Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast

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

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 Jan 15, 2019

Description

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

Episode Date
Resolving the “everything is a priority” Scrum Product Owner anti-pattern | Laurens Bonnema
12:54

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

Sharing the passion for the product with the team is a great way to energize the team while sharing the Vision for the product. 

In this episode, we also about how to solve the “everything is a priority” anti-pattern, even if the PO does not want to!

The Great Product Owner: Sharing the passion and energizing the team

This Product Owner was “an energizer bunny” for teamwork. The PO worked with the team when needed, was decisive in decision making, included the team as much as possible and had a real passion for the product. All of this brought great energy to the team.

The Bad Product Owner: Resolving the “everything is a priority” anti-pattern

The Product Queen, is a PO anti-pattern, where the PO wants everything, and they want it now, just like that famous Queen song. However, this anti-pattern does not stop there. This particular PO also wanted everything to be “high-priority”. You may think it is impossible for a Scrum Master to help this PO, but you are wrong. Laurens shares with us an approach that helped this PO change their approach and be very clear on priorities! 

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 Laurens Bonnema

Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in." 

You can link with Laurens Bonnema on LinkedIn and connect with Laurens Bonnema on Twitter.

Jan 22, 2021
Growing high-performing teams as a Scrum Master | Laurens Bonnema
11:21

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

As Scrum Masters, we try to grow high-performance teams. In this episode, we talk about what might help teams become high-performing. We discuss the Team Vision, and how that can help teams progress and have fun on their way to high-performance.

In this episode, we refer to the Retrospective’sPrime Directive, which was crafted by Nrom Kerth, author of the Project Retrospectives book

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Timeline

When helping teams reflect, one of the most important things is to help them “see” the same events, and causes, so they can then analyze them and come up with possible solutions to try. But how do we help teams visualize what happened? In this episode, we talk about the Timeline Retrospective, a way to help the team visualize and come to a common agreement on what happened, so they may define improvement actions based on a shared understanding of the past.

About Laurens Bonnema

Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in." 

You can link with Laurens Bonnema on LinkedIn and connect with Laurens Bonnema on Twitter.

Jan 21, 2021
Making a Big Bang Agile transformation work | Laurens Bonnema
10:30

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

A “big bang” approach to Agile adoption isn’t easy to pull off, and it may not even be a good idea in some cases. That was also Laurens’ thinking until he saw it happen in front of his eyes. From one day to another, 900 people were trained, and moved willingly to an Agile way of working. If you are a skeptic of “big bang” agile transformations, listen in. You might be surprised! 

About Laurens Bonnema

Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in." 

You can link with Laurens Bonnema on LinkedIn and connect with Laurens Bonnema on Twitter.

Jan 20, 2021
Helping Scrum teams that are stuck “talking” improvements | Laurens Bonnema
13:31

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

In this team, the right mindset was there. They wanted to transform the way of working to follow their self-defined moto: “quality without compromise”. However, the mindset wasn’t enough. Even as the team discussed and discussed how to get better, it was missing one key aspect: the actual doing of the work. Listen in to learn how to help teams that are stuck in “discussion” mode.

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck

Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck is a foundational book in the Agile movement, and inspiration for Laurens to define his own approach to Agile. As Laurens puts it: “Extreme Programming transformed my way of working”.

About Laurens Bonnema

Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in." 

You can link with Laurens Bonnema on LinkedIn and connect with Laurens Bonnema on Twitter.

Jan 19, 2021
Learning from failure in Agile, the contract negotiation edition | Laurens Bonnema
11:57

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

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation is one of the Agile values. Even if that value has been there since the start of the Agile adoption process, its application isn’t easy. We have quite a few episodes on how difficult this value is to apply in practice, and this episode isn’t an exception. All of these stories have insights that are critical to learning how to apply this value. In this episode, we talk about how fulfilling a contract is never enough, and how the customer must be brought on board, and be part of the decision making all the way. 

In this episode, we refer to Kent Beck and Extreme Programming.

 

About Laurens Bonnema

Laurens helps leaders create high-performance organizations by guiding them to embrace who they are. As Laurens puts it: “when leaders ignite their inner strength and capability—and lead from love—they soar beyond their expectations. That is how we create a world of work that we would want our kids to live in." 

You can link with Laurens Bonnema on LinkedIn and connect with Laurens Bonnema on Twitter

You can also learn more about Laurens company at GladwellAcademy.com.

Jan 18, 2021
The 5 characteristics of successful Product Owners | Nikoletta Tátar
12:02

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

In this episode, we talk about the focus destroyer and the 5 characteristics that successful PO’s share. 

The Great Product Owner: 5 characteristics of successful PO’s

We talk about  5 characteristics that great Product Owners have. From the ability to listen to the team and customers to their focus on measuring the impact of their ideas/product on the customer.

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

“Everything is a priority” is a phrase that points to a PO that can’t make decisions, or is unaware of the priorities that matter for their customers. However, there’s where the anti-pattern starts. There are many more consequences from that perspective/attitude like the team losing focus and not being able to finish the things they started. 

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 Nikoletta Tátar

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tátar on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tátar on Twitter.

Jan 15, 2021
Kudo cards and appreciation as Scrum team success techniques | Nikoletta Tátar
10:36

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

Do you have a culture of appreciation in the Scrum team? That’s one of the signs of a team that is jelling and on its way to success. We also discuss tips on how to help the team spend more time and effort highlighting the best things that happen, with the goal of building energy and achieving a more positive work atmosphere. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Mad/Sad/Glad, with a Kudos card section

We’ve discussed the Mad/Sad/Glad Agile Retrospective format before, but in this episode, we talk about adding a Kudos card section to that format. The Kudo card section adds higher energy to the retrospective and helps motivate the team.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

About Nikoletta Tátar

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tátar on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tátar on Twitter.

Jan 14, 2021
Tips on how make change thrive and overcome change resistance | Nikoletta Tátar
10:41

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

Change management is primarily an exercise in managing expectations among all stakeholders. In this episode, we talk about the role that “small changes” have in that process. We also discuss how to find the motivation / needed changes by working with the teams we support. Nikoletta shares many tips on how make change thrive and overcome change resistance.

 

About Nikoletta Tátar

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tátar on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tátar on Twitter.

Jan 13, 2021
Holding the Space and growing a Scrum team | Nikoletta Tátar
13:08

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

This particular team acted more like a set of independent individuals. While trying to figure out why Nikoletta found out that they were missing a common goal and purpose. On top of that, their individual goals were set up in a way that led to conflict. Nikoletta set about working with the team to understand why that was the case and to help them overcome the lack of shared goals with the aim of helping them collaborate better. 

In this episode, we refer to the concept of “holding the space” and the “Personal Maps” tool that helped Nikoletta understand better the team members and their motivation.

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

Nikoletta was recommended Coaching Agile Teams by her mentor, and the book helped her understand the role of the coach and how Scrum Masters must evolve towards a coaching role as they help the teams.

 

About Nikoletta Tátar

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tátar on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tátar on Twitter.

Jan 12, 2021
What drives an Agile transformation? | Nikoletta Tátar
12:14

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

An Agile transformation is not an easy goal to achieve. In this episode with Nikoletta, we discuss what are some of the “must-have” conditions for the Agile transformation to have a chance to succeed. We also talk about how Scrum Masters can help organizations find the right reason for change while working with both leadership and the “doers”.

 

About Nikoletta Tátar

Nikoletta is an Agile Coach who is passionate about creating an environment where teams and individuals have the space to grow, deliver awesome products to customers, and have fun doing so. She is also a Collaboration Superpowers facilitator holding workshops online about remote working and collaboration. 

You can link with Nikoletta Tátar on LinkedIn and connect with Nikoletta Tátar on Twitter.

Jan 11, 2021
Platform teams, how structural changes improve outcomes in Agile organizations | Jeff Campbell and Simone Sciarrati
36:15

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

 

About Jeff Campbell and Simone Sciarrati

Simone Sciarrati is an Engineering Team Lead at Meltwater. He has worked with distributed systems from online gaming to data-intensive applications while participating in the many changes happening in our industry. At Meltwater he has been focusing on building a platform to make life easier for the development teams.

You can link with Simone Sciarrati on LinkedIn and connect with Simone Sciarrati on Twitter. 

 

Jeff Campbell is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. 

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

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

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

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

Jan 09, 2021
4 critical aspects that great Product Owners bring to the team | Lakshmi Ramaseshan
15:05

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

In this episode, we talk about the consequences of having overly-detailed Product Owners, and we discuss 4 critical aspects that great Product Owners bring to the team.

The Great Product Owner: The 4 key aspects of great Product Owners.

A new PO joined the team that Lakshmi was working with, and brought a different perspective. One that helped the team feel their views were listened to and respected. This PO was excellent at four different aspects necessary for the PO role: being a Product Manager, a Project Manager, a Business Analyst, and a leader for the team. 

The Bad Product Owner: From prescriptive to collaborative, a PO transformation

“The Product Owner is the toughest role in the team” Lakshmi starts when introducing this story, in which we explore the anti-pattern of a PO that was super detail-oriented, and prescriptive. The team was feeling demoralized by that attitude, and here is where Lakshmi introduced a different perspective. She introduced the idea of running an experiment on the way the team and PO collaborated. Listen in to learn what that experiment was, and how it can help PO’s learn to trust and listen to the team.

 

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

About Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

Jan 08, 2021
Helping Scrum teams be self-sufficient | Lakshmi Ramaseshan
12:43

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

Great Scrum Masters are able to help the teams be self-sufficient, and has Lakshmi puts it: “work themselves out of a job”. We discuss what are the signs that teams are ready to start moving in that direction and become more self-sufficient.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Circles and Soup

In this segment, we discuss the Circles and Soup Agile retrospective format, a format that helps the teams see what’s in their control, and focus on that instead of all the things that would need changing but are outside their control. 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

About Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

Jan 07, 2021
Agile adoption through linking day-to-day tasks to a higher purpose | Lakshmi Ramaseshan
10:57

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

In this story, Lakshmi shares the story of an organization that was trying to move from “work as usual” to a more collaborative approach and improve their Agile practice. However, the teams were not clear on what success looked like. We discuss how we can help organizations move from focusing on the day-to-day only to linking everything they do to a higher purpose.

About Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

Jan 06, 2021
Helping Scrum teams go from an individual contributor mindset to a collaboration mindset | Lakshmi Ramaseshan
09:18

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

When Lakshmi started to work with this team, she noticed that the team did not see the value of the Scrum ceremonies, and started to silently sabotage those by being late or not participating actively. As Lakshmi investigated the situation further, she understood that at the root, the team did not see themselves as a team, but rather as individual contributors. In this episode, we discuss how we can help teams get out of the individual contributor mindset and into a team-effort and collaboration mindset.

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

In Turn The Ship Around! By David Marquet, Lakshmi found a story that shaped her understanding of the Scrum Master role. The book is about how to go beyond building high-performing teams and focus on the organization and how it impacts the teams. We discuss Intent-Based Leadership, which David Marquet introduced when he visited the podcast in a previous episode.

 

About Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

Jan 05, 2021
When contracts trump collaboration, even in Agile software development | Lakshmi Ramaseshan
10:30

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

Lakshmi tells us a story that is very unusual. In this story, the team and the client were communicating well, and effectively. They had agreed to change the content of the deliverable through collaboration. However, the leadership of the company where the team worked, was not happy with that. They still had the Waterfall, fixed price / fixed schedule mindset. In this story, Lakshmi shares how important it is to work with all stakeholders, and never ignore the fact that when a contract exists, we must make sure that contract is respected.

About Lakshmi Ramaseshan

Lakshmi considers Agile Coaching her true calling! With 20+ years in the software industry, her journey started as a developer on an agile team. After which she quickly realized good product development is all about having the right conversations, building happy teams, and being aligned with your customer. 

Lakshmi is passionate about growing people, fostering trust amongst the team members, and building high-performance teams. She also believes in giving back to the community & paying it forward to help inspire others on their Journey!

Jan 04, 2021
Turning Product Owner fears into better collaboration tools | Daniel Lenhart
15:28

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

PO’s can be overly prescriptive when they feel unsure about certain aspects of the product. In this episode, we share tips about how to turn those fears into collaboration boosters.

The Great Product Owner: Setting boundaries to encourage the teams to make decisions on their own

Good PO’s are able to communicate the vision and ideas behind the stories in a way that the teams will even repeat their words when discussing how to implement the stories they work on. But great PO’s are also available to the team then the team needs and is able to say “no, that’s your decision, not mine” to the teams that feel insecure and try to get the PO to make all the decisions, even implementation technical details. 

The Bad Product Owner: Turning PO fears into better collaboration tools

A Product Owner with technical knowledge can be a blessing for a team that requires more support when creating their User Stories, however, that’s not always the case. In this segment, we talk about the Technical PO that could not stop telling the team “how” they should work and develop the solutions the PO had in mind. In this segment, we talk about how we can work with those Technical PO’s and help them turn their fears and anxieties into tools for better collaboration with their teams.

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 Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Jan 01, 2021
Focusing on people interactions over Agile Retrospective formats | Daniel Lenhart
11:05

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

Successful Scrum Masters are able to help their teams self-organize and find a way of working that helps them communicate effectively. In this segment, we talk about what that means in practice and share tips on how to help your teams move towards self-organization

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Focusing on interactions over Retrospective formats

Daniel shares a different approach to structuring a retrospective. He shares how he used learnings and ideas from Improv Theatre to help the team reflect, learn, and take action by focusing on the interactions during the Retrospective, instead of the format upfront.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 31, 2020
Helping an Agile organization change despite lack of leadership action | Daniel Lenhart
08:55

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

Daniel and the team started working on a change effort to help the organization improve how they communicated. However, leadership did nothing even after listening to the ideas and recommendations from the group. This is a very common situation, but Daniel and the team did not stop there. They took ownership of the change and made concrete changes. Listen in to learn how they were able to help the organization change and improve despite the lack of support from leadership.

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 30, 2020
Helping a Scrum team recover from disappointment and resignation | Daniel Lenhart
14:12

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

A team that Daniel was working with was at the start of their Agile adoption journey, but everything around them was not Agile. In a retrospective, Daniel helped verbalize the problems and impediments they were facing. In this situation it is very easy for a team to resign and feel demoralized, but then Daniel took a different approach, and helped the team recover from that frustrating situation. Listen in to learn how. 

Featured Book of the Week: School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

In School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, Daniel found a book that impacted him personally and influenced his personal development. The lessons from that book helped Daniel change aspects of his personal life and focus on making an impact. 

In this segment, we also refer to Elon Musk’s biography by Ashlee Vance

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 29, 2020
Learning to deal with crucial conversations in a Scrum Team | Daniel Lenhart
14:14

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

When emotions run high, it’s difficult to be the one that helps everybody calm down. As Scrum Masters, we need to be ready and know what to do when our colleagues get into a heated discussion. In this episode, we talk about what not to do, and then Daniel shares an important lesson about how to handle those situations. 

About Daniel Lenhart

Daniel never knew what his dream job would be, but now that he is a Scrum Master, he loves it. I studied Biology in university and switched fields to software development. This really showed me the importance of cross-disciplinary learning and looking into new areas of interest. 

You can link with Daniel Lenhart on LinkedIn and connect with Daniel Lenhart on Twitter.

Dec 28, 2020
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Ivana Gancheva on Learning to see the Big Picture of Agile Organizations
33:35

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020.

One of the things that is clear from this interview is how the role of community is important in our journey as Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches. Ivana shares how she got started with Agile, and how the community helped her learn where to focus and improve her skills and knowledge. 

Learning about our personal Prime Directive

Ivana calls on us to reflect, and learn about what our personal Prime Directive is, and based on that develop our Agile practice. Ivana shares that her prime directive is about focusing on the “bigger picture” and the culture and leadership context she works within. 

We also talk about what that “bigger picture” is like in practice. From understanding the type of business we are working in, to mapping out the relationships and influencers within the organization. Ivana always tries to create a mental map of what influences the people she works with in her context. 

Continuous Improvement, the missing lesson in Agile 

Ivana’s experience has helped her understand that many teams get focused on the “tool” or “process” of Agile, and forget that ultimately we are trying to build the habit of continuously getting better at what we do. 

In this segment, we talk about the importance of double-loop learning for Agilists as well as Solution Focused Coaching. We also discuss the book Crucial Conversations, and some key lessons we can take from that approach.

Learning about the big picture, a perspective to take on as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master

Ivana’s focus on the “bigger picture” has also come thanks to the book Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein. The book influenced Ivana’s perspective when working with organizations, and she still goes back to that book, and its particular way of defining and describing organizations.

Finally, Ivana leaves us with the idea that we should be learning and sharing as a community. Just like she did in this incredibly insightful podcast episode! 

 

About Ivana Gancheva

Ivana is passionate about working with people not titles. She works with companies from various sectors to help improve their organisational culture and well-being by helping them become learning and growing organisations. She coaches and mentors decision makers, C-level corporate executives, leaders, product managers, who have the passion and the intent to disrupt the status quo, and enable genuine growth. 

You can link with Ivana Gancheva on LinkedIn and connect with Ivana Gancheva on Twitter.

Dec 26, 2020
SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EPISODE: Ryan Ripley and Chris Williams join Vasco Duarte in reflecting on Agile and the future
52:25

In this special Christmas episode, Ryan Ripley - host of the Agile for Human podcast - and Chris Williams - host of the Badass Agile podcast - join our host Vasco Duarte to reflect on what Agile has become and what the future holds for us! 

Don't’ miss this special, funny and insightful podcast episode! 

Merry Christmas Scrum nation!

About Ryan Ripley, Chris Williams, and Vasco Duarte

Ryan Ripley loves helping people do great work. He is a servant leader at heart and is passionate about fostering safety and trust in the workplace. Ryan created the Agile for Humans podcast to put the focus back on the individuals and interactions that make agile work.

