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 stuck on the “why agile?” question | Marianne Erickson
13:40

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

Marianne joined a team that was forced to adopt Agile. That’s never an easy assignment, however, things got even worse. She started hearing comments like “Agile ruined my life!” What’s a Scrum Master to do in that situation? We explore how we can work teams that are stuck in the question “why should we adopt Agile?”. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

As part of their interaction with Product Owners and teams, Scrum Masters often have to help facilitation User Story writing sessions. This book helped Marianne learn to think about the user experience. Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things, is a seminal book on user experience and usability. 

 

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.

Jun 02, 2020
What to do when the PO wants the Scrum Master to be a Project Manager | Marianne Erickson
12:29

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 Marianne joined this team, she was surprised by the separation between different skills. Working with Product Owner for that team, she then found out that the expectation was that the Scrum Master “become” a project manager and manage siloed functional teams. She learned an important lesson for Scrum Masters: what to do when the work of the Scrum Master is understood as Project Manager

 

About Marianne Erickson

Always an enthusiastic Agilist, Marianne is proud to be a part of the Agile Transformation Team at AAA, a company that empowers its team members to learn, grow, empower, and do the right thing! 

You can link with Marianne Erickson on LinkedIn and connect with Marianne Erickson on Twitter.

Jun 01, 2020
The PO who threw the team under the bus | Steve Jaccaud
14:31

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

In this episode, we discuss a particularly negative side of some PO’s approach, and how to help them get out of that negative spiral.

 

The Great Product Owner: Working on all sides of the PO role

When it comes to a great Product Owner, Steve shares the story of a PO that worked all the angles of the PO job and understood that PO’s are not only Backlog managers, but there are a lot more sides to that role which will, in the end, help the team and the product succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who threw the team under the bus

The company had a great product, that helped the company succeed in the market. To try and make it even better, the company hired one of their most vocal customers to drive the product forward. This customer became the PO, but the change they hoped for wasn’t going to happen. This PO would throw the team under the bus at Sprint Reviews. This was when Steve decided to intervene, but very quickly he found out that the best way to work with this PO was to meet him where he was and connect on a personal level. Listen in to learn how Steve helped this PO change his approach, without forcing any change.

 

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 Steve Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he's not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he's probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter

May 29, 2020
The signs of a great Scrum team | Steve Jaccaud
11:08

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

 

When a great Scrum Master works with a team, you don’t see the Scrum Master, you see the team succeeding and moving beyond their previously usual level of performance. In this segment, we discuss a few signs that we can use - as Scrum Masters - to assess if the team is starting the journey from good to a great Scrum team!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The 4 L’s, I Long for, I Learned, I Liked, I Lacked

Steve tries to focus his work and his retrospectives on the aspects of continuous improvement. Because of that, he tries to find formats that don’t get in the way of the conversations that he wants to foster in the team. In this segment, we also discuss a tip to help teams be creative but keep the retrospective to the right topics without long rabbit-hole discussions.

 

About Steve Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he's not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he's probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter.

May 28, 2020
How to be Agile, even when adopting SAFe | Steve Jaccaud
10:40

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 a story that many of us have faced. When someone in the organization gets interested in one of the many scaling frameworks for Agile, and their focus shifts away from the work, and into the framework itself. We discuss possible anti-patterns that emerge when adopting SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), and what Scrum Masters in the organization can to together to help move the teams, and the leadership to a more Agile approach to their scaling efforts. 

 

About Steve Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he's not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he's probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter.

May 27, 2020
Critical warnings Scrum Masters should look out for | Steve Jaccaud
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.

 

Steve was hired to help the teams go “faster”. However, when he started to see the Prodcut Owners throw their teams under the bus at Sprint Demos he understood that something else was going on. It wasn’t only about helping teams be faster anymore. As he started to dig deeper, he found a culture of fear in the organization and many other anti-patterns that he shares with us. A great story, with lots of warnings for us to keep an eye out for.

Featured Book of the Week: The #NoEstimates Book by Vasco Duarte

In The #NoEstimates Book by Vasco Duarte, Steve found a book that helped him understand what empirical process control is about, and put some things in place on how he approaches teams and their process. 

In this segment, we also refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Drive!, Coaching Agile Teams, Agile Game Development with Scrum, and Suzuki’s Zen Mind.

 

About Steve Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he's not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he's probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter.

May 26, 2020
How a Coach helped me become a better Scrum Master | Steve Jaccaud
13:05

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

 

Steve shares a critical part of his Scrum Master journey in this episode. We discuss how he went from a Scrum Master focused on the ceremonies, and process details, to a Scrum Master that focused on the needs of the team and constantly helped them adapt the process to the challenges they were facing. A great story, that shows how a simple perspective change for the Scrum Master can have a very large impact on their success with the team.

 

About Steve Jaccaud

Steve is an Enterprise Agile Coach, Volunteer, Speaker, and Musician in Boston, Massachusetts. When he's not leading workshops with creative software organizations, he's probably working on an album or deep in meditation!

You can link with Steve Jaccaud on LinkedIn and connect with Steve Jaccaud on Twitter

May 25, 2020
BONUS: The top 3 challenges to better retrospectives with David Horowitz
39:55

Learn more about Better Retrospectives with David Horowitz by accessing the FREE Retrospective’s Academy by Retrium

 

About David Horowitz

David Horowitz is the CEO of Retrium, a platform for agile retrospectives that has powered over 100,000 retrospectives from thousands of companies across the world.

Prior to co-founding Retrium, David spent a decade at The World Bank as an engineer turned Agile coach.

He has degrees in Computer Science and Economics from The University of Maryland and a Master’s Degree in Technology Management from The Wharton School of Business.

Learn more about Better Retrospectives with David Horowitz by accessing the FREE Retrospective’s Academy by Retrium

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

May 23, 2020
The task-centric, command-and-control PO and its consequences on the Scrum team | Willem-Jan Ageling
13:24

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 amount of time a Product Owner spends thinking and working on the details is one of the aspects that has the biggest impact on the team. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting PO approaches: from the high-level focus of the Sprint Goal to the task-centric, command-and-control PO.

The Great Product Owner: Crystalizing the Sprint Goal

When we help teams, and Product Owners focus on the User Stories, we are helping them understand, and follow-up on the items they should work on. However, when we help the Product Owner and the team focus on the Sprint Goal, we are helping them focus on impact and outcomes over the tasks and stories they need to work on. This enables many positive behaviors, and when you find a PO that is able to crystalize a Sprint in a Sprint Goal, you know you’ve got gold in your hands, you’ve got a great Product Owner!

The Bad Product Owner: The task-centric, command-and-control PO

Sometimes, Product Owners behave as if they were Project Managers. When that happens, there’s many patterns that emerge in the team, and int he PO-team collaboration which Scrum Masters must actively manage, or mitigate. In this episode, we talk about the task-centric, command-and-control PO, and what you can do to help the PO and team find a better way to 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 Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

May 22, 2020
Liberating Structures as an amplifier for the impact of Agile Retrospectives | Willem-Jan Ageling
10:07

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

 

There are many aspects in the team’s behavior that point to a successful outcome of the Scrum Master’s work. However, there’s something that goes beyond process that will tell you the team is able to drive the work forward, and achieve a successful outcome. We discuss that specific topic: focus on progress. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures

In this episode, we discuss several Liberating Structures for retrospectives, and how Willem-Jan adapts them to his retrospectives. We focus on the benefits of using those approaches and focusing on solutions with the whole team. We refer to the 1-2-4-all structure and the episodes with two top proponents of Liberating Structures for Scrum Masters: Christiaan Verwijs and Barry Overeem.

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

May 21, 2020
Organizational change with Scrum in a regulated environment | Willem-Jan Ageling
11:54

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 story starts with a goal. The company wanted teams to “build and run” their own applications. How could they put that change into practice? Willem-Jan started by suggesting a full, cross-functional Scrum team for a product. That got accepted, but what came next was bold, unexpected, and kick-started the cultural change needed to bring the company to the next step in their transformation. 

In this episode, we discuss the success conditions for a culture of “you build it, you run it”. For those interested in Continuous Delivery and DevOps, we have a 7-part series on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast podcast

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

May 20, 2020
Getting Scrum teams off the “velocity” addiction | Willem-Jan Ageling
12:41

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

 

Willem-Jan has a background in Project Management, and in his company, the leadership asked the teams to move away from Project Management and embrace Agile. That led Willem-Jan on a learning journey, to understand and apply Agile ideas in his work. In the process, as it usually happens, a team got fixated on the “velocity” metric. In this episode, we explore what can happen when teams get fixated on “velocity”, and what Willem-Jan learned to avoid that anti-pattern in the future.

In this episode, we refer to W. Edwards Deming, a precursor to Lean, and later Agile through his work. 

Featured Book for the Week: The Scrum Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen

In The Scrum Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, Willem-Jan found an explanation for Scrum that made things click. This led him to explore the ideas behind “complexity” and to start to understand why “the plan” wasn’t always the thing to follow. 

The Scrum Pocket Guide is authored by Gunther Verheyen who’s been on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast before.

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

May 19, 2020
Responding to change as if you really meant to be Agile | Willem-Jan Ageling
13:26

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 the middle of a big change, Willem-Jan was faced with the fact that the project plan wasn’t going to hold anymore. What should a Scrum Master do? In this episode, we discuss how we can tackle surprises to the plan the Agile way. We discuss how to get stakeholders involved and on board with the Agile value of “responding to change”. 

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

As a Scrum Master and writer for Serious Scrum, Willem-Jan is passionate about helping people understand what it means to work in a complex Product Environment. Which is how he likes to talk about Scrum.

You can link with Willem-Jan Ageling on LinkedIn and connect with Willem-Jan Ageling on Twitter.

May 18, 2020
How to help the Product Owner learn to collaborate with the Scrum Team | Justin Chapman
14:55

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

Market focus by PO’s is always a great start, however, when they take that focus to mean “ignoring the team’s needs”, the PO role rapidly turns into an anti-pattern. In this episode, we discuss the two sides from that “market focus” coin, when it comes to the PO role.

 

The Great Product Owner: Deliberate assumption validation

Great Product Owners are deliberate about how and what do when trying to validate their assumptions about the product they own. If we add to this the ability to learn from and listen to the Scrum Master’s perspective on the role, we might be close to the perfect PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Lack of collaboration with the team

Often, Product Owners have a Product Manager background, and therefore bring in that perspective. One of the biggest problems with those PO’s is that they don’t carve out the time to work with, and understand what the teams need. This presents a big challenge for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we talk about how to work with PO’s that come from the PM background, and how to use “powerful questions” to help the PO understand their role when it comes to collaborating with 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 Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 15, 2020
How to find what Agile Retrospective format works for your team | Justin Chapman
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.

 

Justin’s definition of success revolves around the success of the team and the product itself. We discuss how Scrum Masters can find out what is success for the product, and help their teams focus on product success. In this episode, we also talk about the need to involve the executives in the definition of success for the product.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: How to find what retrospective works for your team

In this segment, Justin asks the question: “do you really know what kind of retrospective would work for your team?” We explore this question and how Justin works with the team to define what would be the best approach for them, and for their context.

 

About Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 14, 2020
How a challenging project offered an opportunity for change | Justin Chapman
15:03

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 this project started, there were multiple teams involved that had not yet collaborated effectively. On top of that, the project was very challenging for everyone involved. Justin worked with the teams to help them realize that their shared challenge could be resolved if they were able to change their approach to collaboration. In this episode, we share a great story of transformation at the team level that yields many insights for changes across the whole organization.

In this episode, we refer to the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.

 

About Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 13, 2020
Work only on what you and the Scrum team can influence | Justin Chapman
13:04

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

 

Once in a while, we work with a team that is down in the doldrums of morale. That’s never an easy challenge to take on as a Scrum Master because the reasons for the lack of morale can be deep-seated and completely outside the team’s control. On the other hand, as we discuss in this episode, that realization can transform our perspective and help thet eam find ways to jump out of the hole they found themselves in. We talk about morale, and how simple tricks can totally transform the morale of a team, and we do that by realizing and implementing something all Scrum Masters should focus on work on what you can directly affect.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Retrospectives

In Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby, Justin found great inspiration for how to facilitate retrospectives with the teams he works with and also learned how important it is to prepare and crush the facilitation challenges we face as Scrum Masters.

 

About Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 12, 2020
How to work with executives in an Agile transformation | Justin Chapman
12:21

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 we start working as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach in an organization, we very often face “resistance” to the adoption of the ideas we are already on board with. Without noticing, we start talking the “lingo” of Scrum Master and Agile Coach, and in the process, we lose our most important allies: the people who will ultimately benefit from Agile adoption. In this episode, we talk about how to talk to executives to get their understanding and cooperation. We need to learn to address their fears.

 

About Justin Chapman

A Product and Agile Coach with product management experience ranging from payments to enterprise custom build. Justin has hosted a small series on Product Management and another series on Being a Scrum Master. 

Justin has also pioneered a new form of Canvas to help bring teams together. All of this information can be found on his blog: http://www.ponolabs.com/labs/

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 11, 2020
BONUS: #NoEstimates interview with the Runtastic app team
29:32

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

About Andre Schweighofer, Aleksandar Ikonomov, Fabian Pöschl

Andre works at Runtastic in a double role as Product owner and software engineer. Over the last 8 years, he collected experience in agile teams as an engineer, Scrum Master, and product owner. He writes about topics like collaborative product ownership on Andre’s personal blog.

You can link with Andre Schweighofer on LinkedIn

Aleksandar switched to software development after pursuing a football career for about 10 years. After graduating from a software Bootcamp named Telerik Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and finishing his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the New Bulgarian University, he joined  Runtastic as an intern and then as a full-time Software Developer. If you would like to know more about me or get in touch you can find Aleksandar Ikonomov on LinkedIn  or Aleksandar’s personal website

Fabian, works as a backend developer for  Runtastic since 4 years. Fabian has 9+ years of work experience in embedded software and backend development.

You can link with Fabian Pöschl on LinkedIn

May 09, 2020
Product Ownership in Scrum is teamwork! | Dimitri Favre
13:11

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

An often missed aspect of Product Ownership is the fact that it is mostly teamwork. That a team can bring a lot of input to the solution definition if they are able to interact with the Product Owner. But there is a dark side to this realization: when the PO is absent, or unable to justify the requirements… We discuss these anti-patterns, and why teamwork is so important when it comes to Product Ownership.

The Great Product Owner: Product Ownership is teamwork

In this segment, we talk about how the Product Owner role is not really only the Product Owner’s responsibility, but that the nest Product Owners are able to work together with the team to answer the question: “What is the minimum solution that fulfills this need?”

The Bad Product Owner: The Pass-through Product Owner

Sometimes, Product Owners act as mere channels for requirements. These “pass-through PO’s” convey the information they collect elsewhere but are often unable to share the reasoning for their ideas with the team, which leads to poor quality requirements, poor quality implementations, and a lack of collaboration with the teams.

In this segment we also refer to the “ghost PO”, a Product Owner that is present only in planning and in the review but is mostly absent, not being able to interact with the team to clarify questions and help the team fine-tune the implementation with early feedback.



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 Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.

May 08, 2020
Helping Scrum teams take ownership of their improvements | Dimitri Favre
14:12

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

 

How can the Scrum Master step out of the “leader” role, and let the team learn to lead itself? We discuss simple techniques that Dimitri experimented with to make sure that the team does not lean on the Scrum Master, but rather takes the initiative.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Circles of Influence

Circles of Influence is a tool we’ve referenced often here on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, and Dimitri’s favorite retrospective format uses that tool. Through this format, Dimitri helps the teams he works with a focus on what they can influence, rather than despair over what they can’t.

 

About Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.

May 07, 2020
When a Scrum team needs to change an organization in order to succeed | Dimitri Favre
13:14

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

 

Sometimes, we can succeed so well with the teams, that the teams start feeling that the organization as a whole is not ready for them. In this episode, we talk about a team that was pushing the boundaries and getting push back from the organization. We discuss the different approaches Dimitri took to help the organization and the team find a common agreement and a new way of working. 

In this episode, we refer to the Jobs To Be Done framework, and Dimitri’s book: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

 

About Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.

May 06, 2020
Helping Scrum teams collaborate better with the Product Owner | Dimitri Favre
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 team, the developers only wanted to focus on their own tasks and did not care to help the Product Owner. This was, as it turned out, a recipe for disaster. We discuss with Dimitri, what drives teams to be task-focused, instead of impact-focused, and discuss techniques we might be able to use to bring the team’s attention to the overall goals and the collaboration with the Product Owner.

Featured Book for the Week: Creating Great Teams

In Creating Great Teams: How Self-Selection Lets People Excel by Sandy Mamoli and David Mole, Dimitri discovered an approach that helps create teams who are motivated from the start. In this segment, we also refer to the books by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde. Bas was a previous guest on the podcast. We also refer to Anton Zotin, who has also been on the podcast before.

 

About Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.

May 05, 2020
From Projects to #NoProjects, by focusing on impact, and not requirements | Dimitri Favre
12:58

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

 

Dimitri is a Scrum Master, Agile Coach, but Dimitri Favre is also the author of a book about #NoProjects, an approach that removes many of the problems that projects bring to software projects. In this first episode with Dimitri, we talk about one of the possible consequences of having a project mindset: wanting to follow the plan no matter the consequences.

We discuss why it is problematic for teams and Product Owners to focus on the Features in the Backlog, and how to get out of the “solution space” to better understand the impact the product should have in the market and our customer’s lives.

We also have an interview with Allan Kelly on #NoProjects, check that for more details on the #NoProjects approach.

 

About Dimitri Favre

Dimitri is a business, transformation, and agile coach and a repented project manager. Dimitri works side by side with executives, managers, and teams to uncover better ways of developing software and delighting customers. 

Dimitri is the author of a recent book, on the topic of #NoProjects: Live Happily Ever After Without Projects: A #NoProjects book.

You can link with Dimitri Favre on LinkedIn and connect with Dimitri Favre on Twitter.

