Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

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

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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
Evidence-based Product Ownership | Bradley Pohl
13:51

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

The Product Owner pattern for the week

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

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

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

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

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

About Bradley Pohl

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

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

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

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

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

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

About Bradley Pohl

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

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

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

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

About Bradley Pohl

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

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

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

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

Featured Book of the Week: Drive by Daniel Pink

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

About Bradley Pohl

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

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

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

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

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

About Bradley Pohl

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

You can link with Bradley Pohl on LinkedIn.

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

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

The Product Owner pattern for the week

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

The Product Owner anti-pattern for the week

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

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

About Jeremy Willets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Jeremy Willets

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

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

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

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

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

About Jeremy Willets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Jeremy Willets

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

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

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

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

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

About Jeremy Willets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The biggest difference between co-located and distributed teams

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

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

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

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

The most important Scrum Master tasks when working with distributed teams

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

About Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby

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

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

See markkilby.com for his blog and articles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Elena Popretinskaya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Elena Popretinskaya

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

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

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

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

About Elena Popretinskaya

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Featured Book for the Week: Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman

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

About Elena Popretinskaya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Elena Popretinskaya

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

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

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

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

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

How to explain the need for Agile coaching and Scrum Masters

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

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

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

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

Resources and tools

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Catrine Björkegren

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Speedboat Retrospective

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

About Catrine Björkegren

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

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

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

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

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

About Catrine Björkegren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Catrine Björkegren

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

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

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

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

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

About Catrine Björkegren

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Maarit Laanti and Rami Sirkiä

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do we help teams focus on technical excellence?

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

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

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

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

Resources and tools

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

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

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

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

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

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

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

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

Apr 24, 2019
What can happen when the Product Owner and Team fail to collaborate | Kristopher Stice-Hall
11:02

The interaction between teams and Product Owner is one of the most critical in Scrum. Sometimes teams forget that the PO must be involved in the decisions they make every day. Decisions such as prioritisation, technical / functionality trade-offs, etc. If teams start making those decisions without PO involvement they endanger the success of the product. How can Scrum Masters help the teams involve the PO in the right decisions? That’s what we tackle in this episode.

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

Featured book of the Week: User Stories Applied, by Mike Cohn

In the User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn, Kristopher found a good, practical guide to help teams learn how to use User Stories to their advantage, especially to take in the customer/user point of view.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

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

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

Apr 23, 2019
How to keep meeting-inflation in check for remote Scrum teams | Kristopher Stice-Hall
11:33

When working with remote teams we must be aware that the number of meetings can easily balloon up because the team does not meet in the corridor. As Scrum Master, we must help remote teams find workarounds for the calendar-driven, meeting-inflated anti-pattern for remote teams.

In this episode, we discuss how a Scrum Master can help a team find the right balance between meetings and ad-hoc interaction even when remote.

About Kristopher Stice-Hall

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

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

Apr 22, 2019
Q&A: How to help Self-organization get started in the team | Jeff Campbell
10:14

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

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

Helping teams and managers adopt self-organization as a way to improve the team’s impact

 

The topic of self-organization comes up over and over again. The teams benefit from it because it helps them solve problems faster, help each other without the burden of having someone else "approve" what they need to do.

But self-organization is not always seen as a "good thing" by management. The common sense phrase I often hear is: "if everybody is in charge, no one is in charge".

In this Q&A episode with Jeff Campbell, we explore what are some of the reasons managers may be skeptic of self-organization.

We also explore ways to present the benefits and help all involved to slowly move to a way of working that allows the teams to solve their problems. Without having to wait for someone to come in and “save them”.

Resources and tools



About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

 

Apr 20, 2019
Fear as a cultural marker in Scrum organizations | Varun Maheshwari
12:26

Varun shares the contrasts between his home culture (India) and the country where he works now (Australia). We discuss some of the key differences, and how people moving between those 2 cultures can learn from each and help teams collaborate. As expectations are different, the collaboration between teams in those 2 cultures will not be easy.

In this episode, we talk about Brook’s law, and the book Death March, a book by Edward Yourdon about surviving “doomed” projects.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 19, 2019
The Product Owner as a key to Scrum Master success | Varun Maheshwari
11:59

Scrum Master success is not only about the team, but also about the Product Owner. When we want to help Scrum teams, we should check how the interaction with the Product Owner works, and how to help the team and Product Owner collaborate effectively.

Helping Product Owners also means focusing on the business side of our work and defining together the critical business metrics for the PO and team.

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

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Conversations as retrospectives

Sometimes retrospectives are simple moments in time where team members have important conversations with each other. Instead of waiting for a retrospective event, Scrum Masters should encourage those conversations every day. In this episode, we also talk about how to help distributed teams hold regular, even daily retrospectives.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 18, 2019
The Scrum Master’s change guide to Enterprise Agile Adoption | Varun Maheshwari
10:33

Digital transformations are a dime a dozen at this time. Many organizations are going through a transformation of business model, not just adding IT to an old business model. However, digital transformations are not only about business models, but also about ways of working. In this episode, we talk about the change process inherent to digital transformations, and how Scrum Masters can help teams survive the big change we call Enterprise Agile Adoption.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 17, 2019
How to help teams move from reporting to collaboration | Varun Maheshwari
15:35

Sometimes teams enter the “reporting” anti-pattern. Teams exhibiting this anti-pattern are focused on just describing what they have done, but spend little time discussing the value or the reasons why that work is important. In the end, the daily meeting is the engine of collaboration, and as Scrum Masters we need to focus on collaboration more than status reporting. In this episode we discuss how we can help teams move from reporting to collaboration.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Product Ownership by Robert Galen

Scrum Product Ownership by Robert Galen is a book with practical advice, real-world tactics, and stories to help understand and shape the Product Owner role. The book is full of ideas that focus on helping the Team and the PO deliver on the promise of Scrum.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 16, 2019
Common mistakes Scrum Masters do when getting started with Scrum | Varun Maheshwari
10:57

Scrum is a relatively small framework for teams to adopt. Certainly much smaller than some of the Agile at scale frameworks. However, even small frameworks can take a while to adopt. In this episode, we reflect on some of the most common mistakes Scrum Masters make when helping teams adopt Scrum.

About Varun Maheshwari

Varun is a Scrum Master and agile practitioner in Australia. He believes in “being agile” rather than “doing agile”. For him, Agile frameworks are not the goal, but rather "Delighting customers, Zero Defects, Quick ROI, Better team work, Excellent Quality & Shortest ‘Time to Market’" are some of the possible goals.

You can link with Varun Maheshwari on LinkedIn.

Apr 15, 2019
BONUS: Ryan Jacoby on the 7 responsibilities of an innovation leader
38:36

Innovation is a topic that gets a lot of attention. There are innovation processes, specific creative games for teams to work with to seek innovative ideas. There’s the Lean Startup movement that tries to codify innovation-friendly processes, and there’s also the UX community pushing the argument that we need more innovation in software companies.

You’ve probably heard the same argument at work. We need to be more innovative to be competitive. Great! But how?

In this episode, we explore how leaders can set up their organizations for innovation. Ryan Jacoby helps us explore the how of that critical question: how can we be more innovative?

Ryan has written a book titled Making Progress - The 7 Responsibilities of an Innovation Leader to describe how organizations can focus on enabling innovation in practice.

The first action you, and your organization need to take

Ryan describes an approach that aims to focus on the team and organization on the customer needs. His approach is simple and immediately actionable. First start by jotting down in plain language and from the point-of-view of the user/customer: what problems are you trying to solve for that customer? Select the top 3.

The other dimension of innovation is your organization’s goals. Define what it means to meaningfully grow the impact of the organization over 6 to 18 months. This growth could be in the number of customers, revenue growth, profit, etc.

Now you have the start of a growth strategy that is centered on customer needs and also directly linked to the company’s/organization’s growth. Next, we talk about innovation in practice.

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

About Ryan Jacoby

Ryan Jacoby, is the founder of MACHINE, a strategy, and innovation company that helps its clients Think Big and Act Small.

MACHINE clients over the years have included people responsible for growth and innovation at The New York Times, Marriott, Viacom, Etsy, Google, Nike, The Washington Post, Feeding America, Fresh Direct, NBC Universal, and The Knight Foundation.

Prior to founding MACHINE, Ryan led teams and relationships at the design and innovation firm IDEO. He was a founding member and location head of the IDEO New York office and built the Business Design discipline at the firm.

Ryan is also the author of the book named “Making Progress” with Sense and Respond press. A book he describes as “a tactical guide for you, the person charged with leading innovation"

You can link with Ryan Jacoby on LinkedIn and connect with Ryan Jacoby on Twitter.

For more on Ryan Jacoby’s work, visit his company’s site at Machine.io.

 

Apr 14, 2019
Q&A - How to help teams share knowledge and become cross-functional teams | Jeff Campbell
12:20

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

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

How to help teams share knowledge and become cross-functional teams

We've all been there, when a front-end developer can't work on a feature because only the back-end part of the feature is missing, but the backend developer is busy or even better: waiting for the DB admin to make some changes.

This is just another form of siloed skillsets. Where one person can only do one task and the other person needs to wait.

How do we help teams understand and practice shared ownership of their work? Sharing knowledge and ultimately making sure that the team can always deliver, no matter who is there?

This is the question we explore in this episode with Jeff Campbell. We discuss the possible reasons why team members are reluctant to share their knowledge, and share tools that can help teams “see” the need for cross-skilling of the team. Kanban is mentioned as an approach that makes the dependency on one skill visible to all in the team.

Resources and tools

  • CodeKata: A deliberate practice for developers to improve their skills and share knowledge with each other.
  • The Coding Dojo Handbook by Emily Bache, a very practical book to help you prepare a coding dojo. A space where team members practice to learn.
  • MobProgramming: a whole-team practice that ensures not only sharing of knowledge but also that the team is constantly collaborating on the most important task they have at hand.

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

Apr 13, 2019
When culture is used as an excuse for the Status Quo | Elena Astilleros
12:03

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a popular phrase that tries to highlight the importance of culture. However, sometimes culture can be used to hide. Teams that use the “it’s not in our culture” phrase a lot may be avoiding facing a change that is staring them in the face. How do we know when culture is a real obstacle or just an excuse? That’s what we talk about in this Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

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

Apr 12, 2019
How to execute an Agile Retrospective in 30 min or less and still get lots of value from it | Elena Astilleros
11:30

Scrum Masters can use their self-check-in every day to assess their progress. In this episode, we talk about questions you can ask yourself to assess your progress and find the areas that are working or need more focus.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The 5 steps, how to execute them when time is of the essence

The Agile Retrospectives steps that Derby and Larsen shared in Agile Retrospectives can take a while to execute in a retrospective setting. Sometimes we don’t have that much time. In this episode, we discuss how we can implement the standard 5 steps of a retrospective even when time is of the essence and we only have 30 min or less.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

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

Apr 11, 2019
Helping teams recover from the day-to-day pressure of business as usual | Elena Astilleros
09:56

Sometimes, the teams and organization are excited about the change. Possibly the adoption of Scrum or some other Agile methodology. However, it is not enough to have the enthusiasm of the team. Without a clear direction for the change process, “business as usual” will catch up, the pressures of daily work will take over and the change will stall. We talk about how we can avoid, or recover from the “business as usual” pressure cooker that teams will inevitably face during the change process.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

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

Apr 10, 2019
A step-by-step approach to help Scrum teams in crisis | Elena Astilleros
13:06

Elena joined a team that was about to implode. We discuss the context, what was causing the problems, and then share a step-by-step approach to help teams that are in crisis.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams, by Lysa Adkins

Elena shares with us 3 books, from The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler, to Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown and Coaching Agile Teams by Lysa Adkins.

In Coaching Agile Teams, Elena found a good reminder of how Scrum Masters and team members should be aware of how they relate to each other and how that can have a huge impact on the team’s performance.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

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

Apr 09, 2019
Why every Scrum team is a different challenge for Scrum Masters | Elena Astilleros
10:24

After a successful assignment as a Scrum Master, it is possible we think we’ve got the role down to a T. However, reality between teams is so different that even great Scrum Masters can struggle when moving from one team to another. We share one such story, and what principles and practices we can take as Scrum Masters to focus our work on the new team.

 

About Elena Astilleros

Elena coaches people who hate wasting their time with badly run agile ceremonies, meetings or projects. She gives them tools to get more out of their time while sprinkling in a little enthusiasm and cheerleading. You can find some of her tools in the forthcoming book Invisible Leader.

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

Apr 08, 2019
BONUS: ¿Qué es Lean Change Management y cómo puede ayudarte a gestionar el cambio en tu organización? - En Español
37:20

This is a Spanish language episode where we introduce the Lean Change Management book for our Spanish speaking listeners.

For more on the Lean Change Mangement approach, check out our week of episodes with Jason Little, or visit the book page at http://leanchange.happymellyexpress.com.

Our guests in this episode are Ivan Corps Lopez and Patrick Verdonk who was part of the translators for the Lean Change Management book, Spanish edition.