You can link up with Ryan Ripley on LinkedIn and connect with Ryan Ripley on Twitter.

Ryan also hosts a popular Agile podcast: Agile for Humans.

 

Chris Williams is one of Canada’s most recognized agile and business performance coaches. Chris has his own proprietary philosophy, built on years of research and practice; participating in elite programs with in team and Human Performance coaching.

You can link up with Chris Williams on LinkedIn.

Chris also hosts a popular Agile podcast: Badass Agile.

Vasco Duarte is a managing partner at Oikosofy where he wants to change the world, one company at a time. He’s also the regular host at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

Product Manager, Scrum Master, Project Manager, Director, Agile Coach are only some of the roles that he’s taken in software development organizations. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, and Agile practitioner since 2004. He as worked in small, medium and large software organizations as an Agile Coach or leader in agile adoption at those organizations.

Vasco was one of the leaders and catalysts of Agile methods and Agile culture adoption at Avira, Nokia and F-Secure.

You can read more from Vasco at his blog: http://SoftwareDevelopmentToday.com

Dec 25, 2020
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Learning to speak freely as an engine of improvement for Agile teams | Yogini Moodley
26:43

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020.

 

When Yogini took on her Scrum Master journey, she noticed that there was more friction in the team. Curious, she looked into the reasons for that friction. After all, they had just left Waterfall-like ways of working behind. What was causing that friction? Was it Agile? As she looked more into it, she found that Agile had something to do with it, but the real reason for the friction between team members was that they were, for the first time, honestly discussing the problems they were facing. They were no longer apathetic, and that was visible in the level of friction between them. 

Another side effect of Agile adoption, Yogini noticed, was that the team was much more productive, “they did more in a month, than I thought was possible in six!” Yogini shares. 

A key lesson for Agile teams: speak freely 

This story led to a key lesson for Yogini. Agile teams improve and transform their ways of working when they speak freely and aren’t afraid to tackle tough conversations. 

When teams finally take on the difficult topics that are impeding their progress, they often fail to reach consensus. However, as Yogini reminds us, that’s no reason not to act. “Buy-in does not imply consensus!” She reminds us.

Retrospectives as the engine of growth and learning

Retrospectives are the aspect of Agile methodologies that Yogini wants to highlight as key for teams and individuals working in an Agile environment.

And in that spirit, Yogini recommends Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby as the book for all agilists to read and learn from.

In the spirit of self-improvement, Yogini mentions and recommends the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. She reminds us that part of the Scrum Master’s responsibility is to improve herself, otherwise improvements elsewhere are less likely to happen.

The Christmas Agile Message from Yogini Moodley

Yogini asks us, in this festive season, to take time to reflect, and practice being mindful of what we do, say and feel. The challenge she leaves us with: “think about the habits you have at the moment, and what you’d like to leave behind, in 2020”

 

Merry Christmas friends!

 

About Yogini Moodley

Yogini is a certified Scrum Master and agile practitioner, with extensive experience in the financial services industry, in roles that encompass both business and technology. She is passionate about enriching the lives of people and nurturing and growing teams to deliver value to their customers, and an active member of the agile community locally and globally. 

You can link with Yogini Moodley on LinkedIn and connect with Yogini Moodley on Twitter

You can also find out more about Yogini Moodley’s company at their website.

Dec 24, 2020
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros on the essence of Agile
26:57

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

Meza started as a programmer, but not with Agile. During one of his projects, he had to work with a custom language in an embedded system, and that led him to discover Extreme Programming and Unit Testing, but that was not yet the start of his Agile journey. That came later and for totally different reasons.

Leading Teams, and the need for Agile

As Meza took on more responsibilities, he understood that supporting teams in their work is a different problem than solving a technical challenge. He started reading more, and learning more about Agile to make sense of it, and finally had that “trigger” moment that helped him understand why Agile is so important. 

As a team leader, he recognized that he needed to focus on enabling the team’s success, instead of telling the team what to work on. That led to Meza starting to learn even more, and applying Agile in his work.

The problem with Agile adoption: shaping the people to the process, instead of the other way around

As Meza worked with more teams, he understood that his approach needed to change. Early on, he focused on the process, and helping teams adopt the process. But later, and after many challenges, he understood that the focus on helping teams (and using the process as a tool), requires a significantly different perspective: the process and the tools need to be shaped to fit the people, not the other way around. 

After all, Agile (and the Agile processes) are supposed to be there to enable better communication, collaboration, and a trustful environment. 

The books that Meza still reads even today

Combining his knowledge, and experience has been a thread in his career, and Meza shares a book that helps with exactly that: take advantage of multiple processes he learn3ed during his career: Scrum and Kanban, making the best of both by Henri Kniberg is the first book he mentions. But there’s a second book. 

As a programmer, Meza understood early on that the technical conditions set up for the team are critical for their success, so he mentions a book that helped him as a programmer: Release It! By Michael Nygard, a book that explores how to create systems that run longer, with fewer failures, and recover better when bad things happen.

The essence of Agile by Marton Meza Meszaros

In this final words on this episode, Meza shares what he considers the essence of Agile: to build trust, and how the trust-building processes are at the core of everything Agile.

About Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros

You can link with Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros on LinkedIn and connect with Marton ‘Meza’ Meszaros on Twitter

Dec 23, 2020
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Retaining the purpose for your Agile adoption | Katrina Clokie
28:19

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

 

Katrina is the author of A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps, a book that offers direction and advice relevant to anyone involved in testing in a DevOps environment.

 

She started her Agile transition after a long stint within a waterfall organization, and she shares some of the most contrasting changes she experienced when moving to an Agile organization. Ultimately, she reminds us, the Agile approach is much closer to the final purpose: solving a problem for a customer out there. And she reminds us that we should try to keep that purpose front and center at all times. 

Learning to be persuasive: a key lesson for Scrum Masters and all agile practitioners

When we dive into Katrina’s most important lesson learned in her Agile journey, we discuss the need to bring our best persuasive game with us. We discuss some of the reasons why the ability to persuade others is so important, for example testers will often be outnumbered in an Agile team, and their ideas are less likely to be followed if they can’t “bring others along”. In this segment, we refer to a key book for all wanting to learn more about influencing colleagues and building collaborative relationships: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Books for Agilists and Agile leaders

The books that Katrina chose to recommend remind us that often we need to express our leadership abilities, and we can do that only if we cultivate those through reading and practice. We talk about Lara Hogan’s Resilient Management, The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier, and Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren et al. 

 

About Katrina Clokie

Katrina is an accomplished and experienced IT leader. She is a regular keynote at international conferences where the main themes include leadership, knowledge sharing, and communicating change. In 2017 Katrina published her first book, A Practical Guide to Testing in DevOps. Katrina was a finalist for the Inspiring Individual of the Year Award at the 2018 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

You can link with Katrina Clokie on LinkedIn and connect with Katrina Clokie on Twitter.

Dec 22, 2020
SPECIAL XMAS BONUS: Rashina Hoda on using Scrum, Kanban and Agile in academic research
18:24

For Christmas week 2020, we have a special treat for you. Yves Hanoulle and I interview great Agilists and Scrum Masters that you will probably not hear from in your local Agile conference. 

These are people that are really pushing the state of the practice, and we want to bring their forward-looking, and hopeful ideas to you in our Christmas Special Week for 2020. 

When Rashina first got introduced to Agile, she was mesmerized. It was a way of looking at software that focused on people instead of only on the technical aspects of the work to be done. 

The key lesson for Agilists, Rashina’s view

When we asked Rashina about the most important lesson learned while learning Agile, she shared that it was the ability to deal with, and thrive in uncertainty. The year of 2020 is a great backdrop to illustrate this lesson, and we discuss some of those aspects. 

Rashina then explains what she has learned from Agile that she now applies in her work as a researcher. 

In this segment, we refer to Rashina’s work, and her website.

The reference book for agilists

Agile Retrospectives by Diana and Esther, is the reference book that Rashina refers to. As she puts it: “of all the different practices, Retrospective reflection is the one that brings it back home.”

And I totally agree, however, she also refers to the New New Product Development Game. A foundational paper that illustrated the power of self-organization in product development. We discuss what aspects from that paper we can learn from and apply to our work as Scrum Masters. 

Inspiring others

If you want to know more about Rashina and her work you can visit her website, and listen to her TED Talk on Agile Nations. This is the last message, the inspiring message that Rashina leaves for us: “thing big. Agile is already wide spread, but we can learn from it and apply it to more and more challenges.”

What an inspiring interview!

Merry Christmas everybody!

About Rashina Hoda

Rashina is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean (Academic Workforce) in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.

She’s been studying people and how they become agile for over a decade. My PhD research explained how agile teams self-organize through the informal roles they play. Rashina has written and spoken extensively on agile transformations, agile project management, customer collaboration, team practices, reflective practices, and culture, with over 70 publications on these topics.

In 2017, Rashina’s Theory of Becoming Agile received the distinguished paper award at the prestigious International Conference on Software Engineering. But she has also applied the theory to a wider societal context and coined the idea of “Agile Nations” captured as a TEDxAuckland talk.

You can link with Rashina Hoda on LinkedIn and connect with Rashina Hoda on Twitter

Dec 21, 2020
Helping the Scrum team “speak” the PO language | Steve Silbert
12:47

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

The collaboration between team and PO is one of the aspects we focus on as Scrum Masters, and in this episode, we talk about 2 major perspectives that can help the collaboration emerge.

The Great Product Owner: When even the code “speaks” the PO’s language

In this episode, we learn about a PO that was able (with Steve’s help) to start creating a mental universe with the team that helped them understand the customer at such a deep level that the team even started naming their Java classes based on the personas they were trying to serve. A great example of bringing the PO perspective to the whole team.

The Bad Product Owner: Multiple PO’s for one team, an impossible prioritization challenge

When a PO wants to control everything the team does, the collaboration with the team is hampered. Not only does the PO not get the team’s support (the PO might not even want it), but there’s a lot of other anti-patterns that develop. In this episode, we also talk about the Technical Product Owner as a “wrinkle in the process towards Agile”. In this segment, we focus on techniques to help stakeholders get to an agreement on priorities. 

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

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

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

Dec 18, 2020
Reducing pain in the workplace, a Scrum Master mission | Steve Silbert
10:05

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

Steve’s self-declared mission is to “reduce pain in the workplace”. When it comes to that mission, Steve pays special attention to certain aspects of the work. When we recognize that a great chunk of our awake-time is spent at work, we start to understand that work should be aligned with who we are, and that’s where Steve focuses his work and how he defines success as a Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: “Keep talking and no one explodes” a retrospective game

Steve loves Agile games, and in this episode, he shares one game that, according to his description, helps us practice “solving big problems in a timebox”. As Steve points out, the right game can get the team members “hooked” on the retrospective, and get them learning without even thinking about it. 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

Dec 17, 2020
Starting small and making big Agile adoption changes | Steve Silbert
08:46

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

When Steve joined this team, they had been working on a governmental website project for 2 years, and there was very little visible progress. Steve started by observing what was going on in the project and found that the teams were not working together, and time was spent finger-pointing. Steve started his work by first accepting where the teams were, and did simple things like continuing the Status Meeting they had already, but making subtle changes to instill an Agile mindset. And then things started changing. Listen in to learn about the tools and approaches Steve used to completely transform those teams and that environment.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

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

Dec 16, 2020
Doing Agile Retrospectives in teams that “don’t have time for retros” | Steve Silbert
11:22

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

Sometimes, teams decide that they are so busy, they don’t even have time for Retrospectives. This is the story Steve shares with us. However, as Scrum Masters, it is our duty to ensure that the team does not stop reflecting and improving. How can we combine the team’s perceived lack of time, with the need for reflection and improvement? In this episode, we talk about the “stealth retrospective” and other techniques we can use that help the team while respecting their own management of time.

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

Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins is about leveling up coaching and coaching into the team, as Steve puts it. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, where Steve found inspiration on how to look at team setups, and how different types of work are handled.

Finally, Steve refers to Winnie the Pooh, a book that taught him some important lessons he also applies as a Scrum Master. Listen in, to learn more about why these books are important for Steve.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

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

Dec 15, 2020
Moving a Scrum team from 2 to 1-week Sprints, challenges and lessons learned | Steve Silbert
11:13

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

As Steve worked with this particular team, they got to the point that they wanted to move to 1-week Sprints. However, the move to 1-week Sprints presented a significantly different problem than they were used to in their previous 2-week Sprints. We explore the key differences between 1-week and 2-week sprints, and what teams must be aware of when moving to the shorter timeboxes.

About Steve Silbert

Steve is an Agile Coach living in Jacksonville, Florida. He is co-curator of SketchnoteArmy, sits on the board of directors for a spiritual innovation incubator, and designs agile games in his spare time.

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

Dec 14, 2020
Working with multiple Product Owners and other Scrum Master challenges | Jesse Houwing
19:39

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

The collaboration with the Product Owner is a key aspect of the Scrum Master work, but there’s also collaboration between Product Owners that work on the same product. We discuss these different aspects of collaboration and how they affect the PO role.

The Great Product Owner: Open to coaching, and much more

A great PO is open to and seeks support and coaching from the Scrum Master. In this episode, we talk about one such PO, that was open to learning and being coached. But there was a lot more to this PO. Listen in to learn what were the key characteristics of this great Product Owner.

The Bad Product Owner: What destroys collaboration between PO’s

When a PO is not able to make decisions, we know we are in trouble. In this episode, we talk about a specific problem: when multiple PO’s need to work together, but don’t have the tools and experience to work well together. Listen in to learn about what can destroy the collaboration between Product Owners.

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

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 11, 2020
The Scrum Master success definition: enabling others to do what they already want to do | Jesse Houwing
14:13

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

In this segment, we talk about how “the Scrum Master’s success is the success of others”, and that our role is to enable others to go on with the changes they already want to implement.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: A Very Good Conversation

Jesse’s preferred Retrospective format is simply a very good conversation. In this segment, we discuss what that means for Jesse, and we learn his tips on how to implement those so that you help the team go into deeper and productive retrospective conversations.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 10, 2020
Moving from component-based Scrum teams to Feature Teams | Jesse Houwing
12:30

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

In a project within a health care organization, Jesse observed that the structure of the software was starting to mimic the structure of the organization, it was following Conway’s Law, which states that the software architecture will mimic the structure of the organization that develops it (and vice-versa). 

In that organization, they wanted to move towards a more cross-functional setup, implementing the idea of Feature teams. In this episode, we discuss how a change like this can be implemented.

 

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 09, 2020
Scaled Scrum done wrong, and how to make it right! | Jesse Houwing
12:18

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

Jesse was working on a large Scrum project. As he started observing the structure, he noticed something was off. This project had 17 teams, 17 backlogs, and 17 Product Owners. It was as if every team was in a little island. As he looked further, Jesse found that teams were optimizing the work for their own context and needs, at the same time destroying the ability of other teams to succeed. An example of how NOT to scale Scrum. 

We discuss what we can do when facing similar situations.

Featured Book of the Week: Code Complete by Steve McConnel

From Code Complete by Steve McConnel, Jesse learned some important lessons that helped him later on as a developer and as a Scrum Master. The aspects that Jesse highlights are the collaboration between developers, and how to work as a team when developing larger systems. 

In this segment, we also refer to Scrum, A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen, who’s also been a guest on the podcast

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 08, 2020
Customer collaboration AND contract negotiation for Scrum Masters | Jesse Houwing
13:51

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

While working on a project for a client, Jesse was able to help develop a good collaboration with the client, and the client was happy with the team’s deliverables… except that Finance and Legal got involved and refused to pay. The reason was that even if the collaboration was working well with the people who would use the software, the Finance, and Legal department wanted to withhold payment due to missing functionality. 

The final user and client did not want or need that functionality, but it was written in the contract. 

There’s a key lesson here for us Scrum Masters: even when we focus on customer collaboration, we must not forget that contracts may be strictly enforced, and we must be ready for it. Jesse shares some tips on how to be ready for such situations.

About Jesse Houwing

Father of 2, husband of 1, Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, Steward of the Scaled Scrum curriculum there, gadgeteer and techy at heart. Lives in the middle of The Netherlands.

You can link with Jesse Houwing on LinkedIn and connect with Jesse Houwing on Twitter.

Dec 07, 2020
BONUS: Becoming one of today’s top Agile leaders, lessons for Scrum Masters just getting started | Justin Chapman
25:07

About Justin Chapman

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

 

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

 

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

Dec 05, 2020
The key difference between communicating, and telling others what to do | Ludmila Reyter
17:03

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

Two contrasting examples of a PO that was in a split role of PO and Team Manager. Their different approaches had a completely different impact on the team, and the collaboration between team and PO.

The Great Product Owner: Communicating with stakeholders and team

This PO was the direct manager for the team, but that was not a problem. Additionally, this PO was able to keep everyone informed of the progress, as well as feeling involved in the decision making. This was a PO that understood that the PO role is all about communicating with stakeholders and team.

The Bad Product Owner: The all knowing, all telling PO

This PO was the direct manager for the team, and that was a challenge. The PO had a split role, which took up time, and made it hard to focus on the PO responsibilities. As the PO was pressured for time, the natural solution was to tell the team exactly what to do. This lead to a lack of collaboration and engagement between managers and team. In this segment, we also talk about the importance for Scrum Masters to create a working partnership with the Product Owner.

 

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

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 04, 2020
Defining success for Scrum Masters collaboratively | Ludmila Reyter
12:25

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

Success is defined collaboratively with the teams and people you work with. As you improve, you need to adapt the success definition with the team. And one of the sure signs you’ve made an impact is when ex-team members meet you and tell you that they’ve taken what they learned with you to their new teams!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Dialogue Sheets

Ludmila describes the Dialogue Sheets game and how it can help teams by providing a simple, relaxed conversation format.