May 04, 2020
A critical skills for Scrum PO’s, getting decisions made quickly | Saritha Rai
15:53

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

This episode is all about making decisions or getting decisions made. Decisions are the fuel for the team’s ability to deliver. Great Product Owners work to get those decisions made.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that got decisions taken quickly

In this segment, we talk about a Product Owner that had been a Project Manager previously, and learn about what traits transfer well from the Project Manager role to the Product Owner role. We hear about how removing blockers, and getting decisions taken become a critical asset for Product Owners that want to help their teams.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that couldn’t answer the team’s questions

Sometimes, PO’s are busy with several teams, and even several products. When that happens, there’s a natural anti-pattern that emerges. The team does not get their questions answered, and many decisions are left unmade.

In this segment, we also discuss the PO that wants to design the solutions for the team and the PO that doesn’t trust the team. Finally, we discuss a team anti-pattern: the team that wants to please the PO.

In this episode, we refer to the Product Owner Sprint Checklist (LINK to slide-in), a how-to by the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast to help Scrum Masters agree on the right level of engagement with the PO and the team.



[IMAGE 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 Saritha Rai

Saritha has been working in the IT industry for 13+ years and is an adaptable and constant learner. She has over a decade of experience in software development and is passionate about training, guiding and coaching people to have a good working environment which will result in high-quality deliverables.

You can link with Saritha Rai on LinkedIn.

May 01, 2020
Motivating Scrum teams, a Scrum Master’s success definition | Saritha Rai
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.

A motivated and happy team is a symptom of the Scrum Master’s work. In this episode, we look at what makes teams happy and helps them find their motivation. We also discuss metrics and discuss how to assess the team’s adaptability.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: personal activities to activate participants

Many Scrum Masters experience a lack of engagement from their team members. It is as if team members are not “into” the retrospective. Saritha also faced that situation, and she came up with a recipe that helps her create a space where team members feel motivated and engaged with the retrospective. 

 

About Saritha Rai

Saritha has been working in the IT industry for 13+ years and is an adaptable and constant learner. She has over a decade of experience in software development and is passionate about training, guiding and coaching people to have a good working environment which will result in high-quality deliverables.

You can link with Saritha Rai on LinkedIn.

Apr 30, 2020
A manager’s transformation from command and control to Agile | Saritha Rai
10:05

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

Many Scrum Masters are familiar with the anti-pattern where managers want to “own” the team and are very directive. To the point of telling team members what they can, or should not work on. In this episode, we talk about how those managers can also find value in Agile approaches. Saritha shares a story about personal transformation in a waterfall organization that wanted to go Agile.

 

About Saritha Rai

Saritha has been working in the IT industry for 13+ years and is an adaptable and constant learner. She has over a decade of experience in software development and is passionate about training, guiding and coaching people to have a good working environment which will result in high-quality deliverables.

You can link with Saritha Rai on LinkedIn.

Apr 29, 2020
Fixing communication problems with a Mega Standup for Scrum organizations | Saritha Rai
14:32

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

Communication is a common “failure” domain for teams. We often hear that communication wasn’t “good enough”, or that it failed. In this episode, we explore some of the possible reasons for those failures, and Saritha shares her story of improving communication in a scaled Agile environment by using the “Mega Standup” tool, which she defines in this episode. 

In this episode, we refer to the concept of the “Obeya Room”, borrowed from the book Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset by Carol Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Saritha found the inspiration for focusing on mindset. The book also helped Saritha with designing her retrospectives to help teams focus on their success. In this segment, Saritha also shares a few tips on how to help your teams change their attitude towards the challenges they face. 

About Saritha Rai

Saritha has been working in the IT industry for 13+ years and is an adaptable and constant learner. She has over a decade of experience in software development and is passionate about training, guiding and coaching people to have a good working environment which will result in high-quality deliverables.

You can link with Saritha Rai on LinkedIn.

Apr 28, 2020
The role of Retrospectives in an Agile transformation | Saritha Rai
11:26

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 transition from Waterfall to Agile is always a difficult one. In this episode, we explore a transformation story with Saritha and learn about the different anti-patterns we can expect when we face a similar story ourselves. We also dive into why retrospectives are so important in similar transformations.

 

About Saritha Rai

Saritha has been working in the IT industry for 13+ years and is an adaptable and constant learner. She has over a decade of experience in software development and is passionate about training, guiding and coaching people to have a good working environment which will result in high-quality deliverables.

You can link with Saritha Rai on LinkedIn.

Apr 27, 2020
BONUS: The Agile Wire hosts interview Vasco Duarte on #NoEstimates - Jeff Maleski & Jeff Bubolz
54:45

This is a BONUS episode on the topic of #NoEstimates. The Agile Wire podcast hosts Jeff Bubolz and Jeff Maleski interview Vasco Duarte.

Some of you might have heard about #NoEstimates, and want to know more, and for others, it might be the first time you hear about it. Either way, in this episode we talk about the origins of #NoEstimates and why you may want to consider it when helping your teams. 

This is a shared episode with a fellow Agile podcast The Agile Wire, where hosts Jeff Maleski and Jeff Bubolz interview Agile practitioners. Both Jeff Maleski and Jeff Bubolz have been guests here on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast.

 

About Jeff Bubolz and Jeff Maleski

Jeff Bubolz is a speaker, trainer, and agile coach. He has been a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team member. Jeff has worked with enterprise companies to small start-ups. His goal is to end human suffering in organizations, by nudging people to be the change they want to see in the world.

 

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

 

Jeff Maleski is passionate about working with and building up both individuals and teams using ideas from Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0 and Dan Pink’s Drive. When leading project teams, Jeff strives for empirical based planning and forecasting, continuous learning, and delivering high quality software products that exceed expectations. Jeff believes in leading by actions and focusing on building relationships with others.

 

You can link with Jeff Maleski on LinkedIn.




Apr 25, 2020
Creating great teams, the Scrum Master as a social activator | Ann-Christien Picca
10:01

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

Great teams often have a great Scrum Master that has helped them come together as a functional, and productive, but also committed group of people. There are many aspects that define a great team, and in this episode, we focus on the relationship between the team members and how that reflects the work of the Scrum Master, the social activator Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Kinder Egg Retrospective Warm-up

A critical aspect of Agile Retropsecittves is how the team members “enter#” the spirit and engage with the retrospective before starting to discuss the hot topics of the day. In this episode, we talk bout a warm-up/check-in exercise for teams. Ann-Christien describes the activity and how it helps the team focus on the retrospective before discussing potential difficult topics.

 

About Ann-Christien Picca

Ann-Christien is a sociologist and currently works as a scrum master. She believes in agility as a mindset and that it is much more than scrum and kanban. Its a new way of working culture, that is really difficult to achieve.

You can link with Ann-Christien Picca on XING and connect with Ann-Christien Picca on LinkedIn.

Apr 23, 2020
Decision making for Agile organizations, Sociocracy 3.0 | Ann-Christien Picca
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.

Decision making is an activity that takes place over and over again in every organization. But not all decisions are similar in nature or impact. In this episode, we talk about how Ann-Christien’s company went about discovering and implementing a different way to make decisions on complex topics by involving a large part of the organization in the process. 

In this episode, we talk about Sociocracy 3.0, a collection of principles based patterns for collaboration, to navigate complexity, adapt and evolve.

 

About Ann-Christien Picca

Ann-Christien is a sociologist and currently works as a scrum master. She believes in agility as a mindset and that it is much more than scrum and kanban. Its a new way of working culture, that is really difficult to achieve.

You can link with Ann-Christien Picca on XING and connect with Ann-Christien Picca on LinkedIn.

Apr 22, 2020
Helping Scrum teams reflect even when they think there’s nothing wrong | Ann-Christien Picca
10:57

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 teams are successful, and working well together we usually think they are on a good path to success. However, sometimes certain behaviors develop over time that negatively impacts the team, even when the team isn’t aware of those behaviors. In this episode, we talk about a team that started to make fun of the customer and focus more on themselves than the needs of the customer or the success of the product. The situation was ripe for a disaster, whoever, Ann-Christien acted with the help of another Scrum Master to help the team reflect and understand that they were pursuing a self-defeating strategy. Listen in, to learn about pair-coaching, and how to help teams reflect even when they think there’s nothing wrong.

Featured Book for the Week: The Leading Brain by Friderike Fabritius

In The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier by Friederike Fabritius, Ann-Christien found a perfect book to get you to neuroscience, and what you can use with this knowledge in your daily work. She learned tools and techniques to help her work better and find out what are her points of good performance.

You can watch a short description of the ideas in the book by Friederike Fabritius in this YouTube video about The Leading Brain.

 

About Ann-Christien Picca

Ann-Christien is a sociologist and currently works as a scrum master. She believes in agility as a mindset and that it is much more than scrum and kanban. Its a new way of working culture, that is really difficult to achieve.

You can link with Ann-Christien Picca on XING and connect with Ann-Christien Picca on LinkedIn

Apr 21, 2020
High-stakes, time-constrained conflict resolution for Scrum Masters | Ann-Christien Picca
14:07

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

When Ann-Christien started as a Scrum Master, she discovered that was the kind of role she enjoyed. As she was getting ready to go on vacation, however, things got pretty hectic. In this episode, we talk about a conflict between team members and the CTO of the company, that Ann-Christien had to solve the day before her vacation. With such high-stakes and such short time the situation was ripe for a disaster. As Ann-Christien started the conversation with the two participants, something became clear. Something that would help her navigate that conversation, and taught her a very important lesson as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about conflict management in high-stakes, and time-constrained situations.

 

About Ann-Christien Picca

Ann-Christien is a sociologist and currently works as a scrum master. She believes in agility as a mindset and that it is much more than scrum and kanban. Its a new way of working culture, that is really difficult to achieve.

You can link with Ann-Christien Picca on XING and connect with Ann-Christien Picca on LinkedIn

Apr 20, 2020
Achieving sustainable pace for Scrum Masters and Scrum Teams | Cosima Laube
39:19

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 Cosima Laube

Cosima is a co-author of the Agile Short Stories book: Change Willingness and Change Capacity and an international speaker on the topics related to Agile. She is a product and people’s coach with Agile-Living.com and Respectandadapt.rocks.

You can link with Cosima Laube on LinkedIn and connect with Cosima Laube on Twitter.

Apr 18, 2020
The Task Master Product Owner Anti-pattern | George Mathews
17:54

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 Ex-Developer with a focus on Outcomes

Great Product Owners are often good at communicating, and this example is no exception. However, there are some aspects that make good communicators even better at Product Owner: being available and able to understand the type of questions that developers and testers have when implementing their ideas.

In this segment, we talk about the ex-developer PO that was much more focused on the goals of what was being done, but was also able to speak the language of developers.

The Bad Product Owner: The Task Master

Imagine a PO that goes into a team meeting, and spends their time focused on the tasks. What was done, what was not done and why? The blame game is a sure consequence of that attitude. In this episode, we talk about the task-focus some PO’s have and how that hinders the team’s ability to deliver a valuable increment of their product.

 

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 George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

Apr 17, 2020
Dealing with pressure and stress in Scrum teams | George Mathews
10:18

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 the team feels pressure from the outside, the behavior of the people on the team changes. At first, it might be simple things, like being late or forgetting to get back to a team member, but later those problems may escalate to full-out conflict. In this segment, we talk about the importance of learning when the team is stressed, and work through those causes for stress as Scrum Masters.

In this episode, we refer to an #AgileOnlineMeetup with Bob Galen where he shares his perspective on how Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches can ensure that their own stress levels are not overwhelming. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simpler is better

George favors a simpler retrospective format for the retrospectives he hosts. In this segment, we explore some of the simpler formats we can use, and why their use matters for the team.

 

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

Apr 16, 2020
Improving collaboration between Scrum teams and their managers | George Mathews
09:34

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 was a team where the team members and the manager did not have a good relationship. George understood this was a problem for the team, and the manger and tried to help them transform their relationship. 

In this episode, we talk about how we can help teams and their managers or stakeholders build a collaborative relationship. 

 

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

Apr 15, 2020
The Myth of the multi-project team member | George Mathews
13:36

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

Team members in many organizations share their time across multiple projects. That brings a lot of problems that are often ignored because “on paper”, the team members can easily share their time between projects. However, as Scrum Masters, we know the reality is very often much harder for those same team members. For example, team members start missing important ceremonies, like planning meetings or are unable to help each other (because they are working part-time in different projects). The multi-project productivity myth is a serious problem, and in this episode, we talk about the consequences and what we can do as Scrum Masters to help our teams survive those difficult situations.

In this episode, we also mention an article about the importance of having one-team, one-goal.

Featured Book of the Week: Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet

In Turn the Ship Around! By David Marquet, George Mathews discovered an inspirational book about leadership.
David Marquet has been a guest on the #AgileOnlineMeetup, and you can watch his interview here.

 

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

Apr 14, 2020
Project-driven organizations and their impact on Scrum teams | George Mathews
14:23

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 George joined this company, he was told that they were already “pretty agile”. This is usually a sign that somethings are not really working well, and this was no exception. When he joined, George found out this was a project manager-driven organization, where project managers tried to get the work done but wanted to reduce the budget at the same time. The anti-patterns followed, and George learned a few important lessons about being a Scrum Master in a project-driven organization.

In this episode, we refer to the episode with Bas Vodde, where we discuss organizing product development without projects, and the #AgileOnlineMeetup with Bob Galen where we talk about the self-care Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches must take to sustain their work over the long term.

 

About George Mathews

George Mathews is a Scrum Master at SentryOne for two fully remote teams. Prior to that, he had experience as a Customer Service Representative, Operations Analyst and Finance Technical Analyst allowing him to employ a broad practical point of view as he coaches Agile teams at SentryOne.

You can link with George Mathews on LinkedIn.

Apr 13, 2020
BONUS: Boosting collaboration with an Internal Unconference, Gene Connolly and Jeff Campbell | Gene Connolly, Jeff Campbell
44:15

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

 

About Gene Connolly and Jeff Campbell

Gene Connolly is a Principal Software Developer at Meltwater. He has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life of legacy software systems during their golden years and making the most complex problems he can find slightly less complex.

You can link with Gene Connolly on LinkedIn and connect with Gene Connolly on Twitter

 

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. 

He is the author of actionable agile tools, which you can get on Amazon and directly from the author at bit.ly/aatbook

As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organizations both small and large.

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

You can also learn more about Jeff Campbell’s work at his company’s website.

Apr 11, 2020
Trust as a productivity amplifier for Scrum teams | Mandy Sunner
13:54

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

Using trust as a productivity amplifier, Product Owners can have a huge impact on the team’s performance. We also talk about the missing-in-action Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: Trust as a productivity amplifier

When Product Owners lack trust for the team, there are many anti-patterns that emerge and lead to problems. In this episode, we talk about the reverse phenomenon: what happens when the PO trusts the team. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent PO

The Product Owner role is a key role in Scrum, which in turn means that not having a PO, or having a PO that is often absent is a problem when your team works with Scrum. In this episode, we talk about the Absent PO anti-pattern, as well as what happens when the PO is not up to the task.

 

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 Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Apr 10, 2020
Sprint Goals as a catalyst for better retrospectives | Mandy Sunner
11:10

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

At the end of every Sprint, teams show their progress to key stakeholders. As Scrum Masters, we benefit from that ceremony to understand our impact and improve our work. In this episode, we talk about why it is critical for Scrum Masters to improve those ceremonies and focus on the feedback that stakeholders give. That feedback can become our fuel for improvement.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Sprint Goals as a catalyst for better retrospectives

In retrospectives, we want to focus the teams on what we can do to become a better team. In this episode, we talk about Sprint Goals, and why those goals are important to help the teams be able to reflect better and have better retrospectives.

 

About Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Apr 09, 2020
The missing Vision anti-pattern in business changes | Mandy Sunner
11:18

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 teams work on a new product, there’s a risk that the Vision is not set, and that the Product Owner is not able to convey the reason why the product is being developed. In this episode about a big business change, we talk about the risks of a missing Vision, and why the Product Vision is an essential tool for business changes.

 

About Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Apr 08, 2020
3 books to understand Agile beyond Scrum | Mandy Sunner
09:41

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 multiple teams work on high-impact or high-visibility programs or projects, it is critical that they align how they work, and that certain processes are in place to support the teams. In this episode, we talk about what problems arise when teams are working separately, not aligned, and the supporting processes are missing. A key realization for Scrum Masters: the supporting processes can have a big impact on the performance of the team

Featured Book for the Week: Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, Kahneman et. al

Mandy mentions several books: Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, by Kahneman et. al; The Bottleneck Rules, by Clarke Ching; Making Work Visible by Dominica DeGrandis

These books helped Mandy understand many different aspects of Agile beyond the work with the team. 

 

About Mandy Sunner

Mandy calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Apr 07, 2020
How to handle the loss of a great Product Owner in a Scrum team | Mandy Sunner
14:43

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

Teams need a great Product Owner to be able to exploit their potential. When Scrum Masters work with teams that have a great PO, they learn the impact that the PO role can have. However, when a great PO leaves the team, what should the Scrum Master do? In this episode, we learn about Mandy’s attempt to help the team by replacing the PO, and why it is so critical to avoid that anti-pattern. Listen in to learn what to do when a great PO leaves.

 

About Mandy Sunner

Many calls herself the Angel of Agile as she guards her team and stakeholders from attacks and compromises which are forthcoming in an era of uncertainty. Her Agile approaches are thought through by virtue of being a systematic thinker and keeping the customers at the forefront of development. A problem solver with many years of practical experience.

You can link with Mandy Sunner on LinkedIn and connect with Mandy Sunner on Twitter.

Apr 06, 2020
From “distant” to “team member”, a Scrum PO transformation story | Tony Richards
15:40

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

From a distant PO to the PO that makes everybody feel part of the same team. A great transformation, and a great PO pattern to share with your favorite PO!

The Great Product Owner: The Great Facilitator

Great Product Owners focus on the Sprint Review as a ceremony that can help them, as well as the team and stakeholders understand the product better. In this segment, we talk about how great PO’s focus on their facilitation and approaches to get the most out of the Sprint Review sessions.