About Ivan Corps Lopez

Nacido en Ciudad Real (España). Completó Ingeniería informática en la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Apasionado por Lean y Agile desde 2013 para ayudar a las empresas a obtener lo mejor de su gente con esta nueva mentalidad. Ahora trabajando en ING ayudando con la transformación ágil de toda la entidad. Mis valores fundamentales son Libertad, Coraje, Curiosidad, Integridad y Diversión

Ivan Corps Lopez en LinkedIn

 

About Patrick Verdonk

Patrick siempre ha estado involucrado en cambios que afectan a las personas en muchos roles diferentes. El "cambio", especialmente el impacto del cambio en las personas, siempre ha tenido mi interés. En octubre de 2017, Patrick dejó su rol corporativo y se juntó a Alquimia del Talento. Començó a ayudar a otras personas y empresas con la gestión de sus cambios (personales y organizativos) a través de consultoría y capacitación.

Patrick Verdonk en LinkedIn

 

Apr 07, 2019
Q&A - How do you get teams to collaborate to reach a goal? | Jeff Campbell
13:34

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

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

How do you get teams to collaborate to reach a goal?

 

I was working with a team that was experiencing a serious issue. They were not able to finish the work on time or finish what they planned for the Sprint

 

There could be many reasons for that, but in this team what I saw when I came it was that they had one task (not story) going on per developer all the time. Stories were not delivered except in the last day of the Sprint.

 

It was very hard to get the team members to collaborate and feel ownership for what they had planned to deliver.

 

How do you solve problems like this?

 

Resources and tools

 

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

Apr 06, 2019
How to deal with conservative cultures in Scrum teams | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:57

In some cultures, people value tradition and what has happened before. They might even look wearingly to the outside and focus more on their “internal” knowledge. That’s a problem for Scrum teams, but some teams live and breath that kind of culture. How can Scrum Masters help teams get out of their “self” focus and learn more from others and newer approaches to work? That’s the question we discuss in this episode.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 05, 2019
Using team metrics to define Scrum Master success | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:04

When working with teams, the team’s metrics should also become the Scrum Master’s metrics. In this episode, we talk about metrics that teams use but can also be important for Scrum Masters to assess their success, and help the teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Format

The Hot Air Balloon Retrospective format is a format that helps teams use a metaphor to explore their current problems (ballast) and the things that are working well (heat, wind, etc.) Metaphors help teams get out of their minute task focus and focus more on themselves as a group.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

 

Apr 04, 2019
How to create a guiding coalition for change, the Scrum Master’s guide | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:46

Scrum Masters can be change catalysts, and often they become an active part of Agile adoption at their organization. However, even motivated, energetic Scrum Master can burn out. Change is a long process, and it can’t keep going if only you are working on it. In this episode, we talk about the importance of creating a “guiding coalition” to ensure that change takes hold and progresses in an organization.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 03, 2019
Is the Scrum team really that good, or just not willing to improve? | Eduardo Ribeiro
08:39

Sometimes, Scrum teams are not facing any challenges. They might even be “good” at what they are doing. When that happens, it is a sign that Scrum Masters must pay extra attention to the team dynamics and the relationship with their stakeholders. Is the team really that good, or is it so that they are just getting comfortable with the status quo and not willing to improve anymore?

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Software Development by Schwaber and Beedle

The “black book of Scrum”, Agile Software Development by Schwaber and Beedle was the first book published on Scrum and it helped Eduardo understand Scrum and why it was created. It also helps Scrum Masters prepare their arguments for the adoption of Scrum when that is necessary.

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 02, 2019
The perils of applying Scrum by the book | Eduardo Ribeiro
11:20

Scrum Masters naturally want their teams to apply Scrum “the right way”, but there are risks with that approach. As Scrum Masters, we must be able to detect when a team is getting frustrated by our actions, no matter how well-intentioned they might be. In this episode, we talk about a team that started to feel frustrated by Eddy’s approach and how he reacted to that. Helping the team get back to the positive adoption of Scrum

 

About Eduardo Ribeiro

Eddy is passionate about helping people, teams, and organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement where experimentation and embracing change becomes part of their DNA.

He’s also the author of the Beyond Lean Agile Blog, a Co-Founder of the Lean Coffee Portugal Community, Founder of Agile Online Community and Co-Founder & Director of Startup Grind Porto.

You can link with Eduardo Ribeiro on LinkedIn and connect with Eduardo Ribeiro on Twitter.

Apr 01, 2019
BONUS: How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things? | Jeff Campbell
12:08

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

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

How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things?

There was this one team. They were actually quite good!

That was the good part. However, after a while, they were so good that they started to act is if they didn't want to improve anymore.

They thought they were good, but I knew they had a serious lack of innovation, they were stuck in the same old methods and processes.

They thought they were better than the rest, but I knew they were just doing the same thing for a long time and were far from their potential!

How do you help your teams challenge themselves to try new things?

Resources and tools

 

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

Mar 30, 2019
How do your teams receive and integrate new team members? | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
10:30

Nedeljo is a natural of Serbia, a place where people are hospitable and friendly. In this episode, we talk about how do teams interact and integrate new team members. We also talk about how some cultures will accept that approach much more eagerly than others. How do your teams receive and integrate new team members?

In this episode, we refer to Management 3.0, the framework developed by Jurgen Appelo that offers simple techniques for many of the challenges Scrum Masters and managers face when working with Scrum teams.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 29, 2019
5 success metrics for Scrum Masters | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
08:32

Scrum Masters must pay attention to how Scrum teams adhere to the Sprint Goal, how they collaborate with the Product Owner and other aspects that make teams perform.

In this episode, we talk about 5 different success metrics for Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective Format

Scrum Masters usually have multiple retrospective formats in their “back-pocket”. The Sailboat Retrospective format is one that is easy to setup (a flipchart and markers/post-its are enough), and can engage the team in a creative assessment of their ways of working.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 28, 2019
How Scrum teams can avoid catastrophic failures | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
09:17

One rainy Monday, a developer runs a script. The whole database is wiped out, and there are no backups. What can we learn from this story? Scrum Masters must help teams prepare, and sometimes recover, from disasters. This is such a story. We also discuss how we can prepare our teams to avoid catastrophic failures.

In this episode we refer to Modern Agile, a community started by Joshua Kerievsky of Industrial Logic.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 27, 2019
How to help teams that are new to Scrum | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
13:11

As Scrum Masters, sometimes we work with teams that are at the start of their learning journey with Scrum. These teams might even be motivated, and committed teams. But there are many aspects of Scrum that can only be learned with experience. In this episode, we talk about the possible problems we face when working with “new” teams, and how we can help them survive their first Scrum implementation.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, Nedeljko found a great list of examples on what differentiates good from great Scrum Masters. He found also many patterns that helped him solve the problems he was facing in his Scrum Master role.

You can find the Scrum Master Toolbox episode with Geoff Watts here.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 26, 2019
The Scrum Master journey from “doer” to “enabler” | Nedeljko Damnjanovic
10:59

Many Scrum Masters have a background in other roles within their teams. Some were developers, others Project Managers, others Testers, etc.

Many of those roles are “doer” roles. Roles that focus more on execution and less on helping others execute.

As Scrum Masters, we must be able to transition from “doer” to “enabler”, and Nedeljko shares his journey with us.

 

About Nedeljko Damnjanovic

Nedeljko is a Scrum Master and a full-stack developer who has been in the IT industry for the better part of the decade. He spent the last 5 years actively working as a Scrum Master with many diverse teams and projects who has helped him understand his role better. One of the core developers of the first VivifyScrum release, he has participated in its development product-wise ever since.

You can link with Nedeljko Damnjanovic on LinkedIn.

You can find Nedeljko and the rest of the team at VivifyScrum on twitter.

Mar 25, 2019
How to deal with team resistance when implementing Agile | Jeff Campbell
17:43

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

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

 

Complete show notes can be found at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Resources and tools

 

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

Mar 23, 2019
Navigating introvert/extrovert cultures in Scrum teams | Henrique Centieiro
07:44

When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum Masters must be aware of the dominant temperament for their teams and use that to help teams collaborate, especially when there are contrasting cultures in one team.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 22, 2019
Defining Scrum Master success together with the team | Henrique Centieiro
09:32

When working with teams from different cultures, one of the characteristics that Scrum Masters will notice is the introvert/extrovert culture split. Some teams will naturally be more extrovert, while other teams will naturally be more introvert. Scrum Masters must be aware of the dominant temperament for their teams and use that to help teams collaborate, especially when there are contrasting cultures in one team.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 21, 2019
How to help Scrum teams prioritize for value | Henrique Centieiro
11:34

Prioritization is not a simple, or easy task for Product Owners and teams. Sometimes, the teams focus on what they want to work on, sometimes on what is easy to do, but those are prioritization anti-patterns.

As Scrum Masters, we must assess the prioritization practices of our teams. When necessary, we must help them adopt new approaches to prioritization. Henrique shares one of those times with us.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 20, 2019
What to do when Scrum Teams are missing feedback | Henrique Centieiro
10:10

Even when teams are motivated, and progressing at a rapid pace, there’s an ingredient that, if missing, can derail the whole project. That ingredient is feedback from customers and users. In this episode, we talk about what happens when feedback is missing and how Scrum Masters can help their teams focus on collecting and reacting to feedback.

Featured book of the Week: Scrum, the art of doing twice the work in half the time

A book that introduces Scrum to a wider audience, Scrum: the art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland is a book explaining the ideas and principles of Scrum when applied to the wider world of work, not only software development.

In this segment of the episode, we also refer to Edx.Org, a website that focuses on education and includes Agile training as well.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

 

Mar 19, 2019
The tool-Scrum anti-pattern | Henrique Centieiro
11:17

Joining a team, it is good to see that they have their tools in order. They can follow-up progress, track what is missing and even leave notes for each other in the items they add to the tool. The problem is when the tool starts to take over the team, instead of the team owning the tool. In this episode, we talk about the tool-Scrum anti-pattern, when the team focuses more on the tool than the things it should enable: communication, collaboration, progress assessment, and metrics.

In this episode we refer to the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries and the work on Hypothesis Driven Development by Barry O’Reilly.

About Henrique Centieiro

Henrique is a Blockchain Product Manager (i.e. dealing with the blockchain related features/user stories of the product). He is passionate about teams and agile, using scrum to manage even his personal tasks.

You can link with Henrique Centieiro on LinkedIn.

Mar 18, 2019
Selling Agile - How to get Buy-In from Management? - Q&A with Jeff Campbell
21:37

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

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

How to deal with resistance when implementing Agile

 

We’ve all been working with teams that when we suggest: "Hey let's put our burndown on the wall for everyone to know where we are", they go like: "nah, let's skip that, we know what we need to do anyway, let's just work." Whatever change we try to suggest, we feel a lot of resistance.

 

Once, I asked feedback from the team about a retrospective, and one person wrote down "waste of time". Auch! It's like the team didn't like transparency. I felt they didn’t want to work in their own pace, without estimating, without commitments, basically without taking more responsibility

 

It is as if every suggestion to improve our productivity were perceived as an attack on them for being slow. How do you help teams get the habit of trying out new things and putting that inspect and adapt cycle into practice?

Resources and tools


About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

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

Mar 16, 2019
How to help multicultural Scrum teams | Ajeet Singh
11:06

In today’s software development world, having multiple cultures in one team is quite common. That presents specific challenges for Scrum Masters, who must be able to help teams where contrasting cultures must co-exist.

In this episode, we talk about the possible challenges Scrum Masters may face when working with multi-cultural teams and also how they can help those teams jell and collaborate productively.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 15, 2019
When to use the Well/Start/Stop agile retrospective | Ajeet Singh
07:18

Ajeet has come to value 4 specific ways to measure his impact as a Scrum Master. In this episode, we review these 4 benchmarks and how he uses them regularly to improve his approach.

Featured Retrospective Format of the Week: Well/Stop/Start retrospective format

In the Well/Stop/Start retrospective format (see a facilitation guide here), we have a simple format that can trigger important conversations. Especially when team members see each other’s contribution to those 3 categories.

This is a format that suits very well teams that are action-oriented, and have a high degress of collaboration already.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 14, 2019
Helping QA Teams Adopt Scrum | Ajeet Singh
08:27

QA teams are isolated in many organizations. When Scrum Masters work with those teams, the first challenge is to help them see beyond their silo, and create a definition of success that includes working and collaborating with other teams.

In this episode, we talk about a QA team, and how they were able to transition to a more collaborative way of working, which - for the first time - included other teams.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 13, 2019
2 Habits that can Destroy Teams | Ajeet Singh
09:50

There are many possible habits or behaviors that lead to problems in Scrum teams. In this episode with Ajeet Singh, we discuss 2 of those habits and the related anti-patterns that emerged.

As Scrum Masters, we must pay attention to the behaviors, understand the possible consequences, and help teams recover before it is too late.