In this segment, we also refer to the “Open Day” or Internal Unconference format that Jeff Campbell and Gene Conolly described in a blog post on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast website.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 03, 2020
Fighting meeting fatigue in Scrum teams | Ludmila Reyter
11:37

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

In a regulated environment, where tools and processes were mandatory, Ludmila started to work with a team that was already overwhelmed with process-related meetings. How do you work with a team that wants “no meetings”... Listen to this episode, as Ludmila describes her approach and what worked for her and the team.

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 02, 2020
Dealing with disappointment and frustration in Scrum teams | Ludmila Reyter
12:17

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

Ludmila has experienced how unhappiness and frustration with the environment can do to a team. We talk about the team member that was trapped in a cynical state of mind and discuss the consequences that can have for the individual and the team. We discuss how to prepare for those situations in which the team is in a less than perfect environment, and starts to react negatively.

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

Ludmila found important guidance in Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts and recommends the book for Scrum Masters getting started in their journey. In this segment, we also refer to The Coach’s Casebook by Geoff Watts and Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins.

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Dec 01, 2020
Agile transition failures and how to prepare | Ludmila Reyter
14:50

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

Ludmila started in a company as an internal tool project manager. Soon after that, the company adopted Agile, and project managers were “remodeled” to be Scrum Masters. Ludmila’s journey as a Scrum Master started, and soon she was working in another organization where she was the only Scrum Master, leading to an unhappy outcome that taught Ludmila an important lesson for Scrum Masters stuck in difficult agile transitions.

 

About Ludmila Reyter

Ludmila started as a project manager and became a scrum master early on, and has been working with teams in the software development sector for 7 years now - but with other teams in general (basketball, studies) much longer. 

She loves to see people working together successfully, which of course means going through some tough times, too. Ludmila realized that the things she once learned somehow rearrange, and has a thought for us: never be sure that what you think you know will always be true!

You can link with Ludmila Reyter on LinkedIn and connect with Ludmila Reyter on Twitter.

Nov 30, 2020
Going beyond Scrum ceremonies to solve a team-PO conflict | Mahesh Jade
13:58

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

Allowing and even promoting the team’s questions are signs of a PO that is ready to collaborate with the team. However, when the collaboration does not work, we as Scrum Masters must try to go beyond Scrum, and address the collaboration issues. 

The Great Product Owner: Promoting and answering Scrum team’s questions as a PO

A great PO is ready to discuss ideas with the team, collect their input and foster an environment where the team feels they can ask questions without being put down, or ignored. In this segment, we also talk about the importance of creating a productive partnership between the Scrum Master and the PO.

The Bad Product Owner: Going beyond Scrum ceremonies to solve a team-PO conflict

When the PO comes in only to complain about the team not delivering a story at the end of the Sprint, instead of working with the team to prevent that from happening in the future, a gap emerges between PO and team. Mahesh helped the PO and team come together by looking beyond Scrum and the ceremonies that it defines. 

 

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 Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Nov 27, 2020
Using metrics to trigger conversation in Agile retrospectives | Mahesh Jade
09:57

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

Mahesh shares what he learned about helping teams succeed. We talk about the importance of celebrating small victories and fostering an environment where team members feel safe enough to bring up ideas and questions to the Scrum Master.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Using metrics to trigger conversation

Mahesh refers to the retrospectives as an opportunity for teams to “restart”, to improve and move on. He suggests we consider different formats when preparing our retrospectives, but focus on collecting metrics with the team, and presenting and discussing those in the retrospectives. He also shares some tips on how to prepare the retrospective to maximize team member participation.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

About Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Nov 26, 2020
Small steps to improvement, even when you don’t know what would work | Mahesh Jade
08:40

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

When trying to help Scrum teams, we may get stuck in discussing what to do to improve. In this story, Mahesh shared how he went about working with a team to improve even when they didn’t know what would be the “right” solution for their problems. This is a story that emphasizes the importance of working continuously, even if in small steps, to help the teams we work with.

About Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Nov 25, 2020
Dealing the critical team members in an Agile adoption at the team level | Mahesh Jade
11:37

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

Mahesh started to work with a new organization, and there were several people and teams that were not familiar with Agile. When focusing on continuous improvement, one of the people in the team constantly pointed out mistakes in others, which caused resentment in the team. This helped Mahesh learn a very important lesson about the difference between being kind and being right.

Featured Book of the Week: Evolvagility by Hamman and Cooney

In Evolvagility: Growing an Agile Leadership Culture from the Inside Out, Mahesh found guidance on how to look at the agile adoption process. 

About Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace.

Nov 24, 2020
Learning to apply the spirit of Servant Leadership as a Scrum Master | Mahesh Jade
08:50

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

The lessons that Mahesh learned in one organization, were not applicable when he changed organizations. That story brought Mahesh an important lesson that all Scrum Masters should pay attention to. We must learn to apply the “spirit” of servant leadership and not only the tools we might have learned in the past.

About Mahesh Jade

Mahesh is an Agile evangelist dedicated to championing the cause of building winning teams and winning products. A facilitator by passion, a coach, and an agilist at heart, he works to bring agility to the organization and humanizing the workplace. 

You can link with Mahesh Jade on LinkedIn and connect with Mahesh Jade on Twitter.

Nov 23, 2020
Peter Oliver-Krueger and Michael Dougherty on shifting from “product” to “people” centric practices in your Agile adoption
38:58

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

 

Download the first chapters of the book Shift: From Product to People at: https://bit.ly/shift_book

 

About Peter and Michael

Pete Oliver-Krueger is an entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, and consultant for Agile, Lean Startup, and Teal management. He specializes in the psychology of building product development teams, following the principle that “how one introduces techniques is more important than which techniques.” He works closely with startups and enterprise organizations exploring the question, “What should we build?” He started his career as an engineer at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, helped launch the first accredited online university, and has lead Agile transformations for USA Today, TD Ameritrade, the IRS, and more. He is also co-organizer for the DC Lean Startup Circle.

You can link with Pete Oliver-Krueger on LinkedIn and connect with Pete Oliver-Krueger on Twitter. 

 

Michael Dougherty, “Agile Mike” has over 25 years of experience with software development and product leadership. He is published under the “Built for Success” column in CIO.com magazine and held the position of Vice President in the Agile Leadership Network. 

Michael has taught multiple SAFe courses for over the past three years to over 400 people. He is certified SAFe SPC5, AWS Cloud Architect, ICP-CAT (Coaching Agile Transitions), AHF (Agility Health Facilitator), Scrum CSP, and PMP.

You can link with Michael Dougherty on LinkedIn and connect with Michael Dougherty on Twitter

Nov 21, 2020
The part-time PO that starved the Scrum team, and other anti-patterns | Leigh Griffin
19:19

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

From the “starving the team” anti-pattern to the PO that was able to talk to, and be understood by both the technology and the business teams. 

The Great Product Owner: The PO that spoke the business and technology language

This PO was a very experienced PO, who had worked as an analyst before and had a technology background. This gave the PO the ability to speak both business and technology language as serve as a bridge between the two sides. On top of that, this PO was able to keep the team informed, and help them think from a customer perspective.

The Bad Product Owner: The part-time PO that starved the team

This was a part-time PO that ended up letting the team starve by not feeding them enough content for their work. This kind of PO can stop the Agile transformation and affect the overall adoption in the organization. 

We also talk about other anti-patterns in the PO role that Scrum Masters should keep an eye out for. 

 

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

 

About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter.

Nov 20, 2020
From releasing regularly to growing our Agile mindset, the success journey | Leigh Griffin
12:40

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

Releasing software regularly is one of the aspects of success for the team, and for the Scrum Master, but - as Leigh shares - many teams struggle with the mechanics. Leigh suggests we set up the structure with Scrum, to help teams deliver reliably at first, and predictably later. 

Finally, Leigh likes to focus on the mindset growth in the team as a measure of progress for his work as a Scrum Master. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Starfish Retrospective

Leigh shares a retrospective format that works well for remote/distributed teams, the Starfish retrospective. He mentions how this format helps teams find what is worth continuing to do, instead of only what needs changing. A great format to help reinforce positive behaviors. 

Check out what other guests have said about The Starfish Retrospective

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 



About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter.

Nov 19, 2020
Futurespective as a Change Management tool for Scrum teams | Leigh Griffin
14:23

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

When Leigh started to work with this team, he wanted to help them focus on improving their process without pushing Scrum or Agile on them. This was a startup team, they were already pretty “agile”. 

Leigh started with a Futurespective, to help them get a sense of the direction they wanted to go in. Leigh then used different data sources to help the team improve, and the outcome of the Futurespective to help them prepare for some of the difficult situations they would have to face. 

 

About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter.

Nov 18, 2020
The Scrum team that would not improve because they wanted to be “perfect” | Leigh Griffin
14:19

 

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

“Not all things that matter can be measured, and not all the things that can be measured are important” is a phrase that summarises this conversation with Leigh. He shares the story of a team that was stuck in the perfection self-defeating loop. Focusing on seemingly important metrics that, in the end, did not allow them to improve as a team.

Featured Book of the Week: The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey

In The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by Timothy Gallwey, Leigh found a book that inspired his own approach as a Scrum Master and coach. He reflects on the similarities between the mental aspects in sports and product development. 

 

About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter.

Nov 17, 2020
Managing stakeholder expectations, a critical task for Scrum Masters | Leigh Griffin
15:36

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

When Leigh was working on this project, he tried his best to keep all the stakeholders up to date, including traveling to headquarters to meet up and talk to his managers.

Then, when the news came that the project was delayed, the managers denied ever having heard about any delays. This was a critical lesson for Leigh on how to work with stakeholders and manage their expectations. 

In this episode, we talk about the book The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson.

 

About Leigh Griffin

Leigh is an Engineering Manager in Red Hat working with distributed Agile teams. His focus is on the Agile mindset through proactive Coaching and helping teams to grow.

You can link with Leigh Griffin on LinkedIn and connect with Leigh Griffin on Twitter.

Nov 16, 2020
The relationships of a Scrum Product Owner | Ben Maynard
18:26

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

Being a PO is not only about the backlog items, it is mostly about collecting feedback and involving the right people in the product development. We talk about the 5 relationships of a Product Owner

The Great Product Owner: The 5 relationships of a Product Owner

Ben starts by sharing “the 5 relationships of a Product Owner”, and how great PO’s focus on building those relationships, not only on the backlog items they need to create. In this segment, we talk about a PO that spent their time learning the practices that were required to be able to work with those “5 relationships”, and help the team develop a simple initial impact map that would help them throughout the project.

In this segment, we refer to the LeSS framework for scaling Agile and Scrum.

The Bad Product Owner: 4 critical PO anti-patterns

Ben discusses a particular anti-pattern for the Product Owner: the PO that created the backlog alone in their room, without talking to the team. We discuss how this anti-pattern leads to the team feeling they are “out of the loop”, and be disconnected from the real customer needs. In this episode, we also refer to the following anti-patterns:

  • The PO as a requirements manager; 
  • The PO going in between teams, not allowing them to talk to each other;
  • The PO as the Analyst, instead of Product Owner.

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

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

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

Nov 13, 2020
Key questions to consider as a Scrum Master | Ben Maynard
11:29

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

Ben reminds us that action, rather than knowledge (not acted on) is the key to being a successful Scrum Master. He then goes through a list of aspects he considers important for Scrum Masters to keep track of. 

In this episode, we refer to the Q12 survey, and a few questions Ben likes to ask from the team members.

Featured Retrospective for the Week: The Lego Retrospective

Ben suggests we use the Lego Retrospective, to help the team visualize their last Sprint. He shares how the construction process using Lego allows the team to “point to something” when discussing the learnings from the last Sprint, and helps us find new learnings that we would otherwise ignore with other Retrospective formats. 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

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

Nov 12, 2020
Being a Director and a Scrum Master, lessons learned in change management | Ben Maynard
10:18

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

We often see Scrum Masters come from the team’s ranks. A tester, a developer and sometimes even project managers take on the Scrum Master role. Ben suggests a different approach and shares his own story. Ben started his Scrum Master role when he was a director of a department, and he explains why senior leaders benefit from, and should also practice the role of the Scrum Master.

In this episode, we talk about adopting Scrum in larger organizations, and the key role that leadership roles play in that process.

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

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

Nov 11, 2020
When the “best” team is a world of trouble for the Scrum Master | Ben Maynard
15:31

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

It seems like a “no brainer” to choose the best people available and form a team with them. However, as Ben reminds us, that’s not always the case. Sometimes the “best” people available don’t have compatible personalities, and the Scrum Master must be able to understand and tackle that together with leadership. In this episode, Ben shares the story of a team of “stars” that just couldn’t work together and describes the things he tried (and which worked… or not) to help that team grow.

In this episode, we refer to LeSS and to an episode with Bas Vodde, one of the creators of the LeSS framework.

In this segment, we refer to Deming and the concept of Gemba walks

Featured Book of the Week: Practices For Scaling Lean & Agile Development, by Vodde and Larman

Thanks to Bas Vodde’s and Craig Larman’s Practices For Scaling Lean & Agile Development, Ben changed his career. First, he started by applying many of the ideas in the book, and started to like the approach that the authors take in the book: suggesting experiments for readers to try. While reading the book, ben found many ideas that he could try at work, which ultimately led him to become a large scale Scrum trainer. 

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

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

Nov 10, 2020
Struggling as a Scrum Product Owner, lessons learned in collaboration | Ben Maynard
15:15

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

Ben reminds us that Product Owners can sometimes focus on their work so much that they forget about the importance of interacting directly with the team. In this story, Ben shares his own experience as a struggling PO and what happened when he tried to create the backlog in isolation, without the team being involved. His intentions were good, but the way we create the backlog can make or break the product development process. 

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

About Ben Maynard

Ben is an experienced coach, trainer, and mentor assisting senior leaders in medium to large organizations with organizational design and the cultural repercussions. 

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

Nov 09, 2020
BONUS: Self-management in practice for Scrum teams and entire organizations | Karin Tenelius
32:57

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

How to help teams self-organize, and why that matters to Scrum teams. Success stories from self-organizing teams.

Karin shares stories from her recent book: Moose Heads on the Table: Stories About Self-Managing Organisations from Sweden.

 

The Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast is organizing a Masterclass in Self-organization with Karin Tenelius. To sign-up go to: http://bit.ly/selforg_masterclass

 

About Karin Tenelius

Karin has been working with self-organization as a way to help teams improve performance even before Scrum was in the picture. I met up with Karin in Sweden in 2018 and got very interested in her work regarding the coaching way and self-organizing teams.

Today Karin country-side Sweden enjoying the wonderful fall we have here in the northern latitudes, and we catch up to talk about her work on self-organization, and how that can help us as Scrum Masters

She’s recently written a book about self-organization: Moose Heads on the Table: Stories About Self-Managing Organisations from Sweden. You can get that book on Amazon and other outlets. The link is on the show notes.

You can link with Karin Tenelius on LinkedIn and connect with Karin Tenelius on Twitter.

Nov 07, 2020
Challenge the team, and accept the team’s challenges to be a better Scrum Product Owner | Jacy Ong
11:59

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

How the team acts when the PO is present is a great hint about the PO’s ability to work in Scrum. We talk about two different stances, one that makes the team feel safe, and the other that uses fear instead.

The Great Product Owner: Challenge the team, and accept the team’s challenges to be a better PO

This Product Owner was the classic persona of a great PO, they understood the product, why it existed, and what value it brought to the customers. Furthermore, this PO was available to the team, and responsive to their needs and requests. Perhaps even more important, this PO knew how to give feedback, but help the team feel safe in those moments. In the end the dynamic created between team and PO, helped both challenge each other to be even better. 

The Bad Product Owner: The absent and fearful PO

When the PO is absent, things are never easy. When, on top of that, the PO scares the team into submission, the conditions are set for a disaster. In this segment, we talk about how to work with PO’s so that they understand their contribution to the team, and help the teams engage productively with the PO. 

In this segment, we refer to a tool that helps Scrum Masters and PO’s talk about being available and cooperating within the schedule restrictions that invariably hit PO’s: The Prodcut Owner Sprint Checklist.

 

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 Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: "nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)"

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn.

Nov 06, 2020
Defining Scrum team agreements with the Sailboat Retrospective format | Jacy Ong
11:34

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

“As a team you level up together”, and “the work of a Scrum Master is never finished”, are some of the critical realizations that Jacy shares with us on this episode. We discuss the signs that the team is “leveling up”, and explore how we might know that the teams start to be self-suficient.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

The Sailboat Retrospective is a popular format for the guests of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast. However, Jacy’s take on that format is different from previous guests. She talks about the role of that retrospective format in helping teams define working norms, and in surfacing “lurking feelings” within the team. Finally, she talks about how the Sailboat format can help in dealing with teams that are new. 

Use the Sailboat retrospective to boost the production of new improvement ideas by using the “rocks” that the sailboat has to navigate around.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: "nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)"

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn.

Nov 05, 2020
How to help non-software teams adopt Scrum | Jacy Ong
08:58

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

In this episode, we talk about a legal team that was adopting Scrum. Adopting Scrum in non-software teams can be a challenge, and we talk about the challenges that Jacy faced when working this team. We share some of the most important lessons about understanding the different situation those teams are in, and learning to adapt to their needs, instead of pushing the software perspective on them.

 

About Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: "nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)"

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn.

Nov 04, 2020
Dealing with deadline-pressure in Scrum teams | Jacy Ong
12:11

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

A team member told Jacy: “we pushed to production without testing”. That was only one of the anti-patterns that developed in the team because of deadline pressure, but there are more! In this episode, we explore the deadline-pressure anti-patterns, and we share some tips on how to help teams that are under the schedule “gun”.

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

Jacy heard about Coaching Agile teams by Lyssa Adkins from a colleague, and while reading it, she learned a lot of important lessons about coaching, and being a coach. And from those lessons, one of the most important for Scrum Masters: believe in the team you are working with.