The Bad Product Owner: The Corner-office PO

You know that something is wrong when the PO actually has to say out loud that they have an “open-door policy”. There’s an implicit message that they are different, even superior to the team. In this “corner-office anti-pattern” segment we discuss how PO’s may alienate their teams, and what we - Scrum Masters - can do to help team members and PO learn to collaborate without the negative impact of hierarchy. Learn how to help the corner-office PO become a great, and productive team member!

 

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 Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Apr 03, 2020
SUPER SPECIAL: LIVE Q&A on #Remote work with Lisette Sutherland
55:56

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

About Lisette Sutherland

Lisette is a world-wide recognized expert in remote work. She’s managed online communities in the early years of the internet, and as she says: know that working together from anywhere is not just possible; it’s completely, productively workable—if you do it right.
She co-authored the Work Together Anywhere book, and hosts regular Work Together Anywhere workshop (online, obviously!) and other online meeting and facilitation master classes.

You can link with Lisette Sutherland on LinkedIn and connect with Lisette Sutherland on Twitter.

Apr 02, 2020
Helping Scrum teams be aware of their anti-patterns (and patterns) | Tony Richards
11:35

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 Scrum Masters start working with a team, they might feel the need to intervene often. It might be just to get the team to start talking, or for the team members to respect each other’s turn to speak. However, when we evolve our practice and start seeing some success is when we are able to step back and use “mirroring” to let the team understand their own behavior. Just like us, team members are also often blind to their own behavior patterns, a successful Scrum Masters will help team members be less blind to their own behavior patterns.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Powerful Questions Walk

Tony found an approach that helps teams dive deeper into their experience and find improvement opportunities they would otherwise ignore. In this episode, he describes the Powerful Questions Walk exercise and how it improves the team’s ability to learn and reflect.

In this episode, we refer to the Coaching Cards by Deborah Preuss (PDF Download).

 

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Apr 02, 2020
SUPER SPECIAL: LIVE Q&A on #Remote work with Katja Zorina
47:15

In this episode, we have special guests Johanna and Mark talk about lessons learned for teams going quickly #Remote.

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

Apr 01, 2020
Learning Sets, an approach to support large organization change | Tony Richards
12:14

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

 

When Tony joined this organization, the mandate was to help the organization change. There were about 4000 people involved in that change. There’s no Scrum Master/Agile Coach team big enough to take on that responsibility, so they took a different approach.

The organization invested in a way to scale up their ability to coach teams, using a “Learning Sets” approach and the “Challenging Coaching” approach to coaching. 

In this episode, we refer to the whitepaper by Scrum.org on the 8 stances of a Scrum Master, and the pain-relief cycle as a way to improve performance in teams.

 

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Apr 01, 2020
SUPER SPECIAL: LIVE Q&A on #Remote work with Molood Ceccarelli
50:34

In this episode, we have special guest Molood Ceccarelli and talk about lessons learned for teams going quickly #Remote.

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

Mar 31, 2020
Metrics for Agile teams, and how to avoid the velocity metric trap | Tony Richards
13:26

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

 

Stop me if you have heard this before. There was once upon a time a company that was working well, and leadership, wanting to make it even better started following up team velocity… Already? Well, that’s expected, this is a very common anti-pattern (the velocity tunnel vision). But this episode goes into a deeper discussion of what anti-pattern, and most importantly, what Scrum Masters can do to get out of that. We discuss metrics, their impact, and which to use when working with Agile teams.

Featured Book for the Week: An Everyone Culture by Kegan et al.

In An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Kegan et al., Tony found an insightful description of a leadership model that focuses on the potential of an organization, on how to improve the chances for success in any organization.

 

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

Mar 31, 2020
#Remote work LIVE Q&A with Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby
53:12

In this episode, we have special guests Johanna and Mark talk about lessons learned for teams going quickly #Remote.

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

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.

Mar 30, 2020
When Scrum Masters get carried away with something they find useful | Tony Richards
17:49

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 Tony heard he would be facilitating a large event (250 people) he thought immediately about using an approach that he had good results with. But as we learn in this episode, that’s not always a good idea. Learn about what Tony failed to consider, and get some critical tips on how to prepare for such events. 

In this episode, we refer to the Clean Language technique and to Judy Rees, Caitlin Walker, and David Groves as active developers of the Clean Language technique.

 

About Tony Richards

Tony coaches Agile teams across the UK and currently serves as program advisor to the Scrum Alliance. His most recent client is applying Scrum and Kanban in the engineering and production of physical goods. 

Tony is also in the organizer team for the Scrum Gathering in sunny Lisbon this year, and he’s busy working with a great team of volunteers to review and build a program of great talks and workshops.

You can link with Tony Richards on LinkedIn and connect with Tony Richards on Twitter.

 

Mar 30, 2020
BONUS: How to setup Agile and DevOps teams, Team Topologies interview with Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais
41:57

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 Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais

Matthew Skelton is co-author of Team Topologies: organizing business and technology teams for fast flow. He is Head of Consulting at Conflux and specializes in Continuous Delivery, operability, and organization dynamics for modern software systems.

You can link with Matthew Skelton on LinkedIn and connect with Matthew Skelton on Twitter. 

 

Manuel Pais is an independent IT consultant and trainer, focused on team interactions, delivery practices and accelerating flow. Manuel is co-author of the book "Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow". He helps organizations rethink their approach to software delivery, operations and support via strategic assessments, practical workshops, and coaching.

You can link with Manuel Pais on LinkedIn and connect with Manuel Pais on Twitter.

Or visit Manuel Pais’ site.

Mar 28, 2020
The Caring Product Owner, building trust with the Scrum team is also the PO’s job! | Olsen Turan
13:52

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

 

From the PO who cared about the people to the PO who wanted to own the process. We explore two PO patterns that can help or hinder the team’s performance.

The Great Product Owner: The Caring Product Owner

Great Product Owners will care about the team, not only the product. In this segment, we explore the story of a Product Owner who wanted to get to know the team members, and was able to build a trustful and warm personal relationship with team members. And all of that with a simple trick. Listen in to learn more about the Caring Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who wants to own the process

When Product Owner help with process adoption, that’s sometimes a good thing. However, in this segment, we explore the situation when PO’s go too far and their help effectively demotivates and interferes with the team performance. Is your PO trying to help with Agile? Listen to this segment to learn if your PO is going too far.

 

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 Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Mar 27, 2020
A simple, yet effective Retrospective format Scrum Masters can use to build trust | Olsen Turan
12:27

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 a Scrum Master joins a team, it is critical to start building trust from the first interaction. In this episode, we talk about what that means in practice and share Olsen’s approach to building trust and opening the communication channels with the team. 

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Casual Conversation

There are many retrospective formats out there, each serving a specific purpose, from problem definition to ideation and so on. However, in this episode, we focus on a simple format that aims at building relationships between team members and between Scrum Master and team members. The format is “the casual conversation”, which has been prepared and is facilitated by the Scrum Master but helps team members feel safe and at ease. 

 

About Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Mar 26, 2020
How Scrum Masters can “live” change and be an example for the team | Olsen Turan
10:15

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

 

As Scrum Masters, we work constantly with change. It is therefore critical to establish our own approach to being a change agent. In this episode, Olsen shares with us what he learned about the role, and the approach that works for him when working with change, and being a change agent.

 

About Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Mar 25, 2020
Healing the Product Owner - Team relationship | Olsen Turan
11:23

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 dynamics that may happen between the Product Owner and the team. And how, sometimes, those dynamics can spiral and affect the team’s ability to perform. We also discuss how to approach the topic with the team and the Product Owner. How we choose to tackle the situation, and our communication approach may help or destroy that relationship.

The relationship between Product Owner and Team is critical for our success as Scrum Masters. Learn how to coach your product owner in our Coach Your Product Owner course. The Coach Your PO e-course includes 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: Crucial Conversations, Patterson et al. 

In Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, by Patterson et al., Olsen learned about the key conversation skills we need to help teams build trust and improve communication among team members.

 

About Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Mar 24, 2020
Letting teams fail (in the small) is part of the Scrum Master job! | Olsen Turan
11:12

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, we cringe when we see an incoming problem which we know will hit the team and we have to stand back and let the team learn from that experience. In this episode, we talk about one such story, and why it is critical for Scrum Masters to let the teams experience failure, first hand. Be ready to help when that happens, listen in to learn how.

 

About Olsen Turan

Olsen is an experienced Agile Coach and Scrum Master with a mix of Servant Leadership skills and technical knowledge acquired over his decade-long career. His background includes Ph.D. studies in Organizational Leadership, Agile Transformation and Coaching, Project Management, and Scrum Master duties.

You can link with Olsen Turan on LinkedIn and connect with Olsen Turan on Twitter

You can also follow Olsen Turan on his coaching website.

Mar 23, 2020
How to help Product Owners that don’t want help | Sami Prentice
15:16

Great Product Owners often focus on helping the team benefit from the knowledge and experience that stakeholders can bring to the team. In this episode, we learn about a PO that was focused on creating collaboration between team and stakeholders, as well taking the time to work together with the team to create a shared understanding of the product and the Vision for the team. 

In this segment, we refer to the User Story Mapping technique popularized by Jeff Patton. Here is the User Story Mapping hands-on facilitator guide if you want to start using that technique at work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The PO who didn’t want any help

Sometimes we work with Product Owners that don’t want any help but are too busy to fully fulfill the requirements of the role. That’s never an easy situation for the team or the Scrum Master. Sami reminds us that we can take advantage of the PO being busy, and start offering help in certain tasks. Building trust with the PO is then a critical focus for Scrum Masters, and Sami shares her tips on how to build that relationship.

In this segment, we refer to Module 02 (How Scrum Masters can onboard a new or beginner Product Owner) of the Coach Your Product Owner course, and how that can help you start a positive collaboration with your Product Owner. The course is available here: bit.ly/coachyourpo.

 

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 Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don't suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Mar 20, 2020
Self-organization and collective ownership in Scrum teams | Sami Prentice
11:38

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

Looking into how teams organize themselves is often a good indicator that our work is having an impact. In this episode, we talk about the need to help teams self-organize, and find ways to sustain their own progress and improvement. Finally, we discuss the key ingredient for success in Scrum teams: having collective ownership for the work they need to.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures, TRIZ

Sometimes the best way to help teams focus on what they can improve is to talk about what is the worst that could possibly happen. In this Liberating Structure called TRIZ, the goal is to reflect on what can go wrong, so that the team is then ready to focus on how to avoid that negative outcome.

 

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don't suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Mar 19, 2020
Helping Scrum teams accept and fix their anti-patterns | Sami Prentice
09:42

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

As Scrum Masters, focusing on helping teams succeed and collaborate, we will often notice certain negative patterns before the team members realize what is going on. It is then our responsibility to help the team understand what is going on. However, that’s not always an easy process. In this episode, Sami explains how she introduced an anti-pattern to the team, how they reacted, and especially how her own calm persistence (she calls it “gentle pressure”) helped the team realize what was going on, and improve the situation.

 

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don't suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Mar 18, 2020
When consensus destroys Scrum teams | Sami Prentice
15:14

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

Sometimes teams need to focus on consensus building, but at other points in their journey, their need to seek consensus is a sign that the team is avoiding conflict. In this episode, we talk about the case of a team that was undermining itself by trying to always establish consensus before taking action.

In this segment, we refer to the book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

Featured Book for the Week: Radical Candor, Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Sami learned about the importance of building relationships and being in compassionate mode with fellow co-workers. She also found invaluable tips on how to get and give feedback to her co-workers. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey, which includes a lot of ideas on how to handle the challenges that Scrum Masters typically face.

 

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don't suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Mar 17, 2020
Scrum Masters are also responsible for process development in their organizations | Sami Prentice
13:29

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 leadership in an organization changes, they bring their own practices and habits with them. In this episode, we explore what happened in an organization when new leadership stopped some of the practices that were working for that organization. A good reminder that the role of the Scrum Master also includes developing the process for the organization. Listen in to learn how Sami took responsibility and helped the organization improve.

In this episode, we also talk about how we can improve as Scrum Masters by participating in our local communities. We refer to meetup.com as a place to find your local community and start taking part in their events.

 

About Sami Prentice

Sami is a Scrum Master in Denver, Colorado. She used to work in the beer industry before making the switch to Scrum Master and she is passionate about facilitating awesome meetings that don't suck. 

You can link with Sami Prentice on LinkedIn.

Mar 16, 2020
What CEO's need to know about Design | Audrey Crane
37:42

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

In this episode, we explore what is design, and why you should be deliberate about helping teams, and organizations invest in the design of their products and services.

About Audrey Crane

Audrey is the author of a recent book called: What CEO's need to know about Design.

She is a Partner at DesignMap, a product strategy and design firm in San Francisco that focuses on designing complex enterprise products for industry leaders like Docker, Salesforce, Bloomberg, eBay, and Cisco. Audrey is a veteran design leader who started working in high tech more than 20 years ago, and can trace much of her success back to the early days at Netscape, working with folks like Marty Cagan and Hugh Dubberly.

You can link with Audrey Crane on LinkedIn and connect with Audrey Crane on Twitter.

Mar 14, 2020
A Scrum PO Anti-pattern: The Caretaker Product Owner | Tom Suter
15:34

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

From saying “no”, to not saying “no”. Two contrasting patterns by Product Owners and their impact on the team’s and product’s success.

In this episode, we talk about People OS, a product that Tom is involved in

The Great Product Owner: Saying “no” with a smile

One of the most impactful activities a Product Owner can perform is to decide what NOT to develop. In this segment, we talk about a PO pattern that helps them, and their team succeed: knowing how to say “no”, and still keep the support from stakeholders!

The Bad Product Owner: The Caretaker Product Owner

When Product Owners don’t have a clear goal for their products, they run the risk of becoming simply “caretakers” for their product. In this segment, we explore the “caretaker” PO anti-pattern and what that means for their teams and products.

 

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 Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Help Tom understand how you interact with your colleagues by filling in this survey.

Mar 13, 2020
5 Requirements for great Agile Retrospectives | Tom Suter
12:13

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 it comes to having a positive impact on the teams, and companies we work with, the way we help teams focus on value delivery is critical. 

In this episode, we talk about how Scrum Masters can enable teams to focus on business value creation with different techniques.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: 5 Requirements for great Agile Retrospectives

Tom’s approach to the Retrospectives is informed by 5 requirements he tries to fulfill for every retrospective. In this episode, we explore what those are, and how to prepare and host impactful retrospectives.

In this segment, we refer to Retromat, and Fun Retrospectives, two websites that help you get more exercises for your retrospectives.

 

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Mar 12, 2020
Gamification for Scrum teams | Tom Suter
06:29

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

 

Bugs happen. And sometimes teams get overwhelmed by the number of bugs they need to deal with. How can we help teams change their approach to bugs and recover from that quality debt? In this episode, we talk about using a gamification technique to help a team that was struggling completely turn their situation around and become a better team, while “killing” many of the bugs that had previously burdened them.

In this episode, we refer to a video that Tom created about the technique he explained.

 

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Mar 11, 2020
Helping Scrum teams get out of a negative spiral | Tom Suter
13:37

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

 

It’s impossible for us to go an entire career without having to face difficult anti-patterns by management. We need to be ready to tackle those. In this episode, we talk about a team that wasn’t ready, and how the bad decisions by management triggered a negative spiral for that team. 

In this segment, we refer to “external locus of control” as a way to explain the team’s resignation when they should react.

Featured Book for the Week: Scrum and XP from the Trenches

In Scrum and XP from the Trenches by Kniberg, Tom found a source of inspiration that gave him the energy and belief he needed at the start of his career. 

In this episode we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, and Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan.

 

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Mar 10, 2020
Agile adoption beyond Scrum, and what that means in practice | Tom Suter
11:19

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 of us start our Agile journeys with Scrum. It is only later that we start putting Scrum in the Agile context, and there’s much to learn and change when we do. In this episode, we talk about what changes when we focus on enabling our teams to be Agile, and not only follow Scrum.

In this episode, we refer to the book Scrum and XP from the trenches by Kniberg.

 

About Tom Suter

As our workforce changes rapidly, Tom suggests it is going to be more and more challenging to attract and keep talent and knowledge, and that’s why we need a healthy and sustainable working environment. Tom is passionate about improving the industry for his children and their generations. 

You can link with Tom Suter on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Suter on Twitter.

Mar 09, 2020
Bridging communication gaps between Scrum teams and stakeholders | Thomas von Busse
14:40

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

 

Communication to remove misunderstandings is perhaps one of the most important roles of a Product Owner. In this episode, we talk about enabling communication between the team and stakeholders. We also explore what happens when PO’s try to manipulate teams through estimation discussions.

In this episode, we refer to Thomas’ article on retrospectives based on the Slow Thinking Manifest.

The Great Product Owner: Bridging the communication gap

Great Product Owners worry about helping the team to understand what the goals are, and how the business can benefit from the work being discussed. In this segment, we talk about the Product Owner that enabled communication between the team and stakeholders directly. Avoiding miscommunication may be one of the major concerns for the Product Owner role, and the pattern we discuss in this segment may be the right answer for you.

The Bad Product Owner: The estimation manipulator

Product Owners that have a background in software development may have the temptation to second-guess the teams they work with. However, the situation gets even worse when they try to second-guess their estimates. There are many reasons why this anti-pattern has a negative impact on the team, and that’s why we need to be ready to tackle it as Scrum Masters. 

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 Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

Mar 06, 2020
Developing Scrum teams through feedback culture | Thomas von Busse
12:11

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

 

Thomas’ approach is to allow the team space to develop. That perspective requires an approach to the Scrum Master role that is more focused on feedback between team members. In this episode, we talk about how we can help teams improve their team-internal feedback culture. We discuss the Feedback Burger technique for feedback.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The WADE Matrix

The WADE Matrix is a facilitation technique that helps include outside stakeholders to help create a more holistic view of what the team is facing. It also helps find and define improvements that require different perspectives from what the team is normally exposed to.