 

Featured Book for the Week: Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle

In Agile Software Development with Scrum by Schwaber and Beedle (aka the black book of Scrum), Ajeet found an holistic understanding of what is Scrum which helped him adopt the ideas and practices.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 12, 2019
The pitfalls when Scrum Masters overly rely on the team | Ajeet Singh
12:14

It is one of the mantras in the podcast: “take it to the team”. That mantra helps Scrum Masters focus on helping teams grow and learn from their mistakes. However, there’s a pitfall hiding in that mantra, and that’s when we rely too much on the team. As Scrum Masters we are also the accountability partners for the team. When we don’t pay attention, bad things can happen. In this episode, we discuss the pitfalls of relying too much on the team, and how to avoid this anti-pattern.

 

About Ajeet Singh

Ajeet is an IT professional with 17 years of delivery experience in application development, system integration and software testing. He’s served as a ScrumMaster for over 3.5 years for the clients of USA, UK and Australian geographies.

You can link with Ajeet Singh on LinkedIn and connect with Ajeet Singh on Twitter.

Mar 11, 2019
BONUS: Josh Seiden on Lean UX, a toolbox for Product Owners and Agile teams
40:48

In this episode we explore the ideas from the book Lean UX, authored by Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf (Jeff Gothelf was on the podcast earlier to help us redefine the measure of success for software development).

Lean UX is both an approach and a set of tools that teams and Product Owners can use to help integrate the design/requirements/user research aspects into the team’s work.

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

 

Mar 09, 2019
Avoid conflicts when teams communicate in other languages, lessons for Scrum Masters | Tilman Rumland
10:02

In multinational companies, the usual communication language (English, in many) is not the native language for many of the team members and even stakeholders. As Scrum Masters we must be aware of this and prepare to avoid the expected misunderstandings and possible conflicts. Tilman shares his tips on what Scrum Masters can to to handle multinational teams that don’t share a common native language.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 08, 2019
The Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective Format | Tilman Rumland
12:07

As we look for a definition of success for a Scrum Master, it is also important that we identify signs that problems may be developing. In this episode, we discuss Tilman’s definition of success, but also the signs that we may not yet have achieved it.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Appreciation Shower

The Appreciation Shower Agile Retrospective format is a format that Tilman found to have a large positive impact on the team atmosphere. He shares his tips on how to implement this format, and avoid it from being overwhelming.

We also mention the Football Agile retrospective format, where the team describes the Sprint as if it were a football match, including first-half, substitutions, red cards, etc. A fun format to get the team’s creative juices flowing.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 07, 2019
How to help Scrum teams set up their *own* rules | Tilman Rumland
10:58

When Scrum Masters help teams go through a change process there are few things more important than helping teams “take over”. In this episode, we explore the consequences of not helping the teams take over the change process, and also discuss approaches and tools Scrum Masters can use to help teams hold themselves accountable.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 06, 2019
How Scrum Masters can help new team members | Tilman Rumland
13:26

When new team members join a strong team, they may suffer from too much or the wrong kind of humbleness. In this episode, Tilman shares the story of a team member that joined a strong team, but failed to establish himself, failed to speak up and that led to a serious misunderstanding. Listen in to learn how to help team members establish themselves in a new team, even when the process might be intimidating at first

Featured Book of the Week: Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

In Antifragile by Taleb, Tilman found a philosophy that helped him organize his life in a way as to be ready for the possible problems that might appear. He also discusses two other books in the featured book of the week segment: How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, and The way of the superior man by David Deida.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 05, 2019
Anti-Patterns of Scrum adoption | Tilman Rumland
12:59

Scrum adoption, just like any other process or framework, is not free from troubles. Especially when organizations are already in the middle of a problematic situation.

In this episode, we review several anti-patterns of Scrum adoption, including hierarchic struggles, abusing the Scrum roles to make them just another set of titles, the extreme attention to the Product Owner role, and many others.

About Tilman Rumland

Tilman Rumland is an agile coach, expert speaker, and productivity enthusiast. He just released his new workshop series: “getting shit done that really matters to you”. As a scrum master, he implemented agile structures to agrilution, a small scale vertical farming startup, ranked on the Forbes TOP 100 innovative German Startups. Find Tim at https://agrilution.com.

Mar 04, 2019
How Scrum Masters can work with contrasting cultural expectations | Raluca Mitan
10:13

When we work in international teams, the cultures team members bring with them become a critical factor in the work of Scrum Masters. How can we help team members with completely different expectations to work together? In this episode, we discuss the contrast between open and closed cultures, and what Scrum Masters need to do to help those different cultures work well together.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Mar 01, 2019
The “in your shoes” Retrospective Format | Raluca Mitan
11:08

How do we trigger empathy towards team members, stakeholders, and other teams? Raluca suggests that a format like “In Your Shoes” will help teams understand the reality others face, and be able to bring that into the retrospective conversations.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 28, 2019
The Scrum Master as an outsider that brings changes in | Raluca Mitan
11:05

Helping an organization adopt Agile is like facing a house, with people inside, and getting an invitation to get it and lead the people in the house. Not an easy task for Scrum Masters. In this episode, we explore that metaphor and talk about the tools and approaches we can use when we are the outsiders, that need to bring change into the organizations and teams we work with.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 27, 2019
How to tackle distributed Scrum team anti-patterns | Raluca Mitan
11:05

Distributed teams are notoriously hard for Scrum Masters. But why? In this episode we talk about some of the anti-patterns we can expect in distributed teams and what Scrum Masters can do to help distributed teams jell and overcome those anti-patterns.

Featured Book for the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Raluca found a book that helped her develop her leadership approach. Kim shares many stories from different leaders and helps the reader understand what makes a good leader with concrete tools and methods.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 26, 2019
When to help the Scrum team members take the lead | Raluca Mitan
10:34

Sometimes team members will speak up. They might even challenge the Scrum Master. At those times is when we must step back, forget about what we “think is right” and let the team members take the lead. That’s the first step in taking responsibility!

In this episode, we refer to the work on FIXED vs GROWTH mindset.

 

About Raluca Mitan

Raluca calls herself a recovering Project Manager that discovered Agile and somehow the "good, the bad and the ugly" received distinctive names.

She loves her job and practices Accelerated Learning to achieve her Goals (to become a Scrum Master Trainer for Scrum Alliance, to write a book, acknowledged as an Inventor, share her ideas to the world and with her daughters).

And maybe someday to be a Bonus Podcast guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast :).

You can link with Raluca Mitan on LinkedIn and read Raluca Mitan’s blog.

Feb 25, 2019
BONUS: Jeff Campbell shares his favorite Actionable Agile Tools for Scrum Masters
34:39

Scrum Masters understand the importance of having many tools for different situations. The quality of our work is often related to the quality of the tools we have in our toolbox and the context in which they work.

In this episode, we review some of Jeff’s favorite Actionable Agile Tools, a book that collects 19 tools and is now available on Amazon in black and white as well as full color. Not to mention Kindle!

About Jeff Campbell

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

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

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

Feb 23, 2019
How individualist cultures affect Scrum adoption | Doug Knesek
09:40

What can we learn from individualist cultures, and how they affect Scrum and Agile adoption?

We discuss how the Wisconsin natives look at the Scrum values and what might be some of the challenges they face when trying to put those in practice.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 22, 2019
Nanny McPhee and the Success definition for Scrum Masters | Doug Knesek
11:06

Helping Scrum teams take ownership, and drive their self-improvement is Doug’s definition of success.

We talk about the Nanny McPhee phrase: “When you need me, but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go.” A simple, yet effective heuristic for Scrum Masters!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Kata

The Toyota Kata is a method of reflection and learning that helps people and teams to keep themselves accountable for their work, and how they develop over time.

We discuss the format, how to facilitate a Toyota Kata retrospective and what were the influences (e.g. Deming) that led Doug to choose this format.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 21, 2019
How to help teams take responsibility for the change process | Doug Knesek
14:21

When helping Scrum teams, Scrum Masters must keep this heuristic in mind: Team members don’t take responsibility for “other people’s” proposed solutions.

This heuristic is even more important when it comes to a change process. So Doug suggests we should help teams reflect, learn and improve on their own.

In this episode, we refer to Extreme Programming and the Causal Loop Diagram (the causal loop diagram was described by Antti Tevanlinna in a previous episode).

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 20, 2019
How to help Scrum teams evolve their process | Doug Knesek
13:08

When teams come together, even if they have Scrum experience, they don’t always agree on the process. That can paralyze teams. In this episode, we explore a story about a team that was stuck with their definition of the process. All team members had different versions of Scrum in their mind. But still, they needed to progress. Listen in to learn how Doug tackled that problem, and helped the team start to deliver.

In this episode, we talk about the concept of Semantic Diffusion as defined by Fowler, and we discuss the importance of changing the team setup often (something Heidi Helfand discusses on the podcast in a previous episode).

Featured Book of the Week: Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

In Toyota Kata by Mike Rother, Doug found an approach that helps him deal with the natural uncertainty that comes with the Scrum Master role. We want to help teams reach a target condition, but we don’t know all the steps we need to take, so using the approaches in Toyota Kata helped Doug prepare for that uncertainty, and help teams progress even when only the next few steps are visible.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 19, 2019
Moving from Scrum “enforcer” to Scrum Master | Doug Knesek
13:44

When we get started as Scrum Masters, especially those that have a Project Management or Management background, we tend to “enforce” Scrum. As our understanding progresses though, we start to learn that there’s a lot of value in helping teams learn by themselves, help them feel confident and take over the process.

In this episode, we discuss that change in our approach to the Scrum Master role, and a lot more!

We talk about Extreme Programming and how that approach should be looked at by Scrum Masters. We also refer to Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained and Martin Fowler’s Refactoring book.

 

About Doug Knesek

Doug has been an agilist since before it was cool, as his first agility client can attest. He is currently the Director of Agile Development & Coaching at Wisconsin-based Flexion inc., leading agile teams that serve both private and public sector clients. His current hobby is thinking beyond agility, to antifragility.

You can link with Doug Knesek on LinkedIn and connect with Doug Knesek on Twitter.

Feb 18, 2019
How direct cultures follow the values of Scrum | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:11

Anja shares her experience in Germany. We discuss how people express their ideas in that culture, and how direct they can be. We also discuss why that’s important in Scrum, especially in Retrospectives, when we must address topics quickly and find solutions or changes to help the team progress.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 15, 2019
Encouraging new team members to contribute from the start | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:11

One of the critical tasks of a Scrum Master is to help team members contribute to the success of the team. When we look at Anja’s Scrum Master success definition, helping team members directly contribute to the team is very high on the list.

In this episode, we cover how Scrum Masters can help new team members feel like they are part of the team and directly contribute to the team from the start.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well/not so well/what can we change?

Anja prefers the classic “What went well/not so well/what can we change?” retrospective format. In her experience, this format gives people the ability to bring up the points that affect them personally. When experimenting with different formats remember that it takes a while for people to get used to new formats.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 14, 2019
When Scrum teams ask for help, help them!! | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:37

When teams that are new to Scrum start adopting a new way of working, there’s a window of opportunity to help them. When they are still new, and recognize that they need help. In this episode we review the story of a team that had a difficult project ahead, and how Anja and the rest of the organization went about finding a way to help the team.

A reminder that teams sometimes ask for help, and that’s the right time to help them!

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 13, 2019
Doing Scrum without feedback leads to failure! | Anja Bonatto-Minella
10:03

When teams start working with Scrum they try to follow the process. They organize the process, they keep their meetings, but sometimes forget critical things that are not in the process. In this team, Anja felt frustrated. Something was missing.

Anja started looking for symptoms. At first only frustration, but later the symptoms started to become clearer. The team was missing the feedback! They held the ceremonies, but the concrete actionable feedback was missing. Check out this episode and compare with your team. Are you seeing the same symptoms?

Featured Book of the Week: Geschichten vom Scrum by Holger Koschek (in German only)

In Geschichten vom Scrum by Holger Koschek (in German only), Anja found stories that she could relate to. The book is a Scrum fable. Where people in a village need to build a Dragon trap, but they don’t know how. All they have is their ingenuity and ability to collaborate. The book walks you through a full experience of what it looks like to build a Scrum team.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 12, 2019
The Scrum Sprint 0 anti-pattern | Anja Bonatto-Minella
11:43

Let’s say that we are working with a team that is respecting the Scrum rules. They have their Sprint Planning. They hold their Retrospectives. Everyone talks during the stand-up. At first glimpse this team is doing Scrum right. But there’s one thing missing: delivering value to customers early and often!

Preparing to release value is not value delivery. In this episode, we talk about the teams that miss that critical aspect and what we, Scrum Masters, can do about it.

 

About Anja Bonatto-Minella

Working with agile and scrum only since for a year Anja still considers herself a scrum-beginner. Before starting at her currrent job which brought her into the world of agile, she studied physics and then worked in research for several years.

You can link with Anja Bonatto-Minella on LinkedIn.

Feb 11, 2019
BONUS: Bas Vodde on LeSS, Scaled Agile and Scrum
39:47

Bas Vodde worked with Craig Larman on creating LeSS, probably the second most popular agile scaling framework in the market at this time.

In this episode, we talk about what is not so well known about LeSS, its origins, and we dive deeper into the topic of scaling. What does it mean, what it does not mean, and how LeSS can help organizations take advantage of agile in large product development teams.