 

About Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: "nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)"

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn.

Nov 03, 2020
As a Scrum Master, be helpful, not compliant | Jacy Ong
12:31

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

When we get started in our Scrum Master journey it is easy to try and comply with other people’s expectations, and end up betraying the original ideas for the Scrum Master role. In this story, Jacy describes one such moment. We walk through the problems that come from trying to please, instead of trying to help, and share some tips for Scrum Masters facing pressure to comply and ignore some of the basic Scrum rules.

 

About Jacy Ong

Jacy is a big anime fan! And she has found a strong connection between sports anime and her work as a scrum master. As she puts it: "nothing feels more rewarding than to watch your teams grow and achieve goals they never thought they could possibly achieve. :)"

You can link with Jacy Ong on LinkedIn.

Nov 02, 2020
Helping Scrum Product Owners even when the context is difficult | Chris Stone
12:10

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

The personality traits that help PO’s succeed and the need for context in the PO role are the topics of this episode.

The Great Product Owner: Humor and Vision drive motivation in the Scrum team

Chris shares the story of a Product Owner that was a native storyteller. He contrasts that with the anti-pattern he calls “JIRA ticket machine”. This Product Owner was able to bring Vision and humor to the interactions with the team. But most importantly was able to easily and clearly convey the “why” for the work the team was doing.

The Bad Product Owner: Helping PO’s even when the context is difficult

When the Product Owner is absent, we face many problems as a Scrum team. Questions that aren’t answered, details that are missed, but most importantly, we lose the quick feedback cycle that the Product Owner role is supposed to provide. In this segment, we talk about the reasons why some PO’s are absent, and how we - as Scrum Masters - can help the PO’s by understanding their context, and their needs.

 

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

 

About Chris Stone

Chris is The Virtual Agile coach, a #PeopleFirst champion, and an Agile Evangelist / Agile Transformation Lead / Scrum Master possessing over 8 years of experience within the IT industry.

You can link with Chris Stone on LinkedIn.

Oct 30, 2020
Getting coached as a Scrum Master will change your view of success for that role | Chris Stone
13:54

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

When the Scrum Master gets help, the team benefits. Chris shares his story, and how getting a coach for himself helped him improve as a Scrum Master and improve his work with the teams he was serving.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Hero’s Journey Retrospective

This retrospective format needs you to start preparing the scene before the retrospective starts. Chris explains how this format can help you get ready (collect data), and the team motivated at the same time. After all, retrospectives can be fun too!

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Chris Stone

Chris is The Virtual Agile coach, a #PeopleFirst champion, and an Agile Evangelist / Agile Transformation Lead / Scrum Master possessing over 8 years of experience within the IT industry.

You can link with Chris Stone on LinkedIn.

Oct 29, 2020
Introducing an Agile process the right way, step-by-step instructions | Chris Stone
10:53

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

This is the story of a merger between an older, bigger company and a startup. The scene was set for conflict, as these companies had very different cultures and different structures, and that was just the start of the troubles that Chris and the team had to face. The older, more established company, naturally wanted the startup to start following their process, but how they went about it, made things even worse. In this episode, we talk about how we can introduce a process to a new team (or teams) in a way that gains commitment, and engagement. 

 

About Chris Stone

Chris is The Virtual Agile coach, a #PeopleFirst champion, and an Agile Evangelist / Agile Transformation Lead / Scrum Master possessing over 8 years of experience within the IT industry.

You can link with Chris Stone on LinkedIn.

Oct 28, 2020
Pushing an Agile team to a waterfall project, a disaster story | Chris Stone
12:13

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

This team was asked to work in an Agile way. So far, so good. However, they then were given “waterfall deadlines” (listen in to learn what those are). The team started to drift. Stopped doing retrospectives, looked at the stand-up as a status reporting meeting, and just plowed through to try and meet those deadlines. What happened next wasn’t pretty. Listen to the story of this team, and learn what Chris would have done differently, had he needed to face that team again.

Featured Book of the Week: Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet

In Turn the Ship around by David Marquet, Chris read about a different leadership model, the “leader-leader” model that David Marquet illustrates with a real-life story of how he turned the Santa Fe submarine, from the last in the ranks of the US Navy to number #1 in 12 months. You can listen to David Marquet describe the book in this episode.

In this segment, we also refer to Drive, by Dan Pink

 

About Chris Stone

Chris is The Virtual Agile coach, a #PeopleFirst champion, and an Agile Evangelist / Agile Transformation Lead / Scrum Master possessing over 8 years of experience within the IT industry.

You can link with Chris Stone on LinkedIn.

Oct 27, 2020
Creating a culture of high-performance in Agile organizations | Chris Stone
14:35

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

When mistakes happen, the natural tendency in many organizations is to find the ones “to blame”. However, that’s not how you create a high-performing culture. Understanding this, helps us work as Scrum Masters to direct people’s energy and attention to the next step: “how do we make sure similar problems don’t happen, what change do we need?” In this episode, Chris shares one story where an organization was able to go beyond the blame game and create a culture of achievement that helped everyone feel supported and accountable. Listen in to learn what tools helped create that culture.

 

About Chris Stone

Chris is The Virtual Agile coach, a #PeopleFirst champion, and an Agile Evangelist / Agile Transformation Lead / Scrum Master possessing over 8 years of experience within the IT industry.

You can link with Chris Stone on LinkedIn.

Oct 26, 2020
Retrospective master class with David Horowitz, Module 3 | David Horowitz
39:41

This is part 3 of a multi-part Retrospectives Masterclass with David Horowitz, the CEO of Retrium. A new episode of the Agile Retrospectives Masterclass will be published here every month.

Learn more about Better Retrospectives with David Horowitz by accessing the FREE Retrospective’s Academy by Retrium: http://bit.ly/retromasterclass

 

About David Horowitz

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

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

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

Learn more about Better Retrospectives with David Horowitz by accessing the FREE Retrospective’s Academy by Retrium: http://bit.ly/retromasterclass

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

Oct 24, 2020
From Scrum Team Member to Product Owner, a difficult transition | Adrienne Rinaldi
11:19

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

Learning to be a Product Owner is not easy. In this episode, we talk about two types of learning stances by newly minted Product Owners.

The Great Product Owner: The Learning Product Owner can be a huge boost to your team!

When Product Owners take on the role, they probably have a very steep learning curve to climb. It’s not only the product they must immerse themselves in, they must also learn to work with a new team, a new set of stakeholders, and the hard job of being a Product Owner itself. In this segment, we talk labout a PO that was ready for that challenge and focused on learning while taking on the role. The Learning Product Owner can be a huge boost to your team!

The Bad Product Owner: From Scrum Team Member to Product Owner, a difficult transition

When a team member takes on the PO role, they might think they know the product well enough (and they probably do), but knowing the product is only one aspect of the Product Owner role. The big challenge is that the person taking on the role is now in a different position, and what worked before while being a team member, may no longer work! In this segment, we talk about the challenges of being a PO after being a team member. 

 

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

 

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn.

Oct 23, 2020
The Google Translate Agile Retrospective | Adrienne Rinaldi
11:04

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

The Scrum Master role is one that demands especially a lot from our emotional intelligence. In this segment, we talk about what Emotional Intelligence looks like in practice for Scrum Masters, and how to learn to improve in that aspect of being a facilitator, a coach and a Scrum Master!

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Google Translate Agile Retrospective

When helping a team that did not have English as the mother tongue, Adrienne was forced to innovate and come up with a method that would allow the team to express themselves naturally, while at the same time helping her, as the Scrum Master, facilitate that conversation. She came up with a unique approach: the Google Translate Agile Retrospective! Listen in to learn how Adrienne overcame the language barrier between her and the team.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn.

Oct 22, 2020
Helping Teams adopt Scrum, with tools and training | Adrienne Rinaldi
13:27

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

When we help teams adopt Agile, and practice Scrum, there are some common problems we need to prepare for. In this episode, we talk about the skills and role training that is required for a team getting started, and how the first few sessions on story writing and planning are so important. Adrienne shares some of the tools and approaches that have worked for her when helping teams that are just getting started.

 

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn.

Oct 21, 2020
Managers as Scrum team members, a cautionary tale | Adrienne Rinaldi
11:20

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

Adrienne was working with a small team, in a governmental organization, that had started their Agile adoption journey. A supervisor/manager was assigned to be a team member in that team. In this episode, we discuss how the relationships of power or hierarchical superiority can destroy a team, if we don’t pay special attention to the collaboration between team members.

Featured Book of the Week: Leadership is Language by L. David Marquet 

When reading Leadership is Language by L. David Marquet, Adrienne learned about some aspects of language, and the words we use that can directly affect the success of our work as Scrum Masters and leaders. We also talk about the importance of language in helping people accept they can make a change to their own lives, and at work.

In this segment, we refer to the special BONUS episode with L. David Marquet

 

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn

Oct 20, 2020
Scrum Masters as the lighthouse in impossible situations | Adrienne Rinaldi
11:26

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

As Scrum Masters, we will sometimes face an impossible situation. Or at least, it will seem that way. In this episode, Adrienne tells the story of a team that was set up for failure, and we explore what Scrum Masters can do in those situations. 

 

About Adrienne Rinaldi

Adrienne Rinaldi is an Agile Transformation Coach and co-founder with PinnacleTek Consulting. She has a passion for topics such as emotional intelligence in agile leadership, cultural transformations and breaking the norms in hierarchical organizations. She has enabled value-based strategy and business agility at many levels of client organizations: teams, programs and portfolios. When not being an agilist, Adrienne’s activities a published book (about beer and yoga!), mountaineering, hiking (Colorado 14er finisher), kayaking and spending time with friends/family.

You can link with Adrienne Rinaldi on LinkedIn

Oct 19, 2020
The 4 Product Owners of the Apocalypse | Arjay Hinek
19:39

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

The balance between Vision and detailed guidance can make or break a PO. We also discuss the 4 PO’s of the Apocalypse. A tale about some of the worst PO anti-patterns.

The Great Product Owner: Balancing Vision and detailed guidance.

We talk about the careful balance between Vision and details that describes a great Product Owner’s ability to keep the team focused on the Vision while helping define the necessary details that teams need guidance on. A great PO is also able to communicate the Vision in the form of a definition of success through storytelling and the use of metaphors.

In this segment, we also refer to The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning.

The Bad Product Owner: The 4 Product Owners of the Apocalypse

In this episode, Arjay walks us through what he describes as the 4 Product Owners you meet in hell. He then explains how those patterns happen in reality with the help of a real-life story of a PO he worked with. From this conversation, it becomes clear how critical it is to help Product Owners through our work as Scrum Masters.

 

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

 

About Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/

Oct 16, 2020
How to define success for Scrum Masters | Arjay Hinek
12:01

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

“To be able to help others, you need to define success.” Arjay starts this episode with the reflection on how important it is to discuss and define success for ourselves. We then move on to discuss what are some of the practical approaches he takes to define and measure success in his work with the team and the Product Owners.

The Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Improving the classic Retrospective format of What went well/Tripped us up/Can be improved

Sometimes the easier formats are just what we, Scrum Masters, and the teams need. However, we need to constantly be adapting the format to the needs of the team. In this episode, Arjay shares with us how he’s improved on the standard Retrospective formats, and we talk about how to understand the team well enough so that we can adapt the retrospective format to their needs.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/.

Oct 15, 2020
How Scrum Masters can coach transformations | Arjay Hinek
12:21

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

In this episode, we dive deep into the role of a coach, and what are some of the aspects we must keep in mind for all of our assignments. We also discuss how to work with leadership to help the Agile transformation take shape and progress.

In this episode, we refer to the SPINE model, a simple and powerful model for understanding, mapping and working with human work systems. We also refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

 

About Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/.

Oct 14, 2020
The critical Scrum Master task of helping Product Owners | Arjay Hinek
12:57

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

When this story starts, we hear about a Product Owner that had the unfortunate habit of micro-managing the team and assignments. On top of that, the PO was also a yes-man, who wanted to say “yes” to everything the stakeholders came up with. We explore how these behaviors led to the team imploding, and discuss what we can do to help teams and PO’s who start showing the same symptoms.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love

In Agile Product Management with Scrum by Roman Pichler, found a book that distills the concepts down to practical advice and helps the teams and the Scrum Masters focus on customer needs. He also found that the book allowed him to have great conversations with Product Owners, and coach the PO’s he worked with.

In this segment, we also refer to The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning.

 

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 Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/.

Oct 13, 2020
Adapting Agile to any industry, tips and lessons learned | Arjay Hinek
16:30

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

From his early days as a Project Manager adopting Agile, Arjay was hooked. He saw how Agile could help him and the teams he worked with. However, when he tried to apply Agile outside the software industry, he discovered how the industry context had a direct impact on the applicability of some of the Agile ideas he had learned to love. Arjay shares what he learned about how to adapt Agile ideas to any industry.

 

About Arjay Hinek

Arjay has been an Agilist for over a decade. In the last few years he’s focused on Agile and “product development” for non-software applications. A considers himself a teacher at heart, he uses metaphors and story-telling to help others see their challenges from a different perspective and overcome them. 

You can link with Arjay Hinek on LinkedIn and connect with Arjay Hinek on Twitter

You can follow Arjay’s blog at http://goscrumgo.com/

Oct 12, 2020
BONUS: Simon Severino on Strategy Sprints, Agile turned all the way up to 11! | Simon Severino
30:00

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



About Simon Severino

Simon Severino is the CEO of Strategy Sprints, Europe’s leading remote Growth Advisory. His global team of Certified Strategy Sprint coaches do only one thing: Double the revenue of service-based businesses in 90 days. Simon also teaches Growth Strategy in select business schools. And hosts the Strategy Show podcast.

You can link with Simon Severino on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Severino on Twitter.

You can visit Simon’s company at www.strategysprints.com

Oct 10, 2020
Creating commitment to the work in a Scrum team, a tale of two Product Owners | Leland Newson
13:00

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

From the PO that was able to inspire the team to the PO that was only a PO on weekends. Two contrasting examples of how to help the teams commit to the outcome of their work.

The Great Product Owner: The Storytelling PO that inspired the team

Great Product Owners are able to tell great stories. Stories that engage the audience, and help the team find purpose (the “why”) for the work that they have to take on. Leland shares the story of the “three bricklayers” as a metaphor for what that Product Owner was trying to create: commitment to the outcome of the work. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Overly Busy PO

This PO was so busy that their “PO work” was called by the PO themselves as “weekend work”. The stage was set for trouble. This led to the team not getting feedback from the PO. The stories were not accepted in time for the end of the sprint, it was hard to do any work on the product backlog refinement. Finally, as the situation would not get better, the company finally decided to hire someone else. 

If you are facing this situation right now, you may want to check our Sprint Checklist, a tool to help you deal with an Overly Busy PO.

 

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

 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Oct 09, 2020
Delivering business value as the benchmark for success in a Scrum team | Leland Newson
10:24

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

Discussing the definition of Agility, we talk about how to help teams act in an agile way, by moving quickly and with grace. We discuss what that means in practice, and what aspects make a team successful at delivering business value, the ultimate focus for a Scrum Master and the team.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Learning Matrix

Leland shares the Learning Matrix, and a retrospective format based on the Toyota Kata by Mike Rother

We also discuss the use of Appreciations, an approach that can help get your retrospective started with the right focus, and energy.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Oct 08, 2020
Introducing change in a Scrum team with Lean and Value Stream Mapping | Leland Newson
11:08

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

While trying to help a team, Leland discovered a set of tools and ideas that helped him and the team find a new way to work that improved their performance. Focusing on improving the flow in the team, became a directed change approach that helped the team improve, and at the same time became a vehicle for introducing change in the team.

In this episode, we refer to: 

 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Oct 07, 2020
Skills Matrix, a tool to visualize the skill siloes in your Scrum team | Leland Newson
12:14

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

In a new team, Leland noticed that the skill silo (everyone sticking only to their skill specialty) was affecting the team’s ability to deliver. The team was working as if they were doing several sequential waterfalls instead of acting like a unit. Every time one team member was absent, the team couldn’t make enough progress to deliver. 

In this episode, we talk about how to remove the skill silo, and avoid the mini-waterfalls anti-pattern.

In this episode, we also mention the Skills Matrix as a tool to visualize the skill silo. 

Featured Book of the Week: The Lean Software Agile Development Toolkit by Poppendieck

In The Lean Software Agile Development Toolkit by Poppendieck, Leland found a new perspective on what it means to improve an organization. This eye-opening book is a regular read for Leland, and reminds him of the importance of looking at the flow of work (Flow Efficiency), rather than trying to optimize activities that may ultimately be wasteful. 

 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Oct 06, 2020
Focusing on increasing velocity over continuous improvement in an Agile organization | Leland Newson
14:46

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

This episode starts with a story of a team that was asked to “improve their velocity”. It’s a cautionary tale about what happens when Scrum is used as a method to get the teams to “go faster” without thinking about the larger consequences of Agile adoption. 

In this episode, we talk about the Rational Unified Process, a process developed in the 90’s that ultimately re-enforced the waterfall anti-patterns in organizations.

In this episode, we also refer to the work by Dan Vacanti and Troy Magennis

 

About Leland Newson

Leland is a SAFe Release Train Engineer and servant leader who is passionate about helping improve the work environment and helping teams uncover better ways to development software. He focuses on collaboration, shortening feedback loops, improving the flow of work through the system and increasing the team’s adaptability so they can quickly respond to changes and satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

You can link with Leland Newson on LinkedIn and connect with Leland Newson on Twitter.