Thomas has an article (in German) about how to prepare and facilitate a retrospective with the WADE Matrix.

 

About Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

Mar 05, 2020
Improve as a Scrum Master with pair-coaching | Thomas von Busse
08:50

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

 

To be able to help our teams, as Scrum Masters we must always be ready to keep improving our skills and our toolbox. In this episode, we talk about the power of pair-coaching with other Scrum Masters. Thomas describes his “co-driver” program, where he invites other Scrum Masters to come and join him and the teams he works with. We also discuss some of the benefits he’s seen come out of that “co-driver” program.

 

About Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

Mar 04, 2020
Focusing Scrum teams on improving what they can influence | Thomas von Busse
09:43

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

 

Retrospectives can be an engine of growth for the team, but they can also turn in complain fests, where teams drown in negative comments. However, this is not inevitable. In this episode, we talk about how Retrospectives can be turned in a positive tool for improvement when Scrum Masters help teams understand and focus on what they can influence, instead of complaining about what they have no power over. 

In this episode, we refer to the circles of influence, a tool we’ve also reviewed in past episodes.

Featured Book for the Week: Theory U by Otto Scharmer

In Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges by Otto Scharmer, Thomas learned about how to unlock the fixed mindset within people and teams by learning to ask different questions. 

In this segment, we also mention the “Food for Agile Thought” Newsletter at the Age of Product blog.

 

About Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

Mar 03, 2020
Keeping the Daily Stand-up in time, or not? | Thomas von Busse
11:23

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

 

We’re often faced with daily meetings that constantly try to run over. Team members have topics they want to discuss, and it is enough for one of those topics to surface in the daily meeting for the meeting to risk running too long. Now imagine that several team members also have topics they want to discuss? How do you keep a daily meeting in time? And when is it necessary to break the 15-minute rule? We discuss the many tricky aspects of facilitating one of the most important sessions in Scrum: the Daily Meeting.

 

About Thomas von Busse

Thomas is a Scrum Master since 2013. After his Bachelors’s Degree in Software Engineering, he gained experience as a Programmer and uses this deep understanding of how to build software systems to help his Teams get better with each iteration. 

You can link with Thomas von Busse on LinkedIn and connect with Thomas von Busse on Twitter

Mar 02, 2020
Scaling the Product Owner role in Scrum organization | Maarten Dalmijn
30:44

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

About Maarten Dalmijn

Maarten is a Product Manager and Scrum practitioner who believes in 'less, but better'. By blending the world of Product Management and Scrum, Maarten helps teams beat the Feature Factory and uncover better ways of delivering value together.

He has over 10 years of experience building products, and helped rebuild products as well as Agile Transformations as a leader and participant.

He says: "Product management is about getting the right things done. It is easy to come up with a list of things to add to make something better. It is much harder to decide which things to leave out to make something better."

You can link with Maarten Dalmijn on LinkedIn and connect with Maarten Dalmijn on Twitter

Follow Maarten Dalmijn’s blog posts on Medium.

Feb 29, 2020
4 critical anti-patterns for Scrum Product Owners | Bola Adesope
13:55

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

Lists are useful because they help us mentally review where we might need to pay attention as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we have 2 lists. We present 4 PO anti-patterns and 3 patterns that you can help your PO with and make sure they excel at their job!

 

The Great Product Owner: 3 patterns that make great PO’s

Just as there are many ways for a Product Owner to enter a negative spiral, there are also some things that are the hallmark of good Product owners. In this segment, we discuss 3 different patterns that, if you can help your PO follow them, will improve greatly the collaboration between team and PO, and will help the PO excel at their job!

The Bad Product Owner: 4 different, and critical PO anti-patterns

In this segment, we discuss 4 different Product Owners anti-patterns and dive into possible solutions that we can implement as Scrum Masters. We talk about defining working agreements with the team and the PO (not only the team) and discuss why it is critical for Scrum Masters to create a productive collaborative relationship with the Product Owner.

In this segment, we refer to the Coach Your Product Owner course produced by Vasco Duarte, the host of the podcast



[IMAGE 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 Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter

 

Feb 28, 2020
The Scrum Master stances and how they affect team performance | Bola Adesope
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

 

There are many aspects that we must consider when evaluating our success as Scrum Masters. Bola reminds us that the way the team acts and behaves is a clear indicator of our influence on their progress as a team. We talk about how our different stances affect the team’s performance, and how we must deliberately move from one stance to the other when the team’s evolution so requires. Listen in to learn how Bola assesses and decides to move to the right stance as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad technique

The Mad/Sad/Glad exercise from Core Protocols helps the team find out about problems that may not yet be obvious by focusing them on the feelings and the triggers for those feelings. For more on Core Protocols, listen to this episode on the Core Protocols with Richard Kasperowski.

 

About Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter

Feb 27, 2020
Kickstarting a cultural change for Scrum teams | Bola Adesope
10:43

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

 

We often hear about “cultural change”, and how important it is when adopting Agile. But how do we get that cultural change started? In this episode, we talk about 2 teams that needed to learn to apply Agile in a way that would foster collaboration and talk about how to get that change started. We discuss some of the steps that Bola followed and what he learned from that experience.

 

About Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter

Feb 26, 2020
When lack of conflict in Scrum teams is a problem | Bola Adesope
11:23

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 teams work well together, you won’t find much conflict. But when you don’t see any conflict in a team, that should make you wonder whether the work is so clear, or if the team is actively avoiding conflict. In this episode, we explore the story of a team that was actively avoiding conflict, and discuss why that is a problem for the team’s progress and performance. 

In this episode, we refer to The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni, and the book Crucial Conversations by Patterson et al.

Featured Book for the Week: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny

In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, Bola found an inspiring story about why he works, and what motivates him as a Scrum Master. In that book, Bola found many different lessons that inspire him as a Scrum Master.

 

About Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter

 

Feb 25, 2020
When being a super motivated Scrum Master is a problem | Bola Adesope
12:24

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 will be incredibly motivated to adopt and apply Scrum when they start. We often start because we want to help teams, and want to improve how they work. This motivation can be a huge resource, but can also be a problem. In this episode, we explore what happens when our motivation takes the better of us, and makes us forget simple rules like “always get buy-in before any change”. Listen in to hear about what Bola tried, and what he changed in his approach to the Scrum Master role as a result of that experience.

 

About Bola Adesope

Bola is an experienced Business and Agile Transformation Consultant, Speaker and Coach with in-depth knowledge and experience working with businesses in implementing best practice frameworks, driving changes and solving complex business problems. Bola has worked on several transformation initiatives, coached teams and Scrum Masters. He’s an Agile Coach based in Toronto.

You can link with Bola Adesope on LinkedIn and connect with Bola Adesope on Twitter.

Feb 24, 2020
The Product Owner that helped the team progress | Leslie McCormack
11:56

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

 

From communication skills to the ability to step back from the day-to-day work, we review the Open-minded PO and the Micromanager PO patterns.

The Great Product Owner: The open-minded PO

Great Product Owners are not always people with lots of knowledge of Scrum. In this episode, we explore the characteristics that made this Product Owner a great PO. We discuss the need to be open-minded, able to communicate goals clearly, their attitude, their way to handle feedback and how those characteristics drive the Scrum team forward.

The Bad Product Owner: The Micromanager PO

Micromanager Product Owners are a drag on the team’s ability to perform. They usually become a bottleneck for decision making, and end-up often second-guessing the team, causing latent conflict and disengagement. In this episode, we discuss what Scrum Masters can do to help Product Owners that are stuck in this anti-pattern.

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 Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Feb 21, 2020
The ultimate success goals for Scrum Masters and Scrum teams | Leslie McCormack
12:28

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

 

Leslie asks a few questions of herself when evaluating her success. We review those questions and why they are important to assess team growth and product success which are the ultimate success goals for Scrum Masters and Scrum teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Rotating exercises to create creative thinking

Scrum Masters must be able to adapt their Agile Retrospective exercises to the needs of the team at that time. In this episode, we talk about multiple exercises you can run, and why it is important to always be ready to facilitate a different exercise. We also discuss some of the downsides of repeating exercises over time.

In this episode, we refer to the Sailboat / Speedboat Restrospective exercise, the 3 L’s Retrospective exercise (similar to the 4L’s Retrospective exercise) and others.

 

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Feb 20, 2020
A story of personal change for Scrum Masters | Leslie McCormack
09:56

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

 

Once in a while, the focus of change is our own way of working. As Scrum Masters, we must also be adapting to the changes that happen around us. In this episode, we discuss how a Scrum Master with a background in Scrum, can adapt to a scaled Scrum approach, specifically, LeSS (Large Scale Scrum)

A story of personal change, and how you can keep yourself up to date with the changes around.

 

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Feb 19, 2020
Trying to be Agile in a Waterfall organization | Leslie McCormack
12:41

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 we work with teams that are in a context where Agile values and principles are not applied correctly. In this episode, we explore the story of a team that thought they were practicing Agile, but in fact, were still in the Waterfall mentality. We discuss how the mentality of the team directly affects their ability to understand and benefit from Agile ways of working.

Featured Book of the Week: The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey

In The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year by Mitch Lacey, Leslie found inspirational ideas and practical advice that she could relate to, and therefore apply in her own practice. 

 

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

 

Feb 18, 2020
How to host impactful Agile Retrospectives | Leslie McCormack
12:23

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

 

Retrospectives are an important ceremony for Agile teams. The goal of the retrospectives is to help the teams assess their practices, learn and improve. Without that ceremony, Scrum would not be an Agile practice. After all the manifesto clearly states: “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”

So, it’s no surprise that when Leslie struggled with her first retrospective, she went about learning how to host better, more engaging, and more impactful retrospectives. 

 

About Leslie McCormack

Leslie is a full-time Scrum Master. Prior to that Leslie was a Project Manager, and started her career as a mainframe database developer (COBOL, HCL, DB2, Oracle, Unix). After that, she moved on to Java support for a few years. Finally, she transitioned to an analyst role, and it was in that role that she first encountered Agile and Scrum.

You can link with Leslie McCormack on LinkedIn.

Feb 17, 2020
Predicting Software development without estimation | Marcus Hammarberg
53:40

Marcus wrote a blog post about predicting progress in ‘well-defined’ projects. He used a simple example where uncertainty was very limited. You can read the details in the blog post. However, even when uncertainty about the work was low, the predictions he was able to do (and he collects quite a few metrics in that story), was limited. 

In this episode, we explore the limits to prediction, and how that affects how we should look at prediction in our own software projects. 

About Marcus Hammerberg

Marcus is the author of Salvation: The Bungsu Story (available on Amazon), an inspiring and actionable story about how simple tools can help transform the productivity and impact of an organization. The real-life stories in The Bungsu can help you transform the productivity of your team. Marcus is also a renowned author and consultant in the Kanban community, he authored the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén.

Feb 15, 2020
3 Anti-patterns PO’s should avoid | Darren Smith
12:33

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

In this episode, we explore in detail some of the most common anti-patterns Darren sees in the Product Owner role, and we discuss why a PO training is not necessary for a great PO. 

The Great Product Owner: Business knowledge and outcome focus

To be a great Product Owner, it isn’t necessary to have attended a certification course. However, it is necessary to have a good connection to the business and a sharp focus on outcomes (impact) over output (more work). In this segment, we discuss what happens when you have those characteristics in your PO.

The Bad Product Owner: 3 Anti-patterns PO’s should avoid

There are many sides to a failed Product Owner role. In this episode, Darren shares with us some of the most common anti-patterns that he’s witnessed in his career as a Scrum Master.

In this segment, we refer to the remote facilitation online masterclass by Judy Rees.

For more anti-patterns, read Darren’s “How to Fail as Product Owner” infographic.



[IMAGE 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 Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter

 

Feb 14, 2020
Leadership lessons for Scrum Masters | Darren Smith
10:42

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

“Leaders make leaders of other people” is the phrase Darren shares with us to explain his view on what success is for a Scrum Master. By focusing on the team, and what they can do, Darren helps teams grow and become self-sufficient.

In this episode, we refer to Darren Smith’s The Naked Scrum Master blog, as well as the book Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Walk In The Park

There are many formats that Darren likes to use. In this episode, he advocates the use of the “right” method for the retrospective, at the “right” time. Listen to the story of a team under pressure, and what Darren did to be able to help the team with his retrospective format.

 

About Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter

Feb 13, 2020
The question that can inspire change in your Scrum team | Darren Smith
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

Change processes can sometimes be overwhelming. Darren has found his own way to handle that by focusing on small steps and one inspiring question he shares with us in this episode. Listen in to learn what is the question that can inspire change in your Scrum team. 

In this episode, we refer to the book Lean Change Management by Jason Little.

 

About Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter.

Feb 12, 2020
Great Scrum teams excel under pressure! | Darren Smith
11:53

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

You only know a good team when they are under pressure. It’s easy to “follow the process” if you have a lot of time, and little pressure. However, as a Scrum Master, you know you’ve done good work when the team sticks to the process (and even improves it) when they are under pressure. I advocate using self-imposed pressure to get better, I’ve written and recorded a video about that based on my own experience as a runner. The same is true in your work as a Scrum Master! 

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Actionable Metrics For Predictability by Dan Vacanti

In Agile Actionable Metrics For Predictability by Dan Vacanti, Darren found the inspiration to start using and learning from metrics. It also got Darren started on Probabilistic Forecasting, a method he uses regularly. 

In this segment, we also refer to Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen, and to Scrum Mastery, but Geoff Watts. Both Diana Larsen and Geoff Watts have been guests here on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast. 

 

About Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter

 

Feb 11, 2020
Scrum Masters are wrong all the time. Here’s why! | Darren Smith
14:35

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

I’ve often said that we don’t coach the same team two days in a row. Each team is unique, but each team changes also daily. We must, as Scrum Masters, be on our toes and ready to adapt. In this episode, we explore a story that shares why that is important. We talk about a solution that worked for a team but backfired in another team. Same problem, same solution, completely opposite results! What do you believe in, which worked before, but might be wrong today? 

 

About Darren Smith

Darren, aka the Naked Scrum Master, has been helping teams and organizations be better than they were by exposing dysfunction and helping people to remove obstacles from their path so they can be happier and more fulfilled in their working lives.

You can link with Darren Smith on LinkedIn and connect with Darren Smith on Twitter

Feb 10, 2020
The Business Centric Product Owner as a success patter for the PO role | Addo de Visser
12:27

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

Product Owners are also responsible for the success of their products, not just for the content (user stories, etc.) they help develop. We discuss how PO’s with a business focus have a positive impact on the teams they work with. We also discuss what happens when the PO is overbearing and pushy towards the team.

The Great Product Owner: The business-centered PO

Product Owners are responsible for the success of the products they own, but also for the business success of those products. Addo shares some of the aspects that help PO’s succeed, like being physically present with the team, or making sure the team and the PO get together on the same location regularly, when working with a distributed team.

The Bad Product Owner: The overbearing, and pushy PO

When PO’s are overbearing and patronizing, they inadvertently cause the team members to step back and not share their insights and ideas. There’s a risk that team members will do only what they are “told” because they lose motivation. In this segment, we discuss how Scrum Masters can help these PO’s learn to allow the team to participate actively in the product design.

 

[IMAGE 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 Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.

Feb 07, 2020
2 aspects of a successful Scrum Master | Addo de Visser
08:53

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

In this episode, we talk about how predictable teams are, and the impact that the “energy” in the team can have on their success. We review how you can use these two aspects to measure your success as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: 2-truths and a lie

Addo prefers any format that is not the standard Went well/Didn’t work/To improve. He shares with us an exercise that will help the team members conect on a personal level, and develop the team dynamic at the same time. Two truths and a lie, is a simple exercise to, for example, start a new team off on the right foot.

 

About Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.

Feb 06, 2020
How to start a bottom-up Agile transformation | Addo de Visser
08:10

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

When Addo was asked to help an energy company to transition to Agile, he started to develop an approach that he shares with us in this episode. We discuss 5+ lessons he learned, and share how those practices can start a bottom-up transformation at your organization.

About Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.

Feb 05, 2020
The leadership style required from Scrum Masters | Addo de Visser
13:19

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

It is tempting to make project managers the new Scrum Masters. They just need to be trained, right? In this segment, we discuss what can happen when people with the wrong mindset get assigned to the position of Scrum Master. We also talk about the different leadership styles that Scrum Masters need to embrace.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum a pocket guide by Gunther Verheyen 

Scrum a pocket guide by Gunther Verheyen (who’s been a guest on the podcast before) is a book that Addo describes as “concise and to the point”. In this segment, we also refer to Software in 30 days by Ken Schwaber and The Goal for Eliahy Goldratt, a book on Theory of Constraints

 

About Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy.

Feb 04, 2020
Why Scrum Masters must keep their values even when the situation is against them | Addo de Visser
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

When we face difficult situations at work, sometimes we let go of what we believe in. Has that happened to you? In this episode, we talk about what happens when Scrum Masters “forget” their values and personal identity and try to adapt to a reality that is not theirs. Addo invites us to think: are we the right person fo the job we are struggling with? 

About Addo de Visser

Addo is a good team player, has a broad experience in different roles (Agile Coach, Scrum Master). Trainer in Agile. He communicates very well within all levels of an organization. He is motivated by structuring, getting people to work together towards a common goal, and bridge the gap between Business and IT. 

Addo is the author of a book on Agile. Addo’s book in English: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”. Addo’s book in Dutch: “Agile: the times they are a-changing”.

Remember: the profit of the book goes completely to program for children in developing countries!

You can link with Addo de Visser on LinkedIn and connect with Addo de Visser on Twitter.

You can also visit Addo’s page on Cap Gemini Academy

 

Feb 03, 2020
The Absent Product Owner, and how that affects your Scrum team | Rik Pennartz
16:36

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

From the Great communicator to the Absent PO, we discuss two contrasting patterns in the PO role. Which one is your PO more like? 

The Great Product Owner: The Great Communicator

Great Product Owners are often good at communicating at all levels of the organization. They understand enough the technology and have a keen interest in how the customers and users experience the product they are in charge of. Finally, we talk about the critical role PO’s have in managing stakeholders. We also talk about the concept of BizDevOps, an approach that encourages collaboration between developers, operations staff and business teams.