About Bas Vodde

Bas Vodde is a coach, programmer, trainer, and author in the world of modern agile and lean product development. He is the creator of the LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) framework for scaling agile development. He coaches organizations on three levels: organizational,  team, individual/technical practices. He has trained thousands of people in software development, Scrum, and modern agile practices for over a decade.

He is the author of Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS,  Scaling Agile and Lean Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum and of Practices for Large-Scale Agile and Lean Development, all together with Craig Larman.

You can link with Bas Vodde on LinkedIn and connect with Bas Vodde on Twitter. You can find out more about Bas Vodde’s work in the Less website.

Feb 09, 2019
Cultural anti-patterns in regions where conflict is a “taboo” | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
12:03

With Jen and Jamie, we talk about the fit between the North American culture and Scrum. We dive deeper into some local patterns like the “Minnesota nice”, and discuss about some serious anti-patterns like False Harmony, and the avoidance of conflict.

During the conversation we talk about different perspectives and actions Scrum Masters can take to overcome those anti-patterns.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 08, 2019
From Scrum nanny to Scrum Jedi, a Scrum Master success journey | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
10:56

The definition of success for Jen and Jamie is the “Scrum Jedi” pattern described by Angel Medinilla. But there are other patterns Jen and Jamie ask us to consider. In this episode we talk about MobProgramming and the Nanny McPhee Scrum Master pattern. In each of these patterns we find things to learn from and add to our Scrum Master toolbox!

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Open Discussion

When the right format is a very simple format, Open Discussion, can be a great start for a team conversation. Jen and Jamie suggest that asking the team members to describe, in their own words, the events of the Sprint, leading to potentially different perspectives. These differences (when facilitated properly) can help the team understand each other better and find insights on how to improve as a team.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 07, 2019
From silo to cross-functional teams, a Scrum Master’s change roadmap | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
12:11

When it comes to changes, in agile environments there’s one change that many of us need to be directly involved with. That’s the move from functional teams, to multi-skilled, T-shaped, cross-functional teams.

In this episode we talk about how Scrum Masters can enable, and support that change. From how to introduce the idea, to how to get started, and ultimately how to enable the self-organization of teams that ensures team’s commitment to the change.

In this episode we refer to a presentation by Anton Zotin on Agile transformations and team self-organization. You can also check Anto Zotin’s shows here on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 06, 2019
How to handle teams that can’t stop complaining | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
09:03

There are many behaviors and dynamics that can lead to problems in a team. Jen and Jamie talk about a team that was feeling defeated and had a negative/complaining attitude towards everything around them. What can cause that? We discuss possible causes and also what we can do as Scrum Masters, when our teams are feeling down and out.

In this episode we refer to the “circles and soup” activity, a game used to efficiently form high-quality plans through retrospective analysis by recognizing factors that are within the team’s control.

Featured Book of the Week: Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

In the Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni, Jen and Jamie found a good follow-up on another Lencioni book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. This is a book that can help you grow as a Scrum Master, and think about those personal characteristics that make certain people great team players.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 05, 2019
The Scrum Master is NOT an admin role! | Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole
13:13

Jen and Jamie share with us one of the common anti-patterns around the Scrum Master role. Many seem to think that the Scrum Master is an admin person. Setting meetings, ensuring the teams have post-its, etc. But could not be farther from the truth.

In this episode, we discuss how we can avoid the Admin anti-pattern, and how to set the right expectations with teams and the wider organization.

In this episode we refer to the book The Power of Now by Eckhart.

 

About Jennifer Emery and Jamie Cole

Jen and Jamie (sweet and salty as they call themselves) are passionate about people, relationships, leadership, accountability, common sense, and getting sh*t done! Ultimate dream job would be to coach individuals, teams, and organizations in discovering and cultivating potential and doing things better by identifying people's strengths, passions, and skill sets, along with effective processes and strategy to build a strong, healthy culture.

You can link with Jennifer Emery on LinkedIn.

You can link with Jamie Cole on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Jen and Jamie at their website.

Feb 04, 2019
The Impact of the UK Culture on Agile Adoption | Nisha Balwatkar
11:55

Having worked in multiple countries, and with multiple teams, Nisha has learned that we must consider the Scrum team’s culture as well as the national culture. She invites us to consider how team and national culture play together and embrace the culture instead of fighting it.

In this episode, we refer to the UK culture.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Feb 01, 2019
2 tools to help measure your Scrum Master success | Nisha Balwatkar
09:26

Who to involve when evaluating our success as Scrum Masters? In this episode, we review the critical stakeholders, and how to involve them in our own self-evaluation.

In this episode, we refer to the Niko-Niko Calendar and the Happiness timeline, two of the tools you can you to evaluate your success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective format for the Week: What was good / bad and what actions should we take?

The Good/Bad/Actions format is a simple, yet effective format. Nisha explains how to facilitate this format in a short time frame and how Scrum Masters can prepare to host the retrospective.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 31, 2019
Plan for change, but be ready to adapt when adopting Scrum | Nisha Balwatkar
10:01

Nisha likes to start with a plan. But her approach is very adaptive. It is not about following the plan, but about kick-starting the change.

Listen in to learn how she addresses teams and involves them in the change process.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 30, 2019
How to overcome the endless debate anti-pattern in Scrum teams | Nisha Balwatkar
13:29

Teams want to excel at their work. So much so, that sometimes they forget that in order to succeed they need to act. In this episode, we talk about the anti-pattern of endless debate and what Scrum Masters can do to help teams overcome that anti-pattern and move on.

Featured Book of the Week: Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn

In Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn, Nisha found practical advice and concrete examples that helped her in her journey as a Scrum Master. She calls it a good point to start your Scrum Master journey.

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

Jan 29, 2019
Being a Scrum Master and a programmer at the same time | Nisha Balwatkar
13:44

When Nisha got started she loved the logical thinking required for programming. However, the role of the Scrum Master was much more than that. On top of that, being a Scrum Master and trying to program at the same time brought some serious problems that Nisha had to face. Listen in to learn how you can survive the dual role of being a programmer and a Scrum Master (or not).

 

About Nisha Balwatkar

Nisha started her career as a programmer for the love of logical reasoning and technology and soon found herself trapped in the mismanagement of software teams affecting the work and efforts put in by the teams. She always had a feeling she could fix it and eventually moved to be a scrum master. She enjoys helping out teams and see the joy of success by identifying and fixing small things.

You can link with Nisha Balwatkar on LinkedIn and connect with Nisha Balwatkar on Twitter.

Jan 28, 2019
Lateral Leadership a critical skill for Scrum Masters and Product Owners | Tim Herbig
36:30

Tim was faced with a problem. How to be a leader without any formal power. All Scrum Masters and Product Owners who have felt the responsibility, but not any “line authority” have faced the same problem. You need to help move the project along, but you can’t tell people what to do!

In this episode we explore the concept of Lateral Leadership how it can help you as a Scrum Master or Product Owner.

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

About Tim Herbig

Tim is a passionate product leader, author and speaker who always aims to enable people so they can build products which make a difference.

Currently responsible for Iridion - the leading conversion management platform which is used by more than 1.500 companies around the world.

Besides that, Tim has a huge passion (and weakness) for third wave coffee, delicious burgers, and triathlon.

You can link with Tim Herbig on LinkedIn and connect with Tim Herbig on Twitter. You learn more about Tim’s work at his website.

Jan 26, 2019
Talkative cultures and the impact on Scrum teams | Eddie Kenny
11:09

Eddie is a native of Ireland. In this episode, we cover some of the key characteristics of that culture and how it affects teams. As Scrum Masters, we can take advantage of those characteristics to help teams create environments where everyone feels valued.

In this episode we also refer to Eddie’s 3 blogs (yes! Three!):

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 25, 2019
A simple success definition for Scrum Masters | Eddie Kenny
13:11

When we can help a team get to a point where they can release software “on demand”, that’s when we’ve had an impact on the team and been successful in our role of Scrum Master. But that’s just the end goal. As Scrum Masters there are a lot more issues to consider, and Eddie explores those in this episode.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: What went well / not so well

Eddie is a fan of changing the format of the retrospective often. However, when he needs to go back to a familiar format he prefers the “What went well / no so well” simple Retrospective format.

But beware of the “too many actions” anti-pattern!

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 24, 2019
How to work with 15/20 Scrum teams and still like it | Eddie Kenny
09:25

Sometimes Scrum Masters need to work with multiple teams. In this episode, we explore an extreme case. As a Scrum Master, Eddie worked in an environment where there were many teams that he needed to work with. What can we do, how can we help that large group of teams change and evolve? Eddie shares 4 aspects we must consider in those environments.

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 23, 2019
The dangers of long-lived Scrum teams | Eddie Kenny
11:16

In Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Eddie learned about how people tend to think, especially in situations where quick decisions are necessary. And he considers that a key asset for change agents like Scrum Masters.

In this episode, we also mention:

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 22, 2019
From project management to software delivery | Eddie Kenny
16:11

Often we mix-up software delivery with project management. Those are different activities. Both necessary, but quite different. When we focus on project management only, we often miss critical work that is necessary to ship software. In this episode, we discuss why that difference matters and how to help teams move from project management focus to project management + software delivery focus.

In this episode, we refer to the book Dynamic Reteaming by Heidi Helfand. Heidi Helfand was a guest on a past podcast week.

 

About Eddie Kenny

Eddie is an agile coach who has been working with Agile since 2004 using XP, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Scaled Agile. He coaches teams, scrum masters, product owners, leaders, coaches, organizations and little humans. He likes teaching agile with Lego & games and is also co-founder of the LeanAgileBrighton conference.

You can link with Eddie Kenny on LinkedIn and connect with Eddie Kenny on Twitter.

Jan 21, 2019
How the project management culture affects the Scrum Master roles | Ivo Peksens
13:56

Ivo has seen organizations stuck to the Project culture and mix the Scrum Master role with other roles. We discuss what might cause that approach, and discuss how national cultures can affect the way people see the Scrum Master role. We discuss Re-inventing Organizations by Laloux (check this Youtube video about Re-inventing Organizations), and why hiring more people is not enough to help organizations grow.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 18, 2019
Tools for defining Scrum Master success | Ivo Peksens
09:42

Success is an endless journey for Scrum Masters, but there are tools that help us assess where we are, and also what are the areas we are already successful in. We discuss a Scrum Master self-assessment tool developed by Luca Minudel and refer to the Learning Guide for the Certified Team Coach program by Scrum Alliance (not freely available).

Featured Retrospective for the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad

The Mad/Sad/Glad retrospective format, inspired by the Core Protocols is a retrospective format that helps the team discuss the issues that are causing emotional reactions. Emotions are often symptoms of other problems the team needs to process, and this format helps address those problems.

We also talk about Kudo Cards from Management 3.0 as a way to help teams increase empathy and energy.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 17, 2019
Why advocacy can be an effective change management strategy | Ivo Peksens
09:15

There are situations when advocacy is an effective change management strategy. In this episode, we discuss what are the pre-conditions that allow Scrum Masters to use advocacy. From the signs the organization is ready to tips about how to shape your message, we discuss the approaches that have worked for Ivo in the past.

 

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 16, 2019
Distributed software development challenges | Ivo Peksens
15:12

Distributed software development is one of the challenges for Agile organizations. The element of globalization is impossible to avoid because of the nature of the business we work in. However, there are some things we should be aware to ensure that teams are able to deliver. In this episode, we discuss some of the anti-patterns that come when distributed teams fail to account for the different kind of communication that is needed when working with distributed organizations.

Featured Book of the Week: Finding your Element by Ken Robinson

In Finding your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson (book website), Ivo discovered something about himself that helps him be a better Scrum Master. He found and understood the importance of some of the personal strengths he has that help him in the role of Scrum Master.

In this segment, we also discuss Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

About Ivo Peksens

Ivo is an Agile Coach at heart. He tries to live that role every day. His view is that to be somebody like an Agile Coach is a lifestyle, attitude across everything you do. Ivo has been in IT industry about 20 years and has been a Scrum Master and Agile Coach for the last 5 years.

You can link with Ivo Peksens on LinkedIn and connect with Ivo Peksens on Twitter.

Jan 15, 2019
As a Scrum Master, are you good at facilitating meetings? | Ivo Peksens
11:49
Jan 14, 2019
BONUS: Ben Aston on Project Management lessons that Scrum Masters can use
31:31

Ben is a project manager with experience in developing digital services and products for worldwide clients. He’s learned some very important lessons and shares some of his key insights with you in this special episode, where we dive deep into the project manager role and the project management world.

Full show notes at https://scrum-master-toolbox.org/.

Topics include:

  • A key insight into project management for digital products
  • The key changes for project managers jumping into Agile projects
  • Is Scrum all you need?
  • The most common questions Project Managers ask Ben

About Ben Aston

Ben has over 15 years of experience in both strategic thinking and tactical implementation from a career at some of the top digital agencies including FCV, Dare, Wunderman, DLKW Lowe and DDB. He's worked across several industries including transit, utilities, consumer electronics, eCommerce, automotive, financial services, public sector, and retail brands.