Oct 05, 2020
The Decision Delays Product Owner, an anti-pattern that makes Scrum teams slower | Ronny Deicke
10:49

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

From the stories PO’s tell, the team can get a much better understanding of what they are being asked to do. Great PO’s will help the team through their storytelling, and User Story writing skills. We also discuss the critical role PO’s play in the decision-making process, and how that directly affects the team’s success

The Great Product Owner: The Story Teller PO

Great Product Owners learn to tell great stories. First while talking to the team, and then on their own. In this segment, we talk about a PO that started by learning the craft of telling stories, and then translated that to the User Stories he wrote with the team. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Decision Delayer PO

In some teams, the PO is unable to make decisions. When that happens, we have the stage set for the team to struggle, and be constantly delayed by the lack of decisions. In this segment, we talk about the consequences for the team of a PO that can’t make decisions on their own, and we discuss possible steps to take with that PO and that organization.

 

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 Ronny Deicke

Ronny is a Scrum Master and Agile coach with a developer and team lead background. Currently working as a part-time Scrum Master and in the rest of the time giving (agile) workshops, supporting people as a coach and Agile Coach. Video game enthusiast and Indie developer on the side.

You can link with Ronny Deicke on LinkedIn and connect with Ronny Deicke on Twitter.

Oct 02, 2020
Organizing the retrospective that your Scrum team needs right now | Ronny Deicke
09:16

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

When it comes to our success as Scrum Masters, Ronny focuses on the team’s journey. He asks if the team is taking brave steps to improve their work, and collaboration with stakeholders. Ronny shares some examples of what might look like in practice.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Organizing the retrospective that your Scrum team needs

Ronny shares that he uses many formats, but that he focuses on preparing a retro that the team needs at that time. In this segment, we talk about several formats, and how to prepare one based on the team’s situation in that Sprint.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Ronny Deicke

Ronny is a Scrum Master and Agile coach with a developer and team lead background. Currently working as a part-time Scrum Master and in the rest of the time giving (agile) workshops, supporting people as a coach and Agile Coach. Video game enthusiast and Indie developer on the side.

You can link with Ronny Deicke on LinkedIn and connect with Ronny Deicke on Twitter.

Oct 01, 2020
The ultimate measure of speed for Scrum organizations that want to go “faster” | Ronny Deicke
12:33

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

When asked to work on a company transformation, Ronny and his colleagues were given a very fuzzy assignment: “make this go faster”. At that time, the question was so fuzzy they didn’t even know where to start. However, when looking for what “slow” meant for the company they stumbled upon the solution. Listen in to learn what that was, and how they measured the speed during the transformation.

 

About Ronny Deicke

Ronny is a Scrum Master and Agile coach with a developer and team lead background. Currently working as a part-time Scrum Master and in the rest of the time giving (agile) workshops, supporting people as a coach and Agile Coach. Video game enthusiast and Indie developer on the side.

You can link with Ronny Deicke on LinkedIn and connect with Ronny Deicke on Twitter.

 

Sep 30, 2020
What happens when we leave a Scrum team behind? | Ronny Deicke
11:22

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

When working with a team, Ronny noticed that the team was making progress. He was satisfied with the progress, and when asked to move to help another team he readily accepted. However, there was a bad surprise about to happen. Listen in to learn about what happened to those teams and what was the lesson that Ronny learned from this experience.

Featured Book of the Week: Start with Why by Simon Sinek

In Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Ronny found an insightful explanation of why we should help discover their purpose or reason to deliver on those User Stories. When reading the book, Ronny also understood how to ask the questions that lead to the team and the stakeholders discovering the answer to the “why?” question.

 

About Ronny Deicke

Ronny is a Scrum Master and Agile coach with a developer and team lead background. Currently working as a part-time Scrum Master and in the rest of the time giving (agile) workshops, supporting people as a coach and Agile Coach. Video game enthusiast and Indie developer on the side.

You can link with Ronny Deicke on LinkedIn and connect with Ronny Deicke on Twitter.

Sep 29, 2020
Meetings don’t solve problems, people do! A Scrum Master tough lesson | Ronny Deicke
11:56

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

To try and help a team solve some of the issues they were already privately complaining about, Ronny organized an open space session. Unfortunately, the team did not bring up the issues they were facing. This led to Ronny realizing that it was not enough to have a space to talk about problems, there were other things missing for that team to be able to talk, and solve the problems they were facing. Listen in to learn about what Ronny tried next, and how well that worked.

 

About Ronny Deicke

Ronny is a Scrum Master and Agile coach with a developer and team lead background. Currently working as a part-time Scrum Master and in the rest of the time giving (agile) workshops, supporting people as a coach and Agile Coach. Video game enthusiast and Indie developer on the side.

You can link with Ronny Deicke on LinkedIn and connect with Ronny Deicke on Twitter.

Sep 28, 2020
BONUS: How to create Alignment and Purpose in your Agile organization | Stephen Parry
39:30

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

About Stephen Parry

Stephen Parry is the managing director for the Sense and Adapt Academy.

He was cited as one of the Top 25 CX influencers of 2019/2020 by the Customer Experience Magazine.

Stephen is also a multi-award winning business leader, strategist, and author

He’s the author of the acclaimed Sense and Respond: The Journey to Customer Purpose (MacMillan 2005), Application of Lean to Service industries.

Stephen is the Managing Director of The Sense and Adapt Academy, For developing change designers and change-makers to create Adaptive Organisations.

You can link with Stephen Parry on LinkedIn and connect with Stephen Parry on Twitter

Sep 26, 2020
The Product Owner that created trust with the Scrum team | Pieter Verbaarschott
15:46

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

Trust as a productivity amplifier in the team can be hindered or boosted by the Product Owner’s attitude when interacting with the team. In this episode, we talk about two contrasting approaches that affect (differently) the team’s productivity

The Great Product Owner: The PO that created trust with the Scrum team

When Scrum Masters don’t have to “fix” the relationship between team and PO, that’s a great start. But this PO had gone beyond that, he had created instant trust with the Scrum team, and was able to bring customer feedback directly in the team’s Backlog. This all lead to Pieter being a happy observer in the PO - team relationship.

The Bad Product Owner: The Dictator/Boss PO

When PO’s want to be “the boss” and dictate what the team should be working on, it may lead to the team feeling they have no contribution to the product. That they are simply task handlers. This, in turn, may lead to the team feeling they don’t need to improve or collaborate better because the PO already tells them what to do. Listen in to learn what Pieter tried to help the PO and the team find a better way to collaborate. 

 

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

 

About Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter.

Sep 25, 2020
Helping teams feel safe, and empowered as a success metric for Scrum Masters | Pieter Verbaarschott
14:54

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

There’s one phrase Pieter heard that made him understand that his work had had a positive impact on the team. The phrase was: “Psychological safety is more than a buzzword in our team".

Pieter shares how important it is for us to focus on the dynamics between Scrum Master and team members that help create that aspect of safety, and the ability to contribute at all times.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Retrospectives for Engineering minded folks

Not every team member will appreciate having games in the retrospectives they participate in. For those folks, it is important to have some simple, to the point formats in our back pocket to help them engage without feeling awkward. 

In this episode, we talk about simpler formats that focus on triggering conversations between team members.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter.

Sep 24, 2020
Driving agile adoption as Scrum Masters | Pieter Verbaarschott
11:17

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

In this episode, Pieter shares the story of a transformation as it happened, from the initial steps to how it was managed and supported by the Scrum Masters in the organization.

Pieter shares how they came to define and develop a training program, and how they used ideas from Agile and Scrum to constantly improve and deliver the training to all the new hires for the company.

 

About Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter

Sep 23, 2020
What happens when Scrum teams work harder, but lose their improvement focus | Pieter Verbaarschott
14:47

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

When teams are pressured or pushed to work harder, or longer hours, the easy solution is to just say yes, and carry with it. However, the role of Scrum Masters is to help teams understand and prevent those cases when the “work harder” mantra is disconnected from the goals of the company. In this episode, we discuss one such example, where the team was not able to say “no” to the PO, and was, therefore, pushed to do more, and more work and forgetting to focus on improving as a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Leading Teams by Richard Hackman

In Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances by Richard Hackman, Pieter found the results of a long research process that lead to defining some of the conditions and patterns that exist in successful teams. One such aspect was the definition of goals for the team. We explore what that means in practice and how to apply it as a Scrum Master.

 

About Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter.

Sep 22, 2020
Handling a Scrum team member who didn’t collaborate well with others | Pieter Verbaarschott
13:09

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

In this episode, Pieter shares a story that, as he points out, could be an exam question for a Scrum Master certification exam: what should a Scrum Master do when a team member does not collaborate well with others? 

We discuss what options Scrum Masters have when this happens, and also what did not work for Pieter in that situation. 

 

About Pieter Verbaarschott

Pieter is a hands-on generalist with a background in software development. A passion for helping teams work together better. Agile aficionado since his first endeavors in Extreme Programming. Happened to be among Agile Manifesto authors when the discussion was hot. And he refuses to work the traditional way. 

You can link with Pieter Verbaarschott on LinkedIn and connect with Pieter Verbaarschott on Twitter

Sep 21, 2020
Building trust between PO and the rest of the Scrum team | Rachel Macasek
12:51

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

The difference between a passionate and committed team might be as simple as the attitude the PO brings to work. Which of these describes your PO right now? 

The Great Product Owner: Sparking passion and commitment as a Product Owner

When PO’s are able to explain the problem that they want to solve, they enable the designers, developers, and testers to contribute their perspective and help the PO improve their possible solution ideas. When the PO focuses on the problems to solve, rather than the solutions they may also help spark passion and commitment in the team!

The Bad Product Owner: Building trust between PO and the rest of the Scrum team

When the PO does not have faith in the team’s ability to work on the problems they want to solve, they often rely on micro-management, and solutioneering (describing solutions instead of customer problems). This, in turn, prevents the team from being creative, bringing their best thinking to the product, and ultimately leads to demotivation and resignation in the team. Rachel asks us to work with the Product Owner and find ways to focus on understanding the problems and enabling the team to bring their creativity to the work. 

In this episode, we refer to the Coach your PO e-course that we’ve created at the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, to help you work with the Product Owners directly and bring about the right focus to their work. 

 

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

 

About Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Sep 18, 2020
How to “work yourself out of a job” as a Scrum Master | Rachel Macasek
10:39

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

The advice “work yourself out of a job” may be true, but it is too broad to act on. Rachel breaks that down into a set of simple ideas that she uses in her works as a Scrum Master. We talk about the importance of modeling the right behavior and being a good observer. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Start/Stop/Continue with a twist

In this segment, Rachel starts by describing the Start/Stop/Continue format, and then takes a different perspective on the “end” of that retrospective format by asking the team “how might we…” questions designed to help the team uncover breakthrough improvements. 

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 



About Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Sep 17, 2020
Helping Scrum organizations grow quickly, collaboratively | Rachel Macasek
11:00

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

When companies grow very fast, the teams don’t have the time to adjust and grow their inter-team collaboration. Scrum Master must then learn to detect those anti-patterns and help the teams build their collaboration strategies deliberately, and quickly to keep up with the company’s growth. 

 

About Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Sep 16, 2020
Detecting toxic cultural anti-patterns in Agile organizations | Rachel Macasek
14:22

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

That there are projects where teams feel under pressure is no news. In fact, stress-related to pressure is a very common problem in software teams. However, sometimes the situation goes too far and turns into a toxic culture. In this episode, we explore what are the signs that the normal “pressure” teams feel is turning into a much more impactful and negative set of patterns.

Featured Book of the Week: Co-Active Coaching by Henry Kimsey-House et al.

As Rachel grew in the coaching role, she felt frustrated by the reactive mindset she saw in leadership. That led her to explore other approaches to help executives understand and benefit from Agile Values and principles.

In Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, Rachel found a good guide to help her focus her work on helping the individual team members and executives she worked with. 

 

About Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Sep 15, 2020
Dealing with self-doubt when starting as a Scrum Master | Rachel Macasek
13:22

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

Rachel started with a manufacturing background, which naturally left her with questions about how to apply her craft to a different industry. However, as she started in her Scrum Master role, she learned how to ask questions in order to enable the team to understand and solve their own obstacles. 

In this episode, we refer to the Imposter Syndrome and the book Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby

 

About Rachel Macasek

Rachel is passionate about individual and team growth. She has fostered an environment of collaboration and continuous improvement in the manufacturing, biotech, and software industries. Currently, Rachel is focused on the power of an individual and recently acquired her Leadership and Performance Coaching certification.

You can link with Rachel Macasek on LinkedIn and connect with Rachel Macasek on Twitter.

Sep 14, 2020
Module 2, Retrospectives Master Class | David Horowitz
35:52

This is part 2 of a multi-part Retrospectives Masterclass with David Horowitz, the CEO of Retrium. A new episode of the Agile Retrospectives Masterclass will be published here every month.

Learn more about Better Retrospectives with David Horowitz by accessing the FREE Retrospective’s Academy by Retrium: http://bit.ly/retromasterclass

 

About David Horowitz

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

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

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

Learn more about Better Retrospectives with David Horowitz by accessing the FREE Retrospective’s Academy by Retrium: http://bit.ly/retromasterclass

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

Sep 12, 2020
The Proxy PO that worked for a team of Product Owners | Simon Flossmann
12:59

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

In this episode, we talk about collaboration with customers, and how that can help the team and PO to work well together. And we discuss what happens when the PO is only a proxy to multiple other PO’s.

The Great Product Owner: The Great Collaborator 

Great Product Owners are able to collaborate closely with the stakeholders and customers. In this segment, we talk about the PO that was able to communicate with the customers in a way that helped him bring insights and knowl3edgte to the team so that the team could understand better the problems the customers were facing, and come up with innovative solutions.

The Bad Product Owner: The Proxy PO that worked for a team of Product Owners

When the PO is nothing but a proxy for another decision-maker, the team will suffer. In this segment, we talk about a PO proxy that had several big obstacles in their way: there were multiple PO’s to work with (a team of PO’s), and on top of that a “chief PO”. How can a PO succeed when they are unable to make decisions? How can the Scrum Master help that PO? Listen in to learn about Simon’s approach in that situation.

 

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

 

About Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

Sep 11, 2020
Defining success from Scrum Masters with the customer in mind | Simon Flossmann
11:25

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

Many of our guests start by defining their success in relation to the work they do with the team. Simon takes a different approach. In this episode, we talk about the success aspects for Scrum Masters that are not linked only to the work with the team, but focus more on the value delivered to the end customers.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Simplifying the Restrospective format

Sometimes, the topics to discuss are so clear, that the format can get in the way. For those times, Simon describes his approach based on a simple format that focuses on the conversation and enabling self-organization at the team level.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

Sep 10, 2020
Scaling Scrum while adopting it, a cautionary tale | Simon Flossmann
11:26

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

When Simon started in this department, the order was simple: make the department adopt and practice Scrum. In that process, Simon learned some critical lessons about the difference between introducing Scrum to a team, or a group of teams. In the process, he learned about how critical clear goals can ben when adopting Agile and Scrum. 

 

About Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

Sep 09, 2020
Teams, the secret sauce of Scrum | Simon Flossmann
12:17

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

Sometimes, the quickest way to get a product out the door is to create a team of contractors and focus on building a product quickly. Or is it? In this episode, we talk about the consequences that can come from building a team of contractors, focusing mostly on speed, but forgetting that a team is much more than a group of individuals. And teams, are really the secret sauce of Scrum

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen

In Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen (who’s been a guest on the podcast), Simon found a good guide for his journey to improve and professionalize his role as a Scrum Master. In this segment, we also talk about Lean Startup by Eric Ries, a book that helped Simon improve his focus on empiricism as a tool to help teams. 

 

About Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

Sep 08, 2020
A critical lesson for Scrum Masters | Simon Flossmann
11:32

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

When working with a team in a startup, Simon focused on helping the team develop the product. However, the customers weren’t there yet, and at some point the product was there, but there was no income. 

Even when the product finally launched, and a customer had been found, Simon’s job was abruptly ended and he left the company. This gave Simon one of the most important lessons you can learn as a Scrum Master… Listen in to learn what that lesson was, and how Simon brings that lesson with him every day.

 

About Simon Flossmann

Simon helps teams effectively use Scrum and an agile mindset to deliver products and services that matter! As a Scrum Master and Professional Scrum Trainer, licensed by Scrum.org, he supports teams and organizations of varying sizes in a wide range of business domains, like automotive, home appliance, energy sector, federal government agency, and insurance.

You can link with Simon Flossmann on LinkedIn and connect with Simon Flossmann on Twitter.

Sep 07, 2020
Enabling Scrum teams to learn faster | Paddy Corry
13:47

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

Building on feedback is one of the key aspects of Agile teams. What happens when the PO’s either help or prevent teams from learning from feedback? We explore that question in this episode.

The Great Product Owner: Enabling teams to learn faster from the feedback they get

In certain projects, it is more important than usual to build on the feedback we get from retrospectives and Sprint demos. In this segment, we talk about a different approach to refinement, enabled by the Product Owner, that allowed the team to learn quickly and delay decisions that would otherwise cause problems. 

The Bad Product Owner: The Solutions-pushing Product Owner.

Product Owners who want to help the teams move quickly can sometimes focus on delivering solution descriptions instead of problem descriptions and letting the team come up with the solution. In this segment, we talk about the PO that wanted to help the team but ended up creating more problems by pushing solutions and removing the motivation the teams have to find their own solutions.

 

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 Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

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

Sep 04, 2020
Requesting feedback as a way to grow into the Scrum Master role | Paddy Corry
13:35

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

 

When developers move to a Scrum Master role, they face a completely new set of expectations. Paddy reminds us that reflecting on that change is critical, as well as regularly requesting feedback from the teams we work with.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Influence over what went well/not so well

In this segment, we talk about a classic retrospective format: “What went well, not so well”. Paddy adds a twist to that format, by adding a second dimension to each of the categories: “is this item under our control?” This raises some good conversations in the team, and helps teams that may be facing frustration from not being able to resolve some problems.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

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

Sep 03, 2020
Overcoming resistance when adopting Scrum and communication tools | Paddy Corry
10:09

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

 

When teams are distributed over multiple locations, they need to overcome the problems that come with that situation. In this episode, we talk about how Paddy introduced a tool to help a team that was distributed, and what was the change approach he used to overcome resistance from other teams and the rest of the company.