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent Product Owner

In a previous survey I ran with you, the audience for this podcast, we found out that one of the most common, and most difficult PO anti-patterns was that of the Absent Product Owner.

In this segment, we explore Rik’s experience with that anti-pattern, and how Scrum Masters can help their PO’s step out of that anti-pattern.

In this segment, we also explore a possible practical solution to coach the PO: the Sprint Checklist, which is freely available here on the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast website.

 

[IMAGE 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 Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who's worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter

Jan 31, 2020
Laugh all the way to a better process, the Meme Agile Retrospective exercise | Rik Pennartz
10:28

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 3 aspects that Rik focuses on when evaluating the success of his work as a Scrum Master and coach. Listen in to learn what are the three questions he asks of himself and the team.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The meme retrospective

How can you start your retrospective in a funny, yet insightful check-in exercise? In this segment, we talk about the Meme Retrospective exercise. Have every team member look for a meme that described their last sprint. Print those out, and paste them on the wall where you will have the retrospective. You’re sure to get a laugh, while still talking about the real issues the team is facing.

 

About Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who's worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter

Jan 30, 2020
What is needed to change the culture in your organization? | Rik Pennartz
12:13

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

What is needed to change the culture in your organization? For example towards DevOps or Agile culture? We discuss many of the aspects that count towards that change and draw on many examples from other companies and industries. In this episode we mention: 

This is an episode filled with references that will help you with your leadership and change leadership skills.

 

About Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who's worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter.

Jan 29, 2020
Making remote, distributed team members feel part of the team | Rik Pennartz
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 this episode, we explore the story of a team that was scattered and working outside the office. We then explore the anti-patterns that made those team members feel like outsiders in their own team. Finally, we talk about the antidote, what to do to make the team feel like a team, no matter where they are.

In this episode, we also talk about Transformational Leadership.

Featured Book for the Week: The culture code, Daniel Coyle

In The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, Rik found a definition of the characteristics of successful groups. What makes them tick and got some inspiring stories that help him be a better coach for his teams.

 

About Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who's worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter

 

Jan 28, 2020
How to coach your Scrum team like a Pro! | Rik Pennartz
17:11

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 Scrum Masters start their journey but come from project management or even line management background, there’s the temptation to “tell people what to do”. However, that’s not a good approach to help teams grow and improve. In this episode, we explore the role of the Scrum Master as a coach, and discuss how to set up and host “Coaching Conversations”. 

In this episode, we refer to Gregg Popovich, legendary coach of the Basketball team San Antonio Spurs

 

About Rik Pennartz

Rik is an agile coach, who's worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.

You can find Rik Pennartz at the Cap Gemini Academy.

You can link with Rik Pennartz on LinkedIn and connect with Rik Pennartz on Twitter.

Jan 27, 2020
Organizational Agile transformation, DevOps adoption, and more | Amer Hamzeh and Jeff Campbell
43:25

Transformation is a big word. What does it mean in practice, and what can we learn from Jeff’s and Amer’s stories to help us in our own roles as Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches and Change Agents? We deep dive into a real story that started small, and slow, but achieved great changes that both teams and their organization benefited from.

About Amer Hamzeh and Jeff Campbell

Amer is the Product Lead for Platform at Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer of software and hardware for computer-based audio production DJ-ing. Having honed his skills as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Product Manager at the time when Agile, Lean Startup, DevOps, and Cloud Computing were breaking into the mainstream he has spent the past few years as a Product Manager building internal Software Platforms that reduce the cognitive overhead and enables delivering high-quality software in a sustainable manner.

You can link with Amer Hamzeh on LinkedIn and connect with Amer Hamzeh on Twitter

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. 

He is the author of actionable agile tools, which you can get on Amazon and directly from the author at bit.ly/aatbook

As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large.

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

You can also learn more about Jeff Campbell’s work at his company’s website

Jan 25, 2020
8 characteristics of a Great Product Owner | Moana Pledger
20:04

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

From some of the characteristics that make great Product Owners to two common anti-patterns that PO’s suffer from. In this episode, we take a deep dive into the PO role and why it is so critical for the success of the team and the product.

The Great Product Owner: 8 Characteristics of a Great Product Owner

In this segment, we explore some of the characteristics that make Product Owners great contributors to the success of the team. We also discuss how teams change when teams exhibit these characteristics.

The Bad Product Owner: The Project Manager PO, and the Absent PO

It is common that some Project Managers switch over to the PO role when their organization “goes Agile”. But there are some risks when that happens. In this segment, we talk about the possible anti-patterns of the PO that used to be a project manager, as well as about what happens when the PO is not available when the team needs.

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 Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She's pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Jan 24, 2020
Lean Coffee, the super flexible and effective Agile Restrospective format | Moana Pledger
11:53

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

In order to assess her success as a Scrum Master, Moana likes to look at the team members’ ability and willingness to take on the responsibility for learning and adapting to the challenges they face. But there are other signs like the team taking responsibility for preparing and hosting their own retrospectives. Finally, we talk about the idea of “swarming” and how teams that implement that approach ends up achieving more.

In this episode, we talk about the 3-amigo sessions, team health-checks and their role for Scrum Masters, a technique called Satisfactogram, and the “pats-on-back” technique, which is similar to the Kudos Box from Management 3.0.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Lean Coffee

Lean Coffee, a format we referred to in several other episodes, is a good format to help teams explore what is critical for them at that time. Moana describes how this format is a safe format for team members to approach topics that may seem untouchable when using other conversations and retrospective formats. We should also note, that the Lean Coffee format is also very good at helping to discuss the “edge” topics, that could easily be forgotten otherwise.

 

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She's pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Jan 23, 2020
From Agile to Waterfall and back again, an uplifting story | Moana Pledger
11:59

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 Moana was asked to help this organization, she found a common anti-pattern: the teams had reverted back to Waterfall after their previous Agile Coach left. This is a very common pattern, and we must learn how to deal with it. In this episode, we explore the context of that organization and also learn about the techniques that Moana employed to help that organization get back on the Agile adoption path.

In this episode, we refer to Lean Coffee, a technique you can use to help teams talk and open up about their situation.

 

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She's pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Jan 22, 2020
What happens when the Scrum Master leaves and the tech lead takes over | Moana Pledger
12:46

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

When all works well with a team, there’s the temptation for us as Scrum Masters to think that the “team gets it”, but even if that is the case, your role, and who you are is part of that system. When you leave things will be different. In this episode, we explore what happens when the Scrum Master leaves, and the previous technical lead takes over. In this story, we will hear the anti-patterns that can easily develop when the critical role of the Scrum Master is taken by someone else.

In this episode, we refer to Behavior Driven Development and “The New World Order” retrospective exercise, you can host a similar Agile Retrospective by using The Perfection Game exercise by Jim and Michele McCarthy, authors of the Core Protocols.

Featured Book for the Week: Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline

In Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline, Moana learned that it is critical to focus on improving our own performance so that we can help the teams we work with. In the book, she learned about the importance to focus on the quality of attention she gives to others when working with them.

 

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She's pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Jan 21, 2020
How to help Scrum teams stuck in a Waterfall organization | Moana Pledger
15:21

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

Not all teams have the benefit of working within an Agile organization. Some of the teams we work with are stuck between Waterfall and Agile. And as Scrum Masters, we very often get asked to work with teams that are struggling with exactly that problem. In this episode, we discuss how we can help teams that are in a similar situation, and what Mo learned from that story that you can use to your advantage.

In this episode, we refer to Martine Davos, and Agile Coach and Scrum trainer.

 

About Moana Pledger

Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She's pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.

You can link with Moana Pledger on LinkedIn and connect with Moana Pledger on Twitter

Jan 20, 2020
When 2 Product Owners pair, and succeed! | Chelsie Raiola
15:09

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 Bad Product Owner: The “Know it all” Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: Pairing as Product Owners

 

About Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Jan 17, 2020
How to measure Scrum team improvements over time | Chelsie Raiola
09:33

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

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: If this Sprint was a GIF?

 

About Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Jan 16, 2020
Helping a DevOps team form and perform | Chelsie Raiola
11:14

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

 

About Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Jan 15, 2020
Helping Scrum teams learn how to re-team, accept new team members | Chelsie Raiola
12:08

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

Featured Book for the Week: The Pocket Guide to Scrum by Gunther Verheyen

About Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn.

Jan 14, 2020
How Scrum Masters can help teams handle critical escalations | Chelsie Raiola
13:52

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 Chelsie Raiola

Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.

You can link with Chelsie Raiola on LinkedIn

Jan 13, 2020
Asking questions to enable and empower the Scrum team | Ellen Santamaria
12:03

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 case of the PO who was absent, but great at asking questions, and we discuss what can be done when the PO says that “everything is a priority”.

The Great Product Owner: Asking questions to enable and empower the Scrum team

Although it can be a problem that the Product Owner is absent, sometimes that works out really well for the team. In this segment, we explore the story of the CTO that became the Product Owner for a team, and even if he was not always available, he was good at enabling and empowering the team to take ownership of their work through the questions he asked. 

The Bad Product Owner: The “Everything is a priority” anti-pattern

When everything is a priority, there are 2 ceremonies that break down. Refinement/Grooming meetings and Sprint planning start to fall apart. There’s too many stories to refine, we try to fit too much into one sprint, which leads to conflicts in Sprint planning. Ultimately teams start taking short-cuts which may lead to even bigger problems. In this segment, we discuss how to help a PO that says “everything is a priority”.

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 Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Jan 10, 2020
Cards Against Agility, a fun Agile retrospective game | Ellen Santamaria
11:23

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 it comes to Scrum Master success, Ellen likes to look at metrics that indicate if her work is having an impact. She suggests that a simple metric around the quality of the Sprint planning may be enough to assess the success for the Scrum Master. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Cards Against Agility

Ellen developed a game called Cards against Agility based on another popular game. Ellen uses this game as a simple way for the team to blow-off some steam, or as she puts it “trash talk in a fun way”. 

 

About Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Jan 09, 2020
A simple tool to help non-Software teams adopt Scrum | Ellen Santamaria
11:33

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

How do we help teams that are not developing software, but still are using Scrum? In this episode, we talk about how different the adoption process is for non-technical teams, and learn about the tool that Ellen developed to help teams adopt Scrum even when not working in a software development role. 

 

About Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Jan 08, 2020
Dealing with value conflicts between Scrum Master and team or organization | Ellen Santamaria
10:38

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

How often do you reflect on the prevailing culture of the team and organization where you work? Are that team or organization's values aligned with you own personal values? 

As Scrum Masters, the organizations and teams we work with have a big impact on the work we can do. In this episode, we discuss how sometimes the organization and team’s cultures are not aligned with the Scrum Master’s values, and what we should do about it.

Featured Book for the Week: The Hitchhiker’s guide to Agile Coaching

In The Hitchhiker’s guide to Agile Coaching, by the Agile42 coaches (free sign-up required), Ellen found a good description of the different stances Scrum Masters need to take in their role. The book invites us to consider the stance we take at each moment. 

In this segment, we also refer to the 5 coaching stances for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches (free sign-up required).

 

About Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Jan 07, 2020
How to keep Scrum teams motivated in the Agile adoption process | Ellen Santamaria
13:03

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

Let’s say that a team has started adopting Scrum. That’s great, right? No so quick! Did the team start adopting Scrum of their own accord? Or was it a dictate from above? As a Scrum Master, we need to pay special attention to why the teams started adopting Scrum. And we must work with them to define and help them stick to their own work agreements. It’s easy to say that people are motivated to do the work they themselves define, but as a Scrum Master are you helping the team define what they want to achieve, and how they want to work? 

 

About Ellen Santamaria

Ellen is a Scrum Master based in Berlin, and originally from Australia. She completed a Bachelor in Australian and later a Masters in Berlin, Germany where she works.

Ellen is passionate about startups, innovation, social entrepreneurship, new business models, organisational change management, and other topics. She also loves story-based video games, sci-fi, pétanque, and finding new ways of doing things.

You can link with Ellen Santamaria on LinkedIn.

Jan 06, 2020
3 critical PO skills, that great PO’s have | Valeria Greco
13:09

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

From the absent PO, to the the 3 critical skills PO’s must have, this is an episode filled with in-depth details of how to work well with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: 3 critical PO skills, that great PO’s have

The Product Owner might be the toughest role in the Scrum framework. PO’s are often required to juggle a lot of activities when doing their job. In this segment we talk about the 3 skills that great Product Owners have: 1) they are able to prioritize quickly; 2) they are able to speak different languages (business and tech); 3) they are able to negotiate when stakes are high. Does your PO exhibit these skills? Listen it to learn about how Valeria helps the PO’s she works with.

The Bad Product Owner: The Absent PO

When the Product Owner is not available to the team it is impossible for the collaboration to emerge. But that’s only one aspect that is hindered by the PO’s absence. In this segment, we explore how Valeria is able to talk to, and collaborate with PO’s that are absent, and get them closer to a collaborative relationship with the team. 

 

[IMAGE 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 Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: "I build teams!" And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)"

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Jan 03, 2020
Speed up the learning cycle with this Agile Retrospective | Valeria Greco
14:01

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 talking about success, we learn that Valeria focuses on evaluating the level of collaboration between team members. Listen in to learn about what collaboration “signs” Valeria looks for, and to learn more about what kind and why conflict might be a good thing in a Scrum team.

Featured Retrospective format for the Week: Playing Jenga, the wooden blocks game

In this segment, we discover how Valeria used a concrete game to help the team practice retrospectives in a short period of time. Through the game, Valeria was able to help the team practice “observation”, and speed up the learning cycle greatly. 

You can learn more about the Jenga game from wikipedia and from this YouTube video.

 

About Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: "I build teams!" And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)"

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Jan 02, 2020
Key questions in a change process for a Scrum team | Valeria Greco
12:42

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

 

Happy New Year Scrummies! :) Today marks the first day of 2020, and we have a great episode for you. 

 

In this episode, Valeria shares a story of a company that wanted to go towards Continuous Delivery and Delivery on Demand. The main challenge was to help the developers and the teams understand what the difference in mindset. For that Valeria took up a few questions she would repeatedly ask the team such as: “can we release this right after you finish it”?

What questions do you have for your team when helping them through a change? 

Listen in to learn what other questions and techniques Valeria used in that process.

If you are interested in Continuous Delivery and the changes associated, don’t miss our Continuous Delivery special series [LINK].

 

About Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: "I build teams!" And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)"

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Jan 01, 2020
The “Senior Team Member” anti-pattern in Scrum teams | Valeria Greco
10:43

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

Teams benefit from team members with a lot of experience. However, when those team members become the “only voice” in the team, that may lead to serious problems. In this episode, we explore the Senior Team Member anti-pattern, whereby one team member “overpowers” everyone else in the team, and the other team members are hesitant to share their perspectives. What should a Scrum Master do in this situation? Listen in to learn more, and get Valeria’s tips.

Featured Book for the Week: Coaching agile teams by Lyssa Adkins

In Coaching agile teams by Lyssa Adkins, Valeria found an inspiring book that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. In the book she finds a valuable reminder of the things she still has to practice and learn to be better at. 

 

About Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: "I build teams!" And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)"

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Dec 31, 2019
The critical step some Scrum Masters skip, and get into problems for | Valeria Greco
11:24

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, we may be tempted to go straight to problem solving when we join a team. As “quick” as that may sound, what Valeria learned in this story was that it makes our Scrum Master work harder, not easier. There’s a critical step we must go through before the team is ready, and willing to work with us. Listen to learn what that step is. 

About Valeria Greco

Valeria has worked as a Scrum Master for 4 years. She has experience with both Software development and non-software development Agile teams. When asked what she does for a living, Valeria replies: "I build teams!" And she does it by focusing on building relationships first. As Valeria says: “all my teams will tell you that I like talking about the feelings :-)"

You can link with Valeria Greco on LinkedIn and connect with Valeria Greco on Twitter.

Dec 30, 2019
BONUS: Leena SN interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 7
33:19

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 Leena SN

Leena is the Co-founder/CTO @ Good Karma, Bangalore, India. She is a strong believer of lean principles for delivering software and an evangelist and practitioner of Continuous delivery. CD is there to ensure that the software can be reliably released at any time helping the business to get faster feedback from the market.

You can link with Leena SN on LinkedIn and connect with Leena SN on Twitter

Read more about Continuous Delivery from Leena SN at Medium.

Dec 29, 2019
BONUS: Wouter Lagerweij interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 6
32:39

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 Wouter Lagerweij 

Wouter Lagerweij is an Agile Coach who likes to cover the whole spectrum: from the technical practices of Dev and Ops to business and product. He works with organizations to help them do continuous delivery, and provides training and workshops on agile development practices, and dealing with legacy systems.

You can link with Wouter Lagerweij on LinkedIn and connect with Wouter Lagerweij on Twitter

Dec 28, 2019
BONUS: Chris O’Dell interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 5
26:14

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

 

About Chris O’Dell

Chris works at Monzo helping to build the future of banking. She has spent nearly fourteen years as a backend engineer, primarily with Microsoft technologies, but recently with Go on Monzo’s large microservices platform. She has led teams delivering highly available Web APIs, distributed systems and cloud based services. She has also led teams developing internal build and deployment tooling with the goal of improving the developer’s experience. Chris promotes practices such as Continuous Delivery, including TDD, version control, and Continuous Integration.

You can link with Chris O’Dell on LinkedIn and connect with Chris O’Dell on Twitter.

Dec 27, 2019
BONUS: Manuel Pais interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 4
40:24

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 Manuel Pais

Manuel is the co-author of Team Topologies book, and also Co-founder DevOps Lisbon meetup. He works as an independent consultant on organisational design, DevOps, Continuous Delivery.

You can link with Manuel Pais on LinkedIn and connect with Manuel Pais on Twitter.

Or visit Manuel Pais’ site.