Ben's a Certified Scrum Master, PRINCE2 Practitioner and founder of the digital project management blog, The Digital Project Manager.

You can check Ben’s Digital Project Management course for more information.

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

Jan 12, 2019
How talkative cultures help create safety in Scrum teams | Richard Griffiths
10:36

When talking about cultures, we often talk about the contrasts. What makes certain cultures more Scrum-friendly, or the opposite. In this episode, we talk about how certain cultures’ focus on more conversation can help create safe spaces for the team, and help them be more collaborative. But we also talk about the concept of “time”, and how the different perspectives on time (e.g. cyclic vs linear time) can affect the adoption of Scrum.

In this episode, we also refer to the premier Agile conference in Ireland, the Agile-Lean Ireland conference.

Jan 11, 2019
4 clear success signs for Scrum Masters | Richard Griffiths
12:55

When thinking about the role of the Scrum Master, Richard comes up with 4 clear signs that indicate we are on the right path with the teams we work with. In the end, Richard says, we must do ourselves out of a job to be successful Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: The Amazon Product Review retrospective

Richard suggests the Amazon Product Review retrospective format. And although Retromat suggests this can be used as a “check-in” exercise, we can also use it as the core exercise for the retrospective.

In this episode, we refer to the Agile Retrospectives book and the retrospective outline defined in the book.

Jan 10, 2019
4 steps to adopt SAFe | Richard Griffiths
08:32

Richard shares the story of a change process where an organization decided to standardize on SAFe as the scaling approach. Richard also shares what they learned about adopting SAFe, and the 4-step process they created to help the adoption of SAFe.

Jan 09, 2019
The dangers of siloed Scrum teams | Richard Griffiths
15:35

In The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey, Richard found many lessons that helped him in his journey as a Scrum Master. The book shares models and keys to successful scrum mastering, but also many references and other sources to read up on.

Jan 08, 2019
Improve your change management, sell the problem, not the solution | Richard Griffiths
12:57

Often, as Scrum Masters, we know what needs to change and focus our efforts in “selling” the solution. What it is, why it is a good idea, etc. But, when Richard failed to help an organization change he learned an important lesson. To improve how we help change progress, we should sell the problem, not the solution.

Jan 07, 2019
Navigating the rules vs improvising cultural changes as a Scrum Master | Rade Zivanovic
11:40

In some countries, we favor order and rules. However, that’s not the case for everybody. How can we adapt to a country that emphasis more rules than what we learned back in our home country?

In this episode, we learn about the German and Serbian cultural traits and how they affect the work of the Scrum Master.

Jan 04, 2019
Success metrics for Scrum Masters | Rade Zivanovic
10:06

When thinking about the aspects that define our success, measuring the critical aspects of our work needs to be part of it. Rade challenges us to try to measure those things that we think we need to improve. We talk about how to measure interactions and the right kind of interactions in the team and between team and stakeholders. Are you measuring the key aspects of your contribution as a Scrum Master?

Featured Retrospective format for the week: Three little piggies

The Three Little Piggies retrospective format focuses on risk management. Asking us to consider what are our Houses of straw, Houses of sticks and the solid House of bricks. And why not ask: who or what is our big bad wolf?

Jan 03, 2019
Change management for Scrum teams struggling with new technology | Rade Zivanovic
13:16

In a business where change and new technology are a day-to-day occurrence, it may seem that teams are constantly ready to adapt to new situations. That’s not the case, however. In this episode, we discuss the story of a team that was uncomfortable with taking on a new technology. This was the perfect environment for Rade to put in practice his approach to helping teams change.

Jan 02, 2019
How to help Scrum teams be more comfortable with mistakes | Rade Zivanovic
13:32

As we work with many different teams, we start to notice some patterns. In this episode, we talk about the pattern where team members take a very critical stance when a mistake happens. As Rade puts it, when this pattern develops, the team creates a culture that does not tolerate failure or allows people to take risks.

How can Scrum Masters tackle this problem? We discuss some concrete approaches to help teams scale back their risk-averse, and mistake-intolerant culture. After all, no mistakes means no learning.

Featured book of the Week: Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor

In Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor, Rade learned about the techniques we can use to help people change behavior by building new habits and using positive feedback and reinforcement.

Jan 01, 2019
On being a part-time Scrum Master | Rade Zivanovic
10:51

Like many of us, Rade started out as a part-time Scrum Master. A part-time tester and part-time Scrum Master, Rade had to re-think his role.

Many of us go through this process: should I do my “primary” job? Or help the team in my role as a Scrum Master. Rade’s story is both a warning and an inspiration for those of us who are stuck in a part-time Scrum Master role.

 

Dec 31, 2018
What makes a great Scrum Master, the key challenges to Scrum adoption and much more about Agile | Geoff Watts
38:21

There are quite a few books out there about the Scrum Master job. However, the classic that many refer to over and over again here on the podcast is Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts.

In the description of the publisher writes: “Scrum coach Geoff Watts has identified patterns that separate a good Scrum Master from a great one”.

As a podcast for Scrum Masters, we wanted to have Geoff on, to share the key insights in the book, but also what he learned since the book was first published in 2013.

But, before we go into those new lessons learned, let’s quickly review some of the key insights from the book.

About Geoff Watts

Geoff Watts is the founder of Inspect & Adapt Ltd and one of the most experienced and respected Scrum coaches in the world. Geoff helps individuals create great teams by developing a culture of reflection, empowerment, and engagement.
He started using Scrum at British Telecom, one of the first large-scale agile adoptions, Geoff, then coached organizations large and small through their agile journeys.
He’s also the author of 3 books, including Scrum Mastery, from good to great servant leadership. A book we explore in this episode of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

You can link with Geoff Watts on LinkedIn and connect with Geoff Watts on Twitter.

You can also connect with Geoff Watts on Instagram and on watch Geoff Watts on YouTube.

Dec 29, 2018
Agile Procurement a new approach to buying software development | Mirko Kleiner
34:00

When organizations start with Agile, they typically focus on the work that needs to be done at the team level. In many organizations we have “water-scrum-fall”, a little bit of Scrum squeezed inside two big buns of plain waterfall.

The reason for that is that organizations don’t change as a whole. Typically Agile adoption starts in Engineering/R&D and slowly spreads throughout the organization. At some point it bumps against the slow moving, but very powerful finance department. Where are all the financial decisions are made, including how to fund projects, and where Procurement has a key role. How do we change Procurement (buying software development) to fit Agile organizations?

That’s the topic we explore with Mirko Kleiner, a pioneer in the Lean-Agile Procurement movement.

About Mirko Kleiner

Mirko is a founding member of Flowdays, and pioneer of lean-agile procurement. He works as an independent agile coach and interim manager. He has been an avid agileist (Agile Evangelist) for years, but also flexible when it comes adopting the right method.
Mirko is currently working on topics such as: De-Scaled Agile, participative agile transformation and the question "what comes before the agile contract?"

You can link with Mirko Kleiner on LinkedIn and connect with Mirko Kleiner on Twitter.

Dec 28, 2018
How to redefine the measure of success for software development | Jeff Gothelf
45:57

When Agile broken into the scene, it was mostly about the techniques to develop releases of the product quickly. However, that was a time when products were released only a few times a year at best. Today products evolve continuously and that changes how product Owners and Product Managers need to interact with the teams. In this episode, we explore some of the key lessons Jeff has learned working with product organizations all over the world. In short: Product Managers also need to adapt to Agile, it’s not just the teams!

About Jeff Gothelf

Jeff is a Product person. He believes too much time and money is wasted on ideas that don’t work. The world, driven by technology, is changing too fast for us to reliably predict what will work. Today’s leaders must inspire and collaborate, not micromanage, to drive agility and innovation in their organizations.
Jeff teaches executives and teams to focus on their customers, learn from mistakes and create an agile culture that continuously improves their products and services and the way they work.
He’s also the co-author of several books on the topics related to Agile Product Development.

You can link with Jeff Gothelf on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Gothelf on Twitter. And for more, visit Jeff Gothelf’s website where he has regular blog posts and the sign-up form for his newsletter.

Dec 27, 2018
The Product Owner role, and what Scrum Masters can do to help | Jeff Patton
47:21

In this episode, we explore some of the critical lessons Jeff learned in his own career as a Product Owner. We review the missing aspects in most Product Owner role implementations and discuss the tools that have helped Jeff as a Product Owner first, and later his students.

About Jeff Patton

Jeff Patton is the glue that connects good product management and strategy, lean user experience and agile delivery practices together. He has authored numerous articles, essays, and the story mapping book: “User Story Mapping.” An independent consultant with a unique teaching and speaking style, he uses hand-drawings and engaging storytelling to share his passion for product design.
He’s one of the most vocal advocates of holding the product development process as a holistic, user-centered approach.

You can link with Jeff Patton on LinkedIn and connect with Jeff Patton on Twitter. You can also find Jeff’s writings and upcoming Product Owner courses in his site, at http://www.jpattonassociates.com/.

Dec 26, 2018
Introducing Nexus, a framework for scaling Scrum | Patricia Kong, Kurt Bittner
35:57

For several years, the Agile community has been struggling with the use of Agile practices - developed for small teams - in the large. Large organizations or multi-team efforts are the rule, not the exception in the software world. In this episode we explore Nexus, a scaling framework developed by Scrum.org to tackle just that: the use of Scrum in larger organization and multi-team product development efforts.

About Patricia Kong

Patricia Kong is the co-author of "The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum" published by Pearson, a public speaker and the Product Owner of the Scrum.org enterprise solutions program which includes the Nexus Framework, Evidence-Based Management, Scrum Studio, and Scrum Development Kit. Patricia is a people advocate and fascinated by organizational behavior and misbehaviors.

You can link with Patricia Kong on LinkedIn and connect with Patricia Kong on Twitter.

 

About Kurt Bittner

Kurt likes to start by understanding client and organizational goals, assess key levers for change and to develop effective solutions that achieve those goals.
In the past, he led multi-year organization transformation efforts with a variety of Fortune 100 clients to improve their ability to deliver effective software solutions with reduced time to market.
He also worked at Ivar Jacobson and Rational Software, both companies that are part of the evolution towards developing methods for large-scale software development.

You can link with Kurt Bittner on LinkedIn and connect with Kurt Bittner on Twitter.

Dec 25, 2018
Dean Leffingwell on scaling Agile and the Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe | Dean Leffingwell
31:47

For this first Christmas 2018 special we focus on scaling Agile, and specifically how the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) can help organizations take Agile and apply it in the large.

There are many systems that require multiple teams to work together. As more and more industries adopt software as a core part of their services and products, we also see many organizations developing many products concurrently, and large engineering organizations that require coordination across tens or hundreds of teams, including non-software teams.

In this episode, we discuss how SAFe can help you take Agile to that type of environments and organizations.

About Dean Leffingwell

Dean Leffingwell, a forty-year software industry veteran. A renowned methodologist, author, multi-entrepreneur, consultant and executive, he has founded multiple software companies. He served as Vice President of Rational Software (now IBM). Later, he helped numerous distributed, multinational corporations implement Agile methods at scale.
He is the author of several books about software development and the creator of the Scaled Agile Framework, a public-facing knowledge base of proven best practices that bring the benefits of software agility to the largest software enterprises. He currently serves as both Chief Methodologist and CEO at Scaled Agile, Inc., which he co-founded in 2011.

Dec 24, 2018
What Scrum Masters can do, when “failure is not an option” | Massimiliano Fattorusso
06:17

There are cultures that put a high premium of failure. They devise all kinds of approaches to avoid failure. This is in contrast with the Agile perspective of failing fast, in other words, to fail before the failure is catastrophic.

However, as Scrum Masters, we must help our teams, and our organizations be comfortable with small failures, as that is what drives learning and helps the teams evolve.

Small, and quick failures may even be the fastest way to take a team from mediocre to high-productivity.

In this episode we talk about how Scrum Masters can face, and overcome the fear of failure that exists in some cultures.

 

About Massimiliano Fattorusso

Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.

You can link with Massimiliano Fattorusso on LinkedIn and connect with Massimiliano Fattorusso on Twitter.

Dec 21, 2018
3 aspects to reflect on help you create your Scrum Master success definition | Massimiliano Fattorusso
09:45

When it comes to being a successful Scrum Master, we need to have a clear definition that helps us make regular decisions about where to put our focus. In this episode, Max shares with us 3 aspects that he has in mind and reflects on when it comes to assessing his progress as a Scrum Master. We also talk about concrete practices that Max has found help reach his own definition of success.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Pre-mortem

Retrospectives are usually about what has happened. How the Sprint went. How the release went. However, sometimes it is useful for the team to reflect on their near future. The Pre-Mortem Retrospective format focuses on that near future. In this episode, Max explains how you can use that format to help improve cross-team collaboration in a multi-team environment

 

About Massimiliano Fattorusso

Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.

You can link with Massimiliano Fattorusso on LinkedIn and connect with Massimiliano Fattorusso on Twitter.

Dec 20, 2018
How Scrum Masters can support OKR deployment in an organization | Massimiliano Fattorusso
10:12

Sometimes the changes we address are straight forward. In this episode we explore the deployment of a management method: Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs. As Scrum Masters we work also to support improvements at the organizational level. OKR’s are one management method that many organizations adopt and will probably cross your path.