 

About Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

You can link with Paddy Corry on LinkedIn and connect with Paddy Corry on Twitter

Sep 02, 2020
Helping Scrum teams that are under schedule pressure | Paddy Corry
13:39

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

 

When teams feel they are under pressure, they tend to focus on “just doing it”. When that happens, they might want to skip refinement, and other ceremonies (e.g. retrospectives), which then leads to problems. In this episode, we talk about those pressures, where they come from, and what Scrum Masters can do to help those teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Paddy found the idea of psychological flow: when time melts away, and you can get a lot done. This helped him understand why it is important to block out time for deep work, and changed his approach to the role of the Scrum Master. 

In this segment, we also refer to a blog post by Paul Graham on the concept of “maker’s schedule”.

 

About Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

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

Sep 01, 2020
A personal transformation from developer to Scrum Master | Paddy Corry
09:14

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

 

As developers, who move to a Scrum Master position, we usually face some conflicts between how we used to work, and what the Scrum Master role demands from us. 

In this episode, we talk about the transformation that Paddy went through from a developer to a Scrum Master. As he puts it: “At some point, you need to decide: you can either make great things or you can make things great”.

 

About Paddy Corry

Paddy was a developer for many years, after which he started his Scrum Master journey with special interest for coaching and developing the agile mindset. 

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

Aug 31, 2020
BONUS: Influencing management in an Agile change process with Scott Rosenblatt and Jeff Campbell
34:48

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

In this mega-episode on change, we have Jeff Campbell (long time contributor to the Scrum Master Toolbox podcast) and Scott Rosenblatt (engineering lead at Meltwater) share their experience with agile adoption in a large organization.

About Scott Rosenblatt and Jeff Campbell

Scott is a seasoned business leader who is passionate about communication, collaboration, and transparency in organizations. He sits on the senior management team at Meltwater where Jeff has been consulting for 6 years.

You can link with Scott Rosenblatt on LinkedIn and connect with Scott Rosenblatt on Twitter

Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility. 

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

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

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

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

Aug 29, 2020
How a QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the Scrum team | Julio de Lima
14:51

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

Being closer to the team, and the user are two important aspects of the PO work in a Scrum team. In this episode, we also about the QA engineer role in the relationship between the team and the PO.

The Great Product Owner: The User-centered PO

A great PO will help the team focus on the user, and understand what their needs are when they use the product. The PO helps the team understand, and focus on the interactions with the product, instead of the code or the technical details. 

The Bad Product Owner: How a QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team

When PO’s work mostly on their own, and share little with the team beyond the basic specifications for User Stories, a gap emerges in the relationship and later in the understanding of the product. But in these cases, the QA engineer can help the PO get closer to the team, and we explore how in this segment.

 

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 Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

Aug 28, 2020
Success for QA engineers and Scrum Masters | Julio de Lima
16:09

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

Julio is a Quality Assurance (QA) engineer, so we discuss what does it mean to be a successful QA engineer in a Scrum/Agile team. In this conversation, we talk about the need to help the whole team feel responsible for the quality of their deliverable. In other words, we talk about how to get the whole team to think like a QA engineer. 

We also talk about the focus on this episode: success as a Scrum Master. In this regard, Julio shares how Scrum Masters can work with QA engineers specifically, to help them improve, and work better with the rest of the team. In this segment, we also discuss some of the pitfalls of estimation.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: People, Process and Technology

Julio’s preferred formats revolve around the triad of improvement: people, processes, and technology. He describes how he usually organizes retrospectives around these three topics, and how teams reacted when he deviated from these 3 topics. 

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

Aug 27, 2020
The strikingly different role for QA leads in Agile organizations | Julio de Lima
10:57

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

As Julio’s career evolved, he started facing a waterfall anti-pattern: the status chaser. Julio’s superiors expected him to be intimately familiar with all the details of what was happening with every team, and every tester in his team. This led to an important personal change for Julio, a change that every QA lead needs to go through when working with Scrum/Agile teams. 

 

About Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

Aug 26, 2020
“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature” - solving conflicts between testers and developers in Scrum teams | Julio de Lima
13:41

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

Sometimes the perspective of the tester can be different from the team’s perspective when it comes to a bug or defect. When that difference of perspective exists, a conflict might arise. In this episode, we talk about how to bring the testers and developers to a common understanding on how to improve quality and avoid conflicts that escalate and can destroy a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Testing by Janet Gregory, Lisa Crispin

In Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams by Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin, Julio found what he calls “the bible for Agile testing practitioners”. The book helped Julio understand how different the tester perspective needs to be when working in an Agile team. 

In this segment, we refer to the concept of exploratory testing, a critical concept for Agile testers. 

 

About Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

 

Aug 25, 2020
The QA perspective on the way Agile teams work | Julio de Lima
13:55

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

This week’s guest - Julio de Lima - is a quality and testing engineer that shares his views on Agile teams. The testing/quality perspective is critical for Scrum teams. In this episode, we talk about how test engineers can sometimes try to do everything themselves and prevent the team from taking ownership of the quality work. Julio shares his lessons learned and how he learned to help the whole team feel responsible for the quality of their work. 

In this episode, we talk about Acceptance Test-Driven Development, a holistic quality approach that can involve the whole team.

 

About Julio de Lima

Julio is a Principal QA Engineer working for Capco that believes in the Culture of QA. He has been sharing professional insights and experiences on a daily basis and has more than 4500 students in his 4 online courses. In 2020, he was elected the Brazilian Testing reference practitioner. 

You can link with Julio de Lima on LinkedIn and connect with Julio de Lima on Twitter.

 

Aug 24, 2020
The PO that lives and breathes Product Vision | Sjoerd Nijland
17:16

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

From estimation to Vision, the contrasting performance of PO’s that focus on those two different items in their work.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that lives and breathes Product Vision

As Sjoerd describes it, the great PO lives and breathes the Product Vision. With that Product Vision in mind, the PO is able to make decisions as the product emerges thanks to the actions by the team. In this segment, we also talk about how Roadmaps can sometimes negatively impact the team’s ability to execute and the PO’s ability to make decisions.

In this segment, we refer to the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast episodes with Maarten Dalmijn.

The Bad Product Owner: The Estimation-driven PO

PO’s that focus on estimation, are often trying to cover their own backs and managing expectations with stakeholders at the expense of the Scrum team’s work. In this segment, we also talk about how the estimation focus by PO’s is more of a “scarcity mindset” perspective that drives teams to be afraid and always lacking in time to do the right things. 

For more on how to work without estimates as a Product Owner, check out the NoEstimates Book.

 

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 Sjoerd Nijland

Sjoerd is a founder of Serious Scrum, and creator of the Road to Mastery co-creative online training. Previously E-commerce manager at Bugaboo, and then Manager of Operations at Digital Agency Triggerfish.

You can link with Sjoerd Nijland on LinkedIn and connect with Sjoerd Nijland on Twitter.

Aug 21, 2020
The success mindset for Scrum Masters | Sjoerd Nijland
10:33

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

We start the success discussion with a poem by Kipling: “If”. We then discuss what is the real motivation Scrum Masters have to look at their success in the role. Sjoerd explains what is critical for him in that role, and the mindset that helps him when working with teams.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The SWOT Canvas

The SWOT canvas is a technique that helps teams reflect on what are the aspects they can build on (strengths), what they need to either avoid or fix (weaknesses), what are the aspects they can take advantage of (opportunities) and finally what are the dark clouds that threaten their ability to execute (threats). In this segment, we also discuss how that same canvas can be used in the context of product, organization, individual or even product increment to help the team reflect and evolve.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 



About Sjoerd Nijland

Sjoerd is a founder of Serious Scrum, and creator of the Road to Mastery co-creative online training. Previously E-commerce manager at Bugaboo, and then Manager of Operations at Digital Agency Triggerfish.

You can link with Sjoerd Nijland on LinkedIn and connect with Sjoerd Nijland on Twitter.

Aug 20, 2020
Large Scrum adoption how to | Sjoerd Nijland
11:28

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

As this story starts, Sjoerd had just joined a team that was helping an organization move from Waterfall to Scrum. The team decided to start with a large training effort and applied the “training from the back of the room” ideas. This is an approach that tries to maximize the learning in a classroom training setting, but also has critical insights for the role of the Scrum Master as a facilitator. 

But the transformation did not stop there, there were many other activities and approaches that Sjoerd and team used in that process. Listen in to learn the most important ones, and the critical lessons Sjoerd learned from that process.

 

About Sjoerd Nijland

Sjoerd is a founder of Serious Scrum, and creator of the Road to Mastery co-creative online training. Previously E-commerce manager at Bugaboo, and then Manager of Operations at Digital Agency Triggerfish.

You can link with Sjoerd Nijland on LinkedIn and connect with Sjoerd Nijland on Twitter.

Aug 19, 2020
Removing the “bus factor” with a Scrum team | Sjoerd Nijland
16:54

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

In this organization, each developer was assigned an application or component. The catch? Each of those applications was critical for the company’s business. Soon enough, this became a problem. Sjoerd shares with us how he tried to help this company eliminate their “bus factor”, and the important lessons he learned about how not to do it.

Featured Book of the Week: The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

In The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, Sjoerd learned how important non-work related aspects are for forming a great team. The book shares what are the aspects that are associated with great teams, and highlights how culture and team-culture are critical for the success of a team.

 

About Sjoerd Nijland

Sjoerd is a founder of Serious Scrum, and creator of the Road to Mastery co-creative online training. Previously E-commerce manager at Bugaboo, and then Manager of Operations at Digital Agency Triggerfish.

You can link with Sjoerd Nijland on LinkedIn and connect with Sjoerd Nijland on Twitter.

Aug 18, 2020
Help the Scrum team show value quickly, to remove resistance by Project Managers | Sjoerd Nijland
13:05

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

Sometimes companies want to adopt Scrum, only to disguise their Project Management traditional ways of managing. In this episode, we talk about a company that had hired Scrum Masters but really wanted them to act as Project Managers. We then discuss how Scrum Masters can work with Project Managers to change their perspective by showing how to create value in a very short time. This can be a transformational moment for your company and your Project Manager.

 

About Sjoerd Nijland

Sjoerd is a founder of Serious Scrum, and creator of the Road to Mastery co-creative online training. Previously E-commerce manager at Bugaboo, and then Manager of Operations at Digital Agency Triggerfish.

You can link with Sjoerd Nijland on LinkedIn and connect with Sjoerd Nijland on Twitter.

Aug 17, 2020
Why relationships matter in the performance of a Scrum Product Owner | Oskar Collin
14:26

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

From the control-minded PO to the PO that wanted to learn and co-create with the team. This week’s PO patterns enlighten the need for focusing on the relationship building between the PO and the team, and the PO and the Scrum Master.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that wanted to run experiments

Great PO’s come in many shapes and forms, in this episode, we talk about the great PO that wanted to run experiments, to learn what worked in practice. We also talk about the importance of the relationship between Scrum Master and PO, and how that partnership can drive the success of the PO and the team.

The Bad Product Owner: The Control Freak

There are many reasons why the PO’s may not be able to perform as needed in a Scrum environment. However, the toughest reasons or root causes for that lack of performance are often tied to the PO’s own personality. In this segment, we talk about the reasons why some PO’s can’t give up control, and how that search for control directly affects the team’s ability to perform.

 

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 Oskar Collin

Oskar is a former software developer who became a passionate agile coach and Scrum master. He did so mainly because he was better at helping teams working together than building software. He loves experiments and questioning the status quo. He is passionate about helping teams build digital products and deliver value continuously. 

You can link with Oskar Collin on LinkedIn and connect with Oskar Collin on Twitter.

Aug 14, 2020
Success as a Scrum Master is defined by the team’s behaviors | Oskar Collin
14:21

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

 

As Scrum Masters, having a clear definition of success is critical for us to be able to do our own self-reflection and learn how to improve our impact in the team and the organization we work with. In this episode, we talk about what that looks like, and how most of the success signs for Scrum Masters have to do with behaviors, and actions by the team, and not the Scrum Masters themselves. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The WADE Matrix

Oskar describes the WADE matrix format as a retrospective exercise. How to apply it, the main steps, and why it is a great method to have the team discuss and decide what they can affect. In the end of this segment, Oskar shares a great tip on how to help teams get value out of the Agile retrospective.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Oskar Collin

Oskar is a former software developer who became a passionate agile coach and Scrum master. He did so mainly because he was better at helping teams working together than building software. He loves experiments and questioning the status quo. He is passionate about helping teams build digital products and deliver value continuously. 

You can link with Oskar Collin on LinkedIn and connect with Oskar Collin on Twitter.

Aug 13, 2020
Planning and executing a large scale Agile transformation | Oskar Collin
08:28

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

 

Many Scrum Masters are part of, or even responsible for organizing an Agile adoption process in their companies. In this episode, we discuss what such a plan could look like based on a successful Agile adoption process Oskar was a part of.

In this episode, we refer to the Get Kanban game and Modern Agile, a new take on the original manifesto.

 

About Oskar Collin

Oskar is a former software developer who became a passionate agile coach and Scrum master. He did so mainly because he was better at helping teams working together than building software. He loves experiments and questioning the status quo. He is passionate about helping teams build digital products and deliver value continuously. 

You can link with Oskar Collin on LinkedIn and connect with Oskar Collin on Twitter.

Aug 12, 2020
The Scrum team that didn’t want to be a team | Oskar Collin
15:06

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

 

A team Oskar worked with, was complaining about the meetings and wanted to stop some of those. Over time, the team members started not showing up, or showing up and not participating actively in the meeting. As the team was delivering, no one else saw this was a problem, but Oskar knew that this was not a team, it was just a group of individuals. In this episode, we talk about how to motivate a team and the importance of having a Vision that brings the team members together. 

In this segment, we refer to the FREE Create A Compelling Product Vision e-course

Featured Book of the Week: Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren

In Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations by Nicole Forsgren, Oskar found a book that helped him explain the Agile mindset to technical people. He also understood the role of DevOps in an Agile organization. The biggest takeaway? Listen in to learn what was Oskar’s biggest takeaway.

In this segment, we also talk about the #NoEstimates book, and how that influenced Oskar’s career. 

 

About Oskar Collin

Oskar is a former software developer who became a passionate agile coach and Scrum master. He did so mainly because he was better at helping teams working together than building software. He loves experiments and questioning the status quo. He is passionate about helping teams build digital products and deliver value continuously. 

You can link with Oskar Collin on LinkedIn and connect with Oskar Collin on Twitter.

Aug 11, 2020
The Scrum Master as a status chaser, Anti-pattern | Oskar Collin
15:24

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

 

As Scrum Masters, we often want to help the PO, or other stakeholders that ask us questions. This wish to please can sometimes lead to the Scrum Master becoming a “status chaser” for the remote or otherwise absent stakeholder. In this episode, we talk about the dangers of becoming a “status chaser” as a Scrum Master, and how to help the team take ownership of the communication with the PO.

 

About Oskar Collin

Oskar is a former software developer who became a passionate agile coach and Scrum master. He did so mainly because he was better at helping teams working together than building software. He loves experiments and questioning the status quo. He is passionate about helping teams build digital products and deliver value continuously. 

You can link with Oskar Collin on LinkedIn and connect with Oskar Collin on Twitter.

Aug 10, 2020
The PO that knew how to engage the Scrum Team | Stefania Marinelli
15:24

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

Working with the team, in the right way, is critical for the PO to succeed, so we explore what a great PO would do differently, and what are some of the anti-patterns we should be looking out for.

The Great Product Owner: The PO that engaged the Scrum Team

When the PO listens to the team, and works every day to help solve some of the blockers that that team is facing is on the path to being a great PO. But the key is when the PO is present with the team, not only to listen but to understand how to help the team succeed. When this happens, the PO is contributing to the team feeling engaged and passionate about their work!

The Bad Product Owner: The “New day, new priority” PO

In this segment, we discuss several anti-patterns to be on the look-out for. We talk about the PO that wants too much technical detail, and the constant change in priorities that sometimes comes from the Product Owner. 

Finally, we talk about decision making, and how important it is to have a PO that can bring the right people into a meeting to make quick decisions.

 

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

 

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Aug 07, 2020
Two success aspects for Scrum Masters to reflect on | Stefania Marinelli
12:20

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

Stefania highlights some aspects for the team’s success, from helping teams self-organize to being the trainer, or educator at the company where we work. Related to these aspects, we talk about possible questions to ask ourselves when reflecting on our success in the Scrum Master role. 

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Turn the Table

Turn the table, is the format that Stefania explains in this segment. The focus of that format is on communication and empathy between team members. 

In this segment, we also refer to the “Dixit” board game. 

 

[IMAGE HERE] Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Aug 06, 2020
Scrum as a change process | Stefania Marinelli
12:00

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

Adopting Scrum is, in reality, adopting a change management process. Stefania noticed that when she started helping a team deal with urgent problems, which led to creating a board to visualize the work in progress. In this episode, we talk about how Scrum was used as a change process, and how the team benefited from Scrum, and the visualization techniques to manage their work.

 

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Aug 05, 2020
Helping the introvert Scrum team members express their contributions | Stefania Marinelli
13:59

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

One of the worst anti-patterns to deal with as a Scrum Master is the disengaged team. And there are many possible reasons for that anti-pattern. One example is when a team is not allowed space for learning, and necessarily failing some times. Or if the team members are mostly introverts, and there’s no space for them to express their contribution. 

Scrum Masters must learn to create space for those team members to express themselves and help the team. 

In this episode, we talk about the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. This booked helped Stefania learn how to deal with, and help the quietest team members.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn

Each Scrum Master journey is a path, and each step has a different focus and a different book that makes an impact. Stefania shares how Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn was one of those books, and how later she discovered and learned from the NoEstimates book when she was in a different phase of her journey.

