Scrum Master or Product Owner.

For complete show notes, visit https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

About Tim Herbig

Tim is a passionate product leader, author and speaker who always aims to enable people so they can build products which make a difference.

Currently responsible for Iridion - the leading conversion management platform which is used by more than 1.500 companies around the world.

Besides that, Tim has a huge passion (and weakness) for third wave coffee, delicious burgers, and triathlon.

You can link with Tim Herbig on LinkedIn and connect with Tim Herbig on Twitter. You learn more about Tim’s work at his website.

Jan 26, 2019
Talkative cultures and the impact on Scrum teams | Eddie Kenny
11:09

Eddie is a native of Ireland. In this episode, we cover some of the key characteristics of that culture and how it affects teams. As Scrum Masters, we can take advantage of those characteristics to help teams create environments where everyone feels valued.

In this episode we also refer to Eddie’s 3 blogs (yes! Three!):

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 25, 2019
A simple success definition for Scrum Masters | Eddie Kenny
13:11

When we can help a team get to a point where they can release software “on demand”, that’s when we’ve had an impact on the team and been successful in our role of Scrum Master. But that’s just the end goal. As Scrum Masters there are a lot more issues to consider, and Eddie explores those in this episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well / not so well

Eddie is a fan of changing the format of the retrospective often. However, when he needs to go back to a familiar format he prefers the “What went well / no so well” simple Retrospective format.

But beware of the “too many actions” anti-pattern!

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 24, 2019
How to work with 15/20 Scrum teams and still like it | Eddie Kenny
09:25

Sometimes Scrum Masters need to work with multiple teams. In this episode, we explore an extreme case. As a Scrum Master, Eddie worked in an environment where there were many teams that he needed to work with. What can we do, how can we help that large group of teams change and evolve? Eddie shares 4 aspects we must consider in those environments.

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 23, 2019
The dangers of long-lived Scrum teams | Eddie Kenny
11:16

In Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Eddie learned about how people tend to think, especially in situations where quick decisions are necessary. And he considers that a key asset for change agents like Scrum Masters.

In this episode, we also mention:

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 22, 2019
From project management to software delivery | Eddie Kenny
16:11

Often we mix-up software delivery with project management. Those are different activities. Both necessary, but quite different. When we focus on project management only, we often miss critical work that is necessary to ship software. In this episode, we discuss why that difference matters and how to help teams move from project management focus to project management + software delivery focus.

In this episode, we refer to the book Dynamic Reteaming by Heidi Helfand. Heidi Helfand was a guest on a past podcast week.

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 21, 2019
How the project management culture affects the Scrum Master roles | Ivo Peksens
13:56

Ivo has seen organizations stuck to the Project culture and mix the Scrum Master role with other roles. We discuss what might cause that approach, and discuss how national cultures can affect the way people see the Scrum Master role. We discuss Re-inventing Organizations by Laloux (check this Youtube video about Re-inventing Organizations), and why hiring more people is not enough to help organizations grow.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 18, 2019
Tools for defining Scrum Master success | Ivo Peksens
09:42

Success is an endless journey for Scrum Masters, but there are tools that help us assess where we are, and also what are the areas we are already successful in. We discuss a Scrum Master self-assessment tool developed by Luca Minudel and refer to the Learning Guide for the Certified Team Coach program by Scrum Alliance (not freely available).

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad

The Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format, inspired by the Core Protocols is a retrospective format that helps the team discuss the issues that are causing emotional reactions. Emotions are often symptoms of other problems the team needs to process, and this format helps address those problems.

We also talk about Kudo Cards from Management 3.0 as a way to help teams increase empathy and energy.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 17, 2019
Why advocacy can be an effective change management strategy | Ivo Peksens
09:15

There are situations when advocacy is an effective change management strategy. In this episode, we discuss what are the pre-conditions that allow Scrum Masters to use advocacy. From the signs the organization is ready to tips about how to shape your message, we discuss the approaches that have worked for Ivo in the past.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 16, 2019
Distributed software development challenges | Ivo Peksens
15:12

Distributed software development is one of the challenges for Agile organizations. The element of globalization is impossible to avoid because of the nature of the business we work in. However, there are some things we should be aware to ensure that teams are able to deliver. In this episode, we discuss some of the anti-patterns that come when distributed teams fail to account for the different kind of communication that is needed when working with distributed organizations.

Featured Book of the Week: Finding your Element by Ken Robinson

In Finding your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson (book website), Ivo discovered something about himself that helps him be a better Scrum Master. He found and understood the importance of some of the personal strengths he has that help him in the role of Scrum Master.

In this segment, we also discuss Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 15, 2019
As a Scrum Master, are you good at facilitating meetings? | Ivo Peksens
11:49
Jan 14, 2019
BONUS: Ben Aston on Project Management lessons that Scrum Masters can use
31:31

Ben is a project manager with experience in developing digital services and products for worldwide clients. He’s learned some very important lessons and shares some of his key insights with you in this special episode, where we dive deep into the project manager role and the project management world.

Full show notes at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Topics include:

  • A key insight into project management for digital products
  • The key changes for project managers jumping into Agile projects
  • Is Scrum all you need?
  • The most common questions Project Managers ask Ben

About Ben Aston

Ben has over 15 years of experience in both strategic thinking and tactical implementation from a career at some of the top digital agencies including FCV, Dare, Wunderman, DLKW Lowe and DDB. He's worked across several industries including transit, utilities, consumer electronics, eCommerce, automotive, financial services, public sector, and retail brands.

Ben's a Certified Scrum Master, PRINCE2 Practitioner and founder of the digital project management blog, The Digital Project Manager.

You can check Ben’s Digital Project Management course for more information.

You can link with Ben Aston on LinkedIn and connect with Ben Aston on Twitter.

Jan 12, 2019
How talkative cultures help create safety in Scrum teams | Richard Griffiths
10:36

When talking about cultures, we often talk about the contrasts. What makes certain cultures more Scrum-friendly, or the opposite. In this episode, we talk about how certain cultures’ focus on more conversation can help create safe spaces for the team, and help them be more collaborative. But we also talk about the concept of “time”, and how the different perspectives on time (e.g. cyclic vs linear time) can affect the adoption of Scrum.

In this episode, we also refer to the premier Agile conference in Ireland, the Agile-Lean Ireland conference.

Jan 11, 2019
4 clear success signs for Scrum Masters | Richard Griffiths
12:55

When thinking about the role of the Scrum Master, Richard comes up with 4 clear signs that indicate we are on the right path with the teams we work with. In the end, Richard says, we must do ourselves out of a job to be successful Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: The Amazon Product Review retrospective

Richard suggests the Amazon Product Review retrospective format. And although Retromat suggests this can be used as a “check-in” exercise, we can also use it as the core exercise for the retrospective.

In this episode, we refer to the Agile Retrospectives book and the retrospective outline defined in the book.

Jan 10, 2019