In this episode we discuss how Scrum Masters can help deploy a process like OKR’s. One of the change processes we must be familiar with.

 

About Massimiliano Fattorusso

Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.

You can link with Massimiliano Fattorusso on LinkedIn and connect with Massimiliano Fattorusso on Twitter.

Dec 19, 2018
BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT: Helping Scrum Masters coach their Product Owners
06:11
Check out the Coach Your Product Owner course at: http://bit.ly/coachyourpo
 
If you have questions about the course, email me (vasco.duarte@oikosofy.com) or tweet me (https://twitter.com/duarte_vasco)
 
Thank you for listening and merry Christmas everybody!
Dec 18, 2018
Team conflict, and what a Scrum Master can do to detect and resolve it | Massimiliano Fattorusso
11:26

When a team is starting down the conflict path there are signs we can detect early enough to help them. In this episode we talk about the signals of conflict, and when the conflict starts to become to big to solve without management intervention.

Conflict is one of the ways in which teams destroy themselves, listen in to learn about what you can do to avoid, or resolve conflict.

Featured Book of the Week: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

In Radical Candor by Kim Scott, Massimiliano found something that changed his view on how to provide feedback. One takeaway was: “it’s crucial that the person getting the feedback knows that I want the best for them”. Do you care for the people you give feedback to?

 

About Massimiliano Fattorusso

Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.

You can link with Massimiliano Fattorusso on LinkedIn and connect with Massimiliano Fattorusso on Twitter.

Dec 18, 2018
When Cognitive Diversity fails, and how Scrum Masters can avoid it | Massimiliano Fattorusso
10:46

We’ve heard that cognitive diversity in a team can have a good impact on team performance. Whether that diversity is added by looking at gender, race or any other dimension, the expectation is that when you add more points of view to a team you avoid things like Groupthink, and other related pitfalls. But is that so?

In this episode, we explore a situation when adding cognitive diversity to the team was a big problem. And then we discuss how we can avoid that in our own work.

 

About Massimiliano Fattorusso

Massimiliano has a strong interest in agile methodologies and lean principles. He is keen on sharing lessons learned as a speaker at international and local conferences. Empathy, creativity and drive to innovate is part of his identity. Massimiliano is not afraid of addressing the uncomfortable truth, that’s how he helps bring teams forward.

You can link with Massimiliano Fattorusso on LinkedIn and connect with Massimiliano Fattorusso on Twitter.

Dec 17, 2018
The Japanese culture and the adoption of Scrum | Donna Marie Lee
10:51

The focus on process and rules of certain cultures (like the Japanese or German cultures) is often regarded as a positive towards the adoption of structured, linear approaches to work. But how about Scrum? How does Scrum fit the Japanese Culture? In this episode, we explore the fit between Scrum and the Japanese culture. While discussing the Japanese cultural context we also explore possible problems with Scrum adoption in multinational companies, where many cultures are mixed in one single organization.

 

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

Dec 14, 2018
Is the team facilitating their Scrum ceremonies when the Scrum Master is away? | Donna Marie Lee
11:46

A quick way to check if our work as Scrum Masters is having the needed impact is to check if the team is still hosting the Scrum Retrospectives when we are away. If that’s the case, then it is likely that the Scrum Master has done a fairly good work. In this episode, we discuss this and other approaches Scrum Masters can use to assess their contribution to the team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Retro Beers

When we think of retrospectives we typically think of a meeting room, people sitting down (or standing) and executing some prepared exercises over the course of the meeting. But that’s not what a retrospective is about. It’s simply a possible format. In this episode, we discuss the 5 stages of retrospectives and how those can be implemented in many different ways.

In this episode, we refer to Retromat, a useful resource to help you plan your retrospective.

 

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

Dec 13, 2018
How change starts by helping Scrum teams ask the right questions | Donna Marie Lee
15:01

When teams start a change process, we often look back at single events that may have triggered that change. In this episode, we talk about a different type of process. A process where the Scrum Master helps the team find the right change by asking questions. We discuss the process that questions help trigger, and how that helps the team (and the Scrum Master) find the right time and the right way for change to take hold.

 

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

Dec 12, 2018
How to help a group become a real Scrum team | Donna Marie Lee
12:10

In this episode, we discuss the common anti-pattern of teams that are nothing but a loosely coupled group of individuals. Where collaboration is difficult, if not impossible. A group that can’t work well together because they share very little that would make them a team.

We then discuss the approaches, the tools, and strategies that Donna Marie used to help that group of people become a real team.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts, Donna Marie found practical advice for her journey as a Scrum Master. She especially appreciated the real-life stories that the author shares. Those stories helped her connect with the Scrum Master role as well as learn valuable practices and strategies for her role.

 

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

Dec 11, 2018
When Scrum Masters take things personally | Donna Marie Lee
11:13

Scrum Masters face difficult moments regularly. Helping organizations and teams improve is not a linear process, and sometimes people react emotionally to the changes they are facing. Donna Marie shares a story of when she took that push-back personally. We then discuss how to overcome the temptation to take things personally, and what to do instead.

 

About Donna Marie Lee

Former software engineer turned pragmatic change agent working in Tokyo. Enthusiastic about inspiring teams to be great and achieve their goals.

Certified Scrum Professional with more than 5 years experience in training, facilitating and coaching agile and scrum practices.
Previously worked as a Line Manager and Team Lead responsible for nurturing the growth and maturity of teams and individuals within the company.

Dec 10, 2018
The lack of commitment to quality anti-pattern and how that can destroy Scrum teams | Daniel Heinen
06:19

In this week we explore the “system conditions” that can cause catastrophic failure in teams. Specifically, we look at the lack of commitment to quality anti-pattern, where that comes from, and how we can, as Scrum Master, help teams overcome that anti-pattern.

 

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

Dec 07, 2018
A simple Success definition for us as Scrum Masters | Daniel Heinen
12:13

There are many possible answers to the question: “what does Success mean for you as a Scrum Master”. And some of those answers can be very detailed and in-depth. But that’s not the only way to look at our success as Scrum Masters.

In this episode, we discuss a simple definition of success. Listen in to learn more about that simple definition, and see how that can help you improve your own work as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Weather Report check-in

The Weather Report retrospective format is a metaphor-based format that helps the team highlight the “clouds” or “storms” they faced in the previous sprints.

You  use this exercise as a check-in (with a short phrase or two from each team member), or as a starter for a deeper conversation about what we might want to do differently in the next Sprint.

 

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

Dec 06, 2018
How Scrum Masters must go from teachers to moderators | Daniel Heinen
09:24

When a change process starts it is easy to be tempted to “drive” that change in the organization. However, that’s not always a good option. In this episode, we discuss the possible negative side effects of “driving” change into a team or organization.

How can Scrum Masters get out of the “drive” change anti-pattern? In this episode, we discuss how management can play a major role in helping move to a pull-mode change process and what the role of the Scrum Master is in that type of change.

Listen in to learn about concrete tools and practices that help the Scrum Masters go from “teacher” to “moderator” in the change process.

 

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

Dec 05, 2018
The “strong” leader anti-pattern Scrum Masters must be aware of | Daniel Heinen
10:56

When leaders are “strong”, we may have the top-down scrum anti-pattern. When the leader drives what the team does, and the team just follows orders. In this episode, we discuss this Scrum anti-pattern and how we, Scrum Masters, can tackle such situations.

Look out for team burnout, lack of trust from stakeholders and how people hide from the latent conflict. All symptoms that something is about to break.

Featured Book of the Week: Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde

In Scaling Lean & Agile Development by Larman and Vodde, Daniel found a good description of the scaling problems developers usually face when working in large organizations, and why we must take a deliberate approach to help many teams work together (scaling Agile).

 

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

Dec 04, 2018
How Scrum Masters can protect the team from political games in the organization | Daniel Heinen
13:42

In this episode, Daniel tells us the story of when the Product Owner took a “leader” role, and hid information from the stakeholders. The Product Owner promised many things to management to ensure funding for the project. This is a common anti-pattern in project organizations, but it can have serious consequences in an Agile environment because of the additional transparency that Agile and Scrum bring to the process.

In this episode, we talk about how Daniel and the team handled the difficult and delicate situation they were facing.

In this episode, we refer to the #NoEstimates movement, and the concept of Muda (Type 1) from Lean Manufacturing.

 

About Daniel Heinen

Daniel has been a Scrum Master since 2014 on a Scrum pilot at BMW. Since 2016 focusing on organizational change management, for example, facilitating communities of practices for Scrum adoption at BMW. Recently he started working as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach at Autonomous Driving BMW, who decided in 2017 to restructure according to the LeSS framework.

You can link with Daniel Heinen on LinkedIn.

Dec 03, 2018
How indirect feedback affects the Scrum Master job an Agile adoption | David Denham
10:04

David works in Ireland, and even if the workplace is multi-cultural and diverse, there are some national culture traits that show up often. In this episode, we discuss the feedback culture, and how feedback is given and should be understood in Ireland.

Working as Scrum Masters, the type of feedback and how it is conveyed becomes a key topic for us. Although we must adapt to the local culture, we must also be aware of how national cultures handle conflict (or avoid it). In this episode, we talk about indirect-feedback cultures and how that affects the Scrum Master work.

 

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

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

Nov 30, 2018
How Scrum Masters can overcome the Impostor Syndrome | David Denham
10:04

Scrum Masters can easily feel the Impostor Syndrome. After all, we are there to help a team, that usually works with a technology we don’t fully understand, and develops a product for a business we might not be familiar with. How can we them overcome the Impostor Syndrome? David suggests that we should focus on a set of simple questions that guide our actions. These questions help us focus on the core role of the Scrum Master, and help us acknowledge our strong points and main responsibilities as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Using metaphors to help generate creative ideas

There are many metaphor formats for retrospectives. The Speed Boat Retrospective, the Amazon Product retrospective, the Sailboat Retro, the Hot-air Baloon Retro, etc. All of these formats help the team be creative about finding the impediments they want to focus on. It helps the team get out of their day-to-day scenarios and think deeper about the issues they want to tackle. Metaphors also help the teams discuss problems that they would otherwise hesitate addressing.

 

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

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

Nov 29, 2018
How to reach a fast concept-to-cash cycle with the help of the Scrum Master | David Denham
10:22

David started working with a group of teams that were component-focused and started seeing the usual anti-patterns. The “concept to cash” cycle was too slow. How do you help an organization get out of the component-focused organization and switch to a more outcome-oriented organization?

In this episode, we explore one approach that David put in practice, and how that may help your organization recognize what they are missing by sticking to the silo-prone component-based organization.

In this episode, we refer to Design Sprints, a method that focuses on a quick learning process, and also discuss the game “Build Your Own Scrum”.

 

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

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

Nov 28, 2018
The over-commitment anti-pattern in Scrum teams | David Denham
13:04

In this team, David saw a sense of panic! The team was trying to define and commit to the maximum possible amount of work that could fit in one increment. They were measured by their “predictability” (how much of what was committed was actually delivered), and that led to lots of escalations to management. The team started being late and pushing QA/testing to the next sprint. The conditions were set for a disaster!

Listen in to learn about this story and how David and his colleagues helped this team.

Featured Book of the Week: Coaching Agile Teams by Lysa Adkins

David found the ideas in the book to be helpful in his own journey as a coach. He refers to the learning model for teams (Shu-Ha-Ri) and the many tools in the book that helped him in his job.

In this segment, we also talk about the book User Story mapping by Jeff Patton.

 

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

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

Nov 27, 2018
What happens when Scrum Masters have their own Agenda | David Denham
12:25

When Scrum Masters come to work with a team they must make a critical decision. Are they there to help the team, in their own terms, or to “bring in” Scrum or improvements? There’s a critical difference between these alternative approaches.

In this episode, we discuss how Scrum Masters can fail when they come to the team to “bring in” Scrum. Listen in to learn how that looks like, and how to detect that anti-pattern before it is too late.

In this episode, we refer to the Kanban Method.

 

About David Denham

David Denham works as a Scrum Master in Workday in Dublin and is one of the leaders of the Agile-Lean Ireland community and co-organiser of the ALI conference. He previously worked as a UX lead and believes in the power of Product delivery teams being involved in Product Discovery, through practicing Design Sprints. He practices failure every single day by attempting to use his agile coaching skills with his 2 small daughters!

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

Nov 26, 2018
How corporate culture affects Agile adoption | David Sabine
09:39

As we explore the impact of culture in the adoption of Agile and Scrum, we must also reflect on the impact of the corporate culture. Despite the influence of national cultures, international corporations also bring their own culture which may, or may not align with the national culture.

In this episode, we look at how individuals quickly adapt to the prevailing culture, and how corporate cultures can influence disproportionately the Agile adoption process.

In this episode, we refer to the book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide by Edgar Schein.