 

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Aug 04, 2020
The Scrum team self-organization roadmap | Stefania Marinelli
12:46

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

Growing teams over time mean that we help them find their path to ownership and self-organization. In this episode, we talk about creating a roadmap to self-organization, and helping teams take steps towards owning their work, and putting self-organization in practice.

 

About Stefania Marinelli

Stefania is an Agile Manager @Hotels.com (Expedia group) former Scrum Master, former team leader/project manager, former developer. Stefania is fascinated by people dynamics and works every day to create a collaborative and safe environment. NVC practitioner.

You can link with Stefania Marinelli on LinkedIn and connect with Stefania Marinelli on Twitter.

Aug 03, 2020
BONUS: 4 critical Product Owner anti-patterns with David Pereira
33:39

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

 

About David Pereira

David is a passionate Product Owner who loves leading teams in building solutions that challenge the status quo.

He’s also written a free ebook on the top 7 mistakes of a product owner which you can get at https://bit.ly/po7mistakes

You can follow David Pereira on Medium, and connect with David Pereira on LinkedIn.

 

Aug 01, 2020
Extreme ownership, the Product Owner’s secret powers | Anubhuti Agarwal
12:10

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

 

Feeling ownership of the product, and performing like an owner is one that really differentiates great PO’s from the rest. We also discuss what happens when the PO takes their role as a part-time job

The Great Product Owner: The impact of feeling the ownership of the Product

Although the clue is in the name, the fact is that many Product Owners miss the impact of that ownership perspective on the role. In this segment, we discuss what Ownership means for the PO role and the impact that it can have in the team when the PO expresses that feeling of ownership.

The Bad Product Owner: The part-time Product Owner

The PO role is not a part-time role. However, some people tend to think that it is possible to perform that role successfully while also being a leader of a department or organization. In this segment, we discuss the anti-patterns that emerge when the PO role is taken as a part-time job. We also discuss some of the ways in which the Scrum Master can help the PO realize the impact they have on the team when they are not available full-time.

 

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 Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Jul 31, 2020
How to facilitate great Agile Retrospective conversations | Anubhuti Agarwal
11:01

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

 

What distinguishes a successful Scrum Master from a not so successful one? In this segment, we explore the questions that Anu asks as well as the behaviors she evaluates to assess her progress in the Scrum Master role.

Featured Retrospective of the Week: Facilitating product conversations

In this segment, Anu shares her tips on how to select the right format for the retrospective based on what has happened to the team during the Sprint. We talk about why certain formats work better and discuss the core role of the Scrum Master when it comes to facilitating a retrospective: facilitate productive conversations.

 

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches - Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experiences: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome! 

 

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Jul 30, 2020
Helping Scrum teams adapt to wildly different timezones | Anubhuti Agarwal
10:19

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

 

Remote teams often deal with timezone problems. In this episode, we explore the story of a distributed team that needed to change their way of working to accommodate the different timezones. We discuss some of the techniques you can use to help your distributed team make decisions and adapt their way of working to the reality of distributed work, and wildly different timezones.

 

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Jul 29, 2020
Taking care of a Scrum team that just lot key team members | Anubhuti Agarwal
14:01

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

 

Sometimes, when team members leave the team, the ones that stay behind have a lot to deal with. The uncertainty caused by team members that leave can lead to negative anti-patterns. In this episode, we discuss some of the actions Scrum Masters can take to take care of the team, even when some of the team members are leaving.

Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations by Patterson et al.

In Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson et al., Anu found a book about a critical skill set for Scrum Masters. Anu also shares a concrete example of how she applied the learnings from that book in a tough situation.

 

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Jul 28, 2020
How to build a new Scrum team when a project starts | Anubhuti Agarwal
13:23

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

 

When we enter a new organization as consultants or employees, how do we get a new team started? In this episode, we explore the difficult task of the Scrum Master as a team builder and catalyst. 

 

About Anubhuti Agarwal

Anu is a software tester turned Scrum master. She worked as Software QA in India for 6 years and then moved to Berlin to complete her Masters in Business Administration. She has been working as a Scrum Master for 3 years in an agency and has learned, first hand, the challenges of working with Agile in an agency.

You can link with Anubhuti Agarwal on LinkedIn.

Jul 27, 2020
Coaching the PO together with the Scrum team | Thomas Kofoed
13:44

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

Great Product Owners can tell stories, and motivate the team. They focus on the Vision and the “why” questions. In contrast, the anti-pattern we discuss in this episode is that of the command and control PO, who wants to know who’s working on what, and how they are doing it.

The Great Product Owner: The Great Storyteller

Thomas shares with us what a great storyteller Product Owner looks like. We discuss the impact of storytelling, and the need for the PO to be constantly learning so they can bring the right information and answer the team’s questions.

The Bad Product Owner: Coaching the PO together with the Scrum team

What should a PO focus on? In this segment, we discuss how the command-and-control PO’s focus on the wrong topics, and miss the most important aspects of their work. We also discuss how to encourage the team members to help coach the PO towards the most effective behaviors and actions.

 

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

 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He's open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don't need him but might miss him :-) 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn.

Jul 24, 2020
How to step back and let the Scrum team take over | Thomas Kofoed
11:18

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

When Scrum Masters reach a successful state with the team, they will feel confident to skip a few events with the team. That’s a good way to help the team take more ownership of the events, and eventually take over. 

Thomas shares is recipe to “step back” from the work with the team, and let them take over.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Structuring an adaptable retrospective

Thomas asks us to consider the retrospective as an adaptable practice which is flexible to the needs of the team at a certain time. He’s asking us to have a structured approach (a “box”) to which we bring many different exercises and activities to help the team reach their breakthroughs. 

In this segment, we refer to the Toyota Kata format.

 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He's open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don't need him but might miss him :-) 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn.

Jul 23, 2020
Setting up the right expectations when working with a new team | Thomas Kofoed
10:56

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

When a Scrum Master gets hired or called into a team there might be mixed expectations between managers, team, and yourself, the Scrum Master. How can we prepare for that possible problem? 

In this episode, we discuss the setting of expectations and the early agreements we need to establish when starting to work with a new team.

 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He's open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don't need him but might miss him :-) 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn.

Jul 22, 2020
The “hero” culture that destroys Scrum teams | Thomas Kofoed
12:53

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

When we start out as a Scrum Master we might not yet be able to detect the anti-patterns that may develop in teams. That lack of experience can turn against us. One anti-pattern that emerges over and over again is that of the “hero”. In this episode, we explore what leads people to assume the “hero” role and how that negatively affects the team. 

In this episode, we refer to the graphic novel series Asterix and Obelix

Featured Book of the Week: Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

In Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership by Geoff Watts, found many good stories and examples that make a difference between “good enough”, and “really great” Scrum Masters. The book does this via many short stories that illustrate the differences. 

In this segment, we also refer to The Scrum Guide as well as Gunther’s Scrum - A Pocket Guide. 

Both Geoff Watts and Gunther Verheyen have been previous guests on the podcast. 

 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He's open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don't need him but might miss him :-) 

You can link with Thomas Kofoed on LinkedIn

Jul 21, 2020
Solution focussed coaching, a solution for problem-centric Scrum teams | Thomas Kofoed
12:38

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

Thomas, a game 3d artist turned Scrum Master, got started in his journey thanks to a mentor who was a Scrum Master in his team. As he started his own journey he fell into the trap of focusing only on questions, which was important, but led teams to dwell on the problem for too long. Invariably the retrospectives turned into a complain fest, and there was little time to focus on solutions. It was then that he learned about “problem-focused” cultures and what to do about it. Listen in to learn how Thomas got his teams from problem-centric to solution-centric. 

In this episode, we talk about the book Solution-Focussed Coaching: A Manager's Guide to Getting the Best from People by Grant and Greene.

 

About Thomas Kofoed

Passionate Agile Coach / Scrum Master. Thomas focuses on engaging people while helping organizations and teams evolve their products guided by the feedback from their customers/users. 

Thomas switches between Facilitation Coaching and Teaching (sometimes Mentoring). He's open about his purpose and that he strives to get his teams to where they don't need him but might miss him :-) 

Jul 20, 2020
BONUS: Agile Retrospectives Masterclass, PART 1 with David Horowitz
32:22

This is part 1 of a multi-part Retrospectives Masterclass with David Horowitz, the CEO of Retrium. A new episode of the Agile Retrospectives Masterclass will be published here every month.

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

 

About David Horowitz

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 18, 2020
How to succeed as a Junior Product Owner | Denniz Dönmez
11:35

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

Seniority is not always a good asset for a Product Owner, but attitude and mindset can be. In this episode we explore the kind of attitude and mindset that help Product Owners succeed.

The Great Product Owner: How to succeed as a Junior Product Owner

When a junior PO joined the team Denniz was working with, the expectation was that there would be certain challenges ahead. Turns out, being a junior was a great advantage for this Product Owner because of the attitude and the mindset he brought with him. Listen in to learn about some of the key attributes needed to succeed as a Product Owner when just starting to learn the role.

The Bad Product Owner: The Project “Owner” anti-pattern

When Product Owners come to the teams from a Project Manager role, they usually bring a specific mindset that has served them well in that previous role. However, those same patterns that worked well in a project management paradigm, don’t work so well when the role is the Product Owner role. In this segment, we discuss some of the anti-patterns that emerge when Project Managers join a Scrum team as a Product Owner.

 

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

 

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Jul 17, 2020
Three layers of Scrum Master success | Denniz Dönmez
11:05

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

In this episode, we talk about the success of a Scrum Master at three different levels, the individual, the team, and the organization. We explore some of the metrics that can be used at each of those levels to assess and reflect on the success of the Scrum Master role.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Keep retrospective actions top of mind

One of the aspects that makes retrospectives fail sometimes, is that the teams don’t focus on acting on the improvement ideas they’ve already collected. In this segment, we talk about how to help teams follow-up and act on the improvement ideas that surface in the retrospectives.

 

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Jul 16, 2020
Lessons learned as a facilitator in a DevOps transformation | Denniz Dönmez
08:16

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

In this company, Denniz supported a DevOps transformation. As time went by, it was clear that management had to start taking the coaching role that Denniz had taken until then. While working through this change, Denniz learned some important lessons about change, and how to be able to step back from the work, so that he could be a facilitator. 

In this episode, we refer to the One-team, One-goal article on Software Development Today.

 

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Jul 15, 2020
Helping Scrum teams overcome deadline pressure | Denniz Dönmez
12:39

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

Deadlines cause all kinds of side effects in team’s behavior. In this story, Denniz saw that the deadline pressure was increasing, and the teams were starting to show signs of stress. However, the teams were still trying to “power through” those deadlines, and they started to skip things. As it usually happens, at some point they started to skip important things. Listen in to learn how Denniz helped the team step back from that self-destructive behavior.

Featured Book of the Week: The Skilled Facilitator by Roger Schwarz

In The Skilled Facilitator by Roger Schwarz, Denniz found something that was in stark contrast with the command and control mindset. The book helped him understand his role as a facilitator, create approaches that favored collaboration and mutual learning, collaborative games, and more. All of it with backing from decades of research. As Scrum Masters, being a facilitator is perhaps the most important role we play, and this book helped Denniz learn a lot about what that role means in practice.

Denniz shares a list of the most important books for him at his site: enablingstructures.com/books

 

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Jul 14, 2020
What not to do as a Scrum Master | Denniz Dönmez
10:28

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

When Denniz joined this team, he observed, that even if the Product Owner was close to the customer, the team had little to no contact with the users of the product. He worked on preparing a workshop that had a hidden agenda: get the developers to understand the users. However, that didn’t turn out so well, and it taught Denniz an important lesson. Listen in to learn how to not organize a workshop with users, and what Denniz learned from that failure that helped him be a better Scrum Master. 

 

About Denniz Dönmez

Denniz has both huge academic and practical experience. He studied agile teams for his PhD at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) before becoming a Scrum Master and freelance consultant in 2016. Denniz believes the key to becoming more agile is to establish what he calls “enabling structures.”

You can link with Denniz Dönmez on LinkedIn and connect with Denniz Dönmez on Twitter.

Jul 13, 2020
The large backlog as a PO anti-pattern | Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart
15:34

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

In this episode, we talk 4 PO patterns, and discuss several techniques on how to recover from the anti-patterns we discuss.

The Great Product Owner: Difficult conversations as a catalyst for a better story and product understanding 

Good PO’s are there for the team, and answer their questions. However, great PO’s are able to have difficult conversations that help clarify the reasons for the Stories and motivate the team. Sometimes, those hard conversations lead to changes in the product. And that’s a good thing! For both teams, and PO!

In this segment, we talk about a tip: have the PO define “team hours”, when they sit with the team and answer their questions.

The Bad Product Owner: The large backlog as a PO anti-pattern

When the PO is not able to handle the Product Backlog anymore, the team will suffer. In this segment, we talk about a PO that had trouble keeping up with the Backlog as it was large, unwieldy, and had no structure. We discuss how the team helped the PO clear the backlog, and what tools and techniques they used to keep the backlog short and under control. 

Another anti-pattern we discuss is the PO who was too much into the details and lost the big picture. When that happens, the PO can’t help the team understand the “why”, and removes the motivation that comes from understanding the purpose of the work. We discuss how the PO can step back and help the team regain their motivation and convey a clearer picture of the reasons for the product changes.

 

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 Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta's transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

 

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta's Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

Jul 10, 2020
The PO and the Scrum Master as the dynamic duo to help teams succeed | Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart
13:17

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

 

The relationship between the PO and the Scrum Master is one of the most important and impactful relationships to develop. In this episode, we talk about how the right approach from the PO (with the Scrum Master’s help), can help elevate the team to a new level. 

Another aspect of success for Scrum Masters is the team’s ability to handle conflict. In this episode, we talk about what is “constructive conflict”, and why that’s an important aspect of the Scrum Master’s success.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Expert tip for Remote Retrospectives

When facilitating remote retrospectives, the impact of overbearing team members is even bigger. In this episode, we talk about how to use the break-out rooms in your conference system as a way to ensure that everyone of the team has a say. 

The Meta-Retrospective is a moment when we discuss the values of the Agile manifesto and reflect on our journey as an Agile team. In this episode, we talk about the meta-retrospective, and why that might be an important tool to add to your toolbox.

 

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta's transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

 

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta's Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

Jul 09, 2020
The self-selection workshop for Agile transformations | Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart
13:22

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

 

In this transformation, there was a moment that may have changed the course of events. In this moment, the organization allowed the teams to self-select. Samantha and Brian share that moment, what they did, and how they prepared for a high-risk, but a transformative moment: the self-selection workshop.

 

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta's transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

 

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta's Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

Jul 08, 2020
Helping Scrum teams have difficult conversations, safely | Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart
12:52

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

 

When a team started to have “backchannel” conversations and excluding some team members from those conversations, it was clear that something was going on that was not allowed to be discussed in the wider team. Samantha and Brian then focused on helping the team share what was going on in a safe way. Listen in to learn about what was holding the team back from discussing the important topics. 

Featured Book of the Week: Ideal Team Player by Lencioni and Difficult Conversations by Stone et al.

In Ideal Team Player by Lencioni Samantha found a great reference for a team that had to go through a recruiting process. The book helped the team reflect and choose the right candidate, by working together to define what they were looking for in a candidate beyond the technical skills. 

In this segment, we also refer to Difficult Conversations by Stone et al, a book that discusses conversation techniques to help move from emotion to productive problem solving.

 

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta's transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

 

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer, but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta's Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

Jul 07, 2020
When setting a high-bar for the Scrum Definition of Done is a bad idea | Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart
14:49

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

 

Brian’s story is enlightening regarding the value of the Definition of Done. A team that had set the DoD bar too high, and chose to not change the DoD. That led to an anti-pattern that had to be untangled by the Scrum Master. 

Samantha shares the story of a Scrum Master that had the tendency to lead all the conversations and how she was able to recover from that pattern with a technique she calls “the pregnant pause”. 

 

About Samantha Menzynski and Brian Ziebart

Samantha Menzynski has spent her entire career in software. Starting in support and account management, moving to customer support management, and with Penta's transformation to Scrum becoming Scrum Master for the Core product team.

You can link with Samantha Menzynski on LinkedIn

 

Brian Ziebart started his career in software as a developer, but found himself wanting to move towards coaching and developing people rather than product development.  When Penta's Scrum transformation started in August 2019, he jumped at the opportunity to work more with people while still staying involved with development.

You can link with Brian Ziebart on LinkedIn

You can read more about Samantha’s and Brian’s work and the Agile transformation they were part of in this Scrum.org blog post.

Jul 06, 2020
Collaboration between Product Owners and Developers with the Digital Product School | Digital Product School
40:26

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

About Digital Product School

DPS is an accelerated product development program in Munich that helps students from University and employees in partner companies experience hands-on what it is to work in a startup. In 3 months they go from idea to a product, and some ideas are brought back to the companies for further development. 

About the DPS team

Michi / Michael Stockerl is director of DPS and has worked as a software engineer with several teams in different setups. Before that, he gathered experience in smaller Startups in Munich and Germany’s biggest Q&A platform.

Steffen is a trained journalist, who slipped into product management through Content Management and e-commerce. He worked with Amazon and Haymarket media, did several hundred user interviews and tests, witnessed dozens of teams at DPS, a Digital Product School of the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

Bela is a Software Engineer at DPS. She helps teams with various software and hardware engineering tasks. She was previously also a participant at DPS.

Jul 04, 2020
The full-stack Scrum Product Owner | Jeffrey Koors
15:09

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

The Product Owner role is not a simple one, so it is critical we help them understand the complete spectrum of topics the PO should be aware of. Even when the PO does not take care of all of those topics, they are critical in enabling the team by thinking about process, business and collaboration.