Dec 26, 2019
BONUS: Morten Herman interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 3
33:21

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 Morten Herman

Morten is a software professional that have been working with Software Product- and Software As A Service development for the last 15 years.

He started his career as a developer with a SCRUM master role and later became a software architect. In 2011 he changed to the team lead role and people manager at eBay in Denmark for four and a half years. In 2012, he heard about Continuous Delivery and DevOps for the first time. And since 2015 he started as an independent consultant, working with clients in relation to implementing various aspects of continuous delivery, devops and microservices in their organisations.

You can link with Morten Herman on LinkedIn.

Dec 25, 2019
BONUS: Thierry de Pauw interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 2
35:17

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 Thierry de Pauw

Thierry is a CI/CD advocate, lean software engineer and occasional speaker.

Currently, he is Engineering Lead at the fintech startup PaxFamilia.

Thierry also founded ThinkingLabs, a consultancy around Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. In 2019 Thierry organised the CITCON - Continuous Integration and Testing unconference in Ghent, Belgium.  

Visit Thierry’s website at Thinking Labs.

You can link with Thierry de Pauw on LinkedIn and connect with Thierry de Pauw on Twitter.

Dec 24, 2019
BONUS: Dave Farley interview - Continuous Delivery for Scrum teams, Part 1
38:37

We talk about testing strategy; business benefits of Continuous Delivery; main challenges when adopting Continuous Delivery and resources to help you and your team get started.

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 Dave Farley

Dave Farley is an independent software developer and consultant, and founder and director of Continuous Delivery Ltd.

Dave Farley is a thought-leader in the field of Continuous Delivery, DevOps and Software Development in general. 
He is co-author of the Jolt-award winning book 'Continuous Delivery' a regular conference speaker and blogger and one of the authors of the Reactive Manifesto.

Dave has been having fun with computers for over 30 years. He started working in large scale distributed systems more than 25 years ago, doing research into the development of loose-coupled, message-based systems - a forerunner of MicroService architectures.

You can link with Dave Farley on LinkedIn, or visit Dave Farley’s website.

Dec 23, 2019
The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner | Reinald Kirchener
16:07

Many User Stories end up being written from the “solution” perspective. Reinald found that Product Owners that are willing to define stories from the perspective of the problem to solve are better able to communicate their ideas to the team. But there are other benefits from taking this approach. Listen in to learn about the other benefits of having your Product Owner firmly anchored in the Problem domain as opposed to the solution domain.

The Bad Product Owner: The “I’m better than my developers” Product Owner

When Product Owners have a background in development it is natural that they may concentrate on the details, but the problems really start when the PO starts telling programmers how to write code, and steering development decisions. Listen in to learn how to deal with such 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 Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 20, 2019
Walking in pairs, an activity for Agile Retrospectives | Reinald Kirchener
14:19

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, Reinald suggests, should be on creating outcomes/impact, not output/more stuff. He looks into the role of the work with management for the ultimate success of the Scrum Master work. But that’s not where it stops. We talk about inspiration, reviewing our relationships at work, and practical tips on how to keep notes on our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective format for the Week: Walking in Pairs, outside

An often overlooked aspect of the retrospectives is the atmosphere, and physical space has a direct impact on how team members feel when reflecting on their work. In this episode, Reinald talks about the “walking in pairs” retrospective. A format that requires the whole team to get up and walk outside. Given that walking will activate your body, and your brain, you may actually get more insights from a walking, than a sitting retrospective. Listen in, and give it a try.

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 19, 2019
The surprise that came from a group of Scrum Masters | Reinald Kirchener
10:17

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 story starts with an organization of about 300 software developers that wanted to “get agile”. The organization started by hiring Scrum Masters to help the teams, and the transition. So far, so good. So Reinald invited all the Scrum Masters in the organization to a kick-off for the Agile transition. What happened next was a surprise, and changed Reinald’s view of change management forever. Listen in to learn what was that surprise, and how you can avoid that problem in your own work. 

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 18, 2019
How a “team of specialists” can kill productivity | Reinald Kirchener
12:40

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 anti-pattern of the “team of specialists”. This team was formed by many freelancers and sub-contractors that were hired to do a specialist job and were not about to give that up. Listen in to learn what that caused and how Reinald handled the problem.

Featured Book of the Week: The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery

In The Responsibility Process by Chris Avery, Reinald found a good reason to change his personal attitude towards the things he didn’t like to do.

Reinald also mentions the Rene Brown’s talk about Vulnerability, a talk that helped him change his attitude as a freelance software developer, and stopping to try to be a superhero, a problem that many freelancers face in their desire to help their clients.

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 17, 2019
How Scrum Masters can solve team conflicts (or not ;) | Reinald Kirchener
13:03

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

After discovering Extreme Programming, Reinald decided that Agile was the way to go and started looking for education and a job as a Scrum Master. He started working as a group lead with a team that “wanted to go in the Scrum direction” instead though, and the surprises just kept coming. There was a hard conflict to solve in that team. Listen in to learn what Reinald learned about conflict management and resolution in software development teams.

 

About Reinald Kirchener

Reinald is active in the IT industry for more than 20 years. With agile methods and systemic project management he found his role as coach to inspire individuals and teams to learn, have fun and get better at what they want to do.

You can link with Reinald Kirchener on XING and connect with Reinald Kirchener on Twitter.

Dec 16, 2019
The key tools/documents PO’s need to master | Dmytro Balaba
10:44

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

From tools to the habits that Product Owners need to drop, in this episode, we explore practices and an anti-pattern that can derail the relationship between PO and team.

The Great Product Owner: The key tools/documents PO’s need to master

When Product Owners are able to convey a message clearly, it is natural that the work with the team improves. However, there are certain tools that help that message stick and be followed by the team. In this segment, we explore 3 tools and 1 practice that can greatly help Product Owners convey their expected results, and be sure that the team understands what that means in practice.

In this segment we refer to User Story Mapping, User Story slicing, Personas and Acceptance Test Driven Development.

 

The Bad Product Owner: The former team member who knew too much

When a former team member, a developer, takes on the role of Product Owner, there are many possible anti-patterns to look out for. In this episode, we explore the case of the PO who knew too much, and decided to tell the team not only what to do, but also how to do it. Inevitably, problems followed. Listen in to learn how Dmytro helped that 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 Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 13, 2019
3 different perspectives on Scrum Master success | Dmytro Balaba
09:44

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

When considering success for our work as Scrum Masters, Dmytro suggests we should take 3 different perspectives into account. These perspectives help us get feedback, and also consider the stakeholders we need to work with. Listen in to learn about the 3 key perspectives that Dmytro uses in his own success self-assessment.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: The Easier the Better

In this segment dedicated to Agile Retrospectives we explore why Scrum Masters may want to have multiple formats they are ready to execute on depending on the goals for the retrospective. We also talk about lowering the barrier for retrospective execution with formats that are easy to setup and run.

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 12, 2019
A SAFe adoption case study for Scrum Masters | Dmytro Balaba
10:03

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 story starts when Dmytro faces the requirement to adopt SAFe. How to help teams learn about SAFe (is training sufficient?) and start working differently. The organizational legacy and inertia become obstacles, but the team of Scrum Masters at this organization was able to help the teams learn how to adopt SAFe. Listen in to learn how.

In this episode, we also refer to Lean Change Management by Jason Little, and 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change: Micro Shifts, Macro Results by Esther Derby.

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 11, 2019
How to handle a low performer in your Scrum team | Dmytro Balaba
12:26

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

What happens when a team member who joined as a “gift” from management fails to keep the standard expects from each of the team members? If you add to this, the fact that some team members become vocal about the problem, but others don’t even want to touch the subject, you have all the ingredients you need for massive conflict. What can a Scrum Master do? Listen in to learn how Dmytro, the Scrum Master helped the team get out of this negative spiral. 

Featured Book for the Week: Accelerate, by Nicole Forsgren et al.

Dmytro’s recommendation is the book by Gene Kim, Jez humble and Nicole Forsgren, Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations.

In Accelerate, Dmytro found many inspirational stories and anecdotes that helps him improve the organization and the teams he works with.

Dmytro also recommends Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Sutherland. In this book he highlights the many real-life examples.

Additionally, Dmytro refers to The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, a book he describes as filled with technical practices that teams can apply.

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 10, 2019
Working with Scrum teams that have lost hope, and help them get better | Dmytro Balaba
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

Sometimes we need to work with teams that have lost hope. The team might be cynical about future improvements and look at Agile or Scrum skeptically. This was what Dmytro had to face in his team. In this episode, we talk about how to work with a skeptical team, and get them engaged in improving their work. This is a critical lesson for all Scrum Masters, don’t miss it!

 

About Dmytro Balaba

Dmytro calls himself one of the most dedicated Scrum Masters/Agile Coach in the world :) On his right-hand he has a tatoo with golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence. After almost 15 years of work in IT management Dmytro found himself balanced and happy. He’s been a full-time Scrum Master for more than 3 years.

You can link with Dmytro Balaba on LinkedIn and connect with Dmytro Balaba on Twitter.

Dec 09, 2019
The Product Owner that shamed the Scrum team | Andy Grosman
12:55

There are few anti-patterns as problematic as the PO that shames the team. Here’s what Andy has learned about that, and also an example of a PO that was able to communicate the Vision clearly and was then available for the team.

The Great Product Owner: Communicate the Vision, and be available

A Product Owner that is able to communicate their Vision, and is then available for the Scrum team when they have questions might be one of the best Product Owners out there. In this segment, we talk about how those simple behaviors can help a Scrum team succeed.

The Bad Product Owner: the PO that shamed the Scrum team

When it comes to anti-patterns, there are few that could have such devastating effect as this one. A Product Owner that does not communicate clearly, and then shames the team for not delivering what was not communicated. What is a Scrum Master to do in these cases? Listen in as we explore this anti-pattern with Andy.

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 Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

 

Dec 06, 2019
A Christmas Agile Retrospective format to inspire your Scrum Team! | Andy Grosman
12:05

Are you passionate? What is preventing you from finding that motivation and intensity in your work. This is one of the questions that Andy asks us to consider when reviewing our work, and assessing our contribute to the Scrum team. 

In this segment, we also talk about the importance of learning how to get things moving, even when we lack the authority.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Christmas Carol retrospective

Sometimes, referring to a familiar experience can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate ideas they would otherwise ignore. In this Agile Retrospective format, Andy shares how a familiar story (A Christmas Carol) can help teams find improvement opportunities and generate improvement ideas 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 05, 2019
4-steps to help Scrum teams change | Andy Grosman
08:47

Even when Scrum Masters need to work with teams through a change process, they can be impeded by the organizational structures. In this episode, we talk about the Scrum Master who was part of a separate department, but needed to help the team go through a difficult change. The key? 4 steps that Andy shares with us and get us started. 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 04, 2019
Having tough conversations with Scrum team stakeholders | Andy Grosman
11:22

When things go wrong, it is critical to help the team prepare how the discuss and recover from bad news. The worst that can happen is when teams (and Scrum Masters) just drop “the bomb” of bad news and put the responsibility on others. In this episode, we talk about how to prepare those tough conversations.

Featured Book of the Week: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Andy found a new perspective on self-development and team development. 

In this segment, we also mention Perfect Time-Based Productivity: How to rescue your peace of mind as time demands increase by Francis Wade, a book that allowed Andy to design his own time-management system, a must-have tool for all Scrum Masters. 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 03, 2019
What to do in Waterfall companies when teams start to adopt Scrum and Agile | Andy Grosman
10:34

Sometimes, in our role as Scrum Master we find teams that are not able to adopt Agile right away. The worst that could happen would be for us to send those teams to “Agile detention”. In this episode, we explore what Scrum Masters can do when their teams are just starting their Agile adoption journey, in organizations where Agile is not yet the standard approach to work. 

 

About Andy Grosman

Andy has spent the past decade in various industries from Fortune 500 to small and mid-sized companies including Healthcare, Finance, Training and has a background in sales/marketing. He currently leads a team of Scrum Masters in the digital space as well as coaches teams. He has spoken at regional conferences and Agile Meetups on team-building for Distributed teams, how to blend Agile and personal productivity strategies, and how to influence without Authority. He used to live by the Waterfall but got bit by the Agile bug and now is spreading the Agile Mindset wherever he goes.

You can link with Andy Grosman on LinkedIn and connect with Andy Grosman on Twitter.

Dec 02, 2019
The Product Owner that didn’t collaborate with the Scrum team | Eddy Bruin
18:01

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

From the user-centric PO to the over-planner PO that failed to collaborate with the team, this episode covers plenty of aspects to keep an eye on when collaborating with your Product Owner.

The Great Product Owner: The user-centric Product Owner

Great Product Owners have a clear Vision for the product. But there’s a lot more to a great PO than the Vision. In this segment, we talk about the PO who was able to learn from quick releases, and validate their own assumptions about what value might mean for the end customer. Including, finding opportunities to help customers who were looking for a competitor product! 

The Bad Product Owner: The non-collaborating Product Owner

Usually, a Product Owner that has a clear set of items they want the team to work on would be on the “great product owner” category. But not in this case. Listen in to learn how a PO was good at planning but then failed at the most important thing: team collaboration.

In this segment, we talk about the User Story Mapping workshop facilitator guide by Vasco Duarte. Check it out if you want to know how to prepare, and host a great User Story mapping workshop.

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 Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 29, 2019
StoryCubes as a tool for Agile Retrospectives | Eddy Bruin
11:09

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

Are people asking you for help? This is the question we start Eddy’s definition of success for Scrum Masters. But the conversation does not stop there. We also discuss the role of coaching agreements with the teams, and some of the anti-patterns Eddy witnessed in Agile teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Storytelling with Story Cubes

In this segment, we discuss what might be some of the factors affecting the effectiveness of your Agile Retrospectives. We also discuss how we can use Story Cubes (video example) as a facilitation technique in some of the steps of the standard Agile Retrospective format.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 28, 2019
Simple serious games that can transform your Agile team in one single session | Eddy Bruin
09:53

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

Retrospectives are a ceremony where we usually facilitate some prepared games or sessions to help the team gel. But is that the only place where we can use these games, and facilitated sessions? In this episode, we talk about Happy Salmon, a game that helped change a team in one session. They way people interacted, and related to each other was totally transformed. It may sound like a simple change, but this “serious game” can transform your team. 

Listen in to learn about other serious games that Eddy uses when helping teams change. We also refer to the 2 truths and 1 lie game.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

 

Nov 27, 2019
From “group” to Agile Team, a Scrum Master coaching roadmap | Eddy Bruin
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

This team had all the ceremonies in place. They were “doing” Scrum by all accounts. But they weren’t even a team. We explore the “group, not team” anti-pattern with Eddy, and discuss what might be some of the techniques and approaches Scrum Masters can use to help these teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

In Drive by Daniel Pink, Eddy found a new approach to the eternal question of motivation. He found a new paradigm to help him understand the role of managers and management in organizations.

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 26, 2019
A critical lesson for Agile adoption and change management | Eddy Bruin
10:23

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 Eddy started his Agile journey he was working as a tester. When he understood the power of the Agile approach, he immediately started telling others about it, and ended up training many of his colleagues in a transition. And through his failure to help the people and teams change, he understood a critical lesson about the role of Scrum Master and change agent. In this episode, we explore that critical lesson, and how Scrum Masters can help their teams change and evolve. 

About Eddy Bruin

For many years, Eddy has been using serious games and learning metaphors to help teams and organizations move forward. He is an Agile and Test Coach with the mission to help teams deliver software people actually want to use while also enjoying their work. He helps teams to enable feedback loops continuously and likes to discuss all agile and test topics over a special beer. He loves to go to (un)conferences on serious games (for example Play14, Play4Agile), and also on Agile and Testing.

You can link with Eddy Bruin on LinkedIn and connect with Eddy Bruin on Twitter.

Nov 25, 2019
The Feature Owner anti-pattern in the Scrum Product Owner role | Jim Sammons
18:54

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

Confidence is one of the symptoms you are in the presence of a good Product Owner, when you add to that the ability to articulate the reasons for the decisions made as well as using data and analysis to support decisions, we know we have a great PO working with us. 

We also talk about the consequences from creating an implicit or explicit competition between Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: The confident and articulate Product Owner

A great Product Owner will have a clear Vision of their product, but that’s not the only characteristic they exhibit. They can also clearly defend their Vision, using data, and analysis they’ve made. They intimately understand their product, business and customers. As they move away from “guessing” as a practice, they are not afraid to have difficult conversations about the product. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Feature Owner anti-pattern

Let’s imagine that your company creates an internal competition among teams and Product Owners. What will happen then? 

We discuss the consequences on the PO role that Jim has witnessed. 

In this segment, we refer to the work by Daniel Vacanti

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 Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 22, 2019
The Baseball Agile Retrospective and one important success question for Scrum Masters | Jim Sammons
13:21

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

“Am I making other people better?” is the question that Jim starts his own success retrospective with. We then dive into the “do no harm” rule that Jim applies to his own work, and how to use Retrospectives in our work and reach a successful outcome.

We talk about the standards that we must ourselves to, as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The Baseball Retro

Although there are many possible games and exercises for Agile Retrospectives, in this Agile Retrospective format - The Baseball Retro -, the focus is on creating an analogy of the Sprint to a baseball game. And how we can use this analogy thinking to find opportunities for improvement. 

Listen in to learn how Jim prepares and hosts that retrospective. 

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 21, 2019
Communities of practice for Scrum Masters as a change practice | Jim Sammons
12:18

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 working with change, one of the tools we use most often use is the “community of practice” pattern, where people get together and talk about the challenges they are facing, and discuss possible solutions. For Scrum Masters, this is especially important as we are - Jim reminds us - also leaders in our organisations and must set the example that others can follow. What are you doing to be an example of the change you are supposed to help implement?

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 20, 2019
The anti-pattern the buries the Scrum teams in a mountain of technical debt | Jim Sammons
13:53

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

As this story starts, the team is buried under technical debt. Why they got there is the topic of this episode’s story. We talk about finding the signs that the team is starting to drown in tech debt, as the recognition of that pattern is the first step to avoid major damage to the team, and the product.