 

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

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

Nov 23, 2018
The core job of the Scrum Master | David Sabine
11:54

When thinking about what success means for Scrum Masters, David follows the ideas in the Scrum Guide. We reflect on the Scrum Artifacts, and how the Scrum Master’s job can be summarized as increasing transparency of the Scrum Artifacts.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Lean Coffee

In The Lean Coffee, a group of people select a set of topics they want to discuss, then prioritize those topics and discuss them one-by-one, ending with an action or conclusion for each item. For David, this is a technique that helps the team be fully focused on the discussion at hand. It can be a fast-paced conversation (set a shorter time-box) or a leisure-pace conversation (longer time-box) depending on how much time you have available.

 

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

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

Nov 22, 2018
How to survive a large Agile adoption process | David Sabine
09:56

When we are involved in large organization transformations there can be a sense of overwhelm. That the organization and the different groups are too large to grasp. So how do you survive a large transformation process? In this episode, we explore some of the practices that David learned through his own story when involved with a transformation in a large organization.

In this episode, we refer often to the book The Corporate Culture Survival Guide by Edgar Schein.

 

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

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

Nov 21, 2018
How to teams get out of self-defeating patterns | David Sabine
12:54

When Scrum Masters try to help teams, they must be aware of the differences between what is being said by management, and what is being done in practice. In this episode, we explore how Scrum Masters can explore the real situation (as opposed to what is being said about the situation), and how Scrum Masters can help teams get out of their own self-defeating patterns.

Featured Book of the Week: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig

In Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig tells the story of a motorcycle trip that unites father and son. It is a book that begs us to reflect on our values. As Scrum Masters, we must also inquire into our, and the team’s values so that we can help them reflect and be coherent with those values.

 

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

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

Nov 20, 2018
When the Scrum Master forgets the team | David Sabine
11:37

The Scrum Master’s role is primarily a role that serves the team. Without that presence, the teams suffer, and in this episode, we explore what might happen when the Scrum Master - eager to help the organization - focuses on the context, rather than the team.

 

About David Sabine

David is a Scrum trainer and an advisor to software development organizations. He is in demand among Canada’s largest enterprises including Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Canada’s Federal Government. He formerly worked with DigitalOcean and Myplanet.com, among others. He’s been helping people with the ways they use Scrum since 2007.

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

Nov 19, 2018
The Impact of Hierarchy on Scrum Teams, and Team Members | Silvana Wasitova
11:43

National cultures affect the level of deference to hierarchy that is acceptable or expected in the organization. As Scrum Masters, we must be aware of that, as it will directly affect the behavior of team members. In this episode, we discuss the effect that the hierarchy-level in the organization can have, and how to slowly help team members find their way in that kind of cultures.

 

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Nov 16, 2018
How Scrum Masters can Observe Team Members Over Time to Assess Success | Silvana Wasitova
10:06

Silvana finds that many different possible formats can fit the teams we work with. She shares a resource (Retromat.Org) that helps us find ideas for new formats/exercises, and suggests a format that you can use this week: The Starfish Retrospective format.

 

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Nov 15, 2018
The Critical Importance of Permission to Coach for Scrum Masters | Silvana Wasitova
12:34

As Scrum Masters, one of the key ingredients for our work to succeed is “permission”. Permission to do our work with the teams. Permission to help the team find new ways of working.

In this episode, Silvana shares the story of a team, how they were reluctant to give her permission at first, and how Silvana handled it, to the point where permission was finally granted.

 

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Nov 14, 2018
How to Handle the “It’s not my Decision” Anti-pattern | Silvana Wasitova
11:41

In Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins, Silvana found important lessons on how to engage with the teams, and how to change her mind about the role of a Coach or Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about the key lessons that book had for Silvana.

 

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Nov 13, 2018
The First Steps from Waterfall to Scrum | Silvana Wasitova
15:02

As Scrum Masters, we face many of the patterns of the old methodologies. In this episode with Silvana Wasitova, we explore the up-front planning, all-in commitment approach and how that affects agile teams. We also discuss how a Scrum Master can help such teams.

 

About Silvana Wasitova

Silvana Wasitova, Enterprise Agile Coach, helps teams and companies achieve better results through applying and living Agile values and principles. Scrum practitioner since 2005. Silvana lives and breathes the agile value of “People over Process”, and brings that to the forefront of her coaching work with teams and companies, while focused on the client’s audacious goals and desired results. Silvana has aided multinational enterprise Agile transformations in United States, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Indonesia and Switzerland with clients including Yahoo, Nestle, Skype, Microsoft, financial enterprises as well as startups.

You can link with Silvana Wasitova on LinkedIn and connect with Silvana Wasitova on Twitter.

Nov 12, 2018
How the Perceived Status of the Scrum Master Role Affects Scrum Masters | Paulo Rebelo
11:51

The role of Scrum Master is not yet a fully developed and recognized role in the Software industry. This has an impact on how people find (or not) their motivation to excel in that role.

In this episode, we talk about cultures that place a lot of value on the status of a Job Title, and how that affects the motivation of people that take up the Scrum Master role.

 

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Nov 09, 2018
2 Critical Aspects for our Success as Scrum Masters | Paulo Rebelo
08:38

In this episode, we explore 2 aspects of our success as Scrum Masters that Paulo developed in his career. These are simple aspects of success that, if we pay attention, can directly improve how we reflect on our work, and help us find better ways to help our teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Happiness Radar

Sometimes we need to help the team find the improvements that are not obvious. In this episode, Paulo shares a retrospective format that focuses on helping the team find the problems that affect their well-being, and how that can help find improvement ideas. This week The Happiness Radar is our featured retrospective format.

 

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Nov 08, 2018
How Scrum Values can help trigger a change process | Paulo Rebelo
11:08

As Paulo started helping this company in their Agile adoption he noticed that, even if the company was “doing” Scrum, they were missing some critical aspects.

Listen in to learn how Paulo helped this company find a better way to adopt Scrum, using the Scrum Values as the anchor to the change.

 

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Nov 07, 2018
Helping a Product Owner change from long specifications to User Stories | Paulo Rebelo
12:14

As Scrum Masters we don’t just work with the team, we also work directly with the Product Owners that support the team. In this story, Paulo shares the case of the Product Owner that had a Business Analysis background and thought the job was about writing specifications in isolation. Listen in to learn how Paulo handled that and helped the Product Owner transition to User Stories and more team interaction.

Featured Book of the Week: Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo

In Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo, Paulo found a management model that better suited his goal to become a Scrum Master. By reading this book he learned about how he could become a better servant leader. A key aspect of the Scrum Master role.

 

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Nov 06, 2018
How Scrum Masters can Cope With Intrusive Team Managers | Paulo Rebelo
12:39

When we come into work with a team, the first thing we must be aware of is the type and number of stakeholders that we will be dealing with.

In this episode, Paulo presents a story of a team that he was supposed to help, but the stakeholders started messing up with the team, making his work, as Scrum Master, much harder.

Listen in to learn about how to deal with particularly intrusive team managers. Something that we will all need to face, sooner or later.

 

About Paulo Rebelo

Paulo Rebelo helps companies to improve using agile and lean principles like Scrum, XP, and Kanban. He currently works at Blackhawk Network in the U.S., helping teams succeed by building great products. His background is a developer, Scrum Master, product owner, project manager, and coach. Paulo is a CSP, CSPO and a CSM from the Scrum Alliance and PMP from the PMI.

You can link with Paulo Rebelo on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rebelo on Twitter.

Nov 05, 2018
Being Polite as a Way to Create a Safety Zone for the Team | Elizabeth Christensen
08:41

In this episode we explore a very specific culture within North America, and how it affects the adoption of Scrum. Listen in to learn how a Nebraska Scrum Master takes advantage of their specific local culture to help her team.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Nov 02, 2018
The Need to Adapt Scrum to non-SW teams | Elizabeth Christensen
10:56

When defining the format for the “next” retrospective it is easy to get lost in the many, many options that are out there. In this episode Liz explains why she prefers a format that is familiar, simple and consistent (Worked well / Didn’t work well / Continue / Goals for next Iteration Retrospective Format). We also talk about one of the most important rules: what is discussed in the retro, stays in the retro!

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Nov 01, 2018
How Scrum Masters can Support Change with Data and Evidence | Elizabeth Christensen
13:26

As Scrum Masters we are often confronted with challenges and problems that the teams suffer on a daily basis. These challenges are only the start of the change process. In this episode, Liz explores the ways in which we can support the teams in effecting changes they perceive as necessary. We talk about the role of retrospectives in the change process and also the importance of arguing for the change with data and evidence to gain stakeholder support.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Oct 31, 2018
Applying Scrum outside Software Development: a Marketing team | Elizabeth Christensen
12:21

In Strategic Planning by John M. Bryson Liz found some important lessons about how to lead a team with a mission. In Strategic Planning by Bryson we can read about how to lead an organisation and a team with intent.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Oct 30, 2018
How Scrum Masters can detect Team Burnout | Elizabeth Christensen
10:27

As projects progress, it is common that the pressure rises. Every day we work with teams that suffer many pressures, from stakeholders, from other teams, and from themselves because of the commitments they want to honour.

In this episode we talk about a hidden tragedy: the team burnout. Listen in to learn how Liz detected and faced that tragedy.

 

About Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth Christensen shares tales from the not-so-cutting-edge, bringing Scrum to Marketing. She is currently developing scrum practices for a marketing team. With a background in business management & team leadership this self-proclaimed scrappy new Scrum Master finds her way in a never-before-experienced opportunity.

You can link with Elizabeth Christensen on LinkedIn.

Oct 29, 2018
Is Agile compatible with the North American culture? | Kyle Aretae
13:12

In this episode, we reflect on the fit between North American culture and Agile culture. We discuss some of the characteristics that define North American culture, and how that contrasts with other cultures. Specifically, we discuss why Lean, something that came from Japan, might be completely different in the way the individual is part of the approach to work.

In this episode, we refer to Ceremony: A Profound New Method for Achieving Successful and Sustainable Change by Kyle Aretae and Thomas Meloche, and The Scrum Princess by Kyle and Demi Aretae, which explains Scrum to children.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 26, 2018
The success metrics that help Scrum Masters improve | Kyle Aretae
11:15

When Kyle reaches for his favorite retrospective formats he wants one that he is familiar with, and that improves the positive energy in the team. In the retrospective, as well as in other Scrum ceremonies he facilitates he asks 3 questions designed to assess how well that particular instance of the ceremony delivered value. Listen in to learn what are Kyle’s 3 questions.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 25, 2018
Change models, and change practice for Scrum Masters | Kyle Aretae
10:57

Kyle’s own journey when learning about change led him to understand the importance of focusing on the organizational aspects, not just the team he was working with. In this episode, we explore several different change models and end up with a set of tips that Kyle has learned over time work for organizational, not just team-level, change.

In this episode we refer to John Kotter’s 8-step process for change, Organization Change: Theory and Practice by W. Warner Burke, and David Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 24, 2018
How Scrum Masters can help teams address conflict without a blow-ups | Kyle Aretae
11:02

For Kyle, Agile solves 2 problems. One is the building of software in a better, more sustainable manner. The other is to create a functioning organization, which will become a better place to work. In this episode, Kyle also explains how a simple technique can help the team address behavior that negatively affects the team without ever making that a personal conflict.

Featured Book of the Week: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennet

Kyle was struck by the book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel C. Dennet. It helped him understand the enormous difference between plannable systems and evolutionary systems. That helped him understand the impact that Agile could have on organizations. During his research after reading that book he also came across Interactual Ritual Chains by Randall Collins, which helped him understand the role of (Scrum) ceremonies in the development of the team, and ultimately led him to write one of his own books: Ceremony: A Profound New Method for Achieving Successful and Sustainable Change by Kyle Aretae and Thomas Meloche

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 23, 2018
What Scrum Masters must focus on, beyond the teams | Kyle Aretae
15:12

Kyle’s background as a developer has informed his view of how teams can achieve the level of collaboration needed to be successful in an Agile environment. Having read Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained book, he started to work with developers, helping them improve their ways of working. But that wasn’t enough. In this episode, we explore what is beyond the team that can make or break an Agile transition.

 

About Kyle Aretae

Kyle has been programming since '81. Teaching since '91. Practicing Agile (Extreme Programming - XP) since 2000. Kyle is always interested first in better ways to understand things and systems. Especially interested in Complex (CAS/VUCA) Systems like building software or the economy at large.

You can find Kyle Areate at DiamondAgile.com, or link with Kyle Areate on LinkedIn.

Oct 22, 2018
For Scrum Master: People are NOT Resources! | Faye Thompson
12:18

There’s the temptation that people are as easily replaceable as parts in a machine. But is that the case? And if you answer “no”, what does that mean for you as a Scrum Master? In this episode we explore the many reasons why treating people as “resources” causes problems in the long run.