The Great Product Owner: The full-stack Product Owner

Product Owners that are able to manage their time to be present when the team needs them are sure to have a great contribution, but PO’s really excel when they are able to collaborate well with the team, and understand that reducing WIP, running-tested-software, and good communication with stakeholders are critical aspects of their role.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that didn’t care about the details

When a Product Owner fails to discuss the details with the team, that leads to many possible misunderstandings and a deteriorating relationship between team and PO. In this segment, we talk about how to help PO’s go through the details enough so that the team feels confident they understand the story and are able to implement their vision.



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

 

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jul 03, 2020
Personalized coaching for Scrum team members | Jeffrey Koors
12:19

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

The question that Jeffrey asks when reflecting on this work is “how may I be able help others?” That question drives the reflection on how to achieve success as a Scrum Master as it helps Jeffrey focus on the specific needs and support each team member may need. Not all team members struggle with the same problems.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sphere of Influence

Jeffrey likes to follow the 5 stage process that Diana Larsen and Esther Derby write about in the book Agile Retrospectives, however, he focuses on bringing in different exercises for each of the stages in the process. 

In this segment, we also talk about how to find the issue to work on as a team and discuss how the concept of “sphere of influence” helps teams find the right topic to address.

 

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jul 02, 2020
Helping Scrum teams when the blockers are outside the team | Jeffrey Koors
12:06

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

Even when we try to help the teams we serve, we often encounter problems that the team itself can’t solve. When that happens, what’s a Scrum Master to do? In this episode, we explore what Scrum Masters can do when the issues plaguing the team extend beyond the team’s boundaries.

 

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jul 01, 2020
Searching who to blame is what destroys many Scrum teams | Jeffrey Koors
11:30

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

In certain teams, there’s a need to find “the fall guy”, a person that takes the blame for the collective misses of the team. However, even when there is a fall guy, that search for someone to blame leads to many anti-patterns that destroy the team. In this episode, we talk about how we can help teams get out of this anti-pattern and be ready to take the steps necessary to succeed as a team

Featured Book of the Week: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willing

In Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willing, Jeffrey found a great reminder that we must always be asking “how may I contribute to help this team/these teams?” This helped Jeffrey understand how to communicate this aspect to teams and stakeholders. It’s only what we think we own that we are ready to improve.

 

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jun 30, 2020
Collaboration at scale, the challenge that scaled Agile poses | Jeffrey Koors
13:57

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

Agile at the team level is not easy, and it has serious challenges that need to be overcome for a team to reach their potential. However, agility in the large is even harder. We have to help teams collaborate across departments, functions, and sometimes even across different companies. In this episode, we dive into collaboration at scale, the challenge for Scrum Masters working with multiple teams in a scaled agile context.

 

About Jeffrey Koors

Jeff started his studies and career as a fine artist and has gone on to use his creative thinking and vision to help many organizations find ways to design systems, solve problems and embrace Agile. Jeff is also the co-founder and host of Coaching Agile Journeys.

You can link with Jeffrey Koors on LinkedIn and connect with Jeffrey Koors on Twitter.

Jun 29, 2020
How to help the PO focus on value | Charles Rodriguez
18:03

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

In this episode, we talk about the PO’s role inside the team, and how we can help Product Owners focus on value.

The Great Product Owner: The PO who focuses on team success

The Product Owner in Scrum is a very difficult role, maybe even a super-human role. Unless we start thinking about the role as part of the success of the team, rather than the only responsible for the product. Great Product Owners focus on helping the team succeed, and learn to say “no” to everything that gets in the way, even if that’s a feature they “love”.

The Bad Product Owner: The PO that focuses on the “how” instead of the “why” 

When a PO focuses on the “how”, they miss their ability to communicate with the team in a way that describes what value is. The Value should be the center of the PO’s attention, but when the PO starts telling the team “how” something should be developed, they lose time outside the “value conversation”. In this episode, we explore ways to help the PO focus on, and define value for the team.

In this segment, we refer to an insight by David Hussman called “Dude's Law” (Value = Why? / How?).



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 Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to 'try to make things better' for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Jun 26, 2020
Creating a learning model for Scrum Master success | Charles Rodriguez
13:36

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

Charles provides a clear vision for what success is for a Scrum Master, and we discuss what are some of the growth models that help us improve our performance. 

In this episode, we refer to the book Turn The Ship Around! by David Marquet, to the learning model based on Shu-Ha-Ri, and a movie, The Karate Kid, which illustrates a learning journey from the very early moments to a moment of mastery.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Sailboat Retrospective

Metaphor retrospectives help teams enter a mood of reflection by creating a scene where the team projects their feelings and thoughts. In the sailboat retrospective, the metaphor helps the team talk about what is going on at that time, but also to plan for the future and draw a map to achieve their goals. Watch this video for a hands-on example of the sailboat retrospective.

 

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to 'try to make things better' for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Jun 25, 2020
Creating environments where Change is inevitable, a primer for Scrum Masters | Charles Rodriguez
12:37

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

Charles was visiting an Agile Coach Bootcamp organized for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches to get a solution to his problem: how to make other changes. It was then he noticed that everyone in that room had the same problem. What Charles realized was that his role as a Scrum Master was not to lead change, but rather to create the conditions for change to happen on its own. In this episode, we talk about the method that Charles uses to foster change-friendly environments. We also refer to a reference book: Leading Change by Kotter

 

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to 'try to make things better' for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Jun 24, 2020
Scrum Teams that fail because they can’t face conflict | Charles Rodriguez
17:09

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

This team had very talented developers, they were able to work without conflict. But that’s when Charles started to realize that this team might be averse to conflict. Instead of confronting bad ideas, the team would go along with every idea because they didn’t want to start a conflict. In this episode, we talk about The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, where this pattern is explored in detail as part of one of the dysfunctions.

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

In Turn the Ship Around! by David Marquet, Charles found a leadership model that he could relate to, and adopt in his work. David Marquet has been a guest on the podcast where he explained the main ideas of Turn The Ship Around! 

 

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to 'try to make things better' for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Jun 23, 2020
When a successful team gets canceled, it is also the Scrum Master’s responsibility | Charles Rodriguez
15:04

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

As Charles joined this team, all seemed to be working perfectly. The team really got Agile, and they were following the ceremonies and producing high-quality software. But something was off. With time it became clear that there was a gap between the team and the stakeholders. Finally, the team realized that their project was about to be canceled. What happened? How could this team’s amazing work be canceled? The lessons Charles learned from that story are a critical warning for all of us. Listen in to learn what happened, and why you should start looking at your own team (even if successful) to look for possible early signals of the same pattern.

 

About Charles Rodriguez

Charles has been working in software development for 16+ years with roles ranging from a database developer to manager to agile coach all in an effort to 'try to make things better' for future generations joining the IT industry.

You can link with Charles Rodriguez on LinkedIn and connect with Charles Rodriguez on Twitter.

Jun 22, 2020
Incremental Delivery in Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Warehouse projects | Raphael Branger
50:39

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

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter.

Jun 20, 2020
The Product Owner that was too busy to help the Scrum team | Christian Hofstetter
15:27

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

From the common and frequent “too busy to help” anti-pattern to the PO that was ready to handle the natural and predictable unpredictability of business. Two contrasting patterns that can make or break the success of the team and the product. 

The Great Product Owner: A PO who is ready for uncertainty

Good Product Owners have a clear Vision and know how to communicate it to the team and stakeholders. However, great Product Owners also are able to understand how to adapt that Vision and evolve it continuously in uncertain market and business conditions.

In this segment, we refer to the concept of VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguity.

The Bad Product Owner: Too busy to help the team

One pattern that emerges over and over again is that of the PO who is too busy to help the team succeed. In this episode, Christian shares his own story as a Product Owner, and what he learned about how to step out of the “too busy to help” anti-pattern.

 

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

 

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Jun 19, 2020
The Flow Retrospective, helping Scrum teams make better decisions | Christian Hofstetter
12:01

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

Christian has been thinking hard about the question of what success means for Scrum Masters. He describes how the role of the Scrum Master must have a “risk” perspective, and be about minimizing risk. In this episode, we discuss what that may mean for Scrum Masters and what practices help with that goal.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Flow Retrospective

Christian shares his idea on “The Flow Retrospective”, which describes and illustrates how Agile software development can help teams reach much higher productivity and predictability. In this retrospective, Christian helps the team analyze and understand flow metrics to help them make better decisions. 

In this segment, we refer to Actionable agile metrics from Dan Vacanti and The #NoEstimates book by Vasco Duarte.

 

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Jun 18, 2020
My journey as a Scrum Master, how to promote the role in your organization | Christian Hofstetter
10:29

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

In some organizations, the question that emerges over and over again is: “what’s the value a Scrum Master brings?”

As Scrum Masters, we must be ready to answer this question. Christian found inspiration in the work by Barry Overeem, Chris Verwijs (both previous guests on the podcast), and started to work with his colleagues in defining what an impactful and inspiring Scrum Master role would be at his company. Barry Overeem also published his own journey as a Scrum Master for us to read, and learn from.

 

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Jun 17, 2020
Discovering what drives a blame culture in a Scrum team | Christian Hofstetter
12:30

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

Christian was asked to step in and give his insights on how one team was performing. When he joined a Sprint Planning he saw “finger-pointing” and a culture of blame. When he looked deeper he found some of the patterns that were fostering that culture. 

In this episode, we discuss some of the patterns that drive a blame culture. 

Featured Book of the Week: Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux

In Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux, Christian found an explanation that helped him understand how organizations change (and don’t), and what are the cultural models that influence organizations’ evolution. He also understood what “value systems” may help or hinder the change we hope to promote when working as Scrum Masters.

In this segment, we refer to the idea and model of Spiral Dynamics.

 

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Jun 16, 2020
Learning to confront micro-managing managers to help the Scrum team | Christian Hofstetter
12:39

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

Christian was working on an Agile transition, helping teams move from traditional project management to Scrum. As it usually happens, someone was trying to micro-manage and control the development team, after all, that’s the default situation in a project management culture. The team tried to push back, but that didn’t work. Christian took it up with the manager himself, confronting him with what was going on. At that time, Christian learned an important lesson: we have to stand for what we think is right. 

In this episode, we talk about the book: Radical Candor by Kim Scott

 

About Christian Hofstetter

Christian is an enthusiastic Release Train Engineer, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and Facilitator who started his agile journey as a Product Owner. Later he turned his back on technology and focused on people and relationships. He is passionate about creating space for people and teams to be the best they can be.

You can link with Christian Hofstetter on LinkedIn.

Jun 15, 2020
The Product Owner that “spoke” SQL, a success story | Raphael Branger
14:45

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

From a Product Owner who spoke the same language as the team to the Product Owner that was absent, in this episode, we explore two patterns and the techniques Raphael used to help the team benefit from the Product Owner’s and stakeholder’s feedback.

The Great Product Owner: The Product Owner who spoke technical language

In this segment, we talk about a manager that wanted to be involved, wanted to know what the team was working on, and was even able to “speak” SQL with the team. This is an example of how management can bring value to the team by providing insight and quick decisions.

The Bad Product Owner: Working around the absent Product Owner

Sometimes, we are given the task to work with a Product Owner that is absent. In this segment, we talk about how Raphael was able to work around that problem and involve the right person to have feedback and quick decisions for the team. A great story of how Scrum Masters can work with what is available, instead of complaining about what is not.

 

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 Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter

Jun 12, 2020
Creating small stories as a way to help Scrum teams succeed | Raphael Branger
13:56

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

 

When we talk about success, we must also talk about what makes teams fail. In this episode, we talk about a common, yet often unresolved anti-pattern: producing software on time, but failing to provide business value for users and stakeholders. 

In this episode, we explore Raphael’s approach to designing a way of working that focuses the team on Business Value at all times. 

In this episode, we refer to the #NoEstimates book, as well as Raphael’s approach to defining and breaking down stories so that they fit the #NoEstimates heuristic of “one story, one day”

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Race Car Retrospective

In The Speed Car Retrospective (here’s’ another podcast episode referring to a different way to implement the Speed Car Retrospective), Raphael found a format that helps the team members verbalize what they “felt” during the Sprint, therefore focusing on underlying trends in the team’s performance, rather than only “the facts”. 

 

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter.

Jun 11, 2020
Adopting Agile in traditional Business Intelligence projects and organizations | Raphael Branger
11:51

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

 

Raphael shares with us the largest change initiative he’s ever worked with: adopting Agile at his company, ITLogix, and in projects with his clients. We go through the deliberate steps he took, and how he built a learning organization first, and - using Scrum - helped his organization adopt Agile, and later move all projects to Agile even with clients that did not use Agile internally.

 

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter.

Jun 10, 2020
Setting up cross-functional Agile teams in Business Intelligence projects | Raphael Branger
12:03

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

 

When Raphael got started, many of his teams still had the back-end and front-end separation clearly visible, to the point of them being separate teams. Raphael found that, in Business Intelligence projects, that separation would cause communication gaps, and started investigating how to go about removing that gap. That led him to work in developing the concept of “generalizing specialists” for his organization, and he shares that process with us, with many tips on how to slowly, but deliberately move towards cross-skilled team members, and cross-functional teams.

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Data Warehouse Design, by Lawrence Core

In Agile Data Warehouse Design by Lawrence Core (check the book’s website), Raphael found an idea that helped him “see” how Agile could be adapted to work in Business Intelligence and Data projects. In the process of developing that idea, Raphael also found out how to involve users directly in the data modeling step, therefore benefiting from very early feedback.

In this segment, we also refer to the NoEstimates book by our podcast host Vasco Duarte.

 

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter.

Jun 09, 2020
Agile for Business Intelligence Projects | Raphael Branger
16:37

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

 

Raphael quickly realized that Agile could bring his organization a competitive advantage and help solve the problems he was facing in some of the projects he worked at. As he started to understand what being agile meant, however, he found that his initial focus (on the process) was detracting from his ability to learn quickly. In this episode, we cover Raphaeo’s personal transformation, from process to a completely new approach that has helped him continuously learn and improve the agility of his organization over the years. 

In this segment, we refer to Raphael’s concept of Agile Business Intelligence Building Blocks, which helped him understand how to apply Agile to Business Intelligence projects.

 

About Raphael Branger

Raphael Branger is a Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioner and a pioneer in adapting agile methods in the context of data and analytics projects. He works as a Principal Consultant Data & Analytics at IT-Logix in Switzerland with more than seventeen years of experience in business intelligence and data warehousing.

You can link with Raphael Branger on LinkedIn and connect with Raphael Branger on Twitter

Jun 08, 2020
Fostering collaboration between Product Owner and Scrum team | Marianne Erickson
13:58

Great Product Owners can engage the team, help them focus on the goals. But the PO’s role is not only about communicating, it is about creating a sense of a shared future. In this segment, we talk about how clear goals can help the team and the PO feel they are part of the team, and collaborate effectively.

The Bad Product Owner: The great dictator

Product Owners may try to dictate the focus and tasks to the team. When that happens, the team and PO start drifting apart. As Scrum Masters we must be aware of “how close” PO and team are so that we can tackle the distancing between them, and bring them together with techniques like shared goals, better Story writing techniques (e.g. Story Map), and other approaches.

 

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

 

About Marianne Erickson

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

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

Jun 05, 2020
Innovation as a key responsibility for Scrum Masters | Marianne Erickson
11:02

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

Scrum Masters are tasked with facilitation responsibility, to help teams achieve their goals. In other words, Scrum Masters are successful when the teams are successful. This naturally focuses our work on finding and removing blockers, but there’s a technique that is especially helpful when working with teams to resolve blockers: innovate ways of working. In this segment, we talk about the role of innovation in helping teams succeed, and therefore in the success of our work as Scrum Masters.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Envelop Stuffing Game

Retrospectives are the place where the team reflects, and sometimes simulations like the Envelop Stuffing Game are excellent reflection triggers for the team. In this segment, we explore how Marianne used this game to help teams reflect on WIP limits, inventory, large batches, and collaboration.

 

About Marianne Erickson

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

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

Jun 04, 2020
Focusing on what matters, even when Scrum teams are asked to report velocity | Marianne Erickson
10:16

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

As Marianne worked through a long Agile transformation, she faced a very common pattern: the focus on velocity. A manager was constantly asking for the team’s velocity, and the Scrum Masters have to provide that information. That’s when the change started. Instead of augmenting against that behavior, the Scrum Masters explored why there was that need, and learned about why that manager was requesting that teams report their velocity. That understanding led to a deliberate change process that helped the teams, the organization, and that manager! 

 

About Marianne Erickson

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

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

Jun 03, 2020
How to help Scrum teams stuck on the “why agile?” question | Marianne Erickson
13:40

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

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

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

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

 

About Marianne Erickson

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Marianne Erickson

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Steve Jaccaud

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

About Steve Jaccaud

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Steve Jaccaud

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

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

May 27, 2020
Critical warnings Scrum Masters should look out for | Steve Jaccaud
10:31

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

About Steve Jaccaud

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Steve Jaccaud

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

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

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

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

 

About David Horowitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Great Product Owner: Crystalizing the Sprint Goal

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

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

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

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

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

 

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

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: Liberating Structures

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

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

About Willem-Jan Ageling

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Great Product Owner: Deliberate assumption validation

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

The Bad Product Owner: Lack of collaboration with the team

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



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

 

About Justin Chapman

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

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

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 15, 2020
How to find what Agile Retrospective format works for your team | Justin Chapman
14:44

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

 

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

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

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

 

About Justin Chapman

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

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

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

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

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

 

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

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

 

About Justin Chapman

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

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

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

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

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

 

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

Featured Book of the Week: Agile Retrospectives

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

 

About Justin Chapman

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

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

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

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

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

 

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

 

About Justin Chapman

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

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

You can link with Justin Chapman on LinkedIn.

May 11, 2020