In this segment, we refer to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Featured Book of the Week: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Jim found a reminder of some practices that are useful for Scrum Masters. The highlight is the process of “decluttering”, removing the mess we often have to deal with in our teams, our backlogs or in relationships between team members. Jim challenges us to find those “cluttered” areas in our work and ask the team: “do you feel overwhelmed?"

In this segment, we also refer to Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 19, 2019
Dealing with Scrum team destructive behaviours, what not to do! | Jim Sammons
11:44

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

As we start our journey as Scrum Masters, we are bound to find situations and team dynamics to deal with that we were either not familiar or not responsible for handling before. 

Everyone will face one of those situations. In this episode, we talk about one such situation in Jim’s career. There was a pattern of behaviour happening that was destructive to the team, but Jim was unsure how to deal with it. Listen in to learn what he learned from that story, that you can also apply in your team when facing a similar situation.

About Jim Sammons

Jim is currently a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and works with an amazing team at Insight as an Agile Coach and trainer for their clients around the world. His time as a Scrum Master was awesome and fueled his passion for agility at all levels.

You can link with Jim Sammons on LinkedIn and connect with Jim Sammons on Twitter.

Nov 18, 2019
The weak or lost Scrum Product Owner and their impact on the team | Martin Lambert
13:05

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

From a weak or lost Product Owner to one that cared deeply about the product, we explore some of the critical contrasts between good and not so good PO’s, as well as how Scrum Masters can help them improve.

The Great Product Owner: The Product Owner that cared about the product

When it happens, this Product Owner pattern can really help the team succeed. In this segment we talk about the Product Owner that cared deeply about the product. Made the Vision clear to the team and even if she did not know how to write User Stories (she got help from the Scrum Master), or about “limiting the work planned for the Sprint”, she was ready to learn. We also discuss how Scrum Masters can be really powerful allies for their Product Owners.

The Bad Product Owner: The weak or lost Product Owner

Although Martin has seen several Product Owner anti-patterns (the seagull PO, the absentee PO), the one he wants to highlight is the “weak or lost PO”. This anti-pattern is about the PO being only a mouthpiece for someone else, having little insight into what he asks from the team, and letting the team often without answers to their questions.

In this segment, we also talk about how Scrum Masters can help these Product Owners overcome their anti-pattern.

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 Martin Lambert

Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what".

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Nov 15, 2019
The Empathy Retro: An Agile Retrospective how-to | Martin Lambert
12:14

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

When it comes to success as a Scrum Master, Martin asks us to consider the “little things”. For example: “how does your team react to adverse situations?” This and other questions help Martin assess his work as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the other questions that Martin asks himself to assess his own success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Empathy Retrospective

In this retrospective format, Martin focuses on helping team members understand their colleagues’ perspectives. We discuss how to “warm-up” the team to this format, as well as how to execute the format. Learn also why this format is important, and what you can expect from it.

About Martin Lambert

Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what".

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Nov 14, 2019
Agile change: are you trying to change too much in your organization? | Martin Lambert
12:32

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

Martin shares a story of an engagement which goal was to help a department adopt Agile. We review his first steps in that change, what he observed when the engagement started. We then discuss some of the tools he helped implement in that organization and how that was done. 

In this episode, we refer to the Goal Roadmap by Roman Pichler, and one of the most critical skills for Scrum Masters working with change: to be able to distinguish what can be changed, influenced, and what cannot be changed. Are you trying to change too much? 

About Martin Lambert

Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what".

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Nov 13, 2019
Swarming a whole-team approach to getting work done for Scrum teams | Martin Lambert
12:06

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

What happens when team members see themselves as specialists? We discuss some of the common anti-patterns of the specialized team member perspective and talk about the benefits of swarming, an approach where the whole team feels responsible for the deliverables they have to complete, instead of standing by and letting the specialists work alone.

Featured Book of the Week:

Martin wants to share some of the insights that he got from a book he read. The book allowed him to feel free from previous fears, and find space to express his curiosity. This lead to Martin finding a newly rekindled thirst for knowledge. The book? You may want to ask Martin directly on LinkedIn, his LinkedIn page is linked below, in his bio! :) 

About Martin Lambert

Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what".

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Nov 12, 2019
The common anti-patterns new Scrum Masters take, but should avoid | Martin Lambert
14:03

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 we take the role of the Scrum Master, many of us are jumping into a new experience. Something we’ve never done before. Whether you have a background in technology or project management, Scrum Master is likely to be a very different role. 

In this episode, we discover through Martin’s story what are the most common anti-patterns that we take up as new Scrum Masters. Have you been too committed to the previous ways of working? Have you tried to teach, when the right stance to take was to listen and ask questions? Don’t despair, we’ve all been there and Martin shares his personal story, as well as what he learned from that about the core of the Scrum Master role. 

About Martin Lambert

Martin's an agile coach, trainer and scrum master. He’s a Northener making a living in the south of England, and finds great energy and sense of purpose from the agile movement during the second act of his career. Loves the hills and being out on a road bike. And to all the European listeners, he says: "sorry for you know what".

You can link with Martin Lambert on LinkedIn.

Nov 11, 2019
The Secret Backlog, Product Owner Scrum anti-pattern | Dirk Fabricius
17:32

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

In this Product Owner episode, we talk about the importance of nurturing the collaboration between Product Owner and team, and we uncover The Secret Backlog, a Product Owner anti-pattern.

The Great Product Owner: Accepting team input

Having worked as a Product Owner for 2 years, Dirk has learned the hard way how difficult that role is. So, when he took the Scrum Master Role in a pilot project he wanted to help the PO. Worked to prepare the team environment, getting managers out of the daily meetings to give teams the freedom they needed. Once the team was ready, he worked with the PO to support him. He describes what behaviors made this PO a great PO, including how he treated the team members, interacted with stakeholders, and how the PO was able to accept and process team input.

The Bad Product Owner: The Secret Backlog

There are many things that can go wrong with the product owner. In this episode, we learn about a PO that wanted to micromanage the team, had a second (secret) backlog, and was not able to accept and process feedback from the team or others. We also discuss what Scrum Masters can do to detect early signals of problems and to keep themselves in check. Avoiding to escalate the situation even further.


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 Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

 

Nov 08, 2019
How do we measure the Scrum Master role? | Dirk Fabricius
16:45

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

A question Dirk has heard often (and you might have too!) is: how should we measure the Scrum Master role? That led him to think about possible metrics to present to stakeholders. In this episode, we discuss possible Scrum Master metrics as well as the "self-check" questions you can ask yourself when evaluating your own success and evolution as a Scrum Master.

Features Retrospective Format for the Week: Customizing your Retrospectives

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

At some point, the formats you are used to may not be enough, and you need to find another format for the issues at hand. In those situations, Scrum Masters must be comfortable with customizing the retrospective format for their team. In this segment, we discuss tools and approaches you can take to customize your next retrospective to the team's specific needs.

A useful tool, which has been referred to before on the podcast is Retromat.org. However, there are some caveats when using that tool. Listen in to learn about possible drawbacks and how to overcome those.

About Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

Nov 07, 2019
The Scrum Master Journal, a tool to survive large scale Agile adoption (and 9 other tools) | Dirk Fabricius
11:59

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, Dirk shares with us his experience with the Scrum Master Journal, a tool that helps him reflect and survive large scale adoption.

Dirk also has 9 other tools to share with us that will help your Scrum Master journey.

About Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

 

Nov 06, 2019
Helping Scrum teams survive micromanagement | Dirk Fabricius
12:09

Sooner or later, Scrum Masters will face the micro-management anti-pattern. What should Scrum Masters do in that case? In this episode, we talk about the anti-patterns that can emerge in a team that is subject to micro-management and some of the tools that Scrum Masters can use in those situations. 

We discuss the Game of Trust and the Niko Niko Calendar. 

Featured book for the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

Geoff Watts has been a past guest of the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast, and is also the author of Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership. In that book, Dirk found out about servant leadership and how that could change his approach to the Scrum Master role. 

In this segment, we also mention Scrum for the people by Tobias Mayer and Product Mastery by Geoff Watts.

About Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

Nov 05, 2019
How to navigate Agile adoption in large organizations | Dirk Fabricius
18:25

What can a Scrum Master do when they are part of Agile adoption in a large organization? In this episode, we explore some of the common problems you should be ready for. Dirk shares with us what he learned and how Scrum Masters can prepare for the predictable problems they will face. 

In this episode, we refer to the technique “Battle Mapping (PDF at Scribd)” that can help Scrum Masters understand where to put their focus during a transformation.

About Dirk Fabricius

Dirk has worked in jobs with IT focus for 20 years. He has had the roles of Project Lead, Developer (Backend), Product Owner and Scrum Master. He’s also been a Teacher in Public Schools for 7 years.

You can link with Dirk Fabricius on LinkedIn.

Nov 04, 2019
BONUS: Business Agility, what it is and how to achieve it | Evan Leybourn
27:57

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

What is Business Agility? In a time where it seems that every company wants to adopt Agile, there’s also the dark side of Agile: the belief that it only affects “people in the IT department”. That could not be further from the truth. 

In this episode, we have Evan Leybourn sharing what Business Agility is about, and why it matters for your organization. 

About Evan Leybourn

Evan is the Founder and CEO of the Business Agility Institute; an international membership body to both champion and support the next-generation of organisations. Companies that are agile, innovative and dynamic - perfectly designed to thrive in today’s unpredictable markets. His experience while holding senior leadership and board positions in both private industry and government has driven his work in business agility and he regularly speaks on these topics at local and international industry conferences.

As well as leading the Business Agility Institute, Evan is also the author of Directing the Agile Organisation (2012) and #noprojects; a culture of continuous value (2018).

You can link with Evan Leybourn on LinkedIn and connect with Evan Leybourn on Twitter.

Nov 02, 2019
Listening to the team: a key skill for the Scrum Product Owner role | Stanislava Potupchik
15:28

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

Stanislava has shown a keen focus on people, and their interactions this week, and to finish off the week we talk about how to apply that focus in the Product Owner role. First as a learning process, and helping a team member gain trust in their abilities. Later we talk about the great Product Owner, one that was ready to listen to the team, and answer their questions.

The Great Product Owner: Listening to the team

As an example of a great Product Owner, Stanislava mentions the ability to listen. To pay attention to what the team needs, and to be available to answer questions when they arise in the team. 

We also talk about how important it is for teams to ask questions, and how Scrum Masters can coach teams to learn how to ask questions from the Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: Learning to be a Product Owner from scratch

Sometimes the “bad” Product Owner, is a temporary situation for a team member that wants to take on a new role. In this segment, we talk about how we can help shy, and inexperienced team members learn a new role. 

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 Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter

Nov 01, 2019
In Scrum we produce value through the actions of people | Stanislava Potupchik
10:47

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 it comes to the success of a Scrum Master, Stanislava likes to focus on the conflicts that emerge in the team, and ask if they have been solved, and if people are collaborating again. 

I the end the value we produce is fully dependent on what people contribute, in Scrum, we only produce value through people!

Featured Retrospective of the Week: The simple matrix

Stanislava likes to refer back to the previous action points from the previous retrospectives and examine what has changed. She asks, for all items listed: “has it changed in the previous 2 weeks?” This way she focuses the conversations on the core outcome of the retrospective: the changes we want to implement to improve our work. 

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter

Oct 31, 2019
How to break the “agile bubbles” | Stanislava Potupchik
10:30

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 working on an “agile bubble”? Agile bubbles emerge in organizations, where one or more teams are allowed to use Agile, but all other teams are stuck in Waterfall. How do we help organizations that have these Agile Bubbles? 

In this episode, we talk about the Cynefin Framework and how visualization helps groups understand how they can change. 

In this episode, we also refer to Michael Sahota’s work. 

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter

Oct 30, 2019
How to work with team members that act defensively | Stanislava Potupchik
10:55

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

Sometimes team members have significantly different expectations of the Scrum process, or any other Agile process. Before we can help that team, we must detect when the team members are growing apart and understand what the expectations are for each one of them. 

In this episode, we talk about the book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni.

Featured Book for the Week: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute

In Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute, Stanislava found a source of inspiration on how to work with people that might be in a defensive mode. It’s a book that helped Stanislava understand better her team members and to communicate with people that are on the defensive

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter

Oct 29, 2019
Meeting the Scrum teams where they are, before they are ready to adopt Scrum | Stanislava Potupchik
17:00

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 helping teams adopt Scrum, it is important to start with the concrete situation the team is in. In this episode, we discuss how you can help the team decide on their own improvements as a starting point to adopt Scrum and Agile. 

In this episode, we refer to the Complexity Framework Cynefin, the Agile Manifesto, Clean Language and the week of episodes with Susanne Taylor, a previous guest on the podcast.

About Stanislava Potupchik

Stanislava is not only a serious games facilitator and a team coach, but she also spends a considerable amount of time rock-climbing and hiking, traveling with her partner and son, and drawing zentangles.

You can link with Stanislava Potupchik on LinkedIn and connect with Stanislava Potupchik on Twitter

Oct 28, 2019
The micro-manager Product Owner and how that affects the Scrum team | Susanne Taylor
12:38

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

It’s not only how the Product Owners act at work that matters when it comes to great Product Owner examples. In this episode, we discuss how the private life of a Product Owner affects the team, and how the Product Owner’s private life is also affected by their approach to the role.

The Great Product Owner: Product Owner role boundaries to help the PO and the team

When we think about the Product Owner role, we often get stuck in the responsibilities of the role. However, it is important to understand what are the work-ethics, and work-life boundaries that great Product Owners have. In this episode, we talk about the Product Owner role from a human, personal perspective, and learn how this Product Owner setup his life to be a great product owner. Listen in to learn the approach at work, and how he separated work from personal life. 

The Bad Product Owner: The email micro-manager Product Owner

Email management is one of the anti-patterns we often see. In this segment, we talk about the micro-managing email-driven Product Owner, and how that pattern of behavior created conflict and problems in the relationship with 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 Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Oct 25, 2019
The Scrum Master journey to success, reflect and adapt | Susanne Taylor
10:55

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

While it is tempting to define success as an end state for the work of the Scrum Master, it is important to recognize that the journey (how we get there) is also important. In this episode, we talk about a method to reflect on our work, and how that can help us navigate the challenges we will face as Scrum Masters. Take this episode, and reflect on your role, learn from what you have faced in the past, and keep the journey going.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Liberating structures, the 3 W’s

We’ve talked about Liberating Structures in a past episodes, in this segment we talk about the “What?, So What?, Now What?” technique. We also discuss how we can bring team members into the retrospective so that they are present and focused on the retrospective.

 

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Oct 24, 2019
Organization change techniques you can apply in your Scrum team | Susanne Taylor
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

This organization was proud of their achievements. However, their culture was not allowing them to collaborate, and move the organization to the next stage. That move was critical for them to survive a changing market. 

In this episode, we discuss a non-conventional way to approach organizational change, and how that helped this particular organization. Listen in, to learn about why that approach worked and how you can apply that approach in your Scrum team.

 

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Oct 23, 2019
The critical ingredient missing to move from micro-management to self-organization | Susanne Taylor
10:43

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

Working with a team of leaders, Susanne was facing a tough situation. The team was not able to collaborate. When investigating the situation, listening to the team members, and doing her own reflection, she realized what the problem was. In this episode, we talk about a critical need for teams to successfully self-organize, and how the move from micro-management to self-organization is a multistep journey.

 

Featured Book for the Week: Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz 

In Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz by Frank J. Barrett, Susanne learned to recognize the importance of having a clear framework for the team, but also letting the team members build on each other’s contribution. She learned that, once you have the right constraints in place, the team has an easier time being creative and clear in their decisions.

 

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Oct 22, 2019
The dangers and the losses from over-planning and how to overcome those | Susanne Taylor
13:14

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

When organizations bring people together in a team and then add a “planning” factor on top of them to “steer” them in the right direction, they might be losing the most powerful contribution of a team. 

In this episode, we discuss what Susanne learned from a situation where she overplanned things, and did not give the team enough freedom and space to bring in their skills and knowledge. A brilliant reminder that we, as Scrum Masters, must focus on the team, not the work! Let the team focus on the work, while you focus on the team.

 

About Susanne Taylor

Susanne is a transition coach, which translates to roles as: change management facilitator, organizational development consultant, scrum master, agile coach and community manager. (Often simultaneously.) Susanne has learned to be adaptable and resilient after having lived in Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and now Germany. She is passionate about accompanying people on journeys of transformation. (And she considers herself an introvert.)

You can link with Susanne Taylor on LinkedIn and connect with Susanne Taylor on Twitter.

Oct 21, 2019
The importance of action points as a Agile Retrospective outcome | Izis Filipaldi
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

Although Proxy Product Owners may be an anti-pattern, there are cases in which that ability to be a bridge and translate the customer requirements will help the team. 

We also talk about the case of the PO that needed to learn to speak the team’s language.

The Great Product Owner: The translator Product Owner Proxy

It’s easy to be tempted to hire a very experienced Product Owner. However, in some situations, what the team needs is a hard-working Product Owner with a good understanding of technology, to help translate user/customer requirements into small enough stories. In this segment, we talk about the newbie PO, that was technical-minded and was able to translate the customer requirements in a way that helped the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The business PO, who did not speak User Story-language

When a Product Owner joins a team, and has little knowledge of the product, the team may need to step in and help the Product Owner. However, that help can detract from the PO’s need and ability to learn the product. In this segment, we discuss such a case, and how Izis was able to help that Product Owner step up and take on more responsibility.



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 Izis Filipaldi

Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter

Oct 18, 2019
The importance of action points as a Agile Retrospective outcome | Izis Filipaldi
09:41

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, we aim to help teams progress in their ability to deliver value. However, it is important that we ask a few questions of the team behavior when reflecting on our own performance. We discuss some of the questions that Scrum Masters can ask to assess their own impact on the teams they serve.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Focusing on action points

Although Izis prefers to use the 3-question retrospective format, she tends to not follow that format strictly. In this segment, we also discuss the importance of having a strong focus on defining and following-up on the action points from retrospectives.