In this episode, we refer to the book Age of Agile by Steve Denning.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 19, 2018
How the Scrum Master must focus on stakeholder happiness as a success measure | Faye Thompson
11:06

When we discuss the success of a Scrum Master, happiness is a word that often comes up. Is the customer happy? Is the team happy? Are some of the questions we must ask ourselves, and in this episode, Faye reviews how we can ask, collect the answer for and use those to help our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Single Word Retrospective

In the Single Word Retrospective, the team reflects on how one word impacts their way of working. In this episode, Faye shares one concrete example of what that could look like in practice.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

 

Oct 18, 2018
How Agile Retrospectives are the core of the change process | Faye Thompson
11:11

There are many tools out there to support a change process. So many in fact, that we often forget the humble Retrospective. The most important tool in our Scrum Master toolbox: reflect and adjust, inspect and adapt - the core cycle of change.

In this episode, we explore how the Agile Retrospective can become the engine of self-driven team change.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 17, 2018
How a poor Product Owner can destroy the team’s ability to deliver | Faye Thompson
10:36

Many things can fail when we work with teams. But one critical anti-pattern that leads to problems is the lack of a good Product Owner. In this episode, we explore what are the consequences for our teams of having a Product Owner that is unable to filter input from many stakeholders or even to politely say “No!”. Listen in to learn about the many anti-patterns that can come from a poor Product Owner.

Featured Book of the Week: any book by Gerry Weinberg

Faye has followed the work of Gerry Weinberg and recommends that to all Scrum Masters. She mentions several of Gerry Weinberg’s books in this episode, for example: The Secrets of Consulting, or An Introduction to General Systems Theory. For Faye, Gerry’s work is an example of what Scrum Masters work is about: being humane.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 16, 2018
How to be a humane Scrum Master | Faye Thompson
11:53

“We don’t leave our human-selves at the door once we come into work!” - this is how Faye starts this episode. The question is: as a Scrum Master, what does it mean for me? Faye’s journey to the Scrum Master role gives us some insights into the wide-spread consequences of that phrase. It also links directly to the story of failure that Faye has to share with us. It is a story of how a team member started bullying other team members. Listen in to learn to detect bullying signs early on.

 

About Faye Thompson

Faye calls herself a Scrum Master and agile coach, and she enjoys working with teams to solve cool business problems while not being jerks to one another.

You can link with Faye Thompson on LinkedIn and connect with Faye Thompson on Twitter.

Oct 15, 2018
Why Scrum Masters need to go beyond the cultural stereotypes | Ilya Bibik
15:42

Ilya has lived in 3 different countries, and currently lives in Canada where the IT industry is a melting pot of many cultures. That has taught Ilya a lesson: cultures are stereotypes that don’t really apply to single individuals. Being aware of those stereotypes is useful, but Ilya suggests we go deeper.

Listen in to learn how to go beyond the cultural stereotype and learn about the individuals you work with.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 12, 2018
How Scrum Masters can detect when the team is ready to be self-sufficient | Ilya Bibik
14:28

As we evolve our practice, we help the team be self-sufficient. Over time, the team will be able to handle most of the Scrum process itself. But how do we detect when the team is ready for that final step in their maturity? In this episode we talk about the signs Scrum Masters can look for to detect when the team is mature enough to be self-sufficient.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Flexible Retro

When we focus on having the Retrospective as a “ceremony”, there’s a risk that it becomes just that: a ritual that has little impact. Ilya’s approach is different. In this episode we describes a very simple format, and how you can make retrospectives fun again. The Flexible Retrospective format.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 11, 2018
Why Scrum Masters must focus on “one change at a time" | Ilya Bibik
10:31

When teams start with Scrum, there’s the temptation to define and implement many changes at the same time. After all, there’s a lot of new practices to take in. However, Ilya’s suggestion is different. Listen in to learn about the idea of “one change at a time”, and how you may be able to apply it in your context.

In this episode we refer to Ilya Bibik’s book: How to Kill the Scrum Monster.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 10, 2018
How Scrum Masters can identify possible future problems with teams | Ilya Bibik
11:02

This week we recommend a paper, where Bruce Tuckman, of the famous Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model describes his famous model. Unfortunately that article is not freely available for everyone to read, so we stick to the wikipedia entry for the Tuckman’s “stages of group development” model.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 09, 2018
How to survive the micromanaging anti-pattern | Ilya Bibik
13:18

Management was micro-managing the team. Ilya, the Scrum Master, tried to protect the team. The stress levels were high… This is a very common story in the software industry. When deadlines loom, the whole dynamic changes. As Scrum Masters, we must be ready for that moment. Listen in to learn about how Ilya handled the situation, and what you can apply in your own situation when the time comes.

In this episode we refer to the book Give and Take, by Adam Grant.

 

About Ilya Bibik

Ilya has about 16 years experience in software development and more than 7 years experience in the Scrum Master role. On top of Software engineering, Ilya has also a background as a school teacher and military service that helps him with his Scrum Master role. Recently Ilya published a book "How to Kill the scrum Monster" that he wished he had read 8 years ago.

You can link with Ilya Bibik on LinkedIn and connect with Ilya Bibik on Twitter.

Oct 08, 2018
The team vs. individual focus some national cultures have | Peter Zylka
11:25

Every country has a slightly different take on the important balance between team (group) and individual focus. Peter shares with us his own view of how different cultures find that continuum, and what that means in the country where he lives: Germany.

Listen in to learn about the relative importance between team and individual, and how to assess when to pull the focus to one or the other, so that you can help the team.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 05, 2018
The important Scrum Master job of helping the team reflects | Peter Zylka
11:02

The Oscar Academy Awards Awards retrospective format helps the team find a new dynamic for the retrospective. It’s a fun, but insightful format that can then be followed up with a action-oriented finale that helps the team pick up the most important improvement items to, for example, avoid having an annoying story like the one that won the “Most Annoying Story of this Sprint” award.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 04, 2018
A 3 step approach to help struggling teams | Peter Zylka
09:43

When a team has left Scrum to adopt another method, but is stuck, going back to Scrum may be a good approach. As they go back to something familiar they can regain their self-confidence. In this episode we explore such a story, and how Peter structured his approach to this change process, that he divides into 3 main steps.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 03, 2018
The problematic relationship between a team and their Product Owner | Peter Zylka
11:54

What happens when the Product Owner and the team can’t collaborate? When the team just takes orders from the Product Owner and stops contributing to the planning and content of the User Stories? This was the situation that Peter had to face. Listen in to learn how he tackled this relationship problem.

Featured Book of the Week: Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

In this book, Peter found an approach that helps him as a Scrum Master. In Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng tries to offers a method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 02, 2018
Do you want to help the team, or one team member? | Peter Zylka
12:25

As we work with multiple teams, it is inevitable that we will meet a team member that is against Scrum in all possible ways. They’ll ask: why do we need to have Sprint Review? Why do we need to have a retrospective every Sprint? How do we, as Scrum Masters, deal with such team members? Listen in as Peter shares his experience with such a team member, and how he focused on helping the team, despite the negative comments from one team member.

 

About Peter Zylka

Peter is a freelancing Scrum Master who really loves what he does.

Peter is passionate about Agility and loves supporting teams and organizations on their way into the agile world. As a Scrum Master his goal is to enable each individual in the team to perform the best possible way and to actually understand what a team really is all about.

He starts every day with the goal to make the people around him better.

You can link with Peter Zylka on LinkedIn.

Oct 01, 2018
The impact of polite cultures on the crucial open communication Scrum teams need | Paulo Rodriguez
07:48

People want to be polite, especially in some cultures like the Philippines. But too much politeness prevents the teams from talking about the tough issues that they must resolve. Paulo was struggling with such a team, and he had to solve that. He needed to help the team tackle the difficult issues. In this episode we talk about how you can help your team tackle the tough issues in a way that even the most polite cultures can deal with.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 28, 2018
Value Delivery and self-organisation as the measures of Scrum Master success | Paulo Rodriguez
09:55

As the team takes more initiative and responsibility, the Scrum Master role changes. That, in itself is a measure of success for us as Scrum Masters. However, the real measure of success comes from the team delivering consistently value to the market, and following the Scrum values.

In this episode we also talk about the Comparative Agile Survey as a way to help the teams reflect on their progress.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start / Stop / Continue

Paulo prefers an action oriented format for his retrospectives, and the Start / Stop / Continue retrospective format provides a simple, yet effective way for the team to generate improvement actions.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 27, 2018
The role of communities of practice in the adoption of Agile and Scrum | Paulo Rodriguez
08:39

There are many possible approaches to help change stick in an organisation. In this episode we explore how a community of practice can help spread knowledge and support Agile adoption.

In this episode we also talk about communities of practice outside the organisation were we work. In Paulo’s case, Agile Philippines was one of those communities that helped him. Do you have one near you?

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 26, 2018
How even small changes can wake up a team | Paulo Rodriguez
09:18

Continuing the theme from the previous episode, we talk about rewards and their impact on teams. In the book Drive, Daniel Pink explores what research has revealed about the use of rewards in different environments, and that helped Paulo find better ways to use rewards. Listen in to learn about his tips.  

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 25, 2018
The negative impact of rewards | Paulo Rodriguez
09:07

Rewards are an easy tool to use. But does it work as intended. Do rewards really help teams and people perform better? In this episode we explore one story where Paulo tried to use rewards to help a team, and what happened once the rewards became an expectation from the team.

 

About Paulo Rodriguez

Paulo has worked in the IT industry for 15 years. He started as a web developer for a local bank. His Agile journey began in 2015 and he’s been a Scrum Master for 3 years. Paulo is also a Certified Professional Scrum Master from Scrum.org (PSM I).

You can link with Paulo Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Paulo Rodriguez on Twitter.

Sep 24, 2018
How Scrum Masters can act in the context of individual-success oriented cultures | Claudia Toscano
10:10

In some cultures the team or collective is emphasised. However, in other cultures, the individual and it’s individual success is the focus. In this episode we talk about a culture that emphasises the “highlighting” of personal success over collective success and how we can help teams, and individuals to overcome that cultural expectation.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 21, 2018
How to help teams reach independence from the Scrum Master | Claudia Toscano
09:39

As Scrum Masters the ultimate sign of a successful impact on the team we serve is that they are able to tackle the obstacles they face on their own. They may request help from the Scrum Master, but are confident they can solve their own problems without external help if that is needed. When trying to help the team be independent however, we must help them through the multiple challenges, and pitfalls that they will face. In this episode we talk about how Claudia focuses on helping teams get to a point where they can act on their own, independently, even without a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Powerful Questions

In this episode we explore a format around the Powerful Questions coaching approach, and how that can help teams go deeper into their own thoughts and beliefs. It is by questioning our beliefs that we can truly evolve in our practice. The Powerful Questions format that Claudia suggests is one possible trigger to start questioning beliefs that are no longer serving us as we expected.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

 

Sep 20, 2018
How to help managers understand the impact of their influence on the teams | Claudia Toscano
12:38

As Scrum Masters we focus a lot of our time and attention on the work with the teams we support. Ultimately, however, the managers of those teams have a great influence on what the teams do, how they act and how they apply Agile in their day-to-day work.

In this episode we explore the role of the manager in an Agile transformation and talk about how the Scrum Master must take into account how the managers influence the teams, and address that influence directly.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 19, 2018
How a Scrum Master can help the team create a more successful “self identity" | Claudia Toscano
13:05

It’s inevitable that teams bump against problems sooner or later. That’s something all teams go through. However, how the teams decide to react to those problems makes a huge difference. In this episode we talk about the “self identity” that teams develop and how that affects their development and effectiveness as a team. What “self identity” is your team developing?

Featured Book of the Week: Por Un Scrum Popular

In the Spanish version of People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer (Por Un Scrum Popular by Tobias Mayer and Alan Cyment), the authors go further than in the original English language book. For Claudia the focus on how to work with the organisation and the disquieting role of the Scrum Master were the key takeaways. If you don’t read Spanish, you can find the English book on Amazon.  

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 18, 2018
How to be a Scrum Master for a team of Agile Coaches | Claudia Toscano
15:14

You’d think that a team of Agile Coaches understands the importance of facilitation. However, that’s not always the case. In this episode we explore how a team of Agile Coaches went through the process many teams go through: from no facilitator, to an external Scrum Master and ...

Listen it to learn what happened next.

 

About Claudia Toscano

Claudia is an Agile Coach and Scrum Master since 2014, she in charge of the Agile Transformation at EPM with a team of 5 other people. Agile and being Mom are the things she enjoys the most.

You can link with Claudia Toscano on LinkedIn and connect with Claudia Toscano on Twitter.

Sep 17, 2018
How to celebrate success in cultures that don’t value that aspect | Darryl Sherborne
08:16

One way to help teams find their “groove” is to celebrate success. A simple, yet effective, reinforcement technique that helps teams identify, and seek success later on as well.

However, some cultures are better than others at expressing their celebration of success. In this episode we talk about a specific culture, the UK, where the celebration of success is not common. How can a Scrum Master help the team celebrate success, even if the culture does not support that?

 

About Darryl Sherborne

Darryl is an IT professional specialising in Kaizen (continuous improvement), Agile delivery and coaching, Lean Thinking implementations and more recently applications of DevOps and Data Science. Darryl can also be found singing in rock/pop choirs, and watching or reading anything in the realm of Sci-Fi / Marvel.

You can link with Darryl Sherborne on LinkedIn and connect with Darryl Sherborne on Twitter.

Sep 14, 2018