 

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter

Oct 17, 2019
Scaling the Scrum Master role | Izis Filipaldi
09:54

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

Scaling the use of Scrum in any organization is not easy. In this episode, we discuss Izis approach to that challenge from the Scrum Master perspective. Scrum Masters in larger organizations end up having to work with multiple teams. We explore an approach that may help Scrum Masters serve more teams, while amplifying their impact. 

 

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter

Oct 16, 2019
The new role of leaders in Agile teams | Izis Filipaldi
12:26

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 Agile teams, Leadership has a different role. In this episode, we talk about the traditional approach to leadership in teams. From the technical lead, to the line manager, and how those roles should change to enable Agile teams. 

Featured Book for the Week: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

In How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, Izis found a set of tools that help her in her daily work as a Scrum Master. The book was written in the 1930’s, on the back of the Great Depression, and shares some of the techniques that successful people used to achieve in their lives. Dale goes through many of those techniques and outlines simple approaches that can help Scrum Masters also achieve their goals and help their teams. 

 

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter

Oct 15, 2019
The signs that your Agile Transformation is about to fail | Izis Filipaldi
13:07

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

Some Agile transformations are doomed to failure. In this episode, we talk about the signs that indicate when Agile is not likely to be adopted in an organization.

We also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to work at different levels of the organization, not only at the team level.

 

About Izis Filipaldi

Izis' mission is to help people to improve their knowledge and professional value inside organizations, applying the agile way of working. She has been working as an Agile Coach for more than 7 years, helping people to deliver products, developing an environment free of judgments where they can fail fast and learn faster. Continuous improvement of: people knowledge, product delivery, and work environment, are her 3 main focus on work. And she loves what she does!

You can link with Izis Filipaldi on LinkedIn and connect with Izis Filipaldi on Twitter

Oct 14, 2019
BONUS: Does Agile play well in Leadership teams in organizations? - Diana Larsen and Jutta Eckstein
43:17

Diana and I were kicking around a few topics for this episode, and we ended up selecting “Agile and Leadership, friends or foes?” The idea is to talk about how Agile and Leadership play together (or not)

In this episode, we talk with Diana Larsen and Jutta Eckstein about what problems Leaders try to fix with Agile, what challenges they have when they try to adopt Agile, and we will do this with the focus on the Scrum Master role, and what they can do by working with the leaders of the organizations they work within.

Full show notes are available at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

About Diana Larsen and Jutta Eckstein

Diana Larsen co-founded and collaborates in leadership of Agile Fluency™ Project. Diana co-authored the books Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; Five Rules for Accelerated Learning; and the seminal “Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile” article.

You can link with Diana Larsen on LinkedIn and connect with Diana Larsen on Twitter

 

Jutta Eckstein works as an independent coach & consultant. 

As a developer, she started with XP in 97/98, started scaling agile in 2001 (and published about that in 2004), and am now Jutta focuses on company-wide agility.

You can link with Jutta Eckstein on LinkedIn and connect with Jutta Eckstein on Twitter

You can learn more at Jutta Eckstein’s website, and check out Jutta’s books on Amazon and LeanPub.

Jutta’s Agile Bossanova book is available here

Oct 12, 2019
The Inexperienced PO and what to do to help them | Nick Stewart
12:18

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

From an inexperienced PO to a PO with a clear Vision, in this episode, we explore two totally different types of Product Owners, and we learn from Nick what worked in those cases.

The Great Product Owner: The Clear Vision PO

This Product Owner behaved like a great PO from the start of the project. The PO had a clear vision for the end result and was able to filter all the requests and requirements. From the team’s perspective, the process felt seamless. 

If it was only like this for all teams we work with. Listen in to learn what made this PO so productive and his approach motivating for the team

The Bad Product Owner: The Inexperienced PO

At one point Nick was working with a new and inexperienced Product Owner. This did not make things easy, and the anti-patterns quickly started to surface. 

It was a coaching challenge for Nick. In this segment, we explore the techniques and approaches that Nick used to try and help this inexperienced PO.


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 Stewart

Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter

Oct 11, 2019
Focus on people to define and measure success as a Scrum Master | Nick Stewart
09:19

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

Nick shares the process a team went through to move from Scrum to Kanban. Their initial goal was not to move to Kanban, but through small steps and focusing on improving they found themselves using Kanban even without trying. 

Do you wish all change process would be this simple? Listen in to learn what steps Nick went through with the team.

 

About Nick Stewart

Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter

Oct 10, 2019
3 steps to help you improve your process | Nick Stewart
09:12
Oct 09, 2019
Why the Definition of Done is critical for Scrum teams wanting to be more predictable | Nick Stewart
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

This team that Nick was working with had trouble delivering on time. When Nick looked into it, he discovered that the team did not take into account all the work necessary to adhere to the Definition of Done. Once he found that, however, he had to work with the team to help them realize what was going on, and how they could become more predictable by simply taking into account what they had committed to: the Definition of Done criteria.

Featured Book of the Week: The Goal by Elyahu Goldratt

When reading The Goal by Goldratt, Nick had a lightbulb moment. In that book, the author describes the impact that one single aspect of work can have: throughput. 

The book describes how not paying attention to that aspect may destroy the ability to deliver value. 

In this episode, we also discuss The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim et al

 

About Nick Stewart

Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

You can link with Nick Stewart on LinkedIn and connect with Nick Stewart on Twitter

Oct 08, 2019
What to do about the Product Owner that was changing priorities mid-sprint? | Nick Stewart
12:21

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

Nick was working with a team that had just lost their Product Owner. The new Product Owner had a conflict of interest and was changing priorities mid-sprint. This is a common anti-pattern that many teams face. 

In this episode, we talk through Nick’s efforts to help the Product Owner understand the consequences of his behavior. It’s never an easy situation to be in, but we must be ready. 

About Nick Stewart

Nick has worked in the "Projects Space" for the last 5 years, initially working with business change, then in IT using Prince 2, Waterfall and ultimately found Agile organically through pain of delivering projects using the other methodologies. More recently he has taken on a Delivery Lead role which allows him to continue to learn whilst helping teams deliver continuous value.

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

Oct 07, 2019
The PO who as able to be the Voice of the Customer | Sebastian Reverso
15:35

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 discuss two very different Product Owner patterns. We talk about a PO that felt their role was to be the voice of the customer, and the PO who felt the team was merely a “service provider” and they were the “outsider” who would demand service.

 


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 Sebastian Reverso

Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017. 

Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer).

You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.

Oct 04, 2019
Liquid Organizations and how they help shape your Agile Retrospectives | Sebastian Reverso
11:16

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 a Scrum mom? When assessing our own success as Scrum Masters, we must look not only at how the team performs but also how we get there. How we contribute to that team’s success. 

In this episode, we talk about some of the questions you can ask to learn if you are transitioning from that initial Scrum Mom role to an approach that allows the team to grow and continue on their own when you are not available.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liquid organizations, and how to adapt

When we reflect on our success or actions, we often focus on the task, and its success (or not). However, the way people contribute to the team may often be ignored. For example, a team member that is focused on helping others succeed may feel they are “not contributing”. In this episode, we discuss a different approach to retrospectives. An approach inspired by the concept of Liquid Organizations by Stelio Verzera, and that focuses on recognizing the contribution of each team member to the common success. Team members evaluate their peers’ contribution, so that the person who was focused on helping, may feel they contribute, even if they don’t work on many stories.

 

About Sebastian Reverso

Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017. 

Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer).

You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.

Oct 03, 2019
Drawing people to change, instead of pushing change onto them | Sebastian Reverso
11:39

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 introducing change to an organization, the way we present ideas and involve people become key aspects to our success. In this episode, we talk about how introducing ideas in different ways may have radically different results. We identify some approaches that have worked well, and we talk about the concept of “baby steps”, or relentless movement towards a direction. Finally, we discuss how to involve the team members directly in that process. As Scrum Masters we don’t need to tell the team what to do, they know. If they understand why the change is necessary, they can come up with the right steps.

 

About Sebastian Reverso

Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017. 

Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer).

You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.

Oct 02, 2019
Help team members empathize with the Treasure Island AgileRetrospective | Sebastian Reverso
12:59

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 Sebastian started to work with multiple teams, he started to note some patterns of behavior that might cause problems. In this episode, we focus on the “professional jealousy” that some team members showed towards each other. We discuss how to detect it, and what the possible consequences of that behavior might be. Learn to detect it, and listen in to learn how Sebastian helped the team move forward.

In this episode, we refer to the Agile retrospective format: The Treasure Island, and to Solution Focused Coaching

Featured Book for the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular: Notas para una Revolución Ágile (Spanish Edition)

Por Un Scrum Popular by Mayer and Cyment is the Spanish edition of the popular: The People's Scrum by Tobias Mayer

Sebastian found especially informative the aspects of the day-to-day Scrum that the authors go through, and how they compare what work looks like when using Scrum and when not using Scrum. 

In this segment, we also refer to the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast episode with Claudia Toscano where the book “Por un Scrum Popular” is discussed in more depth.

 

About Sebastian Reverso

Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017. 

Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer).

You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.

Oct 01, 2019
What to do when the Scrum team is facing big quality problems | Sebastian Reverso
11:47

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 Sebastian took up the Scrum Master role, he did not expect to face the trial by fire he was about the experience. A few months into that new role, he was facing a situation where the application was blowing up everywhere. As the team pushed to release quickly, they didn’t account for all the technical problems or even some of the non-functional requirements they had to adhere to. As a developer-turned-Scrum Master, Sebastian had to learn the hard way how to help teams “divide and conquer” their work. We discuss how we can avoid similar problems in other teams, and some of the techniques Sebastian learned to help teams in that same situation.

In this episode, we refer to the Jassy’s episode where he also describes a transition from developer to Scrum Master.

 

About Sebastian Reverso

Sebastian is from Tucuman, Argentina. He has been working as a software developer since 2012 and as a Scrum Master since 2017. 

Among his favorite activities are mountain biking and football (soccer).

You can link with Sebastian Reverso on LinkedIn and connect with Sebastian Reverso on Twitter.

Sep 30, 2019
Agile Online Summit, an Agile conference you can attend from home | Tom Henricksen
20:04

In this BONUS episode, Tom Henricksen, the host of the Agile Online Summit presents this unique Agile conference that you can attend from home. 

The Agile Online Summit has been on since 2017, and is now in its third edition. From 500 participants in its first year, the AOS 19 will have 3000+ attendees from all over the world, and when you look at the list of speakers, it’s easy to understand why. AOS 19 will have, among others: 

  • Andrew Stellman will talk about the people aspects, and how those affect Agile adoption
  • Al Shallowly will explore the 3rd decade of Agile, and what it might bring
  • Rebecca Scott will share her ideas on how teams can improve their connection with other teams
  • Bob Gallen will speak about Product Ownership
  • Anantha Natarajan will share lessons from implementing agile in a non-IT organization
  • Richard Lawerence will share his experience and ideas about Behavior Driven Development

Date and place: October 7th to 11th

This session packed conference will take place online from October 7th to 11th. Beyond the recorded sessions that will be accessible in those dates, there will also be live sessions organized to help you ask direct questions from the participants as well as interact with your fellow conference attendees. 

For more details stay tuned to the Agile Online Summit website, where all the sessions are described, and where the information about upcoming live sessions will be added. 

A networking opportunity you can enjoy from home or at the office

As any IRL (in-real-life) conference, Agile Online Summit is a networking opportunity, which will help you get to know the speakers as well as other participants. There will be a slack channel available for all who sign-up at this link (NOTE: DISCOUNTED VIP TICKET for Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast fans). 

The Slack channel will be the preferred community hang-out area with channels for you to interact with participants from all over the world, but there will also be live sessions where you can ask questions directly from the speakers. Sign-up for the conference to know when those sessions take place (NOTE: Tickets are FREE for live attendance, purchase the VIP ticket for life-time access to the talks). 

About Tom Henricksen

Tom Henricksen is a technical professional and coach. After working for many years as a developer, Scrum Master, and manager he has made a lot of mistakes and wants to help others achieve their goals. Tom has a passion for sharing wisdom with other agilists.

Tom is the founder and host of the Agile Online Summit. 

You can link with Tom Henricksen on LinkedIn and connect with Tom Henricksen on Twitter

You can find Tom Henricksen’s website at MyITCareerCoach.com.

Sep 28, 2019
From micro-managing PO’s to confident, but enabling PO’s | Jaime Bartol
12:03

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

From a confident Product Owner, the team can get a feeling that they are working on the right things, and use that to ask the right questions from the PO. However, sometimes that PO confidence can morph into an autocratic, micro-managing approach. We discuss how to identify when that happens and what to out for when working with confident Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: Confident enough to be vulnerable

When a Product Owner understands well the product they are managing, it becomes easier for them to interact with the team. But that’s just the start. A great Product Owner is also able to say what they don’t know, and invite the team to bring their own knowledge and contribution to the process of defining what to work on. 

The Bad Product Owner: Second-guessing the team

Product Owners benefit from having technical knowledge of the product they manage. However, when they use that technical knowledge to second-guess the team, it’s easy for conflict to emerge. In this episode, we talk about how to work with PO’s that start by trying to micro-manage the team and second-guess their decisions. It’s not easy, but there are certain techniques we can use to help those PO’s

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 Jaime Bartol

Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy!

You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.

Sep 27, 2019
2 questions to ask when assessing your success as a Scrum Master | Jaime Bartol
09:39

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

It is usually a sign of progress and success when the team is able to execute the Scrum process without needing the presence of the Scrum Master. However, that’s only part of the success definition we discuss in this episode. We also talk about the need to focus on value and to have the team feel that they own the solution they are working on. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish retrospective

When we start experimenting with new retrospective formats, the Starfish retrospective is a good place to start. It allows for several “degrees” in the responses we get from team members, and can easily be adapted for different team contexts. The 5 categories, help consider different aspects from the more traditional: what went well? Not so well? What should we try?

 

About Jaime Bartol

Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy!

You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.

Sep 26, 2019
Introducing Scrum to a marketing team | Jaime Bartol
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

In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can introduce Scrum to non-software teams. Specifically, we share the story of a marketing team, and how Scrum was introduced. 

We discuss the differences between Scrum for Software and Scrum for non-software teams. We share tips on how to introduce Scrum to non-software teams. Finally, we review how Agile principles can help Scrum Masters find the right practices for non-software teams.

About Jaime Bartol

Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy!

You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.

Sep 25, 2019
Aspects that drive Scrum teams to quickly spiral into conflict | Jaime Bartol
12:37

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, Jaime introduces a project that started off on the wrong foot. The team was 15 people, including some new people. Quickly the team entered the “crunch mode” to try an meet an ambitious schedule. That’s where our story starts, but there’s a lot more to share. From the small impediments to the behaviors the team developed that ultimately led to bigger problems. This is a tale about a team that was doomed for failure until we step in. We discuss some of the steps you can take if you face a similar situation as a Scrum Master.

Featured Book for the Week: Agile Coaching 

In Agile Coaching by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, Jaime found important tips to help her learn the role of Agile Coach. The book is practical, and has chapters on how to introduce certain practices to the teams we work with. From tips that push us outside “the box” to the simple tips that help us define where to start before taking on more complex and ambitious practices in the team. The book is a complete guide for Scrum Masters that want to learn how coach their teams.

About Jaime Bartol

Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy!

You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.

Sep 24, 2019
Helping a Scrum team grow while avoiding silos | Jaime Bartol
12:53

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

Successful products start with small teams, but soon, and because of their success, the team grows. Growing teams present specific challenges to Scrum Masters. Incorporating the new team members is not easy, or quick. But there are a few things we can learn from and increase our chances of success. In this episode, we talk about Jaime’s story, as Scrum Master to a growing team, what happened, and what are the signs to look out for. 

About Jaime Bartol

Jaime has been a ScrumMaster/Agile Coach for 6 years with experience in large organizations as well as startup teams! She has worked with frontend and data engineering teams and even brought Agile to awesome marketing teams! Jaime's passion is about teams and using Agile/Scrum fundamentals to elevate efficiency, productivity, and joy!

You can link with Jaime Bartol on LinkedIn.

Sep 23, 2019
Behind great teams, there’s a hard-working Product Owner! | Rachel Martz
14:39

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 PO’s give their full attention to the team, great things happen. In this episode, we talk about the hard-working, committed PO but also explore what happens when the PO forgets one of their basic responsibilities: communicate Non-Functional Requirements.

The Great Product Owner: The hard-working, committed PO

In our Coach Your Product Owner course, we have a module that specifically tackles the most common PO anti-pattern: not being available. However, in this episode, we talk about the opposite. The tremendous impact that a PO can have when they are present and willing to work with the team. Add a bit of trust, and see the team excel, with the help of the PO!

The Bad Product Owner: Forgetting non-functional requirements

Even when the Product Owner might have a Vision or a “story” for the product, the fact is that the PO role is much more than knowing what the product is about. In this segment, we discuss how forgetting simple things (like non-functional requirements) can totally destroy the effectiveness of the PO role.


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 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 20, 2019
How to motivate people for change | Rachel Martz
10:00

When change processes get started, it is usually because of one or more individuals taking ownership and putting their own effort in that change process. Scrum Masters can start the process, but we quickly need to find our first “allies” or the “guiding coalition” for change. In this episode, we talk with Rachel about how we can help those individuals join the guiding coalition, and how to motivate them to help the change process progress.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Sprint Goal focused retrospective

Rachel has slowly moved away from pre-formatted retrospectives and found that fostering conversations around the Sprint Goals is the way she can help teams more effectively. In this segment, we talk about what that looks like for Rachel’s teams and share some insights on how that approach might also work for you.

Sep 19, 2019
The steps to adopt Lean Product Development | Rachel Martz
10:57

In this episode, we discover the approach that Rachel has found when she needs to help an organization adopt Lean Product Development. It’s not an easy process, but Rachel breaks it down for us. Through her experience, we learn a path that may help us when we help the organization we work with.

 

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 18, 2019
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”.

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